Circle Time seems to be a popular topic, and because it wasn't my original idea, I can humbly say it's a good one!
I recently received an email from Tai:
We have two children thus far: a four-year-old boy and a sixteen-month-old girl. We are going to be doing some preschool-type stuff this year with our son who is going to be home-schooled. Sorry for the long intro…
My main question (at this point) is do you use a note book along with your memory box during circle time? How do you incorporate the two? It seems, at least the way I understand it, that the two have the same material in them?? Also, do you bring your little ones into circle time? We typically do everything together. At nap time I read a short story with both of them, then put the baby down and read a longer story or two to my four year old. I don’t know if should put her in play pen time (by the way love the hoola hoop, going to be getting one of those) or if I should have her stay with us on the floor? Thanks for your insight. I know you must be very busy with seven children and a husband to care for. I appreciate your time.
Q. Do you use a note book along with your memory box during circle time? How do you incorporate the two? It seems, at least the way I understand it, that the two have the same material in them??
I think the memory box and the binder are pretty interchangeable, but I will go into a little more detail about what is contained in each.
The Memory Box currently contains:
- National Geographic President Cards
- National Geographic Landmark Cards
- Bible verses, written on 3x5 index cards
- Greek Alphabet cards
- The Catechism for Young Children
- short poetry
- the Ten Commandments
- the books of the Bible
The box has dividers with the days of the week printed on them. Items that have been previously memorized get put into a day slot so that they get reviewed once a week. For instance, I might decide that I want to review the books of the Bible on Mondays, poetry on Tuesdays, verses on Wednesdays, etc. We don't always hit everything, but it's a plan.
The Binder currently contains:
- Elisabeth Elliot devotionals I think we all need to hear
- John Piper devotionals I think we all need to hear
- Lists of memory verses printed out for specific children
- lengthy poetry
- Dolch's 2,000 Most Common Words for Spelling
- a running list of things I want us to memorize
Both the memory box and the binder are simply organizational tools. There really isn't a formula, so run with it any way that works for you.
Q. Also, do you bring your little ones into circle time?
Oh yes! This was the number one reason we began Circle Time. I have never wanted my little ones to feel like they were being pushed aside. I never wanted to say, "Go find something to do- just stay out of our hair!"
Sixteen-month-olds are tricky, and there really isn't any way around it. I would use Circle Time as an opportunity to train her to stay on your lap. Initially, she most probably will balk at it, but hang in there! Eventually you'll get a good uninterrupted 15 minutes
Keep your expectations low and realistic. You've got at least fourteen more years of Circle Time with your son, so you certainly don't need to tackle that entire list above right now. And as baby grows bigger, your Circle Time will expand, too.