I received a download from Preschoolers and Peace called Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Day! by Kendra Fletcher as part of the Review Crew to read, implement, and review for you all. Kendra is a veteran homeschooling mother to eight children – so if she can do this, I can do this!
The concept is simple: setting aside a time, each day, to gather together and to have a plan on what to cover. Gearing it toward things all of your children do together (in our home, Bible, singing, poetry) your goal is to create a habit of planning this time together. With the full realization that it’s hard to get planned things done, but impossible to do unplanned things regularly, I totally “get” this concept. I can only assume I’m not the only one with this problem.
We began setting aside our time, working together as a group on Bible. Singing is my kids favorite thing to do, I think, so for a bit of added incentive, I added that. Big hit. The more we tried Circle Time, the more I thought of that we could add. History is a group subject in our house, so we threw that in. Five in a Row is one that I do with Sterling and Ruby, but if the others don’t all crowd around, it’s only because they don’t know it’s going on, so we added that to our Circle Time. In the end, I realized we rather had our Circle Time before – we just didn’t call it that and it wasn’t even close to organized.
I’m not sure where we’ll go from here. I’m not super organized. I’d love to say I’d like to be organized, but I rather like our go-with-the-flow approach. Setting aside time for certain things every day was fun, but it was hard for me to be consistent. Those things fall by the wayside sometimes – for a reason. Life is busy and if I do one thing, something else doesn’t happen. It’s just the way my life goes right now. I was feeling all guilty as we worked through our own Circle Time until I came to the end of the PDF. Just like that, my guilt was waylaid. Mrs. Fletcher’s own Circle Time ebbs and flows. Some years it’s better than others. I read that, took a deep breath, and realized in this season, with a kindergartener, first grader, fourth grader, fifth grader, a two year old, a one year old, and a new (nauseous!) pregnancy, a limited Circle Time for now is good. It’s right. And someday, as our family grows in age an maturity, we’ll have started out well with good habits that will build on each other until we can have a fabulous Circle Time each day. Mrs. Fletcher has some fabulous ideas laid out, worksheets that can be printed to give the reader more ideas and goals, and, my favorite, the lists of resources she recommends. I’ve found and loved several already, so I’m pretty excited to find the others and find more books to love and learn from.
To “sit at Mrs. Fletcher’s feet” and learn how a veteran homeschooling mother runs her Circle Time, you can find Circle Time as a 33 page PDF download available here for $4.99. There is a list of additional resources including book lists, music, and more that are recommended by the author available here.
I used to love to do “circle time” with my children (even though we didn’t know what to call it). Now with mine being older, it is our worship time, which like you, it is hit and miss, sometimes more miss than hit and at other times more hit than miss.PS You do a great job teaching your children to sing. It is wonderful to sit near you all in church and hear the wonderful voices of your children. And now with Pierce chiming in, it is great. Keep up the great work.