1. I originally created the Core Journal so I could take a break from customizing each child’s curriculum around their interest, while making sure we included copywork, nature study, logic, film study, math time… I wanted a way to document internet based learning, library based learning, and include the Charlotte Mason goodies into each day without searching for the individual notebooks.
(View the Core Journals Here: https://www.funschooling.com/homschooling-bookstore-core…)
2. I was about to have our tenth baby and wanted to take time off, but keep learning going, according to the daily structure that works for my kids.
3. They need to have a balanced plan that covers the basics, while allowing them to dig deep into the topics they love.
4. We were also about to move from Florida to Ukraine and I wanted a way for each child to have all their work in one portfolio.
5. My kids were already studying their interests, doing copywork, nature study, logic games, drawing, reading and watching documentaries… But nothing was being documented. Sometimes I would be busy or sick and they would watch YouTube and read all day and not remember to do the simple things like nature study.
6. I only planned to use the Core Journal for 6 weeks, but found it to be wonderful long-term for some of the kids.
7. My Detective and Explorer kids really thrive with them.
8. My Friend learners enjoy them when doing it with others, but like the smaller themed journals best.
9. Followers who are motivated to study a topic like the routine, but they find the journals to be too open-ended and they may try to just get by with whatever is the minimum to move on. With Followers, a strong example is needed, this we have Mom-School.
10. Creators like a lot of variety, and in some stages of life really need to learn to have more structure, for them the journals are not open-ended enough and they may feel limited… So they skip pages or repurpose them. Not all children have the drive, skills or personality to really embrace to potential of the core journals. They don’t work for everyone.
11. Many kids are okay with a system that doesn’t require them to use a lot of research, creativity or thought. These books are designed to be a launch pad for learning.
12. Kids who are in a rush to move on to play, chores, gaming, social media, or personal projects may feel that the core journals are just something that should be rushed through so they can do what they love.
13. It’s okay for a child to not use any system of learning that doesn’t work. For the many kids who have a Follower Learning Style they will actually do better with some classroom style learning, fill in the blank, memorize and test methods.
14. For the Super-Creators the core journals may feel boring and limiting. You need to know your child.
15. My Detectives and Explorers do especially well, but work in different ways.
16. The Detectives need quiet and focus, while the Explorers move from place to place all over the house and yard, and need to be told that chores come after they finish their work in the core journal, so they don’t rush. They really learn to look forward to the activities they love in the daily routine of the book.
17. For kids who thrive on structure they enjoy using a core journal daily, but really need to know what is expected. I suggest doing the first 20 pages together to teach the child how to do copywork, a nature study, or creative writing. It’s so important to be an example.
18. In most cases, don’t say “when you finish you can play Xbox” — they will rush. It works much better if the next activity is something they don’t mind putting off while they focus on their work, like cleaning a bathroom. For example say: “You can take as much time as you need to finish five pages, then show me your work and I’ll show you how to clean out the oven.”
You will be amazed at how much detail they pour into their work.
19. It’s also very important to be available to your child to help them find the right documentaries and books to study their topic. Most of the actual learning isn’t in the journal, it’s what the journal reminds them to do.
20. So know your child. If they don’t put their heart into learning with a core journal, what will they put their heart into? Starting a business? An online course? A textbook? A series of Documentaries? A boxed curriculum that tells them exactly what to memorize? A classical education? Dance school? An internship? Volunteer work? Building a fort? Sewing a dress? Baking? Full-on Unschooling?
21. Some kids are like, “I don’t care… Whatever!” Then they get on their phones and post 80 selfies, and play games until midnight, and complain about everything that requires any effort at all. In that case you just need to pull the plug and light a fire under the child.
I hope that helps someone out there! Let me know if there is a specific example of a child’s struggle that I can help with.
What is your child like? Of these 21 thoughts what stood out to you and why?
See a Flip-Through of the core journals here: