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Monday, July 29, 2013

Circle Time, It’s NOT Just for Littles (a review)

Whether you have little ones underfoot or not, Circle Time just might be element you're looking for to organize your homeschool routine.  Kendra Fletcher of Preschoolers and Peace has written an inspiring little e-book to help you plan the best part of your day.

Circle Time by Kendra Fletcher

e-book for homeschooling parents

33 pages pdf (download)

$4.99

What is Circle Time?

It’s that time of day when you all gather around, young kids and older kids, and pray, work, and learn together.  If you’ve been learning at home for any length of time, you may already be doing something like this…but maybe you have a different name for it?  And maybe you’re not getting as much out of it as you might?

We call it “Together Time” around here (for lack of a better name).  Each morning during the school year we

  • pray together
  • study our catechism
  • read our current aloud
  • work on our other “together” lessons (history, art, and music often falls into this category)

It helps to organize the start of our day…in fact, when we skip it because we’ve gotten a late start, our whole day feels “wrong” somehow.

Kendra points out in her book that if she had it to do over, she’d have named it something other than “Circle Time” simply because it has a “little person” ring to it. 

Circle Time isn’t just for little people (although it can be a great way to engage your preschoolers in your learning)!

Speaking as someone who’s been homeschooling for 6 years, it took me a while to figure out that our family needed a time to work together each morning.  As the children get older and work more and more independently, I think it becomes even more important to have a meeting of the minds (and hearts)

We don’t have school desks in our home.  We don’t work at cubicles or shun each other.  My oldest is so far ahead of his younger sibs---it’s very easy for him to get wrapped up in what he is doing and get out of touch with those nearest and dearest to him.  

So we start our day together.  And we finish our day together over dinner, and maybe a night time read aloud.  Or an episode of MythBusters.  A meeting of the minds, right? Winking smile

Circle Time (the concept) is for everyone.

The e-book is a good way to get started with if you’re brand new to the concept or haven’t been homeschooling very long. 

It’ll save you from flailing about and dumbly stumbling into it (like I did) and provide lots of ideas for activities for your “Circle Time,” practical suggestions for including kids of various ages (especially Littles, Kendra’s specialty), and printables for organizing it all.  I’ve even picked up a few new ideas myself---picture study? periodic table? Duh! 

But, perhaps more importantly, you will also find plenty of encouragement and assurances that your family’s together time is yours and doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s---the longer I’m doing this homeschooling thing, the more I appreciate down-to-earth helps that don’t paint home education in picture perfect bliss.

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Circle Time is available at Preschoolers and Peace---you’ll also love Kendra’s blog, where she talks about how to have peace in your homeschool with little people running amok.  I’ve met Kendra in person.  She’s for real, with a real heart for her kids.

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