A few months ago, I saw a tweet from Kristi Mraz that lit a fire under me.
I was feeling slightly guilty about the fact that I hadn’t been keeping a daily blog for my son like I did for my daughter. (File that under #secondchild.) Therefore, I thought a line a day journal could be the perfect way to make sure my son had a chronicle of his daily life. I prepared to write in it at the end of each day, but when the hunger cries and cries of fatigue came at bedtime, I’d often forget to write in it. Something wasn’t working.
When June 1st rolled around, I rebooted the time of day I wrote in the journal. Realizing nighttime was not the right time to write in Ari’s memory book, I started writing in the mornings, after he woke up, about something we did the previous day.
Isabelle has been curious about the line-a-day journal I’ve been writing in for Ari. Last week, after her final day of first grade, we started one together. She’s decided to write in her journal each night as part of her bedtime routine. In order to make this a low-pressure experience, she dictates what she wants to write and I scribe. (It’s my hope that she’ll take over the physical writing in the journal, but for now, I’m more concerned with building the habit of writing to remember.) We’re just a few days in, but so far, so good!
If you’re looking for a way to inspire a child to write every day this summer, consider trying a line a day journal.
For more ideas about helping kids to live a writerly life this summer, check out “Six REAL Purposes for Kids to Write This Summer and Beyond,” which Kelsey Corter published last week. It’s chock-full of meaningful ideas to keep kids writing this summer.
Check out the Chronicle Books website to find an assortment of one line a day memory books.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).