I encourage my children to keep a journal even before they can read or write. Of course, my six year old mostly draws:
He is on the verge of reading and he wrote his first sentences yesterday:
"I miss you I loves you DAD"
I read it back to him and he erased the "s" after love. He tore the page out and put it on his dad's pillow. Isn't that sweet? His dad has been out of town this week.
One thing that is so helpful to me, the teacher-mom, is that I can always look through the journals and see what they are learning or what they are READY to learn.
Like, yesterday, I noticed that my son had not only written a few sentences, but he had written a few words: boom, boo, pop, poop. I took a cue from the word "boom" and showed him how to write the words: broom and room. So, now he has a few more words in his journal:
He is not only thinking of words but he seems to be thinking of math. He hasn't officially learned multiplication but he seems to pick up whatever his big sister is doing:
Guess what this is:
He loves us all: (He loves his dad FIRST and me SECOND, Oh well.)