Day 1: Introduction to Morning Circles & Challenges for the Child with Special Needs

Day 1- Introduction to Morning Circles & Challenges for the Child with Special NeedsWelcome to the first day of the “31 Days of Morning Circle Activities for the Child with Special Needs”. You can find the main page for this series here.

Morning circles in the home setting stems 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 various concepts/ skills.

Morning circles have many names:

  • Circle Time
  • Morning Meeting
  • Morning Gathering
  • Morning Connection
  • etc.

No matter the name you give it, it’s a short assembly that happens at the beginning of a family’s 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 child heads off to school, or perhaps, on the weekend only.

This series will take you through everything you need to know to set-up and execute successful morning circles with a focus on the child with special needs. You can use the ideas with one child or along with siblings. No matter how many children you have, or what their ages (yes, older kids can participate and benefit too!) you can make morning circles work for you.

Typical morning circle routines won’t work for a child with special needs unless there are some adaptations made.

Here are some of the reasons why:

Why morning circles might be a challenge for a child with special needs:

  • Waiting for/ among siblings is sometimes difficult for a child who does not understand turn-taking.
  • A child with a short attention span is easily distracted by other things within and away from the “circle”.
  • Typical “circle” time requires a lot of listening making it challenging for a child with auditory processing disorder 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 results in frustration for the child.
  • Behavioral outbursts might ensue because of the above.

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 do hold morning circles in your homeschool? In the after-school hours? What is your greatest challenge with respect to your child with special needs?

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