This is a post out of the 31 Days of Morning Circles. You can find the main page for this series here.
I believe that the basics in life aren’t academically-related. Everything a child needs to learn about anything is based on essential life skills. Through life skills, a child will learn to learn and achieve to the best of their potential.
Morning circles are successful in a school or therapeutic setting because they introduce children to the basics of life: human connections, a sense of belonging, and inner peace. The same is true in the home setting, which is why many homeschoolers begin their day with morning circles. Homeschoolers have an advantage over schools because the group ratio is smaller, thereby increasing the likelihood of success.
Benefits of the morning circle
- Welcoming and celebrating a new day can create a positive start for all members
- We tend to be most energetic and focused after a good night’s rest, thereby increasing the likelihood of meaningful learning
- Creates a climate of peace
- Encourages eye contact
- Provides grounding for a child who has difficulty with their body in space
- Empowers children to solve problems and make decisions in an intimate setting
- Rituals are formed
- Children learn familiar rhythms and routines that become internalized
- Children anticipate what comes next
- Not grade-specific—children of multi-ages can be a part of the circle with much success
- Adjusting activities to the children’s developmental level is rather straightforward
- Short bites of activities for a maximum amount of learning
- The success rate for concept/ skill development is high
- Children can develop skills like taking turns, waiting, and calming down through explicit teaching of strategies—and in a way that works best for each child
- All subjects can be incorporated into the morning circle
- Promotes inner motivation, self-worth and self-respect
- Children practice communication skills
- Children learn to control their environment in a safe setting—not as passive members waiting for adults to direct their next move
This list only touches the surface.
When I was a classroom teacher, I facilitated a morning circle in kindergarten, but I also worked it into grade 5/6. This is why I am excited when I gather with my son in the morning. There aren’t any limitations and the benefits are endless!
Do you already start your day with morning circles? What benefits have you seen with respect to the neurodivergent or disabled child?