How to plan Circle Time activities for homeschoolers
Circle Time is one of my favorite things about homeschooling! This is a chance for the whole family to be together, learn something as a group, and go over events of the day. And I certainly didn’t invent it myself. It is a hallmark of the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling and has been part of many homeschooling parents’ lives for decades! But many people ask me “What are the best circle time activities for homeschoolers?” And now I have the answers!
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Circle time can go by other names, such as family devotional or morning meeting time. What you call it isn’t important, but rather that you prioritize time for it in your day.
What should be included in Circle Time Activities?
There’s no set agenda or list of things that are a must for a successful Circle Time. You can make your own rules! I always choose a child who is the “leader” for the day. And this rotates each day in our family. But you might want to rotate by week or even by month. This means the leaders gets to be my right hand person. They choose what verses to read and choose the songs to sing. And they are also in charge of the set up and clean up of Circle Time. In addition, this is a great way for kids to feel involved and needed.
Here are some things that we include, or have included in the past:
Prayer and devotionals
Singing songs or hymns
Discussing the plans for the day
Study of different cultures
Art History flashcards
Memorizing presidents, National Parks, State Capitals…
World History review
Volunteer prep work
Reviewing homework, tests, and potential problem areas
Holiday books and overview seasonally
This is a list of things that we have included, but not all at the same time. Our family circle time lasts about 1 hour. This amount of time can vary based on how full the rest of our schedule for the day is, and what we have going on after. I read some of our favorite holiday books during this time on a seasonal rotation.
What time should you have Circle Time? You can have it at any time, but I find that right after breakfast is ideal, before everyone starts to go their separate ways.
Step by Step Guide for How to Plan Circle Time
Decide on a time and place in your home.
Choose your agenda, and what you will review for the year or semester.
Order needed items and books.
Place all of the items in a basket.
Announce general rules and guidelines (don’t be late, are snacks allowed, etc.)
Enjoy the time with your precious children!
Circle Time Activities Amazon Products to Consider
We have LOVED this book. It’s expensive, but worth it. It has beautiful photos of the different places children sleep around the world. It has led to many amazing discussions that I wouldn’t trade for the world. My kids absolutely loved it and have read it over and over again after we finished it. Some subject matters are more intense for younger children, so be sure to review it before reading it out loud. Worth every penny.
Again, these are my favorite! The kids love them, and I love how much we have all learned from these simple cards. I knew next to nothing about Art before doing these cards with the kids. And now, I’m certainly not an expert, but I feel like I can better recognize the classics!
These Veritas Press cards are memorized from start to finish by some homeschooling groups. We choose to use them just as a general overview of World History. They are Christian based, and integrate the history in the Bible with world events, which we found very helpful. This link is to the first card pack in the series. There are several different packs, that take you to modern times! Start with these and move forward as needed or as time allows.
Our family has a goal to visit all of the United States National Parks. Since this is so important to us, we want the kids to become familiar with them before we visit. These cards do not cover all of the National Parks, but they are a great start to becoming familiar with some of the most well known!
Make Time for Time Together
Circle time and circle time activities are absolutely important. But spending time together as a family is the key component. If you can’t manage to do a full hour of circle time, just do what you can! There’s no absolute requirements. And there are no absolute rules. Being together during your busy homeschooling day might seem like a given. But believe me, the day can just go by without realizing it. So make the time, schedule it, and make it happen. You won’t regret it! The old saying is so true, “The days are long but they years are short.” Savor every moment!
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