FAMILY WRITING BOOK (fun writing without the "pressure")
I was curious if anyone else has done this?
I got the idea from Marjorie Frankâ€™s book:
If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write, You've Gotta Have This Book! (revised edition).
Basically, the idea is to get a large, 3-ring binder, decorate the cover, and add divider tabs. You place the book somewhere centrally located in your home where it is easily accessible to all. You will be making and saving MEMORIES from all of your child-raising/homeschooling years. I just thought the idea was genius. I SO wish I had run across it when all of our children were younger! It encourages EVERYONE to write in a fun and nonthreatening way. Especially the littles when they see Mom and Dad and older siblings writing and sharing for fun!
Our cover has "Our FAMILY Writing Book" on it and then everyone's names written around the... title, using â€œThe Game of the Nameâ€ idea (also from the same book). You write the personâ€™s name in all caps and then under it, you use each letter to write a silly sentence. Like for BRICE â€“ Bison Run In Circles Everywhere. KEVIN â€“ Kangaroos Eat Vegetables In Nepal., BENJAMIN â€“ Big Elephants Never Joke About Mice In Nests. AMBER â€“ Antelopes Make Beautiful Eskimo Rugs. You get the idea! We added drawings to match. The sillier the better! FUN!
I am currently trying to think of a way to show when someone adds a new writing entry to the book and wants to share it with the rest of the family. I was thinking of making a chart to keep in the front of the book so they could check off which tabs/categories they added to. Or maybe a simpler way?? I wish they made people sticky notes or something, then everyone could have their own and add "themselves" in the spot in the book where they wrote something. Hmmm....any ideas? Mabye I could make everyone into a bookmark (full body photo cut out)! Hey... actually not a bad idea! lol
So far, these are the â€œtabsâ€ we have in ours:
ADVICE â€“ Can be anything from anyoneâ€¦. Family rules, scriptures, reminders, problem solutions, tips, silly stuff too.
BOOK REVIEWS/LISTS - This is great, because older kiddos leave reviews for books the youngers can look forward to being able to read somedayâ€¦.a book that big sis loved, etc. Even a list of "want to read" books could go here, then be reviewed as they are read.
CONVERSATIONS - This is awesome for remembering all those funny things your kids say! Or maybe a conversation with Grandma or a famous person, etc. Careful, though...the kids can write down what YOU say! LOL
DEFINITIONS - Any new word learned. Especially good if you do â€œword of the day/weekâ€, etc.
DRAWINGS - with captions
DREAMS - Write the date, what the dream was about (in detail), and what they think it â€œmeansâ€â€¦if anything.
FABLES & FUNNY TALES - Summary of one you hear and like or better yet, a new one that you wrote.
FAVORITE THINGS â€“ Put date, each family member gets a "page"â€¦items like favorite book, subject, holiday, season, dessert, meal, drink, movie, color, tv show, etcâ€¦Good to do new ones every so often to see what has changed with everyone...don't forget to date them!
FIELD TRIPS â€“ Ideas, plans, memories recorded. I keep a 3-ring folder in this section with their field trip forms that we use. Can also add photos pages!
FOREIGN LANGUAGE WORDS / PHRASES
GAME OF THE NAME (described above...our book cover) â€“ Each person has their own page. Anyone can add name sentences to anyoneâ€™s page. You might want to lay down some â€œbe niceâ€ ground rules for this one! ;)
HOPES/PRAYERS - We have little smiley face stickers in this section that we put beside answered prayers. Leave space after each entry to write answers/outcomes, etc.
HOW-TOâ€™S / INSTRUCTIONS â€“ How long to cook popcorn in the microwave, how to make a pot of coffee, how often/how much to feed the animals, what supplements to take when feeling sick, etcâ€¦
I LEARNED TODAY â€“ Great for Dad and in our family, Grandma ALWAYS asks, â€œSOâ€¦what did you learn today?â€ lol
IDEAS â€“ Great things to try, to do, to make, whateverâ€¦
JOKES/RIDDLES â€“ This is a popular one with everyone! Lol
LISTS â€“ Bucket list for each family member, shopping lists, anythingâ€¦
LYRICS â€“ Our 16 yr. old currently writes her own songs. She also likes to write down lyrics she is trying to learn. We photocopy the ones she is willing to share (so she can keep her original). I add our school song lyrics here (continent song, months of the year, etc.)
MEMORIES â€“ This can be ANYTHING the child (or Mom/Dad) wants to remember (think...diary entry).
MESSAGES/LETTERS â€“ Each child can have their own section or you can just leave them all in one. I wrote the first letters and this also gives a sort of guide to follow on â€œhowâ€ to write a letter. Our boys just added a â€œDear Mom, this is what we want for Christmas.â€ letter Lol. The person that puts a new message in for someone, adds one of those colored sticky note arrows for that person (we each have our own designated colorâ€¦so you can see at a glance if you have any â€œmailâ€). When our older kids were small, they each had a mini mailbox that other family members could add messages to, so this is "sort of" like that.
MENUS â€“ Never again will you hear, â€œWhatâ€™s for dinner?â€ That is, IF you fill in the plan for the day/week. lol. THENâ€¦meals get rated on a 5 star rating by all family members that want to â€œweigh inâ€.. Comments can be added such as, â€œYuk. Donâ€™t ever make this again!â€ or â€œI could eat this for every meal!â€ , etc. Our kids also used to play â€œrestaurantâ€ all the time and they made menus for themâ€¦those could go here, too.
MOVIE REVIEWS - everyone rates the movie with 1-5 stars and then writes a summary, their favorite part, line, character description, etc.
NATURE FINDS â€“ We have a running list of insects, amphibians, reptiles, etcâ€¦. Write date and place found.
POEMS/RHYMES â€“ I also put MY poems here and some from the older siblings.
PROJECTS - Great place to write about any project...don't forget the pictures!
QUESTIONS â€“ This can be any question, anyone wants to know and anyone in the family (one or all) can answer them. We add a sticky note here too, so everyone knows thereâ€™s a NEW question that hasnâ€™t been answered. I drew question marks on a pad of those skinny post-its.
QUOTES - From the famous or from friends/family members. You could subdivide these too (historical figures, religious figures, scientists, etc.)
RECIPES - I add â€œkid-friendlyâ€ recipes here and our 16 yr. old dd puts recipes in here that she uses oftenâ€¦ones she finds online and in her cookbooks.
SCHEDULES - Currently, our 16 yr. oldâ€™s driving times are here as well as our youngestâ€™s flag football schedule, etc. On the football schedule, our ds writes how many flags he grabbed, â€œI made an 80 yard touchdown in this game!â€, etcâ€¦ Our dd jots down anything specific from each driving tripâ€¦ â€œA deer ran out in front of me tonight!â€, etc.
SIMILES and METAPHORS ( a few pages for each with title at the top)
STORIES â€“ I put MINE in this section that I wrote when I was a child (Mom saved them all!) and some from the older siblings.
TELEVISION PROGRAMS â€“ Write about favorite shows/episodesâ€¦what happened, favorite lines, etc.
TONGUE TWISTERS â€“
VACATIONS â€“ Ideas, plans, memories recorded, pictures, etc.
WEATHER REPORTS â€“ Especially if something unusual happens with the weatherâ€¦maybe write about an especially wet spring, cold winter (record amount of snow & temps), or like the day we got tons of huge hailâ€¦donâ€™t forget to add pictures!
WONDERFUL WORDS â€“ This can also be sub-divided: adjectives, adverbs, compound, big/long, great-sounding, alliterations, onomatopoeia words, homophones, â€œJAILEDâ€ words (break common spelling rule), music, sports, science, silly, etc.
Sorry this was SO LONG!! I would love to hear YOUR ideas! :seeya: