What is a Wonder Journal?In the simplest terms, it's a book where we record my daughter's questions. I created the Wonder Journal so I wouldn't miss those precious opportunities to slow down and connect with her. It has anchored our journey into nature based, child-centered homeschooling.
Why Wait?Why not just answer her question right then and there? There are certain moments (i.e. when I'm going to the bathroom) when it's just not possible to take the journey that these questions often send us on. Also, waiting is a powerful thing. It offers us the time and space to reflect. Sometimes when we wait, the questions answer themselves. Other times, it gives us the chance to find the right moment and resources we need in order to delve deeper.
How Big is a Whale's Mouth?If my daughter seems especially interested in one of the topics, we will investigate it in more depth. Recently we ended up trying to recreate the dimensions of a Bowhead Whale's (Balaena mysticetus) open mouth. Neat fact, this whale holds the Guinness Book of World Record for the biggest mouth in the world. It measured roughly 12' high and 8' wide. The Wild Child helped us brainstorm, measure, hang and compare. After we marveled for a bit, she ran over, tore the pink ribbon down and used it to decorate her play set. Of course that worked for us!
A Note on ConsentIf I bring up questions from the journal and my daughter no longer seems interested, I don't push it (big thanks to this wonderful piece by The Rising Action for helping me stay aware of force and coercion when working with my kids).
This is not about obsessively answering every question my kids have or overwhelming them with facts. For us, it's about playfully exploring our world.
MY TOP TIPSI hope this got you excited about creating your own Wonder Journal with the kids! To help get you started, I created a quick printable that lists out my top 10 tips for using your wonder journal. Just click below to access.
If you do end up creating one a wonder journal, I would love to see a picture (you can tag it #wilderchild) and to hear how it goes!
Your Woman Gone Wild,
PIN FOR LATER!
Thank you so much! Yes, I love your response – it’s so important to hear what our kids think and to realize that the “right” answer is a part of our paradigm, not theirs. I also find myself saying, “I don’t know” a lot because I don’t :)
Thank you for all the work you’re doing – your writing is a revelation!. Ha, yes we’ll see how it goes. Who knows what this will look like as we go along. All I can do is stay flexible, open and in the river with these two wild girls!
Hey, thanks for the shout out! I had a wonder journal in my classroom once, but it was at the beginning of my journey into child-led teaching and if I am honest, it was much more teacher led than child and they weren’t interested at all. I wonder (he he) if this classroom would be more interested, I have always loved the concept of wonder journals.
Also, that journal is beautiful, I am a sucker for a good journal/planner/notebook.