Monday, February 20, 2012

Why I Love Homeschooling- sleeping past 9:30

Yesterday an unschooling friend of mine from college posted this picture on facebook:


The first thing I thought, and said, was "9:30 would be an early day for my Lizzy.  Honest."

It's true, too.  The child is almost 10 years old and needs a minimum of 10 hours a sleep per night.  Preferably 12.  And I don't have a problem with that.

Nope, I don't believe that every adult needs 8 hours of sleep and I don't believe that every adult can function on only 8 hours of sleep.  If that's true of adults, how much more true is it of children?  When they're growing, when they're learning, they need even more.  Shouldn't that mean that during the school year they get more sleep than during vacations?

It should.  But it often doesn't.

Last year my girls got on the bus at 8:15 a.m., which means I got them up at 7:30.  So let's see, if Lizzy was especially tired and needed to get 12 hours of sleep, that would put her going to bed at....

7:30 p.m.????

Yes.  7:30.  Which means dinner, homework, showers and a precious tiny bit of play time, not to mention any meetings or activities she might be participating in, would have to occur in just 3 hours between the time she got off the bus and the time she was climbing into pajamas.

Now I've never claimed to be very good at math, but to me that seems to be, well, impossible.  Or at least unlikely and stressful.

So it never happened.  And she was always tired.

If you are a diva need a lot of sleep, or you know a diva a person who needs a lot of sleep, you already know what happens when those kinds of people are awakened from their bear-like slumber.  Other humans beware!

And don't get me started on the attitude and the back-talking.  Seriously.  I might break out into hives.  Hives are not cute.  NOT CUTE, I say.

Really, I thought her attitude must be coming from some girl (or girls) at school.  "Does so-and-so talk like that?"  "Why are you acting like you're auditioning for the mean-girl role on a new Disney channel show?" and so on.

But no.  As it turns out, the poor thing was just sleep deprived.  My baby was being deprived of sleep, essential to her health and well-being, her ability to learn and enjoy herself while doing it.  So now we let her sleep and she is a JOY again.  My Lizzy is back!  With her quick wit and silly antics, her made-up dances and elaborate project ideas.

She sleeps and they learn and everyone's life is better.

Homeschooling. It'll cure what ails ya.

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23 comments :

  1. I agree. While I think education should be a universal right, I don't think that the current execution of that, in the form of one-size-fits-all conventional school systems is best practice.

    That's not to say that people involved in conventional schooling don't give their best, because I can tell you first hand all the amazing parents, students, and teachers I met while I taught at a public school. What I am saying is that in a perfect, unfallen world, education would take the individuality of each person much more seriously than it's currently able to now.

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    1. I am also a proponent and supporter of public schools. I don't homeschool because I think public schools are bad, but rather that they weren't the best fit for us and I think this model fits us better. Options. People should have options and I'm glad we have them here!

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  2. I can sure tell when my 18-year-old high school senior hasn't had enough sleep. He is, me thinks, the male version of your Lizzy. I think the alternative for public schools may be to start classes just a wee bit later. But then that would cause all sorts of logistics problems for parents.

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    1. It's frustrating for moms to see their kids exhausted, but homeschooling isn't an option for every parent. Sometimes I wish school didn't last for so many hours. Maybe that could solve some of their sleep issues? Teenagers really need so much sleep, and they get less than any other age group these days!

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  3. I'd never considered homeschooling until I started blogging and realized how many people pull it off with total social success. Clearly it's not something I need to consider for a while (not having kids and all), but you intrigue me.

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    1. This is our first year homeschooling, Jen, and it's been so different from what I used to think it would be. Here's the post from when we first made the decision to give it a try: http://www.houseunseen.com/2011/07/big-announcement.html . Every family's reasons are different, and ours have nothing to do with thinking public schools are scary or evil or anything like that. It's been a great adventure so far!

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  4. My most unfavorite part of school growing up was mornings. Mornings were horrible. I will always remember never feeling rested enough (I also need lots of sleep), my mom having to get angry at me to get me out of bed and starting every morning mad at the world, hungry because I had missed breakfast and always, the worst part, always... rushing. Every day, rushing, rushing, rushing. It was horrible. I hated it. I really really hated. This is one of the bigger reasons we home-school. No rushing. Life is going to be over before you know it and there are far too many other opportunities for rushing (like every Sunday morning no matter how far in advance we plan). EVERY SINGLE MORNING shouldn't be one of them. Maybe if schools started at 10am it wouldn't be such a big deal to me, but they don't, so it is.

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    1. Amen! I hated the feeling of them leaving after I had just hounded
      her all morning long. It was sucky.

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    2. Dwija, that's an interesting perspective in favor of homeschooling or at least pushing for later school times that I've never heard before. I'm big on children getting enough sleep and participating in extracurricular activities that allow kids to explore their interests and talents. If both are not achievable through public/private schooling, I would probably be doing a disservice to my children. I loved getting up early and never seemed to have a problem with it, even in high school when I was getting even less sleep but perhaps I wouldn't have been such a grouch when I came home if I had slept more. And perhaps some children should be homeschooled while others need not be until more flexible schooling becomes a reality. Liv, did you find that in your year(s) of homeschool that you felt better than in the days at St. Louis?

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    3. Another homeschooling family at our parish has been taking it "one year at a time" for 10 years now. Her oldest is in high school now and plays competitive hockey and somehow manages to still be pleasant and helpful. She says their pediatrician attributes his health and good attitude to the fact that he gets twice as much sleep as his out-of-home-schooling counterparts. She's actually the one that turned me onto the idea of providing Lizzy with more opportunities for sleep to see if her behavior would improve....and VOILA!

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  5. People have told me my whole life "you will get used to getting up early" I am now 25 and I still HATE getting up early! Every weekend I sleep as last as humanly possible. I also hate going to bed early. I keep telling my mom I'm going to homeschool so we can all sleep in everyday! My homeschool will run from 2pm-10pm hahaha we'll see....

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  6. I homeschool my 12-year-old son. But even when he was in public school, I was always on a rant because kids never got enough sleep. I'd talk to a friend at 10 at night and her kids would still be going strong in the background. We live in a rural area and some of the kids get on the bus at 6:30 in the morning. Really. No wonder they have so much trouble in school! My son still gets up really early just by habit, and he starts work at 8:00, but that's because he likes to be finished early in the afternoon.

    Maybe we could start some sort of movement to get school to start later. Like at noon.

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  7. My kids go to Catholic school, but the bus for public school comes before 7 and brings home kids at 4. My son use to go to bed at 7pm. He only saw his daddy for a little over an hour before bed time. On the plus side, our evenings could be full of trashy tv. : )

    I think about homeschooling all the time, but don't think I have the patience for us and fear I need to much alone time to hack it. I see so many benefits to it though. I so admire families who do it.

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  8. My kids have always been homeschooled; the oldest is 11 going on 12. They're usually still sleeping (or getting dressed) when the school bus comes down our street at around 7 am (or as my husband calls it, Frak o'thirty in the morning). One day they saw the school bus coming back around 3 pm and wondered aloud when the kids on our street got ON the bus, since they never saw it. When I told them, their jaws dropped open. "But...but..that's when people are STILL ASLEEP!" Oh, the poor dears.

    I will say, though, that my second-born wanted to "go to school" when he was around five. At the time he was till incapable, seemingly, of wiping his own bottom after pooping. He had expressed an interest in attending a local Catholic school--he adored the statues outside--and after one particularly irritating call for wiping, I said, "You know, kids only get to go to school if they can wipe their own butts. The teacher there will NOT wipe your butt for you." I left him to ponder that while he got his pants back on.

    Later I heard him saying to his father, "Dad, I think I don't want to go to that school after all." My husband said, "Really? Why is that?" My son said, "Because I'll have to learn to wipe my own butt."

    And here I'd thought I'd found an incentive for him. I did--but it was an incentive to stay homeschooled!

    P.S. I am happy to report that he is seven now and has been wiping his own bottom for nearly two years.

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    1. Oh Karen, I laughed through this entire comment! Most of my kids are up when the elementary bus goes by at 8:15 (Lizzy is our sleepy bear), but middle school is an hour earlier and high school is an hour earlier still! In winter in Michigan, it is still DARK at 6:15 a.m. I'm talking dark-as-night. As if being an adolescent isn't depressing enough...

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    2. Sleep is underrated. I remember when I was a kid, going to the Catholic high school in town (we lived out in the boonies), and I had to get up at 6 am, just to get ready because the bus came so dang early.

      When I was in college I heard another student comment, as I was passing her in the dorm hall: "Sleep is a wonderful thing. It's too bad we can't be awake to enjoy it."

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  9. I love this post! I also love my sleep and don't see the point in getting up before the sun comes out. I just started homeschooling my oldest son (5th grade) and I am so glad that we will miss the ridiculously early middle school bus ride! :-)

    Stopping by from the HHH.

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    1. My oldest is in 5th grade and this is our first year homeschooling as well. I'll have to stop by your blog!

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  10. Sleep is awesome! We love our non-hurried mornings. Right now we have the sickies in our household, and today was sleep day, except for one well kiddo, who did 1/2 of school. Homeschool rocks!!

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  11. I'm totaly like Lizzy, 10-12 hrs of sleep. Sadly, the world isn't made for people that need to sleep more than the average. Being in college, it is a luxury if I get to sleep half the hours I really need and I still can't get done half the stuff I need to. Lizzie is really lucky.

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  12. love your blog name! I admit, we like to sleep in a bit, also. :) I really appreciate it when the kids are sick with asthma, because then we are up all through the night doing breathing treatments. I cannot even imagine trying to do it with them in school, I think they would be absent a lot!

    nice to meet you, visiting from the homeschool hop!

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  13. I think that lack of sleep was one of the biggest obstacles for my oldest and kindergarten. He had to BE AT SCHOOL before 7:30am. Which means that I was waking him up around 6:15am. He is the only one of the boys that is not a naturally early riser. Now that we homeschool he sleeps until around 7 or 7:30. And even if he technically wakes up then, he is the type of kid who needs to really ease into his day. He isn't ready to eat breakfast or get started on schoolwork until after 8. It doesn't seem like 45 minutes of sleep would make that big of a difference in his day, but it absolutely does. And, ummm, he didn't get this whole "not a morning person" from the wind. I might be really appreciating the extra sleep as well. Maybe.

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