Friday, March 5, 2021

How to Keep a Book Journal (Readers Journal) and Booklists Galore! #readalouds



ANYBODY can keep a book journal. For example, my mom will be 71 years old this May and I just ordered a book journal for her off of Amazon for $20 and had it sent to her house as a surprise. She retired and was going through books like tissues, and then she would share her thoughts when we saw her. I am keeping a log of what I'm sending her to read from my house and also what I'm getting for her from the library, but some of them really spoke to her, and I wanted her to write down her thoughts for me, her daughter and only child, and also for her five grandchildren.

(Update: The book journal felt like a job to my mom, and I can understand why. It had two pages to fill for each book you read, and I wouldn't want a job like that either. I like my free-form spiral notebook better, and it's cheaper)

I have a fat folder of book ideas with my homeschooling things, but I wanted a place to keep all my thoughts about what I had read. And I wanted that for my kids as well, because I was watching my kids go through books and wanted to track all that they read and get their thoughts down. 

A quick timeout

Where do I get all the books? Mostly two places: the library, of course. And if it's something I know I'll read and my mother will read and then also probably all of my kids might read and/or also my husband, I'll hit Thrift Books and just buy a used paperback copy. They are normally under $5 and then shipping is 99 cents unless you go over $35, which I frequently do, and then it's free. I've done with this with To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, some HG Wells, Laura Vanderkam nonfiction books for myself, The Lottery, Junior Great Books, and so many more.

Where do I put all the books? Well, I declutter often and get rid of things that are not as important to me as books. Books serve as my tchotchkes (chach-keys).

If you're like me, you have an abundance of spiral notebooks and notebook paper. You can create your book journal using notebook paper and a nice binder if you like. I might do that in the future. For now, I just grabbed an old half-used spiral notebook, marked it as my territory (see photo above), and now it lives most of the time in my "Go Bag." 

You Need a "Go Bag"

My "Go Bag" is the bag I keep by the back door for any potential downtime while I'm out or in, always stocked with pens, pencils, Post-It notes, books to read, my book journal, a legal pad, snacks, Chapstick, etc. In the summertime, it's the bag I grab when I head out the door to sit by the backyard swimming pool. I usually also take it to church because my husband likes to chat after with his friends, and sometimes I will also do that, but often I'll go to the car and sneak in 15 minutes of precious reading time. I might also read aloud to the kids at this time from a book about saints.

So How Do I Use my Book Journal?

Here's how. I just create a page for each book that's in my life right now (including read-alouds to the kids) and highlight the book title. It's going to be a huge mess since I don't know how many pages I'm going to need for each book, but life is messy and there you go. I'm just looking for something to refer back to. What vocab words did we learn? What cool life tips do I not want to forget? What are some cool quotes that spoke to us?





The Reading Rabbit Hole (see you in about a week!)

Read-Aloud Revival Booklists

Brave Writer Booklist for ages 8-10 (the resource that goes with each book is called Dart if you'd like to download that and print it out)

Brave Writer Booklist for ages 13-14 (the resource that goes with each book is called Boomerang if you'd like to download that and print it out)

Brave Writer Booklist for grades 3-6 (the resource that goes with each book is called Arrow if you'd like to download that and print it out)

Pam Barnhill of Your Morning Basket (at my house it's Afternoon Basket!) — How to teach multiple ages multiple subjects at the same time using fabulous books and other resources

Modern Mrs. Darcy's Extensive Reading Lists

Books, Zoos, and Parenting Too Reading List 2021: 70 Books for a Brand-New Year

Thrift Books for fantastic used books shipped to your door (you can create a wish list!)

The Kerrie Show's Summer Reading Lists

Mary Hanna Wilson's Summer Reading Picks for Mom

The Homeschool Sisters Summer 2017 Poolside Professional Development Picks

The Homeschool Sisters Summer 2018 Poolside Professional Development Picks

The Homeschool Sisters Summer 2019 Poolside Professional Development Picks


Please comment below with your favorite book lists. I'd love to include them in the post! I've also found that going on social media and asking for recommendations from friends and strangers is a great way to find new books to read for you and for your homeschool!

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