Cocoa, Crackers, and Journals

“Cocoa, Crackers, and Journals,” Ensign, Apr. 1981, 63

Cocoa, Crackers, and Journals

When we tried to get our younger children to establish the habit of journal keeping, we were met with complaints of “I can’t remember anything,” and “I can’t write.” We solved the problem by switching to the scribe method.

At a regular time each week (Sunday afternoon for us), each child takes a turn sitting in the “journal chair” and dictating events of the week to father or mother. With gentle reminding and with encouragement from animal crackers and cocoa, young memories are refreshed and pleasant experiences are recorded. (We keep the animal crackers in a jar marked “For journal use only”—to inspire mid-week entries.)

If there’s an empty space on a page, the child will often fill it with illustrations and writing that show his efforts at drawing, printing, and spelling.

As the journal becomes progressively thicker, the child’s commitment to it becomes stronger. When I asked my ten-year-old what one possession she would save if the house caught fire, she promptly answered, “My journal.” Fae Swinyard, Orem, Utah