You may have heard about “circle time” and wondered what it is and if you should add it to your homeschool day.
Well, let me define circle time.
This is a time when you all come together (you circle up) and have learning time. Some call it together time or morning time or even morning basket (referring to a basket of books to read together).
For some this means doing various subjects together as a family, but for others it is a time to work on memory work, cover topics such as calendars and weather, or read aloud together.
We recently implemented a circle time in our homeschool and here is what it looks like:
- Right after lunch I put Punkin down for her nap while the older kids do a few chores. Then we gather on the couch for our circle time (really, it should be our “L shaped time” thanks to our sectional couch). Each child has their own couch cushion – this is essential to cut down on the fighting.
- We begin our time singing a few praise and worship songs together. I get help from trusty worship leaders like Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, or Mercy Me as we watch worship videos (with lyrics for the very forgetful me).
- Next we have our devotion time. I read out of our current devotion or Bible story book. We are working through the Jesus Calling Story Bible and then I think we will move into the Jesus Calling for Kids along with The Children’s Story Bible by Vos.
- Then I do a short reading – for the summer we read from Little Pilgrim’s Progress and for the school year we will read through a few verses each day of a book of the Bible – maybe starting with some of Paul’s letters. It won’t be from Song of Solomon, that much I know!
- After our reading time we begin memory work time. First we start with our Bible verses and catechism. I have a supply of bean bags and I toss them to the child who gets to recite that verse or answer the catechism question. (They better think quick and catch their bean bag to avoid being hit in the head. I can’t say I have great aim.) We go back and forth as we learn the new verses and review the old.
- We then move to our prayer time. We get our Compassion prayer calendar and our globe and locate the country that we are praying for that day. Then we each say a short prayer for the request on the calendar.
- Then we add a new request our two to our prayer wall. Each child picks one request to pray for that day and we take turns praying.
- Last I use our memory work binder and work with each child individually on their memory work of verses, poems, math facts, grammar definitions, science concepts, and geography locations. I start with the youngest and work my way up to the oldest. As they finish their work they are allowed to start playing nearby until we are done.
So you can see that our circle time is mostly for devotions and memory work.
I found that having a long circle time with multiple subjects to cover did not work for us. My kids have zero attention span. So I keep our time short – to about 30 minutes.
Then we get up and do a new subject afterward that requires us to move into a different room. It helps us to break things up into shorter, smaller chunks and have more “movement” in our day.
Once my kids are older I hope to increase our circle time as we can do more subjects together. My goal is that one day it includes a time of discussion of our studies and the books we’ve read. For now, I just keep it short and simple so that it gets done!
I found that doing circle time first thing in the morning did not work because it was impossible to focus over the sound of Punkin’s (age 2) chatter. Having our time right after lunch is a great way to refocus and refuel for our afternoons.
I keep all of our supplies in the bookshelf near the couch where they are easy to grab for our time.
Now, when I’m doing reading to Punkin I come into the living room to find everyone curled up on the couch trying to decide which worship video to watch for the day. It’s such a fun time of togetherness in the middle of our busy and chaotic days.
If you’re looking for more resources for a Bible-focused circle time, be sure to check out these books!
Linked with Sunday Sharing Pinterest Party at Adventures with Jude