When I taught preschool, morning time was an exciting part of the day. Now, I make sure it is part of our homeschool morning time, and you can too with these morning time activities.
If your children have ever been to school, or if you know kids who have, I am sure you have heard of “Circle Time”. It is the start of most school days in public school. When I taught preschool Circle Time was an exciting part of the day. The kids loved it! When I started my own daycare and we “did” preschool I added it to our schedule as well. As my children got older, and my daycare children moved on to public school, Circle Time changed. It had become a central part of our day, and I didn’t want to get rid of it, but as the kids got older we had to make adjustments. Here is what Circle Time looks like in our homeschool.
Songs for Morning Time
We still sing the “welcome” song every morning. Yes, it is a little silly since there are only 4 kids, but my little ones enjoy it, and the older ones still do too. About ½ ways through circle time we do a “fun” song like “Tooty Ta” by Dr. Jean & Friends or “Bumble Bee” (for the little ones). At the end of circle time, we listen to a praise and worship song.
We have a fabric wall hang calendar and we go over the date, weather and seasons every day. To add to this for the older ones I began writing the date on the chalkboard in various formations. Like 12-9-13 or December 9 2013. Then as the girls got older I had them write it on the board. We also began writing out the day of the week underneath the date. This gave them spelling practice as well.
Pledge of Allegiance
We honestly don’t say this every day but we do it at least once a week. We also review the colors of the flag, what they represent, and how many states there are now compared to when our country was founded and who wrote the Star Spangled Banner.
100 Day of School Countdown
The kids love counting down to the 100th day of school! It is also great practice for counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. We also review odd and even numbers.
Letter, Shape, Color of the Week
This is for the little ones also. We review these and then have all the kids pick something that begins with the letter of the week or is the color or shape of the week. What we review depends on what day it is, the older ones love doing this with the little ones and the little ones love to correct the older ones when they get it “wrong”.
Bible Verse Practice
Each week each child has to memorize a new scripture. We review this every day. The kids get up in front of the “class’ and say there verse 3 times. They get to read it the first few days, then after that, they practice it by memory. The little ones do this too, but I assist them since they can’t read yet.
We end Circle time with our daily devotion and prayer. The older ones get to read part of the scripture, and the younger ones have their bibles and “follow” along. This is CRUCIAL to how our homeschool day goes. I have noticed if we skip devotions we all become grumpy a whole lot easier. Starting the day off with the Lord is very important for keeping us all joyful!
Prayer is so important, and something I want to encourage my children to make a part of their daily life. In order to do that we have created a prayer journal. Each day we write down things we want to pray about. Then, when God answers our prayer we mark it off and add it to our testimony list.
Read a Louds
We LOVE to read! One way we have spent time enjoying good books is by reading aloud. This is a fun thing to do during morning time. Some of our favorites have been the Little House series, Charlotte’s Web, and other classics from my list of great books for kids.
As my kids have gotten older we have focused on other themes as well. For example, my oldest is fascinated with missionaries and is praying for direction in where God is calling her. As a family, I wanted to spend time reading strong stories of missionaries and strong men and women of God, and how they overcame struggles that came their way. This study from Not Consumed has been a great way to do just that.
We have also spent time studying religions from different countries with books like this one. It is one of my favorites!
We read a lot of great missionaries and heroes of history stories during morning time. After we read we go ahead and study some geography related to what we just learned about. We can go ahead and study some about the country they are from. We do a loop of sorts. Listen to a story, then talk about the geography from that story. There are so many ways you can do this. Including
- Map work with a dry erase map, blow-up globe, or another resource
- Studying landmarks from that area
- Coloring books with map work
Exercise, Fidgeting Tools and Physical Activity
When you have fidgety kids, exercise and physical activity are important for comprehension. Some fun ideas include midline crossing activities, jumping jacks, toe touching, and anything else that gets the wiggles out. We love this fun thumb ball for circle time also!
There are also fun maze books, like these that can keep those fidgety kiddos busy.
Fun Facts, Games and Trivia
Some other fun circle time activities include fact cards and trivia games. We also like games like Spot it to help with comprehension and word recall. You can see some of these morning time resources here.
Circle time has become an essential part of our day. It starts our day off fun but also starts it off with structure, and routine. If you have not implemented morning time into your homeschool day and are having a hard time getting the kids “going” in the morning, I recommend you give it a try! It may make your homeschool mornings a little more joyful!