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    Circle Time Planning is Done! {I Think…}

    August 5, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    I keep revising Circle Time, but I think I finally finished this morning. I’ll post the document at the end, but first let me offer up my list of resources for this coming term:

    Little Pilgrim’s Progress

    This link does not go to the book I purchased, though I believe this is the current publication of the same. I originally thought I would try and space out this book over the entire year, but I think this would cram way too much of John Bunyan’s original version into next year. So, we will read every Monday, and the minute we are done, we will commence reading the Real Thing. Lucky for us, we already own a beautiful collector’s edition.

    The Oxford Book of Children’s Verse

    Warning: You will be asked three times per week just who Anonymous was and why he wrote so many poems if you use this collection. As a bonus, when you tell them what Anonymous means, they will not believe you.

    The Jesus Storybook Bible

    I mostly like this book. The little girls are regularly begging me to read it, so I scheduled it in.

    Beacon Lights of History Volume II:
    Jewish Heroes and Prophets

    Finishing this one up from last year. We love John Lord.

    The daily song-singing is a rotation of all the songs we learned last year. The songs we learn in Term One of this year will be added to the rotation for Term Two, and so on, until we have a very large rotation. At that point, I might consider going to two songs per day. I had someone suggest to me that we end Circle Time with a song, and I have found that this greatly improves the mood of our home. What a great idea!

    This year, I am planning to have no Ambleside readings on Friday {unless we have some to make up}, plus a very light Circle Time. The reason for this is that I am hoping to add in some journeys out into the Wide World. I have a short list of places that we can go and explore. Sometimes, we will just be out in “nature,” but other times we might visit a place of business {having called beforehand, of course} so that the children can observe men at work. We plan to learn about wrought iron, for instance, and increase our reading comprehension of literature that discusses metal working as a side benefit.

    Circle Time Weekly Schedule 2009-2010 Term 1

    Have you finished your Year One planning yet? If so, put a link in the comments!

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  • Reply Mystie August 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    “I don’t know why four would be easier for me, but truly it is.”

    This is good news for me! Thanks! πŸ™‚

    I love the idea of a retreat planning session, and have plans to try that eventually. This year it simply wasn’t feasible. But especially as things get a little more complicated, I hope at least I’ll be able to send the kids to a grandparents’ house (they’re both local) for the day if not go away myself.

  • Reply Brandy August 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm


    Thank you for the outing list! I hadn’t remembered how much children like to go to police stations and fire stations…we will definitely have to do that!


    I think planning when you have three children under five is the HARDEST. I was completely overwhelmed that year. I don’t know why four would be easier for me, but truly it is.

    I have noticed a trend lately of ladies taking a weekend away, usually two or three moms together, leaving the children with their husbands, and planning away from home where they can really concentrate. I see this as a goal for myself.

    Right now, I am plugging away at things for two or three hours a day at most, but I’d like to be able to do most of it in a couple days and just be done. Maybe a retreat approach would work for you in the future?

    By the way, do NOT feel badly if your planning doesn’t match up with reality. I feel like my initial overplanning, and then my subsequent underplanning, was a sort of trial and error that got me to the place where, as long as my husband doesn’t end up in the hospital or something, my planning fits us pretty well. It’s like trying on shoes until you know what size and brands fit you best. πŸ™‚

    Oh! Almost forgot: Circle Time takes us about 45 minutes. Sometimes longer, especially if someone has a lot of questions about something or we get into a discussion, and sometimes shorter, when the readings and/or songs are smaller.

  • Reply Kansas Mom August 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I’m still planning. (Arg!) I have trouble finding time during the day when I can concentrate and find myself often too tired to think coherently after the kids go to bed. So it goes slowly.

    How long is Circle Time again? I’m considering a Morning Gathering that would (I think) follow a similar pattern for my kids including our scripture studies, prayer and an opening song.

    I’m not sure if I’ll post our plans. I’m a little afraid they’ll be a disaster and I’ll have to post again in a few months along the lines of “Don’t try what I tried.”

  • Reply Mystie August 6, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Looks great, Brandy!

    Last year a friend of mine put together a few preschool/Kindergarten + younger siblings outings — we went to a u-pick peach orchard, a pumpkin patch, a fire station, a police station, and a 400-cow dairy (the owners go to our church). It was fun. πŸ™‚ I think we’ll be doing it again this year, but we only do something every 5-8 weeks.

  • Reply Brandy August 6, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Some of the things I have in mind require such a small number of people that I’d probably get a sitter for my younger two to make sure it worked properly. BUT, there are also some things exactly the opposite, where a bigger group would make it BETTER, and I had already thought of your family about that.

    I am sure you have ideas up your sleeve. Maybe I’ll just show up for your stuff. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Kimbrah August 6, 2009 at 12:03 am


    Love it! I am just going to let you do all the work from now on and then steal it when you are done. πŸ˜›

    So can another family of CMers join you on your Friday outings on occasion? Just curious. πŸ™‚

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