Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Home Education

    Circle Time Plans for Term 1 of the 2016-2017 School Year

    August 8, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]W[/dropcap]ow, I actually finished. I switched up the way I am laying out my plans a bit. I’m trying a loop schedule rather than assigning certain books to certain days. I found last year that certain days were more likely to get messed up than others, so I think the looping will keep us from getting “behind” on any single subject. I also think we’re spending less time in Circle Time, but we’ll see if that ends up being true. I’m always surprised by Circle Time, and I’m usually wrong. When I think it’s long, it ends up being short … and vice versa.

    As far as the looping goes, I’ll do one or two per day, depending on time. I’m going to use simple Post It Flags to keep track of where I left off.

    So here’s a glance at my plans:

    Circle Time Term 1 2016_17

    Why the surfboard? you might ask. Why not? is my answer. I love that they are often gratuitously pretty, and I love to watch the surfing when we go to the beach.

    Here’s my linked resource list {some are affiliate links} with notes:

    • Prayer
    • Bible
      • The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos
      • I mentioned this on Facebook, but I had skipped buying this children’s Bible because I thought I didn’t need another one. Then, my pastor explained that Catherine Vos was the wife of Geerhardus Vos, the great Princeton theologian. His Biblical Theology is HUGE — I mean almost too long for a lay person to read! My pastor said of  Catherine’s book: “This is the book he should have written.” Made me laugh, and also made me go ahead and buy the book.
      • Yes, I’m using only this. Each child is also doing their own Bible readings using the AmblesideOnline Bible assignments for their own years.
    • Apostle’s Creed
    • Memory Work
    • Grammar
      • Michael Clay Thompson’s Practice Island
      • I only bought the teacher’s manual and we’re going to analyze one sentence per day on our white board.
    • Looped Titles
      • My oldest child is with us until this point, at which time he leaves to start his high school work.
      • Halliburton’s Book of Marvels
        • This was my favorite geography book I did in the lower years with my oldest child, and I’m excited to combine all of the younger children for it this year!
      • Trial and Triumph
        • We’re just reading one chapter at a time, or half a chapter if it’s too long.
      • Rocks, Rivers, and the Changing Earth
        • I’m combining my children for whatever this subject is — geology? Oh. It says “geology” on the cover. Good call. Whatever it is, I like that it’s something I can do with all three of my elementary students and the demonstrations seem to be something I can handle, even during Circle Time!

    And that’s all! If all goes as planned, we begin on August 15th.

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit


  • Reply Debra Perkins September 25, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Brandy, have you ever read MHLW aloud to everyone? When you did Signs and Seasons, how old was everyone?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 26, 2020 at 8:42 am

      Both of these I have done, but many years ago. My youngest never *really* did it because I was combining him with the others for that subject those years. I did Signs and Seasons when my oldest was junior high I think so, again, youngest doesn’t remember it. I’m doing The Stars with him now.

  • Reply Aimee BeLoat August 15, 2016 at 5:05 am

    I noticed you listed four poems from four different years. How exactly are you doing that, does everyone memorize all four or do you focus on each child memorizing the one for their corresponding year? Also, about how long do you budget for morning time?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 15, 2016 at 6:49 am

      We just read through each poem. Each child chooses a poem as their favorite from each term (which they memorize the next term), so they know which poem is “their” poem, but usually they memorize them all. Our time budget this year is only 45 minutes! We will see how it goes…I prefer at least an hour, but it just didn’t seem doable this time…

  • Reply Dawn Duran August 10, 2016 at 7:26 am

    We just finished Marty Machowski’s Gospel Story Book Bible – which is amazing, by the way – and I have been pondering which Story Bible to cycle through again. I just might have to go with Vos again after everything I’ve seen you say about it recently, Brandy. I thought you’d appreciate what I read this morning in Seeing Christ in All of Scripture, which I snatched up on your recommendation earlier this summer:
    “…for Hebrews (and demonstrably, the other biblical writers), theological and literary interests, on the one hand, and historical interests, on the other, are never competitive or even independent of or indifferent to each other. Genre factors, no doubt semantically significant, as well as essential theological considerations, do not override or supplant but subserve redemptive-historical concerns as those concerns always involve reliable reference to actual historical occurrence. As GEERHARDUS VOS has memorably put it, ‘The historical was first, then the theological,’ and, we may add, ‘the literary.'” [emphasis mine]

  • Reply Heather August 9, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Hi, I am such a newby to CM 🙂 I love your blog and been reading it almost daily for the last few months 🙂 Thank you for sharing all your ideas, thoughts, and whatnots with me. I am wondering how did you choose which poems for your family to memorize?

  • Reply Catie August 9, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Can you tell us why you do the Nicene and Apostles creed? 🙂 I’m kind of ignorant with the creeds! 🙂 (Although, we have been working on the Apostles.)

  • Reply Virginia Lee August 9, 2016 at 9:07 am

    We LOVE The Vos Bible!! We’ve been through it twice already and it will be our third time through this year. I actually do not care for the Jesus Storybook Bible (I know, the only person in America who feels this way) but I recommend Vos’ Bible all the time to families and new Christians. I also have Rocks, Rivers, and the Changing Earth. Nicole from Sabbath Mood Homeschool had recommended it, so I knew it would be a good one. =) It’s going on the schedule next year because then I can combine more kiddos with it.

    Always fun to see your plans. Didn’t Cindy use MCT? It sounds familiar. I’m going to check it out. Thanks, Brandy!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 9, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Yes, I think Cindy was the first person I heard about MCT from! I didn’t realize Nicole recommended Rocks, Rivers, etc.! Now I know it’ll be good. 😉

  • Reply Maria August 9, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Love it! We also are starting on the 15th. We enjoying reading the Vos Children’s Bible Story book in our family devotions, the stories are broken down into smaller bits compared to the Egermeier. Oh I was so excited to see that you are also using He Who Would Valiant Be as your Hymn! Thanks for the printable, I didnt have that, only a recording I downloaded. My yr 2 daughter will enjoy picking it out on her piano. I usually just pick hymns out of our Hymnal from church, but since we are reading Pilgrims Progress this year, thought it would be awesome to learn this hymn! Best wishes on the upcoming school year!!

  • Reply Kansas Mom August 9, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I love Rocks, Rivers, and the Changing Earth! I put some quotes in a post I wrote earlier this year:

    Of course, I also love the Book of Marvels.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 9, 2016 at 9:31 am

      I have to say that your quotes are what put me over the edge for buying RR &tCE — I had been looking at it, but not sure, and then you convinced me. 🙂

  • Reply Melissa Greene August 8, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I love the Vos Story Bible! I read it aloud when the kids were younger and will read it again with our youngest when the time is right. First, we read the Egermeier and then the Vos. I thought they were both fabulous…especially as a new christian. I personally learned a great deal from them in a non-threatening way 🙂

  • Reply Laurie August 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I am curious, how does the Child’s Story Bible compare to the Jesus Story Book Bible?

  • Reply Rebecca August 8, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Funny you should add the comment about your surfboard choice! I was thinking, “Hmm. I wonder if they live by the coast.” We used to but are in the mountains now. 🙂
    Thanks for your helpful and very insightful posts. I am going to look into the Bible you mentioned.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 8, 2016 at 8:58 am

      We are two hours inland, but I like to *pretend* that I live at the beach. 😉 I have a favorite place that I take the children when I can. I’m taking them this week, actually. 🙂

  • Reply Julie Zilkie August 8, 2016 at 7:10 am

    The Catherine Vos Story Bible is wonderful! A mentor told me of this bible years ago, and we have probably read it now 8 times through over the years. I never tire of it, and I have recommended it not only to countless families but also to adults, who have also enjoyed it. You will not be disappointed!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Julie, recommendations like this have me ITCHING to start! One week. Can’t wait! ♥

    Leave a Reply