“The education of even a little kid, for that reason,
does not focus on preparing him for school but life."
– Maria Montessori
A Montessori-style "Circle Time" can be used to kick off the homeschool day or as a transition. This 10 to 30-minute session can function as an anchor point in your day to keep your routine going and conversation about learning flourishing. What is Circle Time and how can you incorporate the mixture of routine, tradition, music, movement, conversation, collaboration, learning, and fun? Can it help with practical life skills?
What is Circle Time?
Circle Time is a time to gather all of the children together. It paves the way for questions and discovery in a relaxed, conversational setting. It is comfortable. The circle shape allows all students to equally see the person that is leading Circle Time and allows the leader to be able to see all of the children in the group.
When incorporated into your homeschool routine, Circle Time can help keep the whole family on track and motivated as you collaborate, review new skills or knowledge, convey treasured traditions, and have fun with group learning, music, or movement. Some examples of Circle Time activities include discussion of recent homeschool lessons, family read alouds, dancing to educational songs, noting the time, day of the week, the month. or the weather for students working on mastering those topics, or doing a group hands-on science activity.
It is an excellent way for children to reflect on what they have learned, what they enjoyed, what they would like to do differently, and create excitement about upcoming special events.
When to do Circle Time?
Circle Time can be done at any time of day. You can use this as a time to bring everyone together in the morning to start your school day or you can use it as a calm down activity before nap time. Choose a time of day that works best for your family and stick with that as often as possible. Children thrive on consistency and routine. They will look forward to Circle Time being at the same time each day.
Where to do Circle Time?
Be flexible with the location. Choose a spot that you and your children are comfortable. You can sit on the floor, around the table, on the sofa, etc. You can even take it outdoors!
Can older children participate in Circle Time?
Absolutely! There are so many topics that can be covered in a group setting. Art, music, science, geography, and history are all subjects that can be taught in a group setting and lend themselves well to group projects.
You can use Circle Tme as part of your family read aloud. Consider including props to get their imagination flowing. When you begin a new book, challenge your kids to a scavenger hunt to find toys, tools, and other accessories to recreate and act out scenes from the book.
What are the benefits of Circle Time for homeschooling?
There are benefits for everyone. It helps introverted students get more involved. Extroverted students get a time to share and gives them the stage.
Circle Time can be grounding for both students and educators. Use it to launch the homeschool day or as an anchor point in your schedule. It will help to keep you on track with your goals.
It is also perfect for reviewing information previously introduced. A daily review helps you to see how your children are progressing and plan accordingly.
You can also use Circle Time to plan for upcoming events. If you have activities that you need to prepare your children for such as an upcoming field trip, discuss the schedule and anything that you need to cover for the event.
Why Your Homeschool Routines Can
Benefit from Circle Time
Children love to open up and discuss things during Circle Time. You can use this time to discover your child’s passion and tweak the lesson plans if you need to. Follow your child’s lead and find subjects that will capture their interest. Do you have kids that love to discover new things on their own? Let them take turns leading the meeting time for the family.
ShillerLearning is excited to launch our new Circle Time Posters and BONUS coordinating student coloring books! Perfect for use as Circle Time discussion points and review, this set will be a wonderful asset in any homeschool. The beautiful color posters include: lowercase alphabet to practice letter recognition and sounds, numbers 1-10, colors, shapes, days of the week, months of the year, and the sign language alphabet. Bonus student coloring activity books are also included: My Alphabet Book, My Color Book, My Shape Book, My Calendar, and My Numbers Book. Students can review, color, and track their homeschool journey. It's an incredible bundle!
No matter what resources you use, give Circle Time a try. There truly is something for everyone. The conversational setting solidifies skills and prepares your child for the kind of collaboration that happens in life.
Tag @ShillerLearning on social media to show what you are doing with Circle Time.
Amanda Crawford lives in East Tennessee with her seven children and husband of sixteen years. Amanda has a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a concentration in Education, a Masters in Instructional Leadership, and Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership. She taught high school agriculture for eight years in a public school. When her oldest was 3, Amanda transitioned to her new role as a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom. To prepare for kindergarten with her oldest in 2015, Amanda excitedly attended her first homeschool convention where she and her family discovered the ShillerLearning math and language arts curriculum. Seeing how the kids were drawn to the hands-on manipulatives at the booth and then using the curriculum with her kids for about 6 months, Amanda joined the ShillerLearning team and has been helping other homeschool families through online events and at conventions across the country.