In my Kindergarten classroom the children write all of the time, but we write formally in our journal every Monday. Every Monday I ask the children the same question, “What did you do over the weekend?” This journal becomes a time capsule of each Kindergartner’s life for the 10 months that they spend in Kindergarten. In September, the thoughts ‘written’ are more like memories of days gone by but not necessarily thoughts from the weekend. Children will write about events that have happened in their lives like a trip last summer, a holiday at Grandma’s, a trip to Disney world when they were 3! Slowly over time, the children begin to understand the concept of the words ‘yesterday’ and ‘weekend.’ Then the writing changes and the children really do write about what happened to them over the weekend. I love this journal because you can watch the writing process develop over the course of the Kindergarten year and you can usually pin point the exact week that the letters and sounds all began to make sense. What a fun keepsake! Parents, you too can encourage journal writing at home and witness firsthand the development of your child’s writing right before your eyes. All you need is a blank journal, (no lines on the paper) a pencil and a Kindergartner. It works the best if you have a set time each week that your child should write or if you take a long car trip or plane trip a journal is great to take along. Many years ago, when my now 21 year old daughter was 3 we drove across country on a military move. Every day after lunch her older brother and sister were writing about the events of the day in their journals so she had to have a journal too. She wrote perfect little squiggly waves from left to right and she even understood return sweep. Not a letter in sight but she was writing. To this day, this same daughter writes faithfully every day in her journal. Coincidence? I don’t think so.