21 May 2011

My Very Own Preschool

Circle Time: 15-30 min. daily

Right after we finish breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and mommy finishes laundry and dishes and making all the beds it is CIRCLE TIME.  They LOVE circle time because we sing, read books, count, play games, and have constant interaction!

I've even noticed that now while I'm cleaning up after breakfast the kids hang out in the living room and start singing as they wait for me.

Pretzel Style Song:

We begin CIRCLE TIME with singing, "We are sitting pretzel style, pretzel style, pretzel style we are sitting pretzel style, can you sit like: (then each person says their whole name) Miss Mommy Kristi McInerney, can you sit like, Miss Julia Star McInerney, can you sit like, Mr. Mark Ciro McInerney!  We are sitting pretzel style, pretzel style, pretzel style, we are sitting pretzel style can you sit like us!  We clap our hands on our knees to the beat.

What's the Weather song:

Then each morning we sing, "What's the weather, what's the weather, what's the weather like today?  Is it sunny? Is it cloudy?  Is it rainy out today?  Tell us _____________, Tell us __________, what's the weather like today? Is it sunny? Is it cloudy? Is it rainy out today?

Whoever's turn it is gets to open up the curtains or look out the door and check the weather!  The kids love it when it's THEIR turn, Mark gets the biggest smile when we sing, "Tell us Marky, Tell us Marky, what's the weather like today?"

Date and Weather Report

Then Mommy writes on our board the day, the month and the number, and our weather report (sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc...as the kids get older we will graph this on a chart to keep track)

Review Facts

Then it's time to go over our basic information.  We go over our whole name, our age, our birthday month, our phone number, our address, and the country we live in.  Then we review our Bible verses that we've memorized, and we end with our most recent one Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might! (we have hand motions, too)  I am teaching the kids a new verse every two weeks this summer, it takes Julia 1-2 days to memorize, but marky needs at least 2 weeks, and its always good to review.  Then, Suzette even inspired me to start going over the Presidents of the U.S.  I wasn't sure when to start teaching them geography and history facts, but with their minds being little sponges it never hurts to start now.  So far we've learned some fun facts about George Washington and Barrack O'Bama. And during the Memorial Day holiday and 4th of July holiday we will learn about how our coins have presidents faces on them and more patriotic type facts.

Story Time

Then it's story time, and this is when we get really close, and Mark is known to plop himself right in my lap.  Julia gets a chance to pick a book out of the basket, then Mark gets to, and I choose a few.

I try to change the book basket weekly, because we have so many books and the kids have their favorites of course.  Mark is still a big fan of Brown Bear Brown Bear, and Julia has been picking out some ballet and princess books.

Finger Play Games:

Then we like to do some finger play games like:

Eentsy Weentsy Spider
5 Little Monkeys
Wheels On the Bus
Old McDonald had a farm
Twinkle Twinkle
I'm a little tea pot
Hickory Dickory Dock
Where is Thumbkin

(just to name a few)  We also are known to stand up during book time and do stretches or jumping jacks, or spinning or twirling or simple shaking out our wiggles.

Then we have our Bible Story Hero Time!  We have completed several of our Children's Bible Books so we keep starting new ones, and in this one each Bible Hero is named alphabetically, so far we've learned about Aaorn, Abel, and Abigail, and each Bible hero has a song that goes along with the theme, whether it be a man who obeyed God, A woman who was a peacemaker, etc, and a Bible verse, it gives us a lot to talk about and learn, and I like the CD that goes along with it too.

Circle Time Readiness

*choose your theme or books the week or night before
* have some coloring sheets that match your topic so that after circle time you can do a craft or a follow up activity at a table
*choose activities or games or finger plays so your child does not have to sit still for long periods of time
* allow for choices during circle time, which book should we read now? what song can we song? who would like to write their name on the board?  This makes the kids not only feel special but proud of what they can choose or do.

The older can teach the younger

Julia has memorized lots of books, so now part of her job in circle time is to show them to Marky and to "read" them to him.  I found that they do this all the time outside of "school time" so I incorporated in our school time.  She reads books about colors, shapes, ABC's, numbers etc, so she is practicing herself and teaching Mark at the same time!  It makes her feel very grown up!

Who would have known that the 7 months I taught pre-school before I landed my job at TCS in third grade would truly pay off in leaps and bounds, with a 2 year old and 3 year old, I now have my very own preschool!

Do you have any fun  school activities you do that you can share?
Would you be interested in more of our weekly themed circle time ideas?

If so, comment below and I'll be sure to get back to you! or you can email me at:



  1. I would love more ideas because with us homeschooling our boys, I want Jackie who is 2 to start being involved with "school time". I am going to start getting ready over the summer and keeping the brains going by doing summer work! Thanks for the great ideas and I absolutely love your blog! Love you, Kristi!

    Kathy M

  2. Kristi,
    I LOVE this idea! A couple of questions...how do you pick the bible verses? Any examples? How old is Mark? (Just trying to judge how quickly Charlie can learn--he is 20 mos. and has a pretty good vocabulary).

    Thank you so much for sharing.


  3. Hello Kathy-that is awesome that you will be homeschooling all 3 kids, you are my hero! It's a lot of work but God is our continual strength! Check in on Monday, I'm going to post some more preschool ideas!

    Hi Valerie, darling! I started out by picking verses like Ephesians 6: 1 children obey your parents (when we were working on obedience with Julia) and then Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want (because it was an easy one to memorize and it applied to our Bible stories at the time...then we memorized Luke 2:52 during Christmas time, and John 3: 16 during Easter time and now I follow a particular website with worksheets and hand motions (we just memorized Deut 6:5 love the lord with all your heart, soul, and might)I found (I'm gonna post about it on MOnday!

    Mark turns 2 next Friday...so Charlie can definitely start now! Especially if his vocabulary is so good!


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