Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Circle Time --and a video

In the morning we come to the breakfast table to eat and read scriptures.  Owen is responsible for getting dressed and helping feed the chickens before coming to the breakfast.  We set up this expectation from day one, because I knew if we stayed in our jammies all morning it would be hard to get the things done we need to every day.  It would be nice to jump right into lessons right after breakfast, but Then I would be behind on my homemaking duties for the day.  

So after breakfast we carry over the breakfast dishes to clear the table.  I try to get the breakfast dishes washed, and start a load of laundry, to start out my day on the right foot (It doesn't always happen but at least I have a goal.)  So then we need some transition for getting together to work on Owen's lessons for the day.  We do that with circle time.

Circle time is fun, so I don't have to beg anyone to come, and Owen is already dressed since he does that before breakfast.

Our circle times are based loosely on the Waldorf tradition.  The elements we are using are:
  • Start by lighting a candle and end by blowing it out
  • Use poems, songs and stories
  • Use seasonally-influenced and nature-based selections
I also try to use movement, but I'm not sure if that is a Waldorf element or not, but I have boys, so it's what we do.

We are schooling year round and our schedule (which I'll explain some other time) breaks down to 6 week periods, which I have broken down one step further into 3 week periods.  So we use the same poems and songs for three weeks, for comforting repetition and informal memorization.  I repeat the book selection each day for a week, and move on to a new book the next week so we have three picture books total for each circle time theme.

I love our circle time because it is a great way to transition into lessons for the morning, and also it is something that all three boys participate in.  Wyatt was adorable doing the motions for our action rhyme!  I also like that it is encouraging memorization, though in an informal way.  Owen, Jonas, and I all had the poems and song memorized at the end of the three weeks. 

Our first theme was apples.  The two poems we recited follow:

by Helen H. Moore
Apples, apples, what a treat,
Sweet and tart and good to eat.
Apples green and apples red,
Hang from branches overhead,
And when they ripen, down they drop,
So we can taste our apple crop.

Eat an Apple

Eat an apple; (Bring right hand to mouth)
Save the core. (Close right hand in fist)
Plant the seeds. (Bend down touch hand to ground)
And grow some more. (Extend both arms out)

Then we sang a song as well.

Shake the Apple Tree
words adapted Carl Reinecke

Pretty little Sally, Johnny come with me.
Come out in the orchard, shake the apple tree.
I will look for green ones, as the apples fall.
You will look for red ones, then we'll find them all.
Pretty little Sally, Johhny come with me.

Pretty little Sally, Johnny come with me
Shake a a little harder, shake the apple tree!
Now lets fill our baskets, pile the apples high,
Take them home to mother, she'll make apple pie.
Pretty little Sally, Johnny come with me. 

It's a tune I've never heard before--luckily we have the baby piano so I could plunk it out and learn it.  Here it is:

Obviously the boys were having a LOT of fun watching themselves on the computer. 

1 comment:

  1. Owen~
    I really like your blog. I hope you have fun posting on it. What a cute video you made! I wish I could eat one of your apple tarts. Yummy!