Friday, March 27, 2020

Journaling Through the Time of Coronavirus

Who wants to journal together? Let’s do it!

Journaling is incredibly beneficial to all ages. It helps us process and make sense of the world. And--you’ll be happy to have a written record of this strange time in the years to come, I assure you!
Here’s what we’ll do. And when I say “we”—well, you decide who “we” is to you. Maybe you will do one journal as a family, or maybe you will each have your own journal. This should work for any age level, child to adult. I strongly encourage you, the parent, to participate too!

First, of course, you’ll need a journal. Normally I would recommend buying a new writing journal for each person and making this an exciting event; however, in the spirit of sheltering-at-home, I encourage you to scrounge around in your supplies and find some kind of notebook —and then let your kids make them their own. One easy way to personalize a journal is to decorate the front and back with scrapbooking paper, photos, magazine cut-outs, etc. You can use Modge Podge or just a gluestick. Take some time and thought in doing this—make it an event! Don't forget to make yourself a journal, too!

Each week, we will do three activities: Capture/Collage, Create, and Communicate.
  • Capture/Collage: Capture things that speak to you during this strange time. For example: memes, news headlines, comic strips, a quote, song lyrics, a poem, a passage from the Bible, a paragraph from a book you are reading, photos. Choose a few each week, and make a weekly collage page by printing, cutting, and pasting into your journal; writing out quotes; copying by drawing; or whatever method works for you.
  • Create: Do your own thing. Write a poem, make a diary entry, paint a picture. I’ll post weekly poetry ideas that may spark ideas.
  • Communicate: I’’ll provide a couple of prompts each week for you to respond to. Do this however you wish—in a short freewrite, written out in dialogue, whatever. Think of this as stream-of-consciousness thinking. Just write what comes to mind as a response without worrying about proper grammar, sentence structure, etc. (Feel free to send me prompt ideas, especially ones related to the coronavirus that might come up at your house!) Guidelines to freewriting are found here at Brave Writer.

{One note: Please do the handwriting for your children if this is laborious for them! We want to tap into their thoughts and ideas here, so feel free to remove the handwriting obstacle. And…this is not the time to correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Let’s let those things go, okay?}

Okay, here’s one more thing: sharing is important! I’ll provide a place each week for sharing photos of your journals or snippets from them if that works better. Maybe your kids will want to share each page, or maybe just one. If they don’t want to share publicly, that’s okay! Just be sure to set aside time each week to share at home or send photos to grandparents, friends, etc. If you are a BHEA member, you can share either on the weekly Facebook thread or here on the blog, if you'd like. Others are welcome to share here in the comments or in whatever way works for you.

First assignment: get your journals ready! Start whenever you want! See prompt links below.

Week 1 Journal Prompts
Week 2 Journal Prompts

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