Tuesday, July 30

Circle Time - A Review

They grow up so fast! 

Enjoy it while you can!

They'll be moving out before you know it!
It's advice every parent hears from the first day we bring our babies home from the hospital. I've tried hard to savour each moment, but there are many days where survival is more important than remembering. There are even days it's probably best not to remember. As my boys are in the midst of high school years, I'm seeing this advice hit home in a new light. There were so many things I wanted to teach them! There are so many books and so little time! What can I fit in their brains before they're gone?
Preschoolers and Peace is a site established by the lovely Kendra, a woman with a heart for families. I've gleaned from Kendra's wisdom for many years now. Let me clarify up front: this isn't just for preschool students. I don't have any preschoolers in the home anymore, but there is still plenty of great advice here for families of all ages and stages. Kendra recently shared her ebook Circle Time with us to review.
The phrase "Circle Time" invokes images of 4 year olds sitting in a circle, criss-cross-apple-sauce-spoons-in-your-bowls as they learn their colors and letters. I assure you, it is very different from that. It describes a way to comfortably fit in moments that set a foundation for the day, that introduce little things you want to cover, and provides memories to savour. 
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The eBook contains 33 pages and can be read within half an hour. It contains forms to help pave the way and begin implementing almost immediately. Circle Time is a simple concept with huge impact. Much of it we were already doing, but it was hit or miss and not as purposeful as I wanted it to be. I loved the guidance and direction it provides. The basic premise is that the family gathers together at the beginning of the day to have a time of discussion together. These discussions are led by mom and have a purpose. We go over memory work, a brief devotion, holiday or unit study highlights, etc. In addition to the ideas mentioned in the book, Kendra shares some great resources for circle time on her website.

 photo CircleTime_zpsf50b8efd.pngAs I said, we were already doing a general circle time, but this book inspired me to think of ways to make this time even more productive. I love learning together as much as possible, but it's not always easy to find things that are enjoyable for both a 16 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. Little things like the Pledge of Allegiance, art appreciation, and character trait studies were some ideas that I gleaned from this helpful book. 
It's short, but within these pages Kendra guides readers through
  • Planning a circle time
  • creating a peaceful circle time together
  • getting your kids on board
  • Q&A
  • words of wisdom from other moms
  • Activity Ideas
  • Printables and Planning Tools
One beautiful reminder that I ran across is that Circle Time doesn't have to be saved just for mornings. We can reconvene together after lunch and enjoy some read-aloud time together. We can share science experiments with one another even if it isn't what everyone is studying. We can circle up in the evenings with Daddy for some precious time together before bed.

Circle Time is available for instant download for $4.99. It's a simple thing, but it can transform a homeschool day. Check out what other crew members thought in the link below:
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