Bringing Circle Time to the Homeschool

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I can’t believe we waited so long to do this!

Have you ever tried starting your day with circle-time? I am astounded by what has developed into a much-needed routine for my daughter and I. I always thought of “circle-time” as being something a lot of kids would do together: sitting on the floor, talking about feelings, or hearing a story. Honestly, I thought we would need, well, more people, to do one of our own. I was wrong. Our homeschool mainly consists of my daughter and I, working through projects, learning new things together, and attending wonderful enrichment classes twice each week at a lovely charter school. I was inspired to implement circle time into our routine when my friend told me about how the kids start their day at an outdoor-based enrichment program in Atascadero, CA. Wham! I realized with a powerful instinct that we needed to try this too. Thank you dear Annabell!

Last week I asked Captain if she would like to come with me to find a place to sit outside, under a tree, for circle time before we started our busy day. She grabbed my hand and said “let’s go!” We sat down and shared things that we are grateful for. It is wonderful. Not only do we talk about the good things in our lives, we are remembering to give thanks for the simple things, and that is priceless! We tell stories to each other, and it is a time for her to feel safe about addressing things with me, or talking about things that might be bothering her. For example, I found out that she would really rather do math earlier in the day, and that she doesn’t like for me to comment on her paintings until she is completely finished with a session. She expressed her concern for wild horses, and her gratefulness that kids can be adopted by new parents if the parents are unable to care for them. Wow. She wanted to hear detailed stories of her birth, about the time when the puppies were born, and tell me all about how amazing ants are. I find that after we are finished, we are both ready for our day. She is calmer and more receptive to some of the things she needs to do that aren’t her favorites. I love how it has changed the start of our days!!!!

Remembering to be thankful, expressing feelings, and getting some body-earthing in at the same time is a beautiful thing. If you homeschool, or not, do you have circle-time as a part of your morning routine? Would you be willing to give it a go? Does it seem silly or unimportant? I welcome you to write in, please! I would love to keep an open discussion going and hear any thoughts or ideas.

Luscious round thoughts to all!

Karen

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Categories: Family fun, Homeschooling Projects, Positive Parenting, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Bringing Circle Time to the Homeschool

  1. Anonymous

    I think circle time seems like a wonderful idea! We will try starting our morning this way and let you know how it goes. It is hard to get kids to talk about their feelings sometimes, and giving them an outlet to do so is wonderful! Thanks for sharing Karen!

  2. We used to do circle time at the library. I can’t believe I have forgotten about that! I love this idea for the homeschool and will try it! Thanks!

  3. How lovely! Sounds like a very zen way to start the day. My boys and I talk about our “thankfuls” at bedtime. Perhaps we should switch it up to a morning routine…

  4. Sounds like something I need to try! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. What a lovely new routine to have embroidered into your days. My youngest and I went for a walk in the woods this morning to start our day, and I was reminded of how good it is to do that. We don’t always have time to do it, but when we do it makes the whole day better.

  6. The circle time sounds wonderful! I never thought of doing one at home.
    My daughter and I have tea time every day after school. Before home work and chores and cooking dinner. We sit down with our drinks and a small snack and talk about our day and anything else that is on our mind. It is a nice transition back to home and I agree it is so important to make a time and ‘place’ for the kiddos to be able to express themselves “safely”. A time to relax and decompress.
    (we have been missing some tea times recently due to scheduling and boy oh boy, is she disappointed when we miss them).
    Have fun with your newly established circle time!

  7. The circle time sounds wonderful! I never thought of doing one at home.
    My daughter and I have tea time every day after school. Before home work and chores and cooking dinner. We sit down with our drinks and a small snack and talk about our day and anything else that is on our mind. It is a nice transition back to home and I agree it is so important to make a time and β€˜place’ for the kiddos to be able to express themselves β€œsafely”. A time to relax and decompress.
    (we have been missing some tea times recently due to scheduling and boy oh boy, is she disappointed when we miss them).
    Have fun with your newly established circle time!

    • Tiffany, I love tea time! Captain and I have tea together sometimes and talk. (She adores the snacks that she knows will come too) and I’ll bet that is what we will be doing if/when she no longer wants, or needs, to go outside with mom first thing. Sometime, when she is bigger, she may not want to tell me much of anything about her feelings, and being with mom might not be as natural and fun as it is now. I am drinking in these days and hope she’ll have tea with me in the end! πŸ™‚ Thanks for writing!!

  8. elizevdm

    We don’t have circle time, but I have my Biblestudy time in the morning, where the boys know it is my alone, quiet time. But boy if I but that Bible down they are on my lap (whether they have been playing quietly or lieing quietly next to me in bed while I do my b.study). Then it is their time! It is either a quiet talk about something they can’t figure out, or just anything. It is time I devote to them. The same happens in the evenings. One child may want a story, a song or just quiet time sleeping on mom’s lap.

    We also have times during the week when I read stories to them, and even my almost 7yr old boy still sit on my lap when he feels like it, and it just always works out that the one who wants to talk or just be with me, has a chance to do so.

    I think it boils down to reading the “signs” and knowing your child(-ren), to recognise when they have a need and to make the opportunity for them to be with you, building a bond of trust and friendship. You can do that through various means, of which circle time is one.

  9. You are right, there are many ways to get to that open, sharing place that sets up the day and we love to sit on the ground while doing it! I appreciate your comment.

  10. You know, I am now wishing there was a circle time just for moms! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, say once a week, we could magically be sitting around together on the forest floor, sharing ideas and starting our day with each other’s laughter, support and letting out those fears and frustrations? I can just picture it!

    • I am picturing it too! What a wonderful idea, even in the fantasy realm. I like the way you think mommaloaf!! Thanks so much for making me smile πŸ™‚

  11. Nice reminder for parents to have meaningful conversations with their kid(s) in the car, in the kitchen during meal prep, at the dinner table, and before bed too! But having circle time in the forest like you and your daughter do, is magical!

    • Thanks Kristin! I am trying to remember that these childhood-times are going to pass very quickly, although it is hard sometimes! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

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