Monday, July 29, 2013

Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Homeschool Day Review

Everyone gather on the carpet for Circle Time.  Sit on your own rugs.  Let's sing the alphabet song.....

When most people hear the words "Circle Time" this is the first thing that comes to mind.  A group of preschoolers sitting around on colorful carpet squares.  When I saw that we would be reviewing the book Circle Time:Plan the Best Part of Your Homeschool Day by Kendra Fletcher ($4.99, PDF download) from Preschoolers and Peace I was very nervous.   To be honest, this is what I first thought of too.  I couldn't figure out how I was going to use this in our homeschool.  I have a 6th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader and Kindergartener.  My older boys are not going to want to sit around with the girls.  That is why we do not teach many subjects together anymore.

But after reading Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Homeschool Day, I now have a better understanding of what a true Circle Time is.  This isn't the circle time from preschool, it's similar, but an updated version.  You don't have to worry about doing finger rhymes anymore.  Of course, you can still do finger rhymes if that is what your family likes...but it's not required.

In the book, they use Circle Time as a way to gather the children together and start their school day.  They pray together, work on Bible time and Scripture memorization together, and also subjects such as History.  They have the older and younger kids together.  The first thing I ask, is how does this work?  Our older kids do not like sitting and working with the younger ones.  They complain about easier work.  She explains how she adjusts the content she is teaching to keep both interest levels, but mainly the older ones.  She can catch the younger ones up later on, once they separate out to do their own subjects.  

Kendra Fletcher explains how to plan out your Circle Time and the printable forms are even included.  Planning a Circle Time for your family is easier than you think and it is also a wonderful way to spent quality communication time together.  

Circle Time: Planning the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day really helps you to slow down and decide what you want out of your homeschool day and helps you to plan this out and work to achieve these goals that you set.  

Circle Time: Planning the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day helps you to look at topics such as:
  • How long should our circle time be
  • How to keep circle time a peaceful time
  • How to keep the littles sitting longer and longer each day
  • Answers many questions you might have in making Circle Time work for your family
  • Words of wisdom from seasoned veterans who use Circle Time in their homes
  • and the Biggest of all....How to get ALL your kids on board with your plan
So you might be wondering how this program worked for our family........

As I mentioned earlier, I was really nervous.  Our kids really know how to push buttons.  We have been unable to do this daily yet, due to all the kids schedules and emotional attitudes.  So I decided up front after reading the material, that instead of shooting for actual subjects we would stick to Bible time.  So we have been working at sitting down for 15-20 minutes 3 times a week to practice a scripture memory verse and learn about a Bible character.  The memorization is not going well, but the sitting down seems to be going pretty good.  I really have enjoyed the information shared, and it is working well for our family.

Circle Time: Planning the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day  points out to find a starting point and work from there.  Especially when asking the littles the sit for any length of time.  The beauty of circle time is that it is completely customizable for each family.  The length of time and the subjects you choose are totally up to you and your family's goals.  My dream will be in a year to have the girls combined on a couple of subjects like science, history, geography and art.  But by taking small steps and using Circle Time: Planning the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day as my guide I think we may get there.  The points made by Kendra Fletcher in her book have already been helping me with Caty.

Several other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to read and use Circle Time: Planning the BEST Part of Your Homeschool Day with their families.  Be sure the visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog and see how this book worked in their homes.


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