While most students appreciate summer for the freedom from studies that it affords, parents and educators tend to worry about learning loss over the idle days of summer. Journaling can be a productive way to keep students’ writing skills sharp.
A well coordinated English department can assign journaling activities to its students over the summer. Likewise, a parent can provide journal activities for a teenage child to work on in order to keep up with writing. Whether academic credit is earned, or not, there are many ways to incorporate journaling into a teen’s summer, and there are plenty of relevant topics for the teenager to write about.
For the high school student who spends the summer working, there are many work related journal topics. A specific theme can be selected, or a journal can be generally dedicated to the broad topic of summer employment. Weekly prompts can be provided by a teacher or parent, based on work, goals, and current events. Given the state of the economy, and the difficulty many face in seeking summer employment, the unemployed teen can examine those same topics, based on his or her perspective.
Students can follow a plan of journaling weekly about the top events in the news. Journaling is not limited to English classes, and a history department can capitalize on the summer for extended learning and critical thinking activities. This will provide a great springboard for a government class, or history class, in the fall.
High school students can journal about their activities for the summer. The famous “what I did during summer vacation” theme can be a running theme for a summer journal. Photos, incorporated into such a journal, can be a part of the approach, as can arts, crafts, or other visual aids. Scrap-booking has become a popular pastime for adults, but teens can put together a scrapbook style journal, detailing the high points of their summer break.
~Real Time Journaling
Whether a zealous teacher, or a student government advisor, a student body online journal can be kept, via blog. A daily or weekly topic can be posted, and student submissions selected for publication. Activities, current events, and jobs, may all be a part of the topical posts. As well, holiday reflections, back to school plans, career goals, and summer sports highlights may provide some fun journaling ideas.
Keeping a student thinking and writing in the summer can ease the transition time when school resumes. Students can begin a school year with a good supply of discussion materials, or with the foundations for a class project. Parents can use journaling as a tool to help an older child set goals and make plans. There are many directions summer journaling can take, but regardless, the activity will help a student to keep his writing skills fresh.