Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew.
Connection is one of the most valuable things we can give our children. We might not have all the answers or make all the right choices. But if there is a strong connection then our kids are more likely to feel secure and loved, as well as respect our authority. One way to encourage connecting as a family is by having a family journal!
It seems like in some ways the family unit is becoming less and less important. People are more independent, busy, and spread thin. But the reality is, we need a strong foundation from our family. This is already something I put a lot of priority on in my own family. So when I was offered to try out and review The Family Journal by Byron’s Games, I was thrilled to find a product that had the same drive towards family unity that I had!
Up until this point, we had not ever tried out a journal for the whole family, so I was excited to see how it worked! What I found is that it not only kept us organized, but it also encouraged us to come together as a family each week. I loved how involved the kids felt by having their input considered in our weekly schedule!
Benefits of Journaling as a Family
There are some huge benefits to journaling together as a family! The bond that is formed by setting aside purposeful time together each week is a huge one. We should of course be spending more time than that together, but with so many busy families today, it can be a great reminder to focus on what’s important: each other!
What’s special specifically about the time spent together journaling is that it allows everyone to have their voice heard. Parents are still in charge, but kids are encouraged to express any highs or lows to their week and be part of the planning for the following week. What a great way to build children up and make them feel like a part of the family unit!
Logistically, it’s also a really great way to stay organized and make appropriate goals together and individually. You can plan together, recap on what worked and what didn’t the following week, and then work together to find a system that helps everyone thrive!
My Family’s Favorite Family Journal
I’m continually finding more and more things I love about The Family Journal as we make it a weekly staple! Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can find within the journal.
First, there is a section to fill out your family mission statement. I loved this part so much!It helped us to really reflect on our priorities as a family. Sometimes we get so caught up in all the busyness of the world that we can lose sight of the basic mission we have as a family. For our family, that is
The next two sections go into yearly and monthly plans. The yearly section allows us to reflect on what longer term goals we want to reach and which areas we want to grow in over the course of the year. The monthly planning lets us schedule our plans for the month. We also pinpoint individual and family goals, with a followup section to review how it went.
The next section is the bulk of the journal and my favorite part! The weekly family meetings are what it’s all about. This part of The Family Journal encourages us to come together weekly to discuss immediate goals, how to help each other accomplish those goals, and reflect on what we are grateful for.
The weekly meetings also include different talking points each week and a connection activity for everyone to work on together. I can’t say enough about how much this has opened up conversation in our household even further. Having this open dialogue happen once a week has helped communication even beyond the weekly meeting itself. And the connection activity’s are so fun! Check out an example below:
Deepening Connections Through Quality Time
Now, this isn’t all to say that every single weekly meeting will go smoothly. Go into it with realistic expectations, which when it comes to parenting pretty much means things may not always go as planned! Sometimes the kids are distracted or energetic and don’t feel like sitting down for a family meeting– that’s OK.
The Family Journal is really about making a conscious effort to prioritize quality time with your family. When decisions are made or goals are set, keep the entire family in mind. That’s not to say that parents should forgo their authority and let kids make the decisions. But having honest discussions together is so healthy for everyone. Our kids are still young and I can see what it means to them; I know this is something that will be even more important as they get older!
We have been absolutely loving our time spent together with The Family Journal. I’ve never been a huge journaler before, but now I’m completely sold on its ability to grow strong connections and bonds! Our weekly meetings set a positive tone for the week ahead and allow everyone to feel close to one another.
For more reviews on The Family Journal, check out the Homeschool Review Crew blog.