Just yesterday (or really many years ago) I sat on the floor with three adorable children: Bekah, Mary and Caleb. Caleb was still a little one who sat cuddled in my lap. We gathered together and discussed the days of the week, sang cute little songs and read books. Precious memories….or not?
I have been enjoying and reviewing a book, Circle Time: Plan the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day, by Kendra Fletcher of Preschoolers and Peace. Kendra is a homeschool mom of 8 children who has shared her journey and knowledge through her blog for several years. With her Circle Time being a highly discussed topic, Kendra compiled her experience into an e-book. Don’t be fooled by the title! Circle Time isn’t about preschoolers…it’s about bringing you together.
In some form or fashion, we have had “circle time” in our family for years. I often refer to it as “gather at the table”. Not exactly a catchy title but all the children know what I mean. After morning routines are completed and breakfast is consumed and cleared, we all meet up at the table. From the 19 month old to the 14 year old.
If I have been doing circle time for all these year, why did I need to read Circle Time: Plan the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day by Kendra Fletcher? Simple. There are always ideas that can inspire us, suggestions we have never thought of and encouragement for when we get weary.
What exactly is this Circle Time book about?
Kendra walks you step by step through planning your circle time; a time to come together to share, to read, to learn. The key is planning a circle time that works for you and your family. When will you have it? How long will it last? What will we learn together? She shares how they work through Bible, vocabulary, geography and more.
“Choose one thing. One thing you love doing and let your Circle time grow from there.”
Having a peaceful time and adjusting for various ages is discussed as well. Other moms share their circle time experiences to show how different it can look. To help even more, Kendra shares resources and links to help you brainstorm what will work for your family. A few printables are included to help with planning.
As I read through Circle Time, I found common threads and discovered a few things that I wanted to add to our “gather at the table” time. Here is what our Circle Time looks like:
*We begin with Bible reading and prayer. We read a Proverb every day. We rotate between readers. If you can read, you are in the Proverb rotation. This is my seven year old’s favorite part; she loves when it is her day. We also read a chapter from whichever book of the Bible we are going through. Right now it is 2 Samuel. Everyone from the 3 year old and up take turns reading a verse. (The 3 and 5 year old repeat after me. They love to participate.)
*Memory Work - We have a set of memory verses that we are working on. We also work on memorizing things such as: prepositions, bodies of waters and the presidents.
*Missionary Biographies are read
Thanks to Circle Time for getting my mind thinking, we are going to be adding in our art study, music task cards and a new geography book during this time.
Are the little ones bouncing off the walls? Some days, I must admit, it can get a bit crazy at the table. Kendra shares how they move little ones around and use it as a training opportunity as well. We do some of the same. I also allow the little ones to have a few small, quiet toys at the table once Bible is over, I keep coloring pencils and coloring sheets on hand and animal crackers often join us.
I asked my older children if they enjoyed our “circle time” and without hesitation they all said, “Yes”. It never fails that we have many moments of laughter at the table and our competitive spirits always make memory time exciting. Even when they groan over map drills, it is worth it; it is the best part of our homeschool day.
Interested in starting a “circle time”? Need some fresh thoughts? Circle Time: Plan the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day by Kendra Fletcher just might be the encouragement you need! It is available in PDF format (immediate download) for $4.99 at Preschoolers and Peace.