So over the summer, we have been having a semi-regular tea time, usually mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon. After a hard day of play outside, they usually need a snack so we gather together with a snack and I read-aloud from various books for 10-15 minutes.

Tea Time - A Circle Time Variation

Tea Time Reading

We read from a large stack that contains the following items:

  • Saint stories (to be read aloud by 7 year old)
  • Bible stories
  • Religious catechesis
  • Devotional
  • Saint picture book selections
  • Literature selections
  • Poetry selections
  • Shakespeare
  • And probably a few things I’m forgetting :).

When the school year comes, we will also add in memorization–bible & poetry–as well as art appreciation, character development, and maybe even a hymn.  You can see the various items in our book basket over the different seasons here.

Make a Loop

Obviously, we don’t get these all read in one day. I recently watched a video about loop scheduling.. I’ll be darned if that wasn’t what I was doing on the fly.

Your Morning Basket Ad

In a loop, you set a pattern of reading topics/subjects/etc. and you get through however many you get through during your time. While we have 7+ items in our tea time book basket, we only get to 3-5 items at a time. But we make regular progress in all the areas that I never seem to get to otherwise. You can watch the video on loop scheduling at Amongst Lovely Things.

I’ve found that setting up this reading during a tea time has been a fabulous way to reconnect with each other during the day in summer. For the school year, it is fabulous tool for getting to all those subjects Charlotte Mason would have you do. I stared at those for years wondering how on earth I would fit them in without forgetting. This is how.

You could call it circle time. Mystie @ Simply Convivial calls it the morning convocation. I like tea. It’s the kids favorite time of day. It’s mine, too!

Do you do a morning circle time or family gathering? What do you do during yours?

Jen S.

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