Children who learn to read with comprehension and write with fluency early on have a far easier time at school and college. Reading and writing don’t come naturally to all students, however, and even quick learners need to practice.
There is always room for improvement.
One of the best ways for parents to give children a springboard to success is to encourage the habit of journaling.
Journaling provides a myriad of benefits for children, including:
#1: Strengthening Writing and Communication Skills
The ability to communicate well through writing is required for academic success. Poor written communication skills result in a perceived lack of intellect.
Written communication skills are honed by continuous practice, and journaling is an ideal way to stimulate a child’s desire to write. As the child writes more often, errors occur less often. The child applies what is taught in class in the journal. This improves writing skills.
#2: Improving Reading Comprehension
Reading with comprehension is essential for any student or adult. The ability to read must be fused with a sound understanding of the text. The best way to improve reading skills is to read with frequency.
Writing in a journal is another way to stimulate reading skills. Children need not always read the written words of others; even going back to read prior entries builds reading skills. Re-reading written pieces will help a child to find and correct errors.
#3: Making Writing a Regular Exercise
Writing should never be viewed as an ordeal or an unconquerable challenge. Rather, writing is an opportunity for self-expression.
Journaling teaches children that writing is fun. They can include pictures, doodles, stickers, and objects such as flowers. The child experiences writing in a completely different way to what is expected at school. Journaling can foster a deep love of writing. Many authors and essayists attribute their success to a cultivated love of writing that began at a young age.
#4: Stimulating Creativity
Many of today’s greatest business giants share a creative approach to problem-solving. Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, and Elon Musk have imaginative minds. Seeing solutions where others see problems is an important skill.
Journaling using storytelling forms essential neural pathways associated with creativity. Try giving your child a story prompt that involves a problem and see if he can write about more than one solution. This shows an active imagination.
#5: Seeing the Other Side of the Story
Journaling is a way of rationalizing something that has happened. Being able to take a realistic assessment of a situation and to see different perspectives are essential skills for debate and argumentative essay writing.
In the workplace, skilled negotiators are able to see the other side of a situation. These skills enable adults to break deadlocks and move projects forward.
To nurture this skill in your child, provide her with story prompts that require an elementary debate. Inculcate in her mind the idea that a story seldom has one side. Teaching children to see different perspectives early on helps the child navigate difficult social situations.
#6: Expressing Thoughts Meaningfully
Written communication should be structured and express the writer’s opinions logically. This skill is critical for success in high school and college, where essay writing is used as a key method of learning assessment.
When journaling, children should be encouraged to express thoughts and resultant emotions. Growing older, children should seek to identify and understand the reasons behind their emotions and then to rationalize their reaction to the experience.
#7: Improving Attention to Detail
Spelling is an essential skill. Communications full of spelling errors lose their impact, as the reader can become so focused on all the errors that the message is lost. Each language has different spelling peculiarities, and English is no different. Mastering the language starts with good spelling.
Children’s spelling improves with regular journaling. Younger children are still learning spelling rules at school, and parents can encourage their budding writers to use new words in their journals to reinforce what was taught at school.
The Advantages of a Regular Journaling
By taking the time to encourage journaling, parents provide children with an advantage over others. Parents can foster in children a love of the written and spoken word. Journals give children a place to marvel at the wonders of the world, project into the future, and process the events of the past.
For adults who’ve never journaled, there’s no time like the present to get started. Writing skills need continuous work and development, and a personal journal is a great place to hone those skills while stimulating the creative part of your mind.
Adults experience challenges just as children do. An outlet like a journal is a useful tool to process emotions and put situations into perspective.