52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 1: Start a Joy Journal

Homeschool tips and tricks: How starting a joy journal can improve your homeschool life

For the new school year, we’ve decided to kick off each week with a little idea you can implement to make your homeschool a happier place.

“You should start a joy journal for your homeschool,” a woman whose name I can’t remember told me at our first homeschool Girl Scouts meeting.

This is seriously the best advice anyone gave me as a brand-new homeschooler: Keep a daily record of everything that’s going right in your homeschool. Every night, sit down and make a note of at least three things that went really well that day, three reasons you’re glad you’ve taken on this whole homeschool project. (I keep mine in a little Moleskine because I use little Moleskines for pretty much everything in my life. We’re on Joy Journal, volume three!) 

Sometimes I write a whole paragraph with dialogue and descriptions, sometimes just a couple of words. Sometimes my list goes way beyond three items, sometimes finding three good parts of our homeschool day is pretty challenging. Every time I sit down with my joy journal, though, I feel more confident in our decision to homeschool. On the good days, I relish the experience of writing down our happy moments, awesome accomplishments, and family fun. On the hard days, I find myself flipping back through the pages, reminding myself that there are plenty of times when we get it just right. If you’re like me and you tend to forget to break out your camera for photo-worthy moments, a joy journal is also a lovely chronicle of your homeschool life, a way to remember that incredibly messy baking soda volcano or the play about the Sisters Grimm that your children put on with homemade sock puppets. I write in mine before bed, as my brain is unwinding from the day, but you could write in yours first thing in the morning, after lunch, or any time that you have the space to sit down, take a deep breath, and think about your day for a few minutes.


Your challenge this week: Start a joy journal, and commit to writing in it at least three times a week for the first two weeks. (Don’t give yourself any guff if you miss a day here or there!)