Welcome to the first day of the 31 Days of Morning Circle Activities. You can find the main page for this series here.
Morning circles in the home setting stem from the activity of the same name in daycares and schools. Children gather, often in a circle, to greet the teacher and partake in opening day activities.
In the home, the children meet with one or both parents with the intention of beginning the day in a peaceful manner while learning new concepts, reviewing the previous day’s lessons, or practicing related skills. The same is true in a classroom or therapeutic setting.
Morning circles have many names:
- Circle Time
- Morning Meeting
- Morning Gathering
- Morning Connection
No matter how you name it, it’s a short assembly that typically happens at the beginning of the day. If you are a homeschooler, you are likely doing this on weekday mornings. If you are an after-schooler, you might consider morning gatherings before your children head off to school, or perhaps, on the weekend only. If you are a professional, you might want to start the day in a circle to welcome the children into the new setting.
This series will take you through everything you need to know to set up and execute successful morning circles with a focus on the neurodivergent or disabled child. You can use the ideas with one child or along with siblings, friends, or group/classmates. No matter how many children, or their ages (yes, older kids can participate and benefit too!) you can make morning circles work for you.
Typical morning circle routines might not work for a neurodivergent or disabled child without some modifications.
Why typical morning circles might be a challenge for neurodivergent and disabled children:
- Waiting for/among siblings or a group is sometimes difficult for a child who is learning turn-taking.
- A child with a shorter attention span may be easily distracted by other things within and away from the “circle.”
- Typical “circle” time requires a lot of listening making it challenging for some children to stay with it for an extended amount of time.
- Children often need to fidget and move around making sedentary activities difficult.
- Too many activities in a short amount of time may result in frustration for the child.
The strategies shared in this series will eliminate these challenges—and more. On day 2, we look at the benefits of morning circle in the homeschool setting.
Do you hold morning circles? What is your greatest challenge with respect to the neurodivergent or disabled child?