So when asked what I would do with circle time I thought... i dunno.. do some music???
BUT as I read the book I learned that my supposition of what circle time was correct BUT that it was limited. I hadn't considered the circle time could look different depending on the age of the child or children involved.
Circle Time (the book) talks about how circle time (the activity) is a regular coming together time. It's a time to learn together, to share time with each other, to just spend time in an organized fashion together. In a busy busy world that we live in (yes, even as homeschoolers) Circle Time calls for us to just stop and come together.
Vendor: Preschoolers and Peace
Product: Circle Time
Price: PDF book, $4.99
Age Range: any age
As I said in the intro... I had to revamp my thoughts on what circle time was. And to my delight, I was ALREADY doing circle time, but I was reminded of just how important it is in our family. Of course as I read through the book (a PDF file) I thought of all the other things I could incorporate into what I call our morning routine, but one can't do it all, or make too many changes at once. Our morning routine is somewhat flexible as well... we ALWAYS have our devotional time (which Dad often joins us for) and we usually read two books, browse through the paper, and do our conversation jar.
I can see that at some point I'll want to add specific things to practice, like learning landforms, learning the prime ministers of Canada and such like. Just making it a regular thing of ...this week lets learn this. I could see making a shoebox full of factoids that I want the lad to learn, and then every Monday pulling out a sheet and discovering what we'll work on that week. But we're not there yet..it's the summer, we don't stress too much in the summer. :)
1. We do our devotions. Normally we do Keys for Kids, but lately we're doing a Bible study through the ages. We're really enjoying this and I hope to buy the next in the series when we are done this book. I like the hands on aspect of it and we're able to build our knowledge in doing specific parts of bible stories.
2. We read a fact book. Right now we're reading "The Burgess bird book for children". Learning all sorts of information about birds.
3. We read a good book. Right now we're reading "warriors". It's about a cat clan and the various things that happen to them.
4. We browse the headlines of the paper and talk about what they mean. What does it mean when "homeless women hit radar". The lad thought the policemen were being chased by homeless people..and why would they do that mom? (that's not what the article is about). But it gives us a chance to consider how words are used and to see what's important in the eyes of some on a given day.
5. Conversation Jar. Pick a piece of paper out of the jar. The lad reads it if he can, if he can't I help. If it's a joke and it's funny laugh, if not... figure out why it's not funny. If its a factoid, check to see if it's true. If it's something we're to do, well.. do it. :) I wrote more about our Conversation Jar here. We used to do it at supper but it works better to do it at breakfast or lunch.
NOTE: we're fluid. There are times in our lives that we simply cancel the paper as we are too busy to bother. If we have to run out the door quick we dump the Jar and the learning book. If we have more time, we'll read two chapters out of our reading book, or if pictures intrigue the lad, we'll learn more from our factoid book. It's all good. It's "OUR" time together and we like it.
You might add or do
1. Facts... math, history, science, vocabulary, spelling words. (the whole world is your gambit here).
2. Read together. Non-fiction or fiction. Take something that grabs the interest of your child/ren and run with it.
3. Get a bunch of art pictures, talk about them, see if you can duplicate them.
4. Listen to music, maybe even learn a new dance step or two.
5. Learn how to do some skills such as letter writing, learning what to do in case of a fire or another emergency
6. Learn your genealogy.
It's endless what you can do. The only caveat is make it doable for you and your children. If they are getting antsy, perhaps you're asking them to sit still too long and you need to run around the house together, or perhaps you doing something they simply aren't interested in (so you change it). Focus on the needs of your children and just enjoy starting (or ending) your day together. The important thing is, draw your family in together.
The end result of this review is.
If you want a book that will help you figure out how to make a "coming together time" for you and your family, this book will help you. Doesn't matter if you have one or 12 children or any number in-between, you can create a coming together on purpose time (circle time) for your family as well.
Several other members of the crew have reviewed Circle Time as well, please click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.