Tag Archives: circle time

Circle Time ebook

Circle Time in Homeschool?

One afternoon I sat down with my son to complete a learning craft, and nothing in him wanted to sit. After trying a few redirection strategies (to no avail), I finally pulled out one of our carpet squares, asked him to sit like at “fellowship” and “circle time,” and boom. He sat. And focused…on the activity!

This small piece of a familiar routine helped redirect his focus. It helped gather his energy and channel it.

That’s just one aspect I love about what we’ve incorporated in our morning time. That aspect was taken out of its normal context to help my son redirect his energy. And it still helped!

You can tell I might be a fan of what some call “circle time” and its affects. My kids seem to thrive off the routine, as well, especially my fella with special needs.

Circle Time in Homeschool

I recently read an ebook from Kendra Fletcher all about creating your own “Circle Time” for your family. Her ebook, Circle Time, offers an explanation of circle time, benefits of it, and how to structure your own circle time.Circle Time ebook

Kendra covers:

  • what to include in circle time
  • roughly how long to hold circle time
  • tips for during circle time
  • how to keep older kids involved, 
  • and more.

This ebook also offers a couple of printables to help you plan your family’s circle time. In one of her planning forms, you list each person’s learning subjects and activities. Whichever subjects overlap can be “good potential subjects to plan into your Circle Time,” as Kendra explains.

Kendra details her family’s own circle time routine to give readers ideas, but fully suggests altering the routine as needed, including as kids get older and their needs and focuses change. The second half of the ebook includes Q&A from blog readers and Kendra on incorporating Circle Time in different situations, plus interviews with a few moms who have modified Circle Time for their families’ needs.

Kendra reaffirms multiple times in this ebook that Circle Time isn’t necessarily all of your kids sitting in a circle and only singing songs. It’s a time for the family to be together and learn together.

Click here to view more details and if you’d like to purchase Kendra’s helpful ebook, Circle Time.

Circle Time ebook

I am an affiliate for Circle Time, so if you purchase through this link, I will receive a small commission without affect your cost. Thank you for supporting this site and my family!

How We Currently Do Circle Time

A few months ago, I shared our Good Morning Chart routine we currently use for circle time with our preschoolers. It includes day of the week, Bible verse, weather, the week’s sight word, morning “chores,” books, songs, and more. In general, this circle time is about 10 minutes (not including reading books, which is usually another 10-20 minutes for morning time). (Click here to read that post, plus access the free printables.)Good Morning Chart for preschoolers and early elementary ages {with free printables!} via Under God's Mighty Hand

It’s been working well for us (though we got off track in December!), but I also think it’s time for some change.

My oldest is beginning to be interested in calendars, so we’ll be adding a full calendar to this lineup soon. I’m also considering including a prewriting activity during this circle time routine since both of my preschoolers are working on prewriting skills.

We also basically have two “circle times” in the day. Our afternoon together time usually includes read-alouds (my kids are really getting in to me reading a chapter book aloud!) and some kind of learning craft together.

We’ll regularly need to adapt to my son’s special needs by changing the schedule some, but beginning the day with focused time together sets us all up for a much better day – together!

How about you? Does your family have “circle time” or a time where you accomplish some learning all together? How do you structure it?

This post is also linked up with Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsToddler and Preschool Moms Pinning Party, the Weekly Kids Co-opShow and Share SaturdayFree Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party, and Link & Learn.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

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Good Morning Chart for preschoolers and early elementary ages {with free printables!} via Under God's Mighty Hand

Good Morning Chart for Preschooler and Elementary Ages {free printables!}

I already knew I operate more efficiently on a routine, so I honestly figured my children wouldn’t like a routine (because I assume it’ll be the opposite to provide more of a challenge, evidently).

But, my kids—especially my son with special needs—love a routine.

We’ve tried a few different “daily rhythm” ideas, but what I’ve eventually done is meld a few of my favorite ideas together to create something that works for us.

Good Morning Chart for Preschoolers and Elementary Ages

I wanted a routine that would:

  • give visual representation for my son (who thrives off visual reminders and activities),
  • introduce new concepts and knowledge,
  • provide accountability (for both the kids and for me!) to complete certain tasks in the morning,
  • and incorporate a “circle time”-type activity for the family to begin our day together.

This “Good Morning” chart does that for us!

Good Morning Chart for preschoolers and early elementary ages {with free printables!} via Under God's Mighty Hand

What’s On The Chart

You can probably do a prettier job than I did, but I just wrote “Good morning!” on the top of chart. We then include the following sections:

  • “Today is:” – When we discuss this part, I say “Yesterday was Tuesday. So, today is…” and my son signs the correct answer for today. I’ll often ask “What’s tomorrow?” after we put the correct day up.
  • “Bible verse” – We’re working on memorizing about one verse a month (in sign language since my son is severely speech delayed). The toddler has memorized this one, too! We use Homeschool Creations’ ABC Bible Verse flashcards plus any others we make ourselves.
  • “Today’s Weather” – This is my son’s favorite part. We run to the window and look at the sky together, then use Confession of a Homeschooler’s weather printables for the individual weather cards.
  • “This week’s sight word is:” – We concentrate on just one new sight word a week right now, but if you’re using multiple words, you can just add more Velcro dots in this section. (You should be able to fit at least three sight word cards in this section.) I’ve included over 60 sight word cards in the printable packet described below.
  • “I Can Help” – My kids are both at the age where they feel helping an adult is a big deal, and I love it. This section is really more for me to be more intentional with introducing new life skills and household tasks for them. We switch these tasks out every two weeks or so (and keep completing the old ones, too). We use the preschool chore charts from Homeschool Creations and these routine cards from Family Your Way.
  • “My Morning Routine” – I have these cards in the normal order we accomplish them each morning, but we switch the tasks around, too. The main goal to make sure we do each task every morning. I use a combination of the same cards listed in the “I Can Help” section above.

*Special note: In the free printable version of this (see below for details!), I also include a couple more signs, like “School Schedule,” “This month is,” over 60 sight words, days of the week signs, as well as multiple colors of each sign.

Chart Setup

Good Morning Chart for preschoolers and early elementary ages {with free printables!} via Under God's Mighty Hand

We have our chart on a half sheet of poster board hanging on the wall in the kids’ room. I used a Command poster hook and punched one hole in the top of the poster. This way, the chart is hanging high enough my son can’t get to it during the day (he’d destroy it in an instant), but he can read it at any point and I can easily take the chart down to let him switch out the cards.

All of the signs are affixed with Velcro dots so we can easily switch signs or even rearrange the order we complete our morning routine, if needed.

I store the extra “I can help” task cards, weather cards, days of the week, and sight word cards in pockets on this back-of-the-door organizer.

Good Morning Chart for preschoolers and early elementary ages {with free printables!} via Under God's Mighty Hand

We’ve been using this “Good Morning” chart almost every day (including weekends!) for about three months now. We love it, and the kids even ask to do it! (YAY! says the momma teacher.)

Want FREE printables of this Good Morning chart? Sign up for The Family Notepad, my quarterly resource newsletter for families and homeschoolers. (Yep, just quarterly! I don’t want to crowd your email inbox.) I reserve special printables (that take a lot of time) for subscribers, and these Good Morning chart printables are one of those.

Click here to read more, sign up for the newsletter, and then look for a link to these printables (and others!) in the “final welcome email” once you confirm your free subscription!

Need more ideas for calendar time? Check out my Calendar Time board on Pinterest for these ideas and more, including printables for older kids, too.

What about you? What does your family do for a morning time routine? I love hearing about more ideas, so please share in the comments below.

This post was featured at Triple T Mum’s blog for the Weekly Kids Co-Op!

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-UpHomeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsHearts for Home linkupTender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, the Weekly Kids Co-op, and Show and Share Saturday.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

I Can Teach My Child's Show and Share Saturday link-up

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Disclosure: I have no affiliation with any of the products we have listed. I’m only sharing the links as a convenience to you. Hope it helps!