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talk to me about circle time please


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Do you have circle time? What do you do? How? What does this look like in your house? Please go into as much detail as you want, I am after the nitty gritty here, the when, why, how etc. Honestly i have no idea but i am thinking it might be a good way to get my littler kiddies some "school time" at the start of our day.


I am thinking we should start doing this in the new year (and new school year). I will have a 5yo in 1st and a 4yo (prek) and 1yo. I was thinking a few songs (mostly for the littlies) especially action songs and nursery rhymes, some calendar work, memorization work such as skip counting for the 1st grader and a read aloud story for all. Is this even what circle time is? Am I missing anything? Suggestions or more ideas? TIA

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I have a 5yo in K/1 and a 3 yo PrSer. Our main focus is the calendar. Days of the week, months of the year, seasons, counting (to the present day and how many days to any special days that month), patterns, graphing the weather. For 5ds I've started filling in a 100s chart, putting a straw in a cup that will be bundled into tens, then 100s. We'll get into skip counting etc as the chart gets fuller and we get a few bundles of ten.


We also talk about our virtue of the week maybe play a game or have a discussion around it, a 10 minute preschool yoga routine on youtube (on 5ds's wish list lol), and some memory work such as name, address and phone numbers, 7 continents, sight words and French vocab. Sometimes I'll ask them for some menu planning ideas, make plans for upcoming family days, that kind of thing as well.


We don't sing - but I probably should. They like it! The little one usually wanders in and out after his job (the weather!) done.


The last thing we do is talk about the upcoming day. I have a pocket chart and I made cards of all the things we could do in a day. EVerything from chores and snacks, to visiting grandparents, math and bathtime is on there. I think it's good for them to get an idea of the passing of time and what the expectations of the day are.

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Chelli, yours looks wonderful.



Our morning circle time this year alternates between playing short games (songs, rhymes, actions, just fun stuff really), character study (we use The Family Virtues Guide, which is actually a Baha'i publication but is easily modifiable for the rest of us), life skills (quick practice of things like making a phone call, tying shoelaces, what to do in the event of a snakebite) and memory work.

Edited by Hotdrink
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We don't do a specific "circle time" with lessons included, but we do take a lot of breaks where we sit in a circle for singing, clapping games, rhythm sticks, and so on. Even the baby takes part.


We do this because music and rhythmic movement activities are a traditional part of early childhood (and adulthood) throughout recorded history. As classically-minded people, that's a good enough reason for us. :) But if you'd like a scientific/research basis, there's plenty of evidence linking these activities to stronger math and language arts skills.


It also calms the children down when they're getting squirrely. So we actually tend to do it more often in the late afternoon and evening. When DH is late getting home from work and I'm worn out, I gather everyone around in their PJ's with a stack of children's songbooks, and we can stretch it out for an hour. But at other times of day, five or ten minutes will do. :)

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I put on some songs for my 5 and 1 yr old and they dance and sing - we do repeat the same one quite often before moving on and I try to get in some action songs as well as other types of songs. We also often do a Bible Story in the mornings and then talk about plans for the day.

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BTW, I'm not one of those (probably few) adults who's really thrilled to do preschool songs and action games every day. ;) It isn't "my thing." But I do think it's essential, especially because they're not getting the schoolyard experience. So I've accepted that it's going to be a part of my life, and try to make it as pleasant and interesting as possible.


Here's one that's good for slightly older children, and can be used to reinforce learning in the content subjects as well:

Concentration, Concentration is the Game!

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We are still tinkering with circle time, and we actually do it just M-W-Fs for time/schedule reasons (we have outside classes pretty much first thing on the other days).


Anyway our circle time looks like this:

- One of the kids rings our "school" chime to mark the start of the day

- We light a candle and sing a version of "May the Circle Be Unbroken"

- I read the verse "My People" by Langston Hughes (then ask the kids, "Who are my people? WE ARE!")

- We go over day of the week, calendar date, and weather

- We note the weather (temperature and conditions) on an ongoing chart we are keeping

- We sing a morning song (this varies from silly to more serious - e.g., maybe I'm trying to teach the concept of a round in singing)

- (Kinda doing) a movement/yoga story - I got this great book of stories that you can set to yoga moves, but this has been hit or miss; trying to re-establish it

- Verse of the month: A poem that changes each month

- Closing Time: Blow out the candle (I say a verse I made up to mark the end of the circle time)

- Transition Verse: Another verse I made up to transition to "Lesson Time"


Though we are not Waldorf homeschoolers, this piece is inspired by Waldorf sense of rhythms. Sometimes I shorten this for time, and just light the candle, say the first verse, and do the weather. My kids are 5 and almost 7.

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We have a 'together' time in the mornings before we officially start school work time but we have a wide age range nowadays, so this is what we do:


- Bible: read and discuss and pray together

- singing hymns. My kids love this and it is my 2yo's favorite part of the time. She sings along with the hymns and requests her favorites. It's so cute ;)

- memory work

- giving out GOLD points which is our reward system for work well done.


During this time my 2yo, who is kind of potty training, sits on the potty and usually manages to have success, so it is a learning time for all...:001_smile: Sometimes the older kids will sing songs with the 2yo if they are waiting for me to arrive.


It really is a special time together at the start of the day. Because I have older children, once everyone starts working they scatter to do their own things so it's lovely to have us all on the same page for that period of time.

Edited by LindaOz
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