Friday is Journal Day
What's in a Name?

Catching up with Questions

Some questions have popped up after a few recent posts, and I am attempting to round them up in little (or in this case, lol, not so little) posts. This morning, it's more about the journal. :)

After my last post, Elizabeth asked:

I have a question about your written journal. What do you do when it gets full? Do you store it away? If so, are they taking up a lot of space? Also, if you are pasting craft ideas that you find in your journal, how do you find them when you need them? I mean, if you remember a craft from 2 years ago, how do you find it?

When my journal is full, I wrap a rubber band around it and store it along with other retired journals. The bulk of them I keep under our bed in a plastic storage box, the most recent ones I keep on my bookshelves in the learning room.


As for finding ideas later, what I do is to revisit my journals at least once a year, to comb through the pages for timely ideas and inspiration. (I explain a bit more about that here.)

So, these days I am looking back over my journals from August through November, gathering ideas for the fall season ahead. (Yes, I count August as fall; late summer is just a prelude to autumn in my mind.) On my "fall planning page" I write down anything I see in the journals that I may want to remember this year.

Let's say I am poking through my August journal from last year and I come across a small blurb about the Perseids meteor showers, an annual astronomical event. Aha, I think, I completely forgot about that and yes, that is very much part of the rhythm of August - shooting stars in the late summer night sky.

So I write down on my fall planning page: Perseids meteor showers. Then I look up the dates for this year, add them to that note and then also record them on my monthly calendar:


Of course I immediately see that the showers are peaking on Crackerjack's birthday and I can't help but envision star-shaped cupcakes after supper that night!

And now I have a better chance of remembering the Perseids, which I might otherwise have forgotten, or perhaps remembered too late. What will I do with this information? Well, for starters we'll plan to watch the skies (and the weather reports) that week. I also might make up a little shooting star story for Earlybird, and we might make a felt star to go along with it. The older boys might read books about meteors or check out NASA online. As a family we might even plan a backyard campout for that night!

Of course we might not do any of this, but the point is, we could. ;)

Now, coming across an idea like the autumn felt bookmark craft, I would add to my fall planning page: autumn reading bookmark (felt), along with where it can be found: 6/11 Journal, 7/27 (6/11 is the start date on the front of the journal and 7/29 is the date I pasted in the page). I would also put a sticky note on the journal page (sticking out like a bookmark) so it would be easy to find. What's fun about ideas like this one is that it kicks off other ideas, too.Immediately I am thinking of making up an autumn book basket and a cozy reading corner at home, crafting little library card pouches, setting up small handcraft baskets, etc.

But usually, craft ideas like that one (a whole page or multi-page article) end up in my folders. In the case of a particularly exciting or eye-catching craft, such as those felt bookmarks, I tape it into my journal. It's just a quirky thing - it might be an extra step to someone else - but it clicks for me. If I didn't have the urge to journal, everything would probably just get filed.

Some tear-outs go right in a weekly folder (or, as it may be, a recipe file). For instance, last month I found some wonderful Fourth of July craft and centerpiece ideas in Country Living magazine. I tore them out, and filed them in the folder marked "June 30- July 6" which of course is the week next year in which Independence Day falls.

And next summer, as I approach summer, I will be looking through those files for ideas and - I will decide then if I want to work these crafts into our schedule. Maybe we'll be hosting a party for the Fourth and those old-fashioned cracker and chrysanthemum balls will be just the thing.

And I hope this in part answers a recent question from Mary Ann:

What is the difference between your daily notebook and those weekly folders? How do you decide what goes in which one? Are the folders more school stuff v. the notebook more you? Just curious!

Well, yes and no. :) The journal is very much me, but, as a homeschooling mum, there are lots of teaching ideas and academic themes in there. No work samples or anything, though. Well, I take that back. A few weeks ago, Bookworm took a Saxon placement test to see if he could skip Math 8/7 and begin Algebra 1/2 this fall. He passed and was postively ecstatic. It was such a cute, happy moment, that I taped a copy of his test into my journal. (The actual test was filed.) It was timely to summer and a milestone for Bookworm - a moment I wanted to remember when I one day look back. :)

I will post more about the weeky folders soon AND I have a post cooking about my weekly homekeeping routine. Hopefully touching base with a few more questions. But right now I have three little boys clamoring around me asking for things like lunch and lemonade. :)

Happy Weekend!