A typical day with LOOP consists of:

We begin our day with arrival and sharing space with the group. This is viewed as a grounding and tone-setting for the day. By acknowledging ourselves and the others in the group, we hope that shared experiences are more fruitful throughout the day. This is the opening of the circle.

Within the Opening Circle, we ask a daily Check-in question that is open to everyone to answer. The questions can, and have, been things like, “What color matches your feelings today?” or “If you could be an animal, what would it be?” or “What made you happy yesterday?” The questions are designed to help establish personal presence for the day, while eliciting some brain activity.

Collectively, we then establish a plan for the day. While in the Opening Circle, we discuss the day, date, weather and any other relevant information for the day, and then ask what things each person would like to do, see, feel, or participate in during the day. Everyone, especially the children, are encouraged to share their desires for the day. All answers are listed on the agenda, organized and given activities to help achieve the desired outcome.

Once established, the group goes off to participate in any activities they desire. There is no set schedule; instead, we engage as our bodies desire, and shift to other activities as wanted. The goal is to help meet individual needs, while offering ways for everyone to be challenged and supported.

As the day winds down, we do a daily Check-out question, to give signal to the end of the day and take the temperature of the day. Check-out questions can vary, and include things like, “What are you most looking forward to over the weekend?” or “What are you having for dinner?”

At the end of the day, we Close the Circle by doing a debrief of the day. What went well? What opportunities for improvement are there? Were there any conflicts? How were they resolved? We take note of these, and other, answers as we hope to make each day better than the last. Our Closing Circle ends with our “closing claps,” which elicits plenty of silliness and joy.