Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Homeschool Day (Review Crew)

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With four kids and a pretty wide age range from oldest to youngest (15 to 4), having a time during the day when we can all do something together is tough. The older kids come and go with various outside activities and do much of their schoolwork independently, I have plenty on my plate to keep me busy, and no two days of the week look exactly the same around here. I also get frustrated because there are a handful of things I always plan to do: art appreciation, life skills, etc. that we just never seem to get around to!

Well, a few weeks ago I received a little ebook called Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Day  from Preschoolers and Peace. Don’t let the title mislead you. Author Kendra Fletcher is a mom of eight, many of whom are much older than preschool age! The book gives ideas to implement a group time – what she calls “circle time” – regardless of what age your kids are. Her family began this time as a way to start off the school day spending time together in Bible reading and prayer, and gradually evolved to include other things too.

Circle Time begins with ideas and strategies to plan a time that will work for you and your family, then discusses ways to get your kids (especially older kids) on board, and keep younger kids engaged. Next are several pages with questions from other moms and tips from moms who have successfully implemented circle time. The book wraps up with a great list of resources (I loved the linked resources page!) and handy printables to help you plan.

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The book is short (just 33 pages), and I didn’t have any earth-shattering revelations while reading it, but the simple, practical tips and encouragement gave me the motivation I needed to try to get something like this going with my kids consistently. Just sitting down and listing out exactly what each child needs to do and all the things I’m always wishing we got around to, and then seeing how those could be coordinated helped me come up with a unique plan for our family.

Since it’s summer and we’re taking a semi-break, I’ve implemented this partially, with plans to introduce more subjects/activities and spend more time as we ease back into a school routine. Right now, we’re using it to do my little guys’ Bible study time with older siblings helping them, and working through the catechism together. My hope is to begin adding life skills (including my Real Food For the Next Generation lessons) and art appreciation into this time next.

So, if you’re schooling multiple children and age levels, whether or not they’re preschool age, you may find Circle Time a handy guide to planning a time during your day when everyone can connect and do something together! It’s available as PDF download for $4.99.

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