Book Review – Doing the Days

Posted on October 25, 2007
Filed Under Books | 3 Comments

Doing the Days by Lorraine Dahlstrom has been quite a hit in our household. The book contains “A years worth of Creative Journaling, Drawing, Listening, Reading, Thinking, Arts & Crafts activities for Children ages 8-12” I bought it because we do quite a lot of journaling (more on that in a future post!) and I thought it would be a great way to spark some creative writing.

The book contains at least two entries for each day of the year, each followed by an idea for writing, drawing or further investigation. Some of the entries are very dry (although I went off to find an example of this and couldn’t – oh!, how about “Today is International Literacy Day. Literacy means the ability to read and write. More than 25 perent of adults in the world do not know how to read and write – write about why you think its important to read”).

We don’t use it every day (so hopefully it will last us a few years) and we don’t generally do the prescribed activity. But it has sparked lots of discussion and further investigation. For example, September 4 has this entry: “On this date in 1886, Geronimo, an Apache Indian surrendered to the US Army at Skeleton Canyon in the Arizona Territory. Geronimo and his followers agreed to live on a reservation in Florida (etc.)”. But this of course begs the question – if Geronimo is an apache indian – why do we shout his name when we jump? (The answer is here).  And we spent an entire morning designing skyskrapers after reading of Louis Henry Sullivan (who is credited with ‘inventing’ the skyscraper).  So whilst we don’t use the book as intended – we have had fun with it.

The book is quite hard to get hold of. There are some sellers with it on Amazon but there are cheaper copies second hand at

Lorraine also does another (more readily available) book called The Young Person’s Guide to Becoming a Writer: 365 Creative Journaling Ideas for Young People which I believe is similar but has only one writing activity per day.  It is available from Amazon or from The Book Depository. If you haven’t come across the Book Depository before then I can recommend them. All books have free delivery, and are often cheaper than at Amazon.


3 Responses to “Book Review – Doing the Days”

  1. Journaling : Home Education Resources on November 30th, 2007

    […] mentioned in my post on Doing the Days that I would tell you about our experiences of journaling – so here they […]

  2. CJ on January 25th, 2008

    Just bought ‘Doing the Days’ on your recommendation, I bought it via abebooks, it’s a really good book. Glad you recommended it as I’d not heard of it.



  3. admin on January 25th, 2008

    Am really glad you liked it. I think it will be one we use for years yet.

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