TOS Review ~ Circle Time- Plan the Best Part of Your Day!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Many times I've heard about the concept of 'Circle Time', however I wrongly assumed that it was just for mothers who had their hands full of preschoolers & were juggling a couple of young students on the side. Since we've sadly left our preschooler days behind I hadn't really considered it for ourselves.  When I was given a review copy of Circle Time by Kendra Fletcher of Preschoolers and Peace I really wondered if it would be applicable to my stage in life.  Happily I found, not only is it applicable, but it is a tool that would help any homeschooling mother, no matter what age or stage her children are at.  
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    Circle Time is a book written by Kendra Fletcher, mother of 8 who has used this concept throughout her many years of homeschooling with astounding success.  It describes in detail the concept behind Circle Time and contains numerous ideas from a variety of families in different stages of  their homeschooling journey .  It is filled with practical advice on how to individualise this time to obtain the highest benefit for your particular family.  It contains schedules & strategies that  Kendra has used and there is a large range of answers to questions other mothers have asked over the years.  The gem of the book (in my opinion) is the resources page which gives links to various places to find Circle Time resources on the Internet as well as some helpful printables for those just starting out using the Circle Time concept.  Circle Time walks you through the planning & implementation process to ensure that you fully understand & get the most benefit out of this important part of your children's education. 
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Upon reading, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we daily include a Circle Time of our own in our school schedule ~ although I had always called it morning devotions with some additions added in :)
When we  begin our school day we join together for a time before the children begin their individual studies.  This time has always contained a short Bible lesson, prayer & Bible memorisation.  We often include Times tables &  phonogram  revision  (the older two did not use the program we are currently using to learn their phonograms, so there are a few that they are still getting their heads around).  This is also the time we talk about the day & my expectations.   I can address any issues that effect all four kiddos and sometimes it involves additional training times ( such as how to hand wash dishes properly now the dishwasher has died). 

Back when we first started homeschooling ~ Circle Time does not need to always be indoors!

Since reading Circle Time by Preschoolers and Peace I have also implemented another Circle Time after lunch.  At this time we complete our 'other' subject of the day (Monday ~ Science; Tuesday ~ PDHPE; Wednesday ~ HSIE; Thursday ~ Art & Music; Friday ~ Anything that needs to be caught up on ).  Even though some of these are at grade level I have tried to make sure that the topics all align so that we can complete some teaching time & activity together before the children each complete their own particular sheet. The children love this time & it gives them a reprieve from their more intense studies of the morning.  This is also the time when they can work on any group projects such as dramas etc. 
This morning ~ complete with wrinkled table cloth & random paper aeroplanes laying around!  
Circle Time is available in pdf format for $4.99 (US) at Preschoolers and Peace.  
Circle Time is an easily read, easily implemented book that will assist you in planning the very best part of your homeschooling day!


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