8/26/10

Our Circle Time

Well, school is in full swing here as we muddle our way through week #2. For the first time I have 2 students ~ Nicole is in 1st Grade and Joshua is in Kindergarten. We are using My Father's World Curriculum (for both K and 1st Grade) and we love it! Nicole and Joshua are able to do quite a bit of school work together and then I spend about 45 minutes one-on-one with Joshua and about 2 hours one-on-one with Nicole (much of which happens when the younger 2 are sleeping).

My most favorite time of the day is Circle Time. I first learned about "Circle Time" from Kendra over at Preschoolers and Peace. She is amazing/ inspiring/ and quite personable. I read all of her archived posts about Circle Time and downloaded her e-book about it as well. I have even asked her questions and she has answered them all! Anyhow - my circle time looks very different from hers but that is the beauty of it...you can make it be whatever you need!

Our Current Circle Time Activities:
ACTS Prayer Time
Sing and Sign (ASL) Hymn
Define Pledge of Allegiance
Say Pledge of Allegiance
Calendar (Months of Year/ Days of Week/ Today)
Number of the Day

ACTS Prayers
I made a poster of the different parts of the ACTS prayer model. I wish I could post a picture of it but I am just not that savvy. Anyhow, I explained it like this...(words in parenthesis are actually clip art pictures of that word)

ADORATION... (heart) ...I love you, Lord
CONFESSION... (sad face) ...I am sorry, Lord
THANKSGIVING... (happy face) ...Thank you, Lord
SUPPLICATION... (child praying) ...Please help, Lord

After we discuss the aspects of the prayer model, we use the poster to help us pray through each element around the table.

Sing and Sign Hymn
We are currently learning the hymn "This is My Father's World." The kids sometimes perform hymns with Sign Language at church, so I figured we would incorporate the American Sign Language with each hymn we learn. It is such a beautiful way to worship and it helps us keep up on our vocabulary. See Joshua's blog to find out why we sign...

Define Pledge of Allegiance
My kids have been saying the Pledge of Allegiance for several years now. But I realized that they really have no idea what they are saying. So...I decided to break it down into vocabulary words for them to learn and teach them what the Pledge actually means. Do you know it means?

Pledge: Promise
Allegiance: to be loyal, faithful and true
Republic: form of government where leaders are elected by the people to represent them
Indivisible: cannot be divided
Liberty: Freedom
Justice: Fairness
For all: Citizens

In other words...
I promise to be loyal
to the flag of our country
The United States of America
and to the elected government the flag represents
one nation, under the authority of God,
that cannot be divided
and offers FREEDOM and FAIRNESS
to every CITIZEN of this country

This morning we spent some time discussing the freedom that we so often take for granted. We want our kids to know that our freedom is precious and cannot be taken lightly - or it will be taken away. They know that is other parts of the world ~ Christians are being killed for worshiping the one true God. And other parts of the world ~ children are being taken away from their parents because their parents choose to home school (and that is Germany, and possible soon the UK...scary). If you are not up to date on the UN Rights of the Child Treaty - please go to ParentalRights.org to learn more. Our rights and freedoms are in grave danger folks. We MUST take this seriously. Our children will know and understand what we are fighting for!

After discussing the pledge, we stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance facing the American Flag in our school room. I am hoping to soon have a flag pole next to the school house so we can raise and lower the flag each day.

The rest of Circle Time is pretty self-explanatory. Our curriculum has lots of great ideas for the # of the Day. We also discuss the calendar and all the good stuff that goes with it. Today I made a section in my Lesson Plans binder for future "Circle Time" activities...So far I have written down memorizing the Lord's Prayer, the Fruits of the Spirit, Hymns such as Holy, Holy, Holy and How Great Thou Art, and a series of Patriotic Songs to learn. I am sure that as the year goes on our Circle Time will change and become more in-depth...but I think we are off to a great start so far!

Hope your school year is starting well! May the Lord bless you as you teach and train your little ones!


4 comments:

Kady said...

Thanks Leah for these great ideas. I especially like the prayer visuals and breakdown for the kids. I hope it's ok that I sent a link to your blog out to my homeschool group and others that might like your ideas. Glad your year is going well so far. We start after Labor Day (in hopes that unpacking is done and house is organized by then). Miss you!!

Keri said...

I love that you make homeschooling look so fun. I'm not gonna lie, the very thought terrifies me and I just KNOW the Lord is going to call me to h-h-homeschool since I'm so dead set against it.....

Manda @ Lambs In His Arms said...

Hi, I found your blog through the link on Preschoolers and Peace. Thanks for sharing your circle time ideas! We are finishing MFW K this fall and plan to start 1st grade in January, so I'm interested to hear how it works for you to do both. My second son is two years younger, but has been doing the Bible/science/circle part of K along with my 5.5 year old, so I'm not sure what I'll do for him when we get to 1st grade with my oldest. What parts are yours able to do together?

K-tribe said...

This is great Thank you!