I am not a naturally structured and organized person. I tend to fight routines… but the fact is, I need structure and I need routines.
I have been homeschooling my kids now for 5 years and I have tried various ways to get our school work done. I still have not found a routine that works for us and I think I am starting to realize why.
One of the “benefits” of homeschooling is that you don’t have to stick to the typical school schedule. I especially appreciate this benefit considering that when my son was 5 years old, I would have to drag him out of bed every school day at 6:30 am so he had time to wake up, adjust to being woken up, eat, get dressed, and catch the bus by 7:20 for a 40 minute bus ride to a school that is only a 4 minute drive away. (Yes, I could have driven him, but let’s just say that getting in and out of his school’s tiny drop-off lot was a bad situation.)
Since we started homeschooling, I’ve made many schedules that said we would start school by 8 or 9 am everyday. Reality: it has been an extremely rare occasion that we have. I usually let them sleep until they want, and then I make breakfast and we start by 10:30 or 11am. I’ve justified this for years internally because my kids just aren’t what you’d call “morning people”.
The other day, an acquaintance was telling me that her home-schooled daughter sleeps all morning and they usually start school around noon. When I heard it coming out of someone else’s mouth, I really had an issue with that, especially when she said that it was because it was just impossible for her daughter to do school in the morning.
Anytime anyone says the word “impossible”, the analyzing part of my brain goes to work. I started wondering how she expected her daughter to someday function in the real world, where a boss may require her to be at work at a morning hour. Sure there are plenty of jobs that you can start later in the day, but let’s get real. What is really going on here? Is it really impossible for kids that are not “morning people” to adjust to a schedule where they are required to be awake in the morning?
I decided this year, things were going to change. I decided that after I got home and showered from my gym routine, I would wake the kids at 7:30 so they would have time to get up and have breakfast and be ready to start school.
Well, here we are, near the end of our second week of school, and though we have been pretty routined about getting the kids to bed early on school nights, I have yet to start school earlier than 9:30 am.
I was talking to another friend about this on the phone this morning and trying to figure out why this is such a task… especially because we know that if our kids were in traditional school, there would no option but to have our kids up and ready to catch the bus to be at school on time.
The truth became clear as we talked and I realized the real reason this 7:30 am wake up call is not happening….. I ENJOY MY QUIET TIME IN THE MORNING!!!! (Ta da!!! Ding ding ding… we have a winner!!)
Yes, there it is! I love that time where everyone in the house is either gone or still asleep. I am too tired to do anything super useful, but it’s my time to just chill and do whatever it is I can’t do when everyone is up and demanding my time and attention.
Well, today after our conversation, I decided that I’m still determined to start school at a set time and I am still going to go for the 7:30 am wake up call, starting next Monday. I think that quiet time for myself is very important, but I also know that personally, if I get those tasks that require more work out of the way … (e.g excercise, homeschooling, paying bills, etc) I will have more time later in the day to do more things I actually want to do and probably more brain power to do it than I do in the morning.
For the record, I don’t fault or judge anyone else’s decisions regarding how they set their schedules. This is just me talking out loud about what I think will (hopefully) work best for my family.
We shall see!