Preschoolers and PeaceI received another e-book to review.  This one is from Preschoolers and Peace and is titled Circle Time: Plan the Best Time of Your Homeschool Day!  At 33 pages this is a quick read and it only took me about 15 minutes to get through it.

Before I read this e-book I didn’t really have much of a notion as to what was circle time.  In my mind I had visions of preschoolers (and maybe Kers) gathered on a rug, in a circle at the local school, sharing stories and doing calendar work.  I believe that I participated in something like that myself when I was little, but my memories are quite foggy on that one.  So, it was with great interest that I read this book.

Circle Time E-bookI was expecting to read all about show-and-tell ideas for the family setting and how to get everyone to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star together nicely, but that is not the goal of this book.  Instead, Kendra reminds us that it is a great thing to combine our children together in their studies where possible.  This doesn’t mean that all children must do the exact same work, but that each child should work on their level on a given topic.  For example, your little ones may enjoy a read-aloud while an older child would also narrate and illustrate the story after it has been read.

If you have a toddler in your house, then there are some specific tips on what to do with that age range and how to keep them included.  There are also two sample schedules: their full circle time schedule and then their summer light schedule.  In addition, Kendra includes a few printables as well to help organize your thoughts and goals for circle time.

For me, if it is not planned and laid out in advance then it will not get done.  I began by thinking about our memory time and some things that my son could begin memorizing.  We have always used an index card box to contain my daughter’s memory work and I decided to make my son his own box.  I have also tried to have a Wednesday tea party where we incorporate poetry readings and faith studies, but more often than not someone would be taking a nap or we would end up skipping it for another reason.  Now, I schedule in circle time M-F and if we only get it done 3 times per week I am still quite pleased.

Did this book revolutionize our homeschool?  No, it didn’t.  But this e-book served as a great reminder to simplify homeschooling where possible by combining my children.  It also gave me a few ideas to help add my son into the day a bit better, instead of constantly trying to distract him while my daughter is doing her work.  Now my son is content with about 10 minutes of circle time before going off to play with his toys, giving my daughter and I the one-on-one time that we need.

Price: $4.99 for a PDF download


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I’m guessing that this happens to all of us.  Your child is cruising along in a particular subject until one day they just seem to forget everything.  Or it happens to you as an adult.  I’ll admit that I have my super clumsy days and other days where I just can’t seem to remember a thing.  Well, it happened to my daughter today.

We have been moving through Rightstart Math (level C) and my daughter has been doing great with telling time to the minute, 4 digit addition, and beginning multiplication.  Today we had a mini-review session and she could not do a single problem.  The first two digit mental math addition problems were riddled with errors and on the next small set of problems she became confused on place value.  She said that she didn’t even know how to begin some of the questions.  And then she began to get frustrated and cry.

So, we shelved today’s review lesson and will look at it again tomorrow.  Hopefully, her brain has returned to its normal state and she can pick up from before.  At one point I had to catch myself from laughing because it really is bizarre how our brain just doesn’t function optimally from time to time…I hope that one day she can see the humor in that too.


This was our first week of school and my daughter is beginning second grade…mostly.

Language Arts:

WWE level 2 dictation1.  Writing: For now we are going with Writing with Ease Level 2.  This time I purchased the student workbook because I found last year that I didn’t have lots of time to track down the passages from our reading like I wanted to.  I also discovered that the dictation passages use words that my dd doesn’t know how to spell yet.  So, I decided that we would look at the passage and determine which words would be difficult to spell and I write them on a white board that I leave out for her to look at.

2.  Grammar:  I have written up some plans that combine FLL2 and KISS level 1.  I love that KISS uses real sentences and I also like the approach of FLL.  Hopefully, the combination will allow us to switch back and forth enough to not get bored with one program, yet not be overkill.

photo 23.  Vocabulary: Ugh.  Our first big miss.  I thought that I would try out Vocabu-Lit, but neither my dd nor I wanted to look at it again after the third day.  The first lesson uses very simple words (alone, nbreak, climbed, found, shook, something, threw, top) and the second exercise drove us crazy.  Exercise 2 has you picking the definition of the word as it is used in the lesson’s story, but in many instances we felt that there was no correct answer.  For example, the definitions of “climbed” include: 1. to move using your hands to help you OR 2. to move upward; rise.  In the story a rabbit climbs a tree and I would say that both definitions would be correct.  Anyhow, we will go back to Wordly Wise next week.

4.  Phonics/Spelling:  My dd is still moving through the Sonlight 2nd grade readers (we are about halfway through) and each Friday I will have her read the next lesson in the McGuffey Eclectic Second Reader.  We are also beginning AAS Level 2 and this week was a review of past lessons.

Math: Rightstart level C has started out with a review of addition facts to 10 and how to add 9 to a number.  My dd was happily doing her +9 worksheet today and thinks that the addition table is wonderful.

Rightstart Math Level CRightstart Math Level C

History: starting next week since I had to reserve a lot of books from the library

Spanish: we have begun using Rod and Staff Nivel B which is actually the second half of their first grade program.  My dd’s reading has greatly improved and she is ready for a greater workload.

Song School Latin Coloring PagesLatin:  Latin is a new subject for us and this week my dd really seemed to enjoy it.  I am planning on combining Song School Latin with I Speak Latin by Andrew Campbell.  SSL seems quite simple.  I divided each lesson up into 2 days and we will listen to the CD first (eccleciastical pronunciation since that is most similar to spanish) and then each Friday we will do a lesson from I Speak Latin, a program that has much more of an immersion flavor (but still very doable for parents with no latin experience).  The best tip that I have found for SSL is to print out the free coloring pages smaller to use later as flashcards.