Our mornings go a lot like this:
- I wake up about the same time as the children. We have coffee and breakfast.
- We do a few chores, and I do some work
- Suddenly, it’s lunchtime.
- After lunch, my youngest goes down for a nap, and we get down to the business of school.
Although some families swear by starting your homeschool day early, morning school is impractical for our family. I'm here to tell you that homeschooling is okay at any time of day!
I grew up in the homeschool world, and in those days, homeschooling moms spent a lot of time trying to copy each other or the homeschool celebrity they heard at a conference that year.
My mom spent hours creating schedules that we ultimately never used because they were not right for us. She often felt guilty for not following someone else's schedule rather than feeling awesome about what she was able to accomplish (a lot).
For our family, afternoon homeschooling works best. We would not do well on a homeschool schedule that starts at 8 a.m. or even at 9 a.m.
My children and I are not morning people. The thought of getting up and immediately taxing our brains with school sounds exhausting. Morning school would cause needless frustration and tears in our home. Why should I adhere to the schedule of traditional school if I don't have to?
In the mornings, Bo (age 3) is up early, and she is such a busy little bee that it is nearly impossible to focus on school while she is awake. Monkey (age 9) likes following a schedule she puts together includes starting school at 1 p.m.
The Benefits of Afternoon Homeschool
Homeschooling is just what it says—HOME schooling. Your homeschool should reflect the needs of your home. It doesn't matter if you start school at 8 a.m. or even 8 p.m. if that is what works best for your family.
There are hundreds of reasons I can think of that make afternoon school ideal:
- Extracurricular activities or doctor's appointments in the morning
- Kids or mom are not morning people
- Dad goes into work late
- Baby naps in the afternoon
- Not feeling rushed in the morning
- Health challenges
- Grandparents or extended visitors in the home
The Challenge of Afternoon School
The only drawback with afternoon schooling is that you cannot skip it. If you procrastinate, it could easily get to be evening without any lessons having been completed. While this is okay occasionally or in short bursts, this could get you off track if it happens long-term. Even if you start school in the afternoon, it still requires discipline to sit down and teach the lessons each day.
We have defeated this challenge by creating a semi-structured afternoon schedule that helps keep us on track for school.
Learning Can Happen Any Time
Homeschooling is an amazing journey that provides flexibility and tailored learning in an environment unlike any other. Many top private schools work hard to create a home-like environment for their students that is precisely what we have in homeschooling. Your school does not, and should not, look like everyone else's.
You chose to homeschool because it is best for your family. And if starting school in the afternoon is best for your family, then by all means skip morning school. We can enjoy our morning coffee guilt-free together!
About the Author
Brenda is a professional writer and homeschooling mother to two girls in Dallas, TX, with a passion for books, DIY, and creative education. Her blog, Schooling a Monkey, is all about homeschooling, crafts, green living, and fun.