I am not a morning person. It’s not that I am asleep in the mornings because I am not. I actually do not sleep well at all. I do however love the peace and quiet of my comfy warm bed in the morning. As soon as I break that horizontal plane and cross out into the hall, the noise and chaos begin.
We have a rule in our house that children are not allowed to leave their room until eight o’clock, and they must have their rooms clean and beds made at this time. I started this rule because my son would be up at the break of dawn and would inevitably make a mess or find himself in some sort of trouble.
At eight o'clock, we would all get rolling for the day, all three children sitting down to school at 9 a.m. Do you know what I found? This didn’t work very well for us. Here are a few reasons why.
1. My son is active and noisy and prefers to homeschool alone in the early morning.
He can’t sit still or not make extraneous noises for more than a few seconds at a time. Therefore he is very disruptive to the rest of us. Allowing him to get up early and do his schoolwork before anyone else benefits both him and his sisters.
I have found that he has better focus when he is by himself and therefore takes less time to get through his work. Plus when he gets done early, that means less time with him in the homeschool room, disrupting the rest of us.
2. My teenager wants privacy.
Like most teens, she wants to do her own thing, play her own music, have her own space, and not be near the younger ones all day long. Therefore when she is home she does her schoolwork on a laptop in her room. She has chosen to take college classes in the morning to get herself up and out, and then study at home in the afternoon.
3. My daughter is a late riser.
My youngest daughter will stay in her room until 10 a.m. or later on days we don’t have to be somewhere. She is also more of an unschooler than the other two. She will get off on a tangent and just run with it. She is also very high energy. You can often find her galloping back and forth through the main floor of the house and jumping over imaginary horse jumps.
What Our Homeschool Day Often Looks Like
7:00 a.m. Oldest teenager and Dad leave for work and college
7:30 a.m. Boy teen gets up to do school work while the house is still quiet
8:30 a.m. Mom rolls out of bed to shower, breakfast, and get started on her work for the day
10:00 a.m. Little one gets up and starts her day, usually by playing with the dogs and having breakfast.
Noon lunch all together
1:00 p.m. Oldest teen heads upstairs to get her college homework done and work on her homeschool work as well. By this time Boy teen is done and is free to play video games and the little one finally sits down to get her school work done.
3:00 p.m. Oldest teen is off to gymnastics to practice and work for the evening. Boy teen is preparing to eat dinner and go to swimming. Little one is still working on school work and probably will until around 6 p.m. when she, Dad, and Mom will eat dinner together.
So I say all of this to tell you that first you don’t have to homeschool in the morning, and second you don’t have to do it all together. Each of us are different and have found that different things work best for us. I can tell you that allowing my son to be the early riser he is, and letting my little one sleep in, has relieved a lot of stress in our days. Everyone is happier and more productive because of it.
About the Author
Heidi Ciravola has been married to her husband for over seventeen years. Together they have three children with whom they began their homeschooling journey with in 2006 when their oldest was beginning second grade. Heidi is a mother, taxi service, and homeschool parent by day and an avid reader and homeschool blogger whenever there is time left over. You can visit Heidi at her blog Starts at Eight where she blogs about homeschool products and unit studies, homeschool organization and general tips, and homeschooling high school, as well as many book reviews, lists, and unit studies.