Do you remember circle time in Preschool and Kindergarten? The daily time when the children and teacher (in this case mom) gather to go over the calendar, read books, recite the alphabet, and so on. I always admired moms who were able to fit this inviting time into their home school day. I didn’t do so well incorporating circle time into our mornings during the earlier years. I felt that most of our day was circle time and that some of the concepts were learned more easily by simply doing life together. Well, now that the girls are older I have found myself yearning for the morning gathering time, and honestly, so have they.
It’s funny how I always saw this morning time reserved for the little ones, but now I see the full benefits of reserving a special time for the older children.
How to incorporate a morning gathering time in your home school?
Make a Decision
If you are like me, you probably have lots of thoughts about doing cool things with your children only for the thought to only remain a thought. When making a change to your home school environment, you have to clearly decide that you will move forward with the decision. Last year, I made the decision to incorporate this time first thing in the morning before we tackle our core subjects. In order for me to stick with my decision, I wrote it in my planner so that I wouldn’t forget since this would be a new element to our day.
Develop a Rough Guide
When I made the decision to provide my big girls with a morning gathering time when they were in grades 5 and 3, I knew I would need some type of plan. Not a rigid schedule, but an outline that helped me to remember exactly what I wanted to do with this time together. I wanted our morning meeting to be special and not simply more school work or more of the same. Do you struggle with keeping special times special? If so, creating a rough guide of what you want to do with this time will be a must for you. During our time, there are specific things that can be done like playing logic games, solving puzzles, playing board games, reading a few pages from anthology, or playing trivia games. When I created my rough guide, I purposely excluded reading literature that went along with our curriculum. Since we have only about half an hour carved out for this time, I wanted to make sure we used it for its purpose.
Remember Your Purpose
Depending on your purpose for incorporating a morning meeting time, your time with your kiddos during this time might be elective based or it might be a bit rigorous. Because my purpose was to make sure we did some fun, engaging things at the top of the day, I have to remember not include things that the girls do not consider fun. I love Sudoku, but this isn’t fun for them so while we do parts of a puzzle every now and then it is not often Sudoku will show up in our morning gathering space. Remembering the purpose of this time will help it to remain on the schedule when days begin to become hectic, and you simply want to be done with the day.
Incorporating a morning gathering time for your older kids may be just the boost your home learning environment needs. Circle time isn’t just for little kids anymore.
Do you incorporate a special time in your school day to bring your children together? Comment below!