A new habit in the Ebi-house is filling in this book. Q & A a day for kids by Betsy Franco. It's a diary, each page has one question then three sections to fill in for year 1, 2 and 3, so as the child gets older you can see how their answers change. There are 5 lines per entry so I've been encouraging longer answers with a reason rather than a one word answer.
Some of the sample questions are:
What would you like more of?
Who is your hero?
What seems to be dangerous to you?
Describe a time you were angry...
Now, there are a couple of reasons I bought this. Firstly I want Ebi-kun to develop good morning habits, it's well documented that successful people have morning rituals and routines. As it happens Ebi-kun is already an early riser and is up before me and my husband, he is usually dressed with his nose in a book when we come down in a morning. And I LOVE this, even at the weekend when he is allowed to watch TV, he reads first, it's like the written word is his alarm clock. So adding a writing habit into the mix is a good step forward.
Secondly, as Ebi-kun is in Japanese school all day and as he gets older his free time gets shorter, I needed a way to sneak some fun writing in English in. the Montessorian in me doesn't believe in doing drill books or forcing a tired child to sit down and do more studying when they have been at school all day (Don't get me started on the whole juku/cram school rant!) BUT I still want to keep his English level appropriate to his age. Speaking and reading are no problem, writing is the area we need to work at.
And finally, morning are our family time, daddy Ebi gets back late most nights so it's good to spend some time in the morning to talk about what we've been doing and what we plan to do. Adding the daily question into the mix makes it more fun. We deliberatly get up earlier than we actually need to so that our mornings are relaxed and easy going, I hate starting the day stressed out and harried.
If you like this idea for yourself, there is an adults version too.