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Wednesday
Jan272010

little girls' journals

for the past nine months the girls have (more or less) been keeping a journal and it has been awesome. long before i ever had children i planned how i would have "journal sundays" every sunday, i've even got it written down in a journal of my own somewhere.. we would come home from church and, after a healthy snack, we'd all sit down to reflect on our week and write in our journals. i would gently encourage the kids and we'd all smile.. that vision makes me laugh. the reality is much less serene but (mostly) much more fun. healthy sunday snacks have been replaced by desperate fistfuls of tortilla chips and doughnuts (it's true.. the deperate post-church hunger is satisfied by whatever chip sees first when he opens the cupboards), the journal writing is completely sporadic and sometimes totally enforced on reluctant little girls, but the records eve and ruth have of their own lives so far are pretty perfect in their sweetness, their craziness, and their awesome truthfulness.

eve. may 4, 2009. "no i don't like diurreah. i liked waching angelena ballrena"

ruth: april 21, 2009
mom: what did you want to say about your day?
ruth: i didn't want to say about my day
m: what is this picture?
r: jungle
m: what else?
r: i don't want to tell you.

eve: may 10, thursday. "i loved the little mermaid at times square."

ruth: may 10, 2009 "this is ariel and flounder. i goed to the little mermaid at the play. it was in Times Square. my favorite part was when ariel got the pink dress and when she got married. my daddy was named chip and i watched a play with dad. i wish i could see ariel again because i wish i could see the married part again."


to make "keeping a journal" something approachable i gave the girls a very simple formula to start with: draw or write about their favorite part of the day/week along with their least favorite. eve was totally in from the moment i introduced the idea and has stuck to the formula with few exceptions. ruth, on the other hand, heard the plan, made a bizarre face, rolled over and began complaining about not knowing any real princesses.. she has mostly stuck to her own formula of journal keeping, which at the beginning involved her drawing about whatever she wanted to while i pestered her to tell me about it. but now that she is starting to not only draw but write on her own (and realizing just how long it takes to make all those words) the formula is coming in handy, even for ruthie who likes to do everyhting her own way.


(two page spread) eve: june 3, 2009 "no i do l" [beginnings of "no i don't like"] june 4, 2009 "i poukt [puked] on charlies birthday. today i lovee ma-king the teve purojec [tv project]."

ruth: june 2, 2009

ruth: 10.9.09, "keira, tessa, eden, monet, malena, ruth, ms. jin. we're all starting a show on the stage."

eve: october 9, 2009. "i like gayb"

ruth: january 15, 2010. "planetarium. i did not like when it exploded i liked the gas of the sun."


there is so much i love about ruth's and eve's magical journals. i love that they don't think too much about what they record, they just do it. i love that they want me to look at everything they draw and write, because i know that won't last. and i love having this record of their drawing and writing progression. but most of all i love that it is their own marks that fill each page. it is all their own words, their own takes on their own lives, not my interpretation or perspective, but theirs. just as journals should be.

 

next up: the making of the journals.

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Reader Comments (47)

exquisite, every last page

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermolly

I think I'm going to do this too. I love this idea! My son has poor fine motor skills and hates to write, but maybe if I bribed him with chocolate...

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalee

ruthie looks like she will be a great typographer! so cute and sweet.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

i mean eve! oopsie!

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

Good for you! Starting journaling at that age will be so beneficial to them personally and in school. What a great thing for you to have as well when they are older, records of how interesting, wonderfully strange and creative they were at that age. I loved your imagined journal writing sessions versus the real ones, isn't that always the way! If I could only count how many times I've imagined the healthy eating that happens without protest.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConscious Kids

Amazing. I started journaling when I was 7 and someday I hope my kids will do the same. The drawings and stories from your little ones are so hilarious that I might have to start my kids much earlier than 7.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina

I can't wait until we get photo shoots of the insides of their journals when they are teenagers!! (snicker)

I'm going to do this with my kids... thanks for the inspiration. You rule Katie.

We need to hang out... it's been too long!
xo

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersara

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterliko

they are sooooo lovely.

tinyinc

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertinyinc

I'm 24 and I have a diary which I kept for a year when I was five. it's so funny to read, mostly because of my weird turns of phrase ('we went to the park. it was super!') and inexplicable enthusiasms ('i read my chess book again.') keep them and the girls will love them in 15 years' time!

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Adorable - those journals will be such a treasure!

February 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersatu

These are lovely! We've been haphazardly keeping a journal with my oldest, but I love your idea of weekly journaling. Plus, it's a Sunday-appropriate activity. Thanks for sharing.

February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

What a fantastic idea! I never thought about having them do that. LOVE IT!

Liz
Loving This Mom Stuff

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoving This Mom Stuff

I am loving this idea. I think my older daughter will love it too! Thanks.

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

What a fabulous idea! We're planning a trip to Europe this year and I thought I'd encourage the kids to write a journal. Your post has made me decide to DEFINATELY do it! A wonderful thing to look back on. Thanks. Very glad I have found your blog.

February 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEstelle

Their journals are wonderful! What age were your girls when you started?
Your blog is lovely - I often read it (although I'm a terrible lurker and this is the first time I've left a comment.) I also adore the clothes you make for them!

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

that is hilarious!!!

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHollie

oh i really LOVE LOVE LOVE your journal!! i'm envious because i'm soooo bad at writing down the little anekdotes.. the drawings are just kept in a big box but not chronologically and lots of dates are missing...

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May 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercemomiree

Killing me. Can't wait until my son is old enough to give this a go!

this is great tp get them interested soo young, wat an inspiration, ive now just started a journal, i am 14 and was looking for ideas on how to start it, this has been a great help keep writing !..

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterellie

i goed to the little mermaid at the play. it was in Times Square. my favorite part was when ariel got the pink dress and when she got married. my daddy was named chip and i watched a play with dad.

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