There was a time in my life when I was a keeper of journals. I guess in some ways, I still am (this blog being a fine example, I suppose), but I don't do the same kind of waxing poetic with pen and paper type of thing that I did in my college years. I'm good with that, although from time to time, I do thing about the little details of daily life that might be nice to remember later. Which is one of the reasons why, when I ran across Betsy Franco's Q & A a Day for Kids, I snapped up a copy like that.
The idea here is genius in its simplicity, and pretty well done in its execution. There are pages assigned to every day of the year, each with a prompt for kids to write to. The pages have space to write an answer to the prompt three times: this year, next year, and then one more time three years from now. The questions are mostly about small details of daily life: what kinds of things a kid likes to wear or eat, what instruments they play, what they see when they look outside of their bedroom window. There are also some questions aimed at finding out a bit more about a kid's perspective on things. One question asks what they think a gallon of milk probably costs. Together, revisiting each of these questions again over the next couple of years will create a unique journal of the way that a child's likes, dislikes, world view, and thoughts on life's smaller moments change as they grow. I love it.
For our part, we began the journal on Mariam's ninth birthday. So, if we stick with it, we will finish it on the day that she turns twelve. I expect that we will have days when we forget to write, and am planning to give us leniency for catching up within a reasonable window of time (so that the answers are still an accurate picture of her thinking at the moment). So far I have learned that she thinks that I am the person who understands her best (at least most of the time), and that she is pretty sure you can buy a car for about 1,000 dollars. Good to know.