There are many reasons I am grateful that we homeschool. One of which, is the flexibility of time and sleep.
Do you remember your mom telling you something like “You just wait until you have kids, it’ll come back to you.”
Lord, that is true on SO MANY levels!
I should have known, not being a morning person myself, that at least one of my children would be a night owl just as myself. Little did I know when I set out to homeschool, how much of a gift of flexibility this would give us. Or, just how much it would benefit my pre-teens’ life.
Gradually, over the past two years, my little girl (who is almost 12!) has started to stay up later and later. Not goofing off, not watching endless amounts of TV, but reading.
Favorite books, some over and over, venturing into new books, sometimes first reading to her little brother. It has actually become (what they think is) a secret time for both of them to enjoy unwinding together. What a great memory they are creating. And, I hope, a love for reading that will last forever!
Even though the beginning of bed time is at 9, she’ll often stay up until 11, or later(!), reading. How great is that (the reading part, that is)?
Even when she doesn’t stay up too terribly late, this changing body of hers has just needed more sleep. I remember experiencing that, and the dread of getting up to catch the bus in the morning.
When this first started happening, I pushed back a little – wanting her to get up at a more reasonable time.
But what is “reasonable”? Constantly in this homeschooling journey, I’m reminded of the flexibility that we have, that our school doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s. Our school doesn’t have to be a re-creation of anything I experienced in my childhood, and what a gift that can be.
But, before I remember that, my type-A personality wants routine, everything in it’s spot, the round peg in the round hole.
We have the benefit of being able to give the gift of flexibility to her, of more sleep, more time to grow and replenish. Thankfully, I eventually remember that, and start letting her get up later, and later. Now, her time to get up is 9:30, but it’s flexible.
There’s a flip side to this also.
My DS naturally rises early on his own, man he’s an early bird. How did that happen?
He gets a little more mom time, a head start on his chores, gets a little quiet time to himself, and occasionally uses that time to zoom ahead with his daily lessons. And when big sister wakes up, they can easily slip into their combined studies.
This has been working out really well. They still get done with their school early in the afternoon, and sometimes even before lunch if they really concentrate on not goofing off. But, that’s so hard to do all the time ;).
So, if you find yourself stuck in the mind-set that all your kids must get up at X o’clock, or they must all start school at the same time, take a step back and assess how a little more relaxed approach may benefit all of you.
You are the head gardener of this homeschool nursery after all – and your succulents store energy and knowledge different from any others. So give them the individually tailored life that you are blessed with the ability to give. And give yourself Grace to make those changes happen.