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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Sooooo. To continue with improvements we’re trying to make around here let’s talk about item number two: the schedule. Up until 2 weeks ago the general plan was to wake up when we wake up in the morning, then roll with school after breakfast. The burden was on me to get the boys to get started working, and then to urge them to continue all day. This? Was not fun.

I believe that children should be allowed to sleep as long as their bodies need to sleep. Hubby is pretty firm about bedtime every night, so if the boys need to sleep longer before we get working, I try to let them. We started seeing more chatter after bedtime, with boys awake much later. That translated into sleeping later in the morning. See above paragraph about me shepherding people through their responsibilities every day.

Love and Logic says that the child should be the one responsible for their mistakes. A child in public school pays a price if they stay up too late; it was difficult to get that same result at home. And let’s face it, I like to be up late and sleep in myself.

I’ve tried all sorts of schedules and lists in the past and they all eventually fell apart. Yes, I probably had a lot to do with that. The stakes are higher now. So, a schedule was made. I wrote up the younger boys’ plan, then handed it to the older ones so they could make up their own. We now have a strictish starting time every morning, and planned break and playtimes. It doesn’t matter what we’re working on, the clock rules. So if we get to recess and they’re in the middle of something, they’re still allowed to rush outside and enjoy the weather.

Also, we quit at 1:30 every day. Even if they haven’t gotten all their work done, that’s the end of school. I explained that this means they’ll most likely work into the summer, but those summer days will be like the ones we’re having now: relaxed. The boys assure me they’re fine with this plan.

I like this plan. The boys seem to like this plan. The next few months will definitely test whether it was wise or not. Up until now I’ve been working like crazy to keep the boys moving through their schoolwork so as to be done when all their friends are done for the summer. The problem with that is the public schools measure their year based on how many minutes children are in school. I measure the year based on the children completing the work assigned for each subject. There’s no way to compete with the public school’s plan. If they get to the end of their minutes without finishing a book, the year ends anyway.

I think the new schedule balances that out a bit. We’ll see what it feels like in June.

Earnest Parenting: advice for homeschooling parents.