Saturday, July 27, 2013

Circle Time { Review }


The Schoolhouse Review Crew had the pleasure to review an item from Preschoolers and Peace. 

Kendra Fletcher is a mother of 8 and the author of the blog Preschoolers and Peace and the wonderful eBook: Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Homeschool Day!

This e-Book is a 33 page book that is broken down and explained really well. Within the book you will find the following topics covered:


Introduction
Planning A Circle Time That Works For You
Strategies for A Peaceful Time Together
How To Get Your Kids On Board
Words of Wisdom From Other Moms
Resources, Activities & Ideas
Printables
A Final Word

At first, I was honestly afraid that this was going to be just for the smaller age group but once I started reading I realized that the very first thing that I accomplish with my children every morning is actually "circle time". I was a public school child my entire education and hardly remember circle time - I remember play time but not circle time. Kyle (my oldest son) attended public school for 3 weeks in Kindergarten but like the other 2 children they do not have a concept of circle time. Anytime we work together is actually Circle Time, and to be honest we work together on a lot of things. Having multiple children (ages 12, 10 & 8) makes me try to incorporate studies together to save time and my sanity.

Once I finished reading Planning A Circle Time That Works For Me, I was given a boost that some of my mornings need. It helped me with some ideas that would help our morning flow better to finish our current school year and to improve our new one coming in September. 

Strategies for a Peaceful Time Together slapped me in the face. You see since we moved (yes, I'm still on that) I just haven't been the same. I don't plan the way I used to and our homeschool is suffering because of it. Here Kendra talks about "Fail to plan and you plan to fail." Planning is an important part in our homeschool day and I need to take better care of this issue. Within the book she provides several printables to help with planning which I am thankful for. This section also helps you plan what you want to accomplish within your circle time. This part really helped me understand where I may be slack right now.

Since we are almost finished up with our year I am not going to change a whole lot of our routine but here is how it will go until September. Normally our work together or circle time lasts anywhere from an hour to two. Depends on Zachary to be honest, if he is having a day that he can pay attention we get finished with everything.

We always have a talk about the day, year and month. At the beginning of a new month we talk about any Holiday, Birthday or event that is planned.
Bible Study
Memory Verses
State & Capital Flashcards ( I am truly blessed that my children love flash cards)
Road Trip USA
Multiplication Review Facts
This Day in History
Science Lab
Word of the Day

In September when we start our new year I will have a different list of topics we will study then.

I love the fact that I was actually having Circle Time with my kids but needed a little direction. The next idea that she wrote that really spoke to me was how to get the kids on board with Circle Time. First, I explained this concept to my kids. I told them that Circle Time was a phrase used for doing school together first thing in the morning. All kids understood that we already do that. Next, I went through some of the things that they would like to incorporate so that I could make a list of that and keep it for the new year that starts in September.

One of the ideas was having the older children teach or help out with a topic or subject. This was perfect for Kyle, my oldest. He loves to help out because that singles him out a little from the smallest. He does really well with teaching concepts when I ask him too. So the plan that we spoke about was having him be in charge of art or drawing for the first month of school. As we go along with that we will evaluate the idea at that time.

I really enjoyed this book. Yes, it is a short read but it is filled and packed full of wonderful ideas, helpful tips and words of encouragement. It's nice to know that there is no right or wrong way to have circle time with your kids. You make it your own depending on how your needs are for your children.

This book helped me by realizing I can make this fun, I need to make a plan so that we all have fun, I can treat my oldest son differently because he can have more responsibility than the smallers, He can be helpful for me, I can be effective and last but not least I am not alone in this walk. 

I do not have preschoolers anymore and haven't in years but I remember needing help when I started homeschooling and adding in smaller children. I wish I would have had this book then! I remember my days seemed as if I didn't get anything done and after a little while I finally hit a routine with the smaller children. Homeschooling is hard and having smaller children that need you makes it harder. This eBook is a great tool for any one that needs a little help! 

Buy Kendra's eBook here for only $4.99

Want to see how others used this wonderful book? Click over to the Schoolhouse Review Blog!

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