Thursday, July 23, 2009

Circle Time

One thing I have discovered this year is that I really want learning to be the focus of our school day. This has been my fault in the past & I really want to change it. Typically I'm all about "Hurry & let's finish this so we can go do our own thing." I don't like the tone that sets to our day. I know this is going to be a big change for my boys (one of many but I'll share those later), but one I think will make things actually easier around here. One can hope anyway.

I also love the Charlotte Mason/Classical type of homeschooling. However, I am not organized to pull it off. I'm working on that too - I'm currently reading The Organized Homeschooler by Vicki Carunana. I want to implement hymn study, nature study, composers, folk song, art, etc. Adding all that in to an already full schedule with teaching three boys (and a toddler & infant as well) makes for really long days!

So all that to say, I think I'm going to try "circle time." I already try to teach the boys together for a lot of the subjects - just at their level. I've spent some time this afternoon doing some research. Here is what I have come up with for a plan**:

  • Prayer - each taking a turn
  • Talk about the day of the week, month, year, season & weather
  • Hymn - learn one new one a week
  • Folk Song - learn one a week (things like America the Beautiful & the like)
  • Read Aloud - Regular books, Aseop Fables, Book of Virtue, etc.
  • Learn a children's song & sign language to go with it
  • Poetry- read & memorize one (weekly depending on length)
  • AWANA verses

I'm aiming for this to take about 30 minutes at the most. Then the boys would go to their rooms to read/look at their Bibles (starting to work on a daily devotional time) for 10-15 minutes. This will give me a chance to do something specific with Miss H or change diapers or whatever needs to happen with her & Mr. H.

Then we will start on the rest of our day. I posted our schedule the other day but I saw something at Simply Charlotte Mason today that has me rethinking that as well. I may go to a four day week with Fridays reserved for things like nature study, music, art, etc. I'm also looking at starting a homeschool group locally that would meet twice a month on Fridays so this schedule may work better.

Still planning it all out.

**Ideas taken from these sites:
Classical Homeschooling Newsletter (scroll down to the bottom)


Cynthia said...

We've followed the CM method for many years! We've loved the more relaxed feel. Have you read the CM Companion by Karen Andreola? That has probably been my most favorite CM book.

Stephanie said...

Oh -and the Catherine Levison books are great, too. We have used a classical/cm mix (unit study style) for years now. I love a 4-day week. Unfortunately we are in two hs groups this year quite accidentally, so we won't have that option. We'll be a 3-day plus 2-half days schedule. lol

K-tribe said...

Thank you for this! I am right there with you! Well at least a year ago your time.. :)