School-day wake up routines can be hard for both parents and children. After the holidays when kids stay up late and sleep in, changing bedtimes is likely to be a challenge. Some parents might think to themselves: “but it’s only preschool, it’s ok if my kids were late”. What they need to know is that the first thirty minutes of school every day is very important to the flow of activities that will take place during the rest of the school day. The importance of circle time is comparable to that of breakfast. Breakfast has always been underestimated; however, all doctors and nutritionists agree that it is the most important meal of the day. Same for circle time, parents think that it’s ok for their kids to miss out on the first period. Preschoolers need to start their day hassle free, no rushing things, no running alone in hallways, and no waiting for permission to enter the class.
So, what is circle time and why is it so important?
Circle time is when kids sit in a circle around the teacher to prepare for the day ahead. Usually, circle time starts with a good morning song and attendance. It is also a great way for the children to memorize each other’s names and get to know each other, sort of informal introduction about each and everyone in the class.
After checking the attendance, children do the calendar which needs more skills than the obvious. Children learn the concepts of before and after; yesterday, today, tomorrow; sequencing the days of the week; differentiating among weekdays and weekends with corresponding activities and routines; rote counting; and comparing nature changes in different seasons. Children also discuss their observation of the weather on that particular day and activities they like to do when it’s sunny or rainy.
Schedule of the day is another pit stop in morning circle time. It is when the teacher and the children unfold the activities of the day. It’s another way to tell them “when we finish our tasks for the day, we will all go home”. It helps them enjoy the activities more when they feel secure about that last part of the day.
It offers children a place in which to develop social and emotional literacy; learning to provide supportive listening. Circle time activities might vary from one school to another, but the essentials are always the same. During this free time of discussion, children will learn listening skills. Through the round children learn to give full attention to each person as they have their turn.
Circle time can get as rich as the teacher wants it to be.
Time management is a whole set of skills that children mostly acquire by practice. Although, everyone agrees that it is hard to wake up early in the morning, especially during the first days of school, after a vacation; however, it is crucial for kids to be on time for school every day.
So, parents, until your biological clocks are ready to shift from vacation to school timings, set your alarms, really loud.