Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Circle Time by Emily Hall

Most days before lunch, the older children and I set tables and then have a circle time which includes songs, movement, a simple story and a rest time. During rest, we warm colored beeswax in our hands, perhaps mold it into a shape or just enjoy the warmth and color, and some of us share our creations after quiet time. The circle songs are nursery rhymes about the seasons and daily life, and they remain the same for months on end. Often, we are joined by curious younger friends who participate as they are able and willing. Because the songs remain the same for so long, it is easy and welcoming for younger friends to join. I enjoy this mix of ages and even the babies sometimes visit and watch from the center of the circle.
            In You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin Dancy writes that rhythm and repetition in nursery rhymes make memorization simpler, and that for the three year old child simple stories that build on themselves through repetition are important. Stories like This Is the House that Jack Built, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Little Red Hen, and The Little Gingerbread Boy are the type of stories that I share at rest time while the 3, 4, and 5 year olds (and their little imitators) join me on the circle rug. After circle, we share picture books on the couch and snuggle up before we bless our meal. This little daily ritual gives important language stimulation to the children at LifeWays and provides storytelling that feeds the soul as well as the brain.

No comments:

Post a Comment