Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Coffee Time

Coffee Time is how we begin our school day. Some call it Circle Time others call it Morning Meeting and I am sure it is called many other names as well. We look forward to this time in our day, it’s a great way for all of us to connect and it sets the tone for the whole day.

Our day starts out with our weekly memory verse. On Monday we write it in our journal and discuss what it means. Tuesday we practice it, sometimes I print out a word search for it. On Wednesday we diagram it and identify all the different kinds of words in the verse. On Thursday I write it on the board with several grammatical, spelling and word errors and the kids correct the mistakes. Then on Friday they all recite it to me.

From there we move on to our word of the week which is my way of increasing their vocabulary with some pretty fun words like flabbergast, resplendent, bombastic and balderdash. At the beginning of the week we write the definition in our journals and then the rest of the week we try to come up with reasons to use the word. It is so fun hearing them use the word of the week in some creative ways.

We add different elements throughout the year depending on what we feel like. We do mindbenders and logic problems together. I love doing these because it helps get them problem solving and thinking in new ways. Right now we are going through the Sideways Math at Wayside School books. We have gone through parts of the books every year, and each year they are able to complete more of the problems in the book. If you haven’t ever solved a math problem made of words you have no idea what fun you are missing.

We are going through the US States in order of statehood and sometime during the week we study the next state. I check out books from the library and we go over a deck of flash cards for each state. These aren’t in depth studies just a quick overview. We keep this study fun and light. A friend lent me a book with foods for each state that we are making some of the foods for the state from adding a yummy element to our study.
If there is a holiday to celebrate, we spend some of our time studying, celebrating and enjoying the day. It helps keep our schools days fun and interesting. Besides who doesn’t love a reason to have fun.

Our Coffee Time also includes our group studies. We do Bible together and this year we are going through The Story. This has been so incredibly fun and has opened up a lot of discussion. We always seem to be doing some unit study and I use this time to do any group activities for the study. Currently we are doing the Periodic Table of Elements which has been so enjoyable for all of us. Even the littles can take part in group studies. They won’t learn what the olders learn but they do pick up on things and if you have worksheets or books that are at their level then including them with the olders is really easy.

When we have finished up our time, I give out final instructions and plans or goals for the day. Then the kids disperse to do their independent work and wait for their turn to do one on one lessons with me.

Some days Coffee Time only lasts for a few minutes and other days for a few hours. It really depends on what we feel like doing that day. Our coffee Time hasn't always looked like this. Every year it changes as the kids get older and their interests change. There are so many things you can do during Coffee Time and every year we find fun stuff we will enjoy doing together. If you think that because of your age spans you can’t do a Coffee Time, you should check out Preschoolers and Peace. Kendra has done Circle Time with every age span you can think of.

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