Summer of 2016 Journal project

8:57 AM

Yesterday we officially started the Summer break holiday. We are in until July end as we are switching schools.

This makes for a VERY long break, and that many more days to keep Ishita entertained home. I kid you not, I have been drafting a battle plan to make sure neither she, nor I go crazy.
One part of the plan is to come up with small activities and outings regularly. The other is what I came to call the Summer of 2016 Journal.

The concept is fairly easy: Write what we did that day on a page (or two) and decorate it to look pretty. The content can be as long or as short as one want, as long as something is written on it.

This is how Ishita's page looked for yesterday:
She decided to not put "I watched TV in the morning" because she felt it was a stupid thing to write. Instead she wrote how she played with her papa and how we went shopping for art supplies. As you can see, she went crazy about the stickers. She loves stickers.

The big idea behind that project is to get her to write sentences in her own words, and try to do it without copying anything of the black board (which she did all year in school). If she asks me to help her write a word, I will, but she will frequently write things in phonetics. I don't mind spelling mistakes at this point. I just want her to do what she was supposed to do in first grade but didn't due to the rote learning system idiocy:

Write for fun and figure out on her own how letter and phonics relate to one another to form words.

To encourage her to have fun writing her journal this Summer, I am keeping one of my own. We write together with a pile of stickers and colour pencils between us. This is how my first page looks like:
I think in a couple of years we will have fun looking back at these journals and see how her version of the day compares to mine. Plus it brought back some memories of a one month long sailing trip I took as a 12 years old. My dad had insisted back then that my sister and I kept our own travel log in a notebook while he kept our ship's Captain log.
We didn't have stickers back then, but we did draw the most memorable moment of our day, and detailed anecdotes. My sister wrote about how a squid landed on her hand while we were sailing a rough sea. And I wrote about my rock pool explorations, my collection of cocktail stirrer and umbrellas and my seeing dolphins race our boat. But, it was also full of silly observation such as "Canned food taste like crap, can't wait to eat real food again" or "I don't see what my parents like about exploring Italian villages, I want to go to the beach!" Let's not forget I was a typical 12 years old on the verge of teenage hood...

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  1. Lovely idea and my daughter shares your daughter's obsession with stickers! As for you, my god, what lovely handwriting you have! I must never show you my journal. You'd faint.

    1. If my daughter had her way we would have bought the entire stock of stickers at the art supply store yesterday :-) She can't get enough of them. If your daughter loves stickers, defintiely get her to write a journal during her Summer break, she will have tons of fun doing so.

  2. Anonymous11:53 AM

    Boy, it must be exhausting right, to keep planning for ways to entertain your child. I'd have gone crazy if I were you. I don't think my mom ever came up with ways of entertaining us, in fact I don't think she ever thought it was her job to keep us entertained. Of course this is from the late 90's where we didn't have many toys or activity stuff and the ones available cost a bomb. And thank God for siblings, we'd have fun in our own sweet ways 9 to 6 during the entire summer vacation. Though we had very few books and a gaming console we longed to go and play out games like hopscotch and hide and seek in the evenings. Do kids even play these games now?

    1. I grew up in the 80's and 90's, back then we would play those games non stop, and because there was much less traffic and everybody knew everybody in the neighbourhood, I was pretty much out in the neighbourhood with my friends from the morning until dinner time during the Summer, at least from the moment I turned 7-8 or so. That or my mom would take us to the local public pool and we would swim and play while she could relax in the afternoon. The climate in Switzerland was way less harsh in the Summer than here in Mumbai, and during the cold harsh season we anyway had school and a 2 weeks break during Christmas so it wasn't that hard to keep us entertained. :-)

      I don't think I have seen kids play those old games like hopscotch, skipping rope or even the "elastic game" as we called it, but I still see some playing hide and seek.

  3. Keeping a journal is a wonderful thing. I recently started to do a scrapbook with my daughter as a cross between a journal and photo album. My daughter puts her happiest memories in hers while I'm focusing on the family scrapbook. We also love stickers, oh and washi tape! Love washi tape. :D

    1. Ah! Washi tape! I love it too. I keep checking the stock my local art supply shop has and buy anything cute I don't already have. :-)


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