We have decorated our journals with a Henri Matisse inspired collage and now is the time to start filling them in.
When my son started going to preschool (a long time ago), his teacher did this amazing thing. Every month she would ask the kids to draw their self-portrait and sign their name. It was so simple but after two years in the preschool, it was amazing to see! He went from a scribble to a head. From a head with legs to a person with fingers, ears, hair (and even some inappropriate parts). He went from a scribble to a zig zag. From an MMMMMMM to MARTIN and soon he started adding his last name too. I knew I wanted to do this with the kids at my school even before I had the school.
We started today. We started today and the amazing thing was – you could see this progression, this evolution of the written word, right in front of your eyes. Our preschool is a mixed age group of kids… meaning we saw some scribbles and some names, we saw some swirls and some detailed faces. We saw kids capturing emotions or just doodling. And it was all up to them.
Now, we will be moving on. Three times a week we will be adding to our journals, usually working on a simple project, questions or suggestions. I plan on making the journals truly meaningful to the kids. I do not want them to become yet another workbook (they will have enough of those soon enough). We will do all kind of other things: from labeling parts of a pumpkin to observing the flowers with a magnifying glass; from drawing and measuring our foot to making a chart of what apples we like the most. We will draw things we care about and label, label, label. I am hoping this will become second nature to us soon.
We are already in a text-infused environment. We read a ton of books, we rhyme, we play games, we sign in our names… but this will give us yet another focus without (hopefully) feeling like a chore. I really hope soon the journaling ideas will start coming from the kids. I want them to make the journals their own. I want them to fill them with glue gun plans, pirate maps, shopping lists, dress up plans, cooking recipes and more. I want them to surprise me with what they can do, as they always do! Can’t wait.