1/28/2015 | DIY/Creative Ideas, Education, Guest Post

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DIY Mom and Me Journal

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“Mom, this is fun!” my 9-year old daughter said as she handed me back our Mom and Me Journal. This journal gives us a beautiful way to connect through letters, and provides my daughter with an opportunity to practice her (almost forgotten) cursive handwriting.

Writing in Your Mom and Me Journal

Many U.S. schools don’t teach cursive handwriting. And, if they do teach it, they often don’t require children to actually use it. That’s our situation. My daughter learned cursive (yeah!) but never had to actually use it.

So I’ve been looking for ways to give her cursive handwriting practice. (That isn’t just worksheet upon worksheet.)

I decided to try something similar to what I used to do with my fifth grade students. One of the best ways I connected with each of my students was in a teacher-student dialogue journal. Writing letters back and forth helped me to get to know each child and build trust. With my daughter, I changed it to be a mom and me journal.

And I’m so glad I did. Our shared journal is one of our favorite things to do. We both look forward to seeing what the other person has written.

Mom and Me Journal 3

Not only that, my daughter is using her cursive handwriting and it’s gorgeous! I have high hopes that she’ll get so comfortable with her cursive writing that she’ll begin to use it for her school work. Or maybe I’ll just insist she use it since I know she can.

How to Make a Mom and Me Journal

Supplies:
Scissors
Composition notebook
Cloth (that your child likes)
Duct tape (get colorful!)
Printable cursive alphabet

DIY Mom and Me Journal Supplies

Directions:

  1. Cut two cloth rectangles about ½” larger than your composition notebook. DIY Mom and Me Journal step 1
  2. Cut a length of duct tape the same length as your cloth. Stick the pieces of cloth on either edge of the tape, leaving room in the middle to place the spine of the notebook. DIY Mom and Me Journal Step 2
  3. Press the spine of the notebook into the available tape. DIY Mom and Me Journal step 3
  4. Cut off any extra tape hanging over edges of the spine. DIY Mom and Me Journal Step 4
  5. Fold in the cloth around the inside edges of the front and back cover. Secure to the notebook with more colorful duct tape. DIY Mom and Me Journal Step 5
  6. Optional: In the front of the notebook, tape in an instructional sheet of cursive or print (manuscript)DIY Mom and Me Journal Step 6

Mom and Me Journal Ideas

Start with a hello and welcome to this journal letter.

Write in conversational letter form and write in cursive. Tell your child that you’d like her to write in cursive, too and that you’ve provided a reminder of how to make letters in the beginning of the journal.

Share things about YOU. Ask questions about THEM.

This back and forth sharing is important. It models how to have a good conversation and shows your child that you want to reveal things about you and you’re interested learning more about them, too.

Topic ideas (click here for a printable)

Seamless color puzzles background. Jigsaw puzzle game

  • You’re special because
  • Proudest moments
  • Travel
  • Hobbies
  • Sports
  • Friendships
  • Worries & strategies
  • Body image
  • School
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Heroes
  • Goals
  • Sad Moments
  • Angry Times
  • Favorite toy
  • Career
  • Family
  • Pets
  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Peer pressure
  • Technology
  • Birthday
  • Jokes
  • Happy times
  • Foods
  • Wonderings
  • Baby stories
  • Favorite things
  • Homework
  • Introvert or extrovert
  • Holidays
  • Quotes
  • Puberty

Get ready to hear: “Did you write me back yet?” and “This is fun!”

Leave a comment and let me know how it goes.

About Melissa Taylor

Melissa-Taylor-Head-Shot-125Hi, I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, teacher, & blogger. Imagination Soup has ideas & inspiration for literacy, learning, and thinking. To connect with Melissa visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

 

3 Comments

Comment from Ali Collins
January 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

This is a seriously awesome idea. Even if you are not interested in practicing handwriting, the idea of writing back and forth is so special. I have twins, so there is never a time to have a one-on-one chat (without the other sibling horning in!) This would give my girls a way to connect with me in a private and special way. Many thanks for sharing!

Comment from Michelle
February 5, 2015 at 10:10 pm

Talk
About ask and receive ;)
Homeschooling two little ones

Comment from Michelle
February 5, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Yikes clumsy thumbs. So yes homeschooling little ones means looking for fun ways to encourage them to write…thank you this is a perfect project!

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