Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Circle Time Homeschool Review -TOS #hsreviews

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How do you start your homeschool day?  Do you start your kids all together doing the same thing or send them off to do their individual works?  Do you have little kids?  I personally have several little kids and it can be difficult to start the school day off right.  Recently we've started beginning our school day with Circle Time.

Circle Time is a new concept in the form of an e-book that I recently reviewed from Preschoolers and Peace.  I love the sub-heading on the Preschoolers and Peace page of "....Little Ones Underfoot".  It really does feel like little ones are underfoot a lot of the time, probably because the little ones do tend to be right there as I'm walking hanging onto my legs or sitting on my feet while I'm carrying the baby!

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Since reading the e-book I have switched up our Circle Time a bit.  Before I knew about Circle Time I would have all my kiddos sit at the table together for our Bible reading and prayer time.  Now we all sit together for that still but we also have some time singing fun songs and a hymn.  I had wanted my kids to learn hymns but never seemed to have time at the end of the day to help them memorize those songs.  It seemed all I could do to get them to memorize their memory verses let alone add in more!

But now, my kids look forward to their Circle Time or Family time together.  They finish their breakfast, clear their dishes from the table, help wash the table, and grab their books and chairs.  I'm normally still trying to finish my coffee!  They are excited about starting school now and make me excited to teach them.

This e-book will help you:
Plan a Circle Time that is Right for your Family
Strategies for a Peaceful Time Together
How to Get Your Kids on Board
Questions From Moms
Answers and Insight From Moms who do Circle Time
Resources, Activities, and Ideas
Printable Planner Sheets

I personally loved reading how the idea of Circle Time began for Kendra Fletcher.  It felt so much like my story except for the fact that my 9 children are all much closer in age then her 8 children are.  I too had enjoyed having all my children around me while teaching but did not want to have them as a distraction.  So, we started doing a time at the beginning of our school much like theirs that included all ages.  For me those ages are now 8 years old down to 2 months old.

Everyone has a different way to start their day, and Circle Time may not be what does it for everyone, but for us it is wonderful and works perfectly with our day.  It helps to start our day off right and get us going.  Of course, how I start my day personally before the kids get up has a lot to do with how our day and even our Circle Time goes, but that's a story for another post!

Another great resource for your Circle Time can be found HERE which includes devotionals, resources, memory helpers, and things for Mom and Dad as well.  I loved this little page and wanted to make sure to share it!

In closing here is a short run down of how we do our Circle Time:

We Pray.  Sounds simple enough and really it is.  I start out praying, then each child takes a turn.  Even my two year old takes a turn praying.  Then I close the prayer.  It doesn't take long but it's a great way to start the day with my kiddos.

We read our Bible verses.  We have certain verses to read each day in correlation with our curriculum and we do them during this time so I have everyone's attention and focus.

We recite our Memory verse. Yes not everyone is old enough to memorize their memory verse, but you'd be surprised how much of it a 2 year old picks up just hearing it several times a day!

Now we sing a fun and silly song.  Sometimes it's a song from Veggie Tales, sometimes it's an old classic like BaaBaa Black Sheep, but it's always something fun that we can get up and do actions or dance around to.

Now we sing a more serious song.  We sing a hymn.  I'm trying to help my children memorize these so we'll do one a week.  I will also read the verse associated with the hymn if there is one.

And last but not least we do a short little art project.  Nothing structured like a curriculum, but more me saying something to the concept of, "If we went to the zoo and went into the jungle, what animal would you see?"  This way each child is not necessarily drawing the same thing, and it helps them remember past science lessons of who lives where or what animals are mammals/reptiles/etc. 

Make sure you also check out the Main Crew Blog so that you can read what other Crew members thought of Circle Time and how they conduct their Circle time at their homes!

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