Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew
Gathering as a family to discuss things on a regular basis is so important. Unfortunately, we haven't been very good at that over the years, and so it's a lot harder now to get the big kids to open up when we do. When I saw the opportunity to try out The Family Journal from By Byron's Games come up I knew it was meant to be. I had been pondering how we could get better at family meetings and talking because I know that we need to be doing that especially with bigger kids. I just needed a starting point, and this Family Journal provided exactly that.
|The cover of our hard-backed family journal. It's nice and sturdy, and simple!|
After we received the book in the mail I was happy to see that it was a nice hard-backed book with a shiny, navy blue cover. The pages are nice and thick for writing in, and there are 3 ribbon bookmarks to help keep track of the different sections. It's a very well made journal for all the use it will get over the year at the many family meetings that will take place.
|The very first page. I love that there is a space to include a family photo. I did not put one in yet because we haven't had a family picture taken in years. Now one of our goals will be to get a new family photo!|
The book is split into basically 3 different sections: Yearly family goals, Monthly family goals and planner, and the weekly meetings (with individual and family goals too). I loved that we could think about our family goals in all 3 of these areas. Some of the bigger goals are in the year section all the way down to the weekly goals that include very simple goals like helping a child with a project. But, before I get into each section, the very first thing that is accomplished in The Family Journal is a family mission statement. We have NEVER had a family mission statement. I was both very excited about this, and very nervous. How would the family come together and decide a mission statement? There are several pages at the beginning dedicated to leading everyone through the creation of the mission statement. It was so awesome! And, we successfully got everyone's input for it. That whole experience alone was very eye opening for our family.
|These are some of the questions we answered as a family to help build our family mission statement. I had each family member answer the questions on their own and then we came together and chatted about it. I put the final answers in the book.|
The first meeting, which was composing our mission statement took a while. It was our longest meeting by far. I had the kids each answer the questions provided, for helping us make the mission statement, on their own. Some of their answers kind of surprised me and some had no clue what to answer. It was a good evaluation of our family. Since the meeting was so long, I took all their answers and wrote up the mission statement on my own. I know it needs tweaking and probably something more, but for now, this is what we have. Maybe after a year of this journal, we'll be able to make a better one.
The Winz Family Mission Statement:
To bring us closer together, create memories, and enjoy more loving and happy moments, our family will work, grow, learn, have fun, play, talk, eat (both healthy meals and yummy desserts), exercise, and adventure outdoors together. We hope to strengthen our relationships, be healthy and active, and serve others.
|I wrote the finalized version in the spaces provided in the book, and I also typed it up and put it on the fridge.|
The weekly meetings are numbered and there are several pages to go through for each one. The first few pages are reviewing the past week and goal making. Then there is a page dedicated to writing something down that everyone is thankful for, and talking points. Lastly there is a connection activity (usually something fun). I love how our week 2 connection activity turned out. We had to draw a family portrait, so I passed the book around and had each family member draw themselves. They could add any details about themself that they wanted to convey. Even the animals are drawn!
|Our Week 2 connection activity turned out pretty fun. I love to see what each person thought would represent their personality.|
This journal is just fantastic. I am looking forward to some of the weeks ahead and the activities we get to do. It has also really helped us to focus more on goals both individually and as a family. We have never really (verbally or written) planned out our goals, and this journal has us doing it on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis now. It will be fun to see how the kids become more aware of each other and our family as we keep going. Now if we could just get to our weekly meeting more consistently!
If your family needs a little direction and ways to connect I highly recommend this journal. We have needed something like this for a while. We've all become a little more connected to our screens than each other, so this is a great tool for us. If you'd like to see how others used this journal, click on the banner below!