• "Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love—difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs - everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness - Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events—to the heart that loves, all is well."
  • - St. Therese of Lisieux

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Keeping A Journal in Homeschool


Homeschooling or not, using the Charlotte Mason method or not, it is always a good idea to keep a journal. Why?

"If you write something by hand, all that complex sensory information increases the chances the knowledge will be stored for later. In short, writing by hand forces your brain to process information in a more detailed way, which helps you successfully load that information into your memory."


I have often been asked about journaling in homeschool because of what I post on my FB timeline and page. So I hope this will help all the homeschool parents start and keep a journal for the subjects in your homeschool.

 Our journaling journey started when we were not homeschooling formally yet. We began with a small sketchbook, crayons and colored pens. We drew anything! When our son was interested in firemen and fire trucks, I drew and he colored. When he said he wanted to draw and paint a firetruck, he did.

After our Nature Walks, we would stay at the front porch to look at the 'treasures' we have collected and paste some on our nature journal or try to draw the most interesting ones.

When Our son was 5, we added a couple of more journals. Bible, Geography and History and drew anything which interested us. I kept a single journal for myself to model journal keeping to our son. Tatay (Papa in Tagalog) takes a look at our journals, after coming home from work, while Teo narrates.

Bible Journal

Inside our son's current Bible Journal are drawings from the Sunday Gospels and readings from our current children's bible, Bible Stories For Little Children, from Sophia Press. After I read aloud the Gospel, I let him narrate it back. Then we talk about it. I would ask, What do you think about ____ (any event, person or place that was mentioned in the Gospel reading. My follow up question would be, "Why do you say so?" And from there we will have wonderful, spirit-filled discussions. 

Tuesdays are for Bible Stories. We would read from the Children's Bible and go through the same routine until its time to 'draw what the stroy would look like.' In order to help our son imagine and paint a picture in his minds, we would both close our eyes and add ourselves to the story. When we have put ourselves in the story, I ask, who are you in the story? What can you see? Feel? Smell? hear? or even taste? Then once a scene is created in our minds, we draw it. While drawing, and coloring, we talk and 'wonder' more about what we have read. And this allows us to reflect on God's message.

Once we've done with drawing, coloring or painting, its time for our son to dictate the story so I could write it down.

Bible Journal Per Level:

Preschool/ Kindergarten

  1. Bible stories from chosen Children's Bible. 
  2. Coloring pages of Bible stories which can be downloaded from the internet for free. I have some here.
  3. Torn paper mosaic 
Grades 1-3

    1. Bible stories from chosen Children's Bible. 
    2. Draw the scenes imagined from the reading.
    3. Write a reflection (independently or dictated)

    Saint Book

    I began my journal on the Saints when I started to create Wooden Saint Dolls. I would first draw and paint how a saint would look like in the wooden doll shape. . Our son started his last year when he was 6. He also used the wooden doll template I used.  After I have read a story about a saint, he would narrate it back and point out the remarkable characteristics of the saint.After he describes how he sees the saint, he will then use that to imagine how the saint looks like,  I show him images of the saint on the internet. And then we both draw and paint. Later on, he tried drawing the saints as he imagined it. We also sometimes print the saint coloring pages I create and color that. Then, we paste it in his journal.

    Saint Journal Per Level:

    Preschool/ Kindergarten

            **not yet**

    Grades 1-3

      1. Saint stories from chosen Lives of Saints book. 
      2. Draw the scenes or physical/ spiritual characteristics imagined from the reading.
      3. Write down the name of the saint, his/ her feast day and patronage. You can add more interesting facts about the saint if space permits.

      History and Geography Journals

      We began keeping a history and geography journal this year. Our first grader was used to drawing what he remembers and he claims that he is able to explain a concept better when he draws it. Here are a few samples of what he entered in his journal.

      Nature Journal

      Our nature journaling goes way back when our son was only 3. We would tape the flowers and leaves he picked up from our walks and tried to draw them sometimes. 

      Then beginning last school year, when our son was 6 years old we began drawing what we learned in our Nature Study subject. After I read the story to him, he narrates back and then draws. Towards the last months in this school year, he was already the one who was reading. He would narrate first, then I. He also insisted that he write the details and labels in his drawings. There are still no field drawings until now as we have not yet resumed our nature walks. 

      Take a look at some of the entries we did all throughout the years.

      I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to start and keep a journal for your chosen subjects in your homeschooling. I would love to hear your ideas too and how you do journaling in your homeschool. Please share your experiences in the comments!

      If you know of a homeschool parent who might need this, please share this post. 

      God bless you.

      Friday, April 23, 2021

      Liturgical Living: May Feasts And Solemnities

       Praise God it is May! 

      As of this writing, most of us are still under enhanced quarantine. I have rounded up some activities for the entire family to do this month.

      Mama Mary

      The whole month of May is dedicated to The Blessed Virgin Mary.  Filipinos offer flowers to the Blessed Virgin before or after daily  and Sunday masses. Since most of us still cannot come to church, let us offer our drawings, paintings  or crafted flowers to our Blessed Mother. I have a FREE printable of the Blessed Mother here. You can print it and add flowers on her head each day for the whole month of May.

      Papa Joseph

      May 1 is the feast of St. Joseph, the worker. You can find ways to celebrate in this blog post: Celebrating The Feast of St Joseph, Husband of Mary

      Sunday Gospel Readings

      May 2. The Vine and The Branches John 15: 1-8. 
      Even before the pandemic, our family prepares for Sunday mass by reading the Sunday Gospel after breakfast. Since it is also a homeschool day (not a weekend) We do narration and journaling also. After reading (and/or  listening) to the Gospel each member narrates back what has been read, starting from the youngest up to the eldest (including Nanay - Mom and Tatay - Dad). We also do Scripture memory from the Gospel. I have another FREE printable to use in memorizing  a verse in the Gospel. 

      May 9. Love One Another. John 15 9-17
      There is a Scripture Memory coloring page, a word search and a word factory activity page here.

      More printables on my FREE PRINTABLES page.

      Saints' Feasts

      Saints Philip and James, May 3

      Saint Matthias, May 14

      Saint Rita of Cascia, May 22

      Saint Bede the Venerable, May 25

      You can find coloring pages for all these saints over at my THE SAINTS PRINTABLES page.

      Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord

      Ways to celebrate and a FREE printable can be found in my Celebrating The Feast of The Ascension blog post.


      Ways to celebrate and again, a FREE printable can be found in my Celebrating Pentecost With Family

      I will continue adding links and resources to this post. So please check once in a while. I would love to know what you have done to celebrate these feasts and solemnities so please drop a photo or message on my Everything Is Grace Facebook page.

      God bless you.

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