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I hear-by absolve you from pleasing anyone but your family with your schedule. Your school does not have to satisfy anyone but your family. Do you know how many years it took to fully embrace that statement. I am a rule following conformist, or at least I was when I started this journey 20 years ago. Somewhere I snapped. I was tired and stretched and pleasing everyone but us. The moment I stepped back and took a look at our life with the purpose of finding a schedule that fit us without any guilt was the game changer. It can be for you to.
We are restaurant people. For a great part of the last 20 years the only way my kids saw their daddy was in the late evening hours. In those early years I would pack up four or five little babies, usually on slow, snowy, winter nights and to go to the restaurant at every normal kid’s bedtime, so we could see Dad. We had our family meal times around closing hours. If I lived to make the people around us more comfortable with our schedule we would have missed out on Dad, and that was non negotiable. We had to feel for our own pulse during those years. We listened and we learned to live by it.
In more recent years we have let the bigger kids stay up till 11:30 at night so we could watch a movie and hang out with Daddy. No matter when the kids went to sleep, I always stayed up extra late so I could spend time with my husband. You already know how I feel about sleep, so you might have guessed that the one thing that never fit us well was an early wake up call.
Can I confess? I still don’t get the kids up early.
I’ve made peace with our schedule, but for a lot of years I felt all of the “shoulds” when I compared myself against other families. What are your nagging “shoulds”?
I should get up at the same time as public school
If I really am “doing” school then we should spend 8 hours working every day
We should sit at desks
The truth is after 12 years, we do what fit us and makes us the most efficient we can be. I know the rhythm of our house and have allowed our schedule to serve us. I know myself and have learned to care for myself as well. My morning time is sacred. With 10 kids under 16, mornings are the only period of extended quiet times I get to write during the week. I guard that time. If that means I let the kids stay up later because they sleep till 8, than so be it. Only you know what you need to have a great day.
I’m still tempted to feel guilty when people jokingly say my kids are lazy. Fighting the need to explain why I choose to let them sleep is hard. There is no reason I need to justify our schedule, when I am confident in my reasons for my choices I don’t feel the need to conform or explain. I have peace where I once had guilt. They sleep and play until I am done with my morning writing.
There were years I was not so confident. I tried to change our schedule in the past but for all my efforts, I just end up super cranky. So when you make your choices, trust yourself and give your self more grace than others do. Being different makes people question themselves. Being different makes you self assess and evaluate more often than most folks, but none of those things are a negative. In face we we properly evaluate our lives and schedules and change according to what we find, we can be full of assurance and confidence with our choices.
What adaptations to your school day have you made to make your schedule serve you?
More posts about incorporating Dad in your homeschool Day here