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There are more than two months since where stuck at home because of the quarantine and many things have changed in our life in these last weeks.
One day we were talking about the things we plan to do after the lockdown is over and I asked my son what he misses the most. He quickly answered he misses his friends and it was exactly the answer I expected.
But then, unexpectedly, he added: “And the books!”
“What books?”, I asked.
“All the books!”, he answered. “The ones from school, the ones from the library, the ones from the bookstore.”
I never thought about this, but as soon as he mentioned the books I realized that our reading routine looked a lot different.
He did some reading for school, and we had story times from time to time, but I wasn’t as intentional about it as I was before.
It brought me joy to know that he misses the books because I always tried to encourage reading and show him how many amazing things he can discover through books.
I wanted to find a way to include more reading time in our days at home, so I decided to create a reading journal for us to use together.
Even though my son loves books, he is reluctant to read them by himself, because he is still learning how to read.
Instead, I planned a daily time for a read aloud so we can enjoy the books together.
After he listens to me reading, he is a lot more willing to read a few pages to me as well. And the reading journal encouraged him to read even more!
For every book we read we add in our journal:
- the title and author
- the date when we read it
- the rating given by my son
- a word that describes the book
- my son’s favorite character
- his favorite part of the book (in writing or in a drawing).
For every 5 books we read he gets a special “badge” to celebrate the progress.
Our goal is to add 30 books to our journal, so when he gathers all the six stickers we will celebrate by buying a few new books!
To easily access new books to read now that all the libraries are closed we use Epic! – an amazing digital library for kids 12 and under.
We are using it for several months (even before the lockdown) and it was a great way for my son to read more books.
You can join free for 30 days here. It will offer you plenty of lovely books for your kids to read!
How we created a reading journal to record the books we read together
At first, I created a printable reading journal for my son to use.
My son loved the idea, but after a few days he came up with his own ideas: He wanted the journal to be smaller and he wanted more space for additional drawings or notes.
So I transformed the printable reading journal into a DIY journal he can personalize a lot more!
If you want to try this idea with your kids, I’m sharing here all the details you’ll need to create the reading journal.
What supplies we used for the reading journal:
- a dot grid journal (you can also use a notebook journal with unlined pages)
- printable cards for each book (you can download them at the end of the article)
- color coded labels and glue dots (you can use glue or tape as well).
How to create the reading journal:
1. Download the printable file and cut out the front label, the cards for each book, and the “stickers”.
2. Here is what we included in our journal:
- the front label on the cover of the journal
- the card for collecting the “badges” on the back side of the first page
- the “stickers” in a small envelope that I attached on the last page of the journal (so I can easily access them anytime I need)
- a pocket to store the cards for each book and the coding labels on the back cover of the journal (I just glued a piece of blue paper on the back and put everything inside).
I didn’t add the cards for all the 30 books in the journal from the beginning. My son will add them as he reads the books.
This allows him more flexibility in adding more drawings or notes for one book before moving on to the next one.
How we use the reading journal
First, I created a list of 30 lovely books for us to read together. All of them are available in the Epic! digital library, so we can easily access them anytime we want.
Every day we have a special reading time together and we read 1 or 2 books on the list. Then we add together new book cards in the journal.
For now I do the writing (and record my son’s answers) and he takes care of the rating and the drawing of his favorite part of the book.
Download the printable reading journal for kids
The printable file includes 2 options for creating a reading journal for your kids:
- option #1: a printable reading journal that you can print and use with your child without any other supplies
- option #2: the printable set for creating the DIY reading journal (like the one we use).
If you want to try the books on our list, you can download our “30 days of reading” challenge here.
I hope your kids will enjoy using the reading journal, and that it will record many lovely book you read together!