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Friday, May 13, 2011

Writing Books, Preserving Memories

I stumbled upon a wonderful idea for preserving family memories while I was surfing the net for summer survival ideas to keep us busy once school ends for the year. I wish I could remember where I found this idea, but the gist of it is to keep a little drawing journal of family memories. The thought is that this is easier and less time consuming than scrapbooking, and so more memories can be recorded and preserved.

I loved the idea, and it also sounded like a great way to help the bonding process with my Ethiopian children, as we could read the journal together and have warm fuzzy feelings about the memories we have made.

When my kids initially discovered my sketchbook and box of crayons on my nightstand, they started asking questions, and even though I only had a few entries completed, I went ahead and read them my journal. I explained that I have been recording memories in my journal in the evening before I go to bed. Then I read the completed entries to them, and they LOVED IT! And since that first reading they have requested additional readings, and have also asked for their own drawing journals.

I just gave them their blank journals this week, and they are already filling them up. I love that they sit in their beds at night and draw in them, because I told them that's when I do my drawing. They tell me what they want to write in their journals, and then I write it down on a sheet of paper and they copy the words into their books (they can't write independently yet). Then they illustrate them too, of course!

My daughter even decided she wanted to type some of her text up on the computer last night. She needed a lot of help, but it was great literacy practice, as well as great computer practice!

I'm not a scrapbooker, so this is a perfect way for me to visually record some family memories. And it is all great literacy practice for my kiddos. Check out these photos from our journals:

Mommy's journal

Mel's journal

Mary's journal (note: the brown circles in the drawing of the pool here are coins that they were playing with... not poop, as it kind of looks like)

I also bought a journal for Isaac, but he's been falling asleep every evening before our journaling time, so his is still empty.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Caught Reading

I still don't catch my older kids reading much. But they also spend much of their time at school, so there's not as much opportunity to catch them reading (couple that with the fact that they still don't know how to read, and are still learning English). But here are a few snapshots of literacy going on around here.

Doing a puppet show at the library.

Drawn and written by my older son.

More puppet show.

Reading magazines at the library while Mommy browses the shelves.

Being read to by Cousin Kylynn.