Ever since we launched our kids’ reading journal last year, we hear over and over again that it’s helping kids develop great habits around their reading. Parents tell us that kids love the questions and layout, that it helps them reflect on what they’ve read, and that they love recording their experience in a journal that is all their own.
Journaling has become part of the reading routine at our house. Bean uses her reading journal to record her favorite picture books each week. She’s not writing much yet, so I sit down with her to read the questions aloud. She fills in what she can, and she draws lots of pictures. Lu likes to journal about all the books she reads on her own, and both girls record their thoughts about the middle grade books that we read aloud together. Usually the girls do this right after they finish a new book.
We’re glad other families are loving the journal, too, but we know that any journaling habit is great for kids. As our friend Bethany from Biracial Bookworms reminded us in a recent post about why her kids journal every day, “The Reflection process is key to developing critical thinking skills in a child.” Still, it’s hard to keep up with any habit, especially one that—let’s face it—you need to remind your kids to complete daily.
Tips for getting started with journaling for kids
Based on our experiences and the feedback we’ve gotten from others, we wanted to share a few ideas for implementing the journal into your family’s reading routine:
- Consider starting a new journal on the new calendar or school year. That way you can see your child’s progress and capture memories based on specific life events.
- Take responsibility for reminding the kids to use it. When we finish a book, I immediately ask the girls to get out their journals—otherwise we will forget.
- Create your own ratings system so your ratings are consistent. (We’ve found that if you don’t do this, kids will give most books a solid five.) Ask the kids why they rated the book the way they did and compare to other books that they’ve rated the same.
- Set goals for reading and use the journal to measure your progress. This doesn’t have to be high-pressure. Make a list of five books you want to read in the front of the journal and then cross them out as you read. Then add to the list as you go.
- Experiment with what works for your child and family. Maybe doing batch entries is less stressful than doing single entries. Maybe your child wants to do it independently, or maybe it becomes part of your routine when you finish a book. Perhaps your child only journals about middle grade books, or perhaps they record only picture books. Maybe it’s just about reflection, or maybe it’s about keeping track of their progress. There’s no right or wrong way to use it.
Most importantly, make sure the journal isn’t just more work. We’re all about making reading fun and simple, and we want to keep it that way!
If you already have a My Reading Adventures journal—or a different journal your child uses frequently—we’d love to hear about how your family uses it! Let us know in the comments below.
I finally got some reading done this month! I have been in the bad habit of starting a bunch of books and then slowly reading several at a time. They are all for different purposes—I read solo with Lu, solo with Bean, for book club, we usually have a family read-aloud going, and I usually have at least one audio book going too. Progress is slow, but this way I get to read many different types of books! Here’s what I read this month:
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Dory Dory Black Sheep by Abby Hanlon
Hello, Universe by Erin Kelly Estrada
We are gearing up for summer here at Lu and Bean Read. Yesterday, we shared our exciting new Summer Book Hunts that will keep your kids searching for (and reading, of course!) new books all summer long.
Today we get to share the exciting news that we collaborated with our pal Samantha Munoz from Addison Reads to create a series of Summer Book Boxes.
The Summer Book Boxes are Samantha’s brainchild. She curated themed summer reading packs for kids reading at all levels. Different packs are available for kids aged 0–3, 4–6, and 7–12. Simply choose the pack that is right for your child and start creating memories while fostering your little one’s love of books.
The most exciting news (for us)? Samantha invited us to help curate the “big kids” box for readers of middle grade material.
The most exciting news (for you)? Use the code LUANDBEAN to get 10 percent off your purchase over at Addisonreads.com!
The Summer Book Box theme this year is…Animals! We can’t wait for you to dig in to these books, so we decided to round up a few of our other favorite animal-themed books. (Don’t worry—none of these books are in the Summer Book Boxes. We wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!)
Get excited for the surprises in the Summer Book Boxes with these other animal books
For ages 0-3
Hippos Go Berserk! by Sandra Boynton
For ages 4–6
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson
For ages 7–12
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
For young adults and adults
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Want more great recommendations like these?
- three books
- book tote bag
- surprise bookish items
- access to secret resources, questions, and activity ideas online
- invite to the parent Facebook community
Don’t forget to use code LUANDBEAN to receive 10 percent off your order! Hop on over to Addison Reads to get your book box today!