# A Guide to Calendar Time

A Guide to Calendar Time

Dana Hanley

Shakespir Edition

Thank you for downloading A Guide to Calendar Time. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at [email protected] or visit me at my blog at Roscommon Acres where I write about our homeschooling life on our little hobby farm in the country.

## Setting Up Your Calendar Center

A calendar center is an excellent way to emphasize basic math, science and literacy concepts on a daily basis. In this e-book, I will discuss how I put my calendar center together, the importance of each component and some ways you might modify it. The printables I made for our calendar center are at the end, and I will provide links to other resources I used. The best part is that everything is totally free! Until you get to the laminating part, but that’s another story.

First, the Big Picture. What concepts will you practice with a daily calendar routine?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Counting

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p<>{color:#000;}. Skip Counting

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p<>{color:#000;}. Prime Numbers

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Base Ten System

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p<>{color:#000;}. Sequencing

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p<>{color:#000;}. Patterns

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p<>{color:#000;}. Shapes

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p<>{color:#000;}. Measuring

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p<>{color:#000;}. Recording Data

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p<>{color:#000;}. Interpreting Data

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p<>{color:#000;}. Graphing

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p<>{color:#000;}. Counting Money

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p<>{color:#000;}. How to Write a Date

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p<>{color:#000;}. Capitalization Rules

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p<>{color:#000;}. Basic Punctuation

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p<>{color:#000;}. Anything Else You Want to Include!

It really is flexible. I include a letter of the alphabet, a geography flash card and learning our address in ours. As these are learned, I will change them out for other concepts we need to practice. You can take anything from any subject and slip it in. Just make sure to keep the overall time relatively short and the activities engaging so your children have things to do. When I used to teach in the public schools, calendar time took about thirty minutes. It goes much faster when I’m just teaching my children and it didn’t take long for them to be able to advance the calendar on their own with minimal help from me.

The calendar center we will be setting up has three main components: The calendar (obviously!), the weather station and the literacy component. How you arrange these on your wall are totally up to you, but it is helpful to keep everything together and where your children can see it throughout the day and use the interactive parts to practice their skills.

As I go through each component, you will notice links. These lead to websites where you can download the components I am writing about. Everything was available for free at the time of writing, though you may have to scroll to find the specific link. You probably already have a lot of the supplies and most of those you don’t are readily available at the copy shop you’ll be dropping off your laminating job at or at any office supply store you prefer.

### The Calendar

The calendar is, of course, the center of the calendar routine. If you have an extra calendar, you can hang that up and simply write your patterns in the dates. I use a dateless calendar template that I laminate and change for each new month. As you begin, demonstrate how the calendar’s grid works to quickly show you what day of the week it is and put a special marker on the date to mark the first day of school.

*In Germany, school children actually celebrate the first day of school, not the last. Especially the first day of kindergarten is a very big deal. Parents put together a school cone filled with goodies, such as school supplies, toys and candy. They then accompany their children to school and take part in the first day of school ceremonies. My kindergartner is already getting excited about his first official day of school because I showed him everything in my amazon shopping cart and told him he won’t be allowed to open it until the first day of school. We also track orders if tracking numbers are provided and try to make the day festive with treats and special activities.

Then you add the first sequence of your pattern. After the pattern has repeated at least once, you will start having your child add to the pattern each day and eventually you may even have him or her be responsible for making up their own pattern for you to figure out. But since it is the first day of your calendar routine, I recommend keeping it super simple.

I’ve seen people do the pattern many different ways and you have to decide for yourself what works for you. I’ve seen people hang a colored paperclip each day for a simple color pattern that works well in a small space. A lot of people use shapes in order to get in some more practice with basic shapes (or even more complex ones). I like to keep it simple with three letters: A, B and C. Why these letters in particular? Later on, in mathematics (and in poetry) patterns are named based on letters. You have the basic AB pattern (the one I start off every year with), ABBA, AABB, ABC and any other combination you can think of. You can get more complicated with more letters or by adding on different colors of the same letters, but it isn’t really necessary. This provides a solid foundation in recognizing and repeating patterns and when your math program introduces the patterns by their letter “names,” your child will already be a step ahead. Plus, it is simple to just write the next letter on the calendar each day.

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