The Big Life Journal is all about helping your child to develop a growth mindset. For my own child, who attended school for a few years before we moved to home education, there was a legacy of perfectionism and fear of failure left over that we needed to tackle as a family. The Big Life Journal and the other resources on the website have been fun and helpful ways to start learning about a growth mindset.
The Big Life Journal itself is a beautiful, glossy, full-colour journal with pictures, artwork and exercises that are fun to read and complete. If you don’t want to buy the physical journal, you can buy it as an ebook (PDF) and print it out yourself. The licence lets you use printables for one family, so if you have several children then the ebook version will be a lot cheaper. However, we bought the printed journal and it’s a quality product.
The journal isn’t a freeform journal, like a diary, but a set of 26 weekly activities – so it’ll last you half a year. Each week, you might have a story or poem, illustrated with colourful pictures, some points to think and talk about, and some activities and changes to act upon in your child’s life. The journal is designed for a child to work through with a mentor, not just something for them to do alone. Expect to be involved with your child, talking with them, supporting them, and changing with them.
Aside from the journal, the website also has a number of other printables that cover growth mindset themes. We’ve bought all of these, and they’re really worthwhile: although you may have your own opinions on whether it’s worth the money to buy all of them, as they’re around $10 per set. We especially like the Challenges Kit, which although short was a great starter to work through before we started on the Big Life Journal itself. I’d really recommend that one, if you’ve got the cash to spare. If you haven’t, then the Big Life Journal covers the same stuff.
The other printable packs are more about colouring sheets and inspirational posters. They’re nice graphics, and we’ve printed several of them out, laminated them, and stuck them around the house. You don’t need them all though – or at all, unless you have a fancy for them. They’re just nice extras if you feel like it. At $10 a pack, they feel slightly overpriced, especially as home education materials are often fairly cheap (at least in the UK).
The website also has a mailing list sign-up, which will get you extra free printables in your mailbox. I’d definitely suggest signing up for this if you’re working on helping your child with a growth mindset.
Summary: A great quality journal that I’d recommend, and some nice printables which are probably only nice-to-haves. The Challenges Kit printables are definitely worth considering, though.