I get a lot of questions over on Instagram about how we do our Circle Time each morning, so I finally took some videos and photos to share a sample Circle Time in our Montessori homeschool preschool!
Circle Time is the way we begin our homeschool mornings because it gets us all together at the beginning of our preschool time and gives us a clear send-off into the work cycle. You can do pretty much anything you would like at Circle Time, but this is what we do.
[I took videos of a couple of our Circle Time songs. Please excuse my singing voice, and remember that this is real life — the girls are not professional actresses or even just kids who always do exactly what they’re supposed to do. :)]
We always begin with this simple good morning song, after which we all shake hands and ask each other how we are doing. This is an easy grace and courtesy lesson to go over every day. As you can see, the girls don’t always answer each other very kindly — N was quite annoyed in this video that she had to tell L that she was “tired” right after she told me, and L was upset that N yelled it at her. There’s a lesson everywhere, friends — even in these simple interactions.
After we greet each other, we move on to the calendar. We sing our Days of the Week song and then figure out which day it is on our calendar.
L writes out our calendar each month, and her 12 looked a bit like a 17, so that’s why she said it was February 17th.
Once we figure out the date, the girls each go to the math shelf to bring over enough bead bars to make the number of the date.
They place the appropriate bead bars under the bead bar card for that date, and then we count them. This gives us an easy number review each day.
We then move on to our PeaceMakers Cards, which are great tools for teaching mindfulness and calming strategies specifically for kids. You can read my full review of Generation Mindful‘s Time In-Toolkit HERE.
We end our Circle Time with a group lesson on whatever theme we are currently learning about. We spent a few months learning about the continents, and now we are in the middle of a human body study. We usually read a book on whatever topic we are in the middle of and then look at some nomenclature cards, picture matching cards, 3-part cards, or do a science experiment.
When Circle Time is over, we move into our work cycle for the morning. In our home, this is about 2-2.5 hours of independent work — the girls choose work trays from the shelves, complete them, return them to the shelves, and choose another. This is also the time when I present individual lessons to each child — one per day.
And that’s our Montessori homeschool preschool morning! Afternoons are reserved for free play, going on walks, and playing outside. Occasionally we have to run errands in the morning, and so we will shift our preschool time to the afternoon for that day.