Written by contributor Kris of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
A note from Jamie: This post originally published on November 18, 2011. Enjoy!
You know those homeschooling families that get up before the sun, do their morning chores, have a big hearty breakfast, and start school by 8:00?
Yeah, we’re not one of those.
Not that there is anything wrong with being one of those families. To be honest, I can see many benefits in being early risers and many days I wish we were. However, we just aren’t.
We’re a family full of night owls who aren’t especially friendly before at least 10:00. We start slowly in the mornings, we don’t like to eat for the first couple of hours that we’re up (well, except me — I’ve learned to eat early since I’ve started running), and we need some time to warm up before anyone can expect more than grunts that pass for conversation from most of us.
That’s why part of making school simple for us means that we don’t start school at 8 AM. Or 9 AM. Or even 10 AM. On a good day, we start by 11 AM.
I used to stress over our late-starting tendencies. I used to try to get everyone up and get school started by a time that is more socially acceptable in both homeschooling and public schooling circles. Those attempts resulted in a stressed-out, grumpy mom and sleepy, irritable kids.
So, I quit forcing a routine that didn’t suit our family.
We are night owls. Period. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can work by the schedule that best fits our family. We do our best work in the afternoon, so why fight that? I once asked my husband about our schedule and he actually prefers the days when we aren’t quite finished with school when he gets home. It allows him time to unwind before the kids are demanding his attention.
So, I usually get the kids up sometime between 10:00 and 10:30, after I’ve had my quiet time and my morning run. We do some basic household chores, have our Bible lesson, and do some light schoolwork before stopping for lunch around noon when they’re typically ready to eat. Then, in the afternoon, we tackle the bulk of our schoolwork.
Do I worry that my kids won’t be able to handle a more typical schedule when they get older and have jobs? No. I worked a traditional first shift job before I became a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t like getting up early, but I adapted and so will they. They may not even have to adapt. After all, somebody has to work those second and third shift jobs.
Does it get hectic sometimes? Occasionally, when we have commitments in the early afternoon and evening. Usually, though, we just adjust our schedule when we have to. We’re homeschoolers; we’re flexible. We may not like it, but we are capable of getting an early start.
For the most part, though, I have come to terms with the fact that our homeschool may not look like other families’ homeschools – at least, not between the hours of 8 and 11 AM – but that’s okay. It’s not supposed to because it’s our homeschool based on our family’s needs.
That means it looks just the way it’s supposed to look – for us.
What time does your family usually start school?