I ‘ll be honest: every time I add a student, I get a nervous feeling in my stomach. The same questions repeat over and over in my brain: Can I really do this? Can I really juggle this many people and all their needs? The truth is that I’ve been juggling this many people for almost seven years. Their needs changing, but the need to juggle doesn’t. As I’ve been mulling over Circle Time, the tension tended to rotate around one central issue: Am I willing to make the hard calls that will need to be made this year?
I didn’t set out to plan a Circle Time where my oldest child was only half-present. It just sort of happened. I thought about adding more stuff, just so he could be there. But, in the end, I decided that this was how it needed to be for this particular season. Just as when my little ones were tiny, and they left right after Bible time, or just after singing, now my oldest has other needs, and leaving after memory work or grammar will work best for him.
He will still, after all, be part of the group for Enrichment Friday. He’ll still be present for our lunchtime and evening read aloud times. Adding something to Circle Time just to keep it more like previous years? Well, I guess that would be resisting reality, because the reality is that things don’t stay the same.
Homeschooling is just like any other human endeavor. Circumstances change, and we have to be able to adapt.
This year, I have three students who are still very dependent upon me. Out of the three, it is the third grader who is the most independent (she’s the middle of them, not the oldest). This complicates things a bit, but it’s what I have to work with.
Anyhow, before I show the planning video (which is super basic), I just wanted to mention that it pays to save and/or print memory work as you go if you are finding it online. If you are like me and you wait to print until you find it all, you will be dismayed when your computer freezes up and you have to start all over again.
I’m just saying.
Here is a screenshot of my plans for our first term:
When you make your plans, the surfboard is optional. I find it cheery. I usually include seasonal images on my pages. This year, it’s all surfboards, but see the nice autumn colors?
Here are some of the resources I’m using for Circle Time this term:
- Government Docs
- 7th Amendment to the US Constitution
- Folk Songs
- Right now, we are using the book Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade.
- I always try new stuff, and then I always end up back at KISS. This year, we’re doing it in Circle Time on a white board. Wish me luck!
- Song School Latin (only A-Age-10 is doing the written work — the littles are just going to enjoy the songs and learn a bit of the vocabulary)
- Cruise of the Arctic Star (this links to my blog post with the schedule I created in order to use this book for California geography)
- Trial and Triumph
- Pilgrim’s Progress (yes, that is my real version of the book — isn’t it lovely?)
- Parables from Nature
- We’re not using any particular schedule for the last three books — just reading the next thing as we come to it.
Get the (almost) weekly digest!
Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.