Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rise and Shine?

During our Christmas break, David (age 14) and I were discussing our imminent return to a more structured schedule. He complained about the time I wanted him to be out of bed, telling me it was too early.

"None of my homeschooled friends have to get up THAT early, Mom!"

The time in question is 8:00 AM. My goal is for the kids to get ready between 8 and 9 and then have some scheduled quiet devotional time between 9-9:30. (Not necessarily 30 minutes of it, but sometime in there.) It also gives us a little cushion of extra time. We start our lessons at 9:30.

I posted on my facebook account, asking for other homeschoolers to let me know what times their teens arise from their deep slumbers.

What I hoped for was some reassurance that there are other homeschoolers out there who like to stick to some semblence of a schedule.

What I got was a number of traditionally-schooled kids (or their parents) reporting what ungodly hours those kids have to get up to be ready before their school buses arrive. An oft-quoted time was 5:00 AM. FIVE O'CLOCK AM? That's really not a time I like to think about being awake. If David went to the local junior high school, he'd be tardy at 7:15. So, yes, if you have a long bus ride and if you have an intensive grooming routine, you might need to get up at 5:00.

Most of the homeschoolers that responded were not helpful to my position. They were saying things like, "it wouldn't help for me to tell you our routine" or "We live on a farm, but we definitely don't follow a farm schedule." I assume this means they don't make their teens get up early, or perhaps they don't have a schedule at all. That make work for those families, but I am not satisfied with that approach in our home.

So, I brought it up last weekend when I was scrapbooking. Most (all?) of the other ladies are homeschoolers and many of them have teens. I didn't get a lot of support there either. Studies were quoted. "Teens need their sleep." "Teens need to stay up late." "Teens grow best when they can sleep all they want."

OK, but what about the family? How do we have any routine at all when one member of the family sleeps in until 10 or 10:30 (or later) EVERY DAY? How do the other kids go to bed when one kid stays up until 1:00 AM? And this kid shares a bedroom with a sibling? How do we accomplish family Scripture and prayer time to start our day when one of our family members isn't yet awake?

My position is that it's better to teach them to go to bed at a decent hour and arise at a time that allows them enough sleep, but still keeps the family on a productive routine. Someday when my children have to be to work on time, I am hoping this training will show its fruit. I was encouraged in this approach by a couple good friends.

My goal for my teen? Bedtime is 10pm. He can listen to audio until 11pm. Then it's supposed to be time for sleep. That gives him 9 hours until the appointed time for rising and shining. I think that's a workable schedule, allowing for staying up later than younger siblings, for enough time asleep, and for a family routine that works like, well, clockwork!

So, what about your family? What frustrations do you face with bedtimes and waking up? What approach works best for you? Have you tried anything else?

EDITED TO ADD - I aim to get up at 7:30 to do my own devotions and work out. I don't always make it, but that's the goal. I am trying a year-long plan to reset my body clock and turn myself into a morning person. It's gotta be possible, right? I figure it's at least worth a try. (That's another post in itself, really - my reasons, motivations, and thought process.) So, anyway it isn't like I am asking my kids to do something I'm not doing either.

Also, read the comments for some other comments and my responses.


Anonymous said...

how can u run a tight ship when you are in bed so late yourself??

David has 4 years of school left and I would let him sleep in. He can do devotions later.
Seriously, teenagers are moody enough without being sleep deprived- Janet

Diosa Domestica De La Locura said...

I honestly like to try between 8 and 9 just like you, with a start between 930 and 10. Some days I'm dragging, some days they are (insomnia and not them lol). One way or the other, we are usually done between 2 and 3 p.m.

Sure, teens are moody and need sleep, but they need to learn that sleeping until noon and staying up to 1 or 2 a.m. has repercussions (sp). In four years, he will be going to college and work, and they don't accept "Mommy never made me get up" as an excuse for lateness. Stephanie will be going to public school next year, so her days of getting to sleep later then her school bound friends are coming to an end.

Stay your course, tell you son yes, kids get up this early and go for it!

Diosa Domestica De La Locura said...

Oh, bed times lol.

Sierra and Savannah are in bed by 930 with lights out at 10 (late, I know). Stephanie is in bed by 10, but can read until 11.

So there :).

Holly said...

Lisa you are right on he needs to go to bed and rise at a decent hour. I really can't believe that so many would just let him sleep when he wants... I know we haven't hit the teen years yet Riley is 11 and he goes to bed at 8 (with 3 siblings all in the same room) he is up early usually between 6-6:30... but I expect that he'll continue to be up at a decent even when he's a teen :)

Now what I was coming here to tell you is that I made that ski mask out of fleece there's a great pattren here it only took about 15 minutes to cut it out AND sew it... super easy, but let me know if you need any help!

Lisa said...

I am not in bed late myself as a rule. The time I've set for myself is
7:30. You may be thinking about when I was working second shift when
of course I couldn't get up early since I didn't get home until 1.

Denise said...

When we were in younger years of homeschooling, we had to eat breakfast with the family at 7:30am every day, then I think we had to be ready for our lessons at 8am? 8:30? Not really sure if that's right.

However, in high school years, I actually don't think there was too much of a set schedule. Was there, Mom? (if you read this??) By that time (when we were 14), Debbie & I were both working part time at the office (she in the morning and myself in the afternoon - about 1pm-5pm and full time every summer) so our lives were busy with our Huskies, work, school, and friends. We never had a problem with staying up too late or sleeping in too late because then we couldn't fit in what we needed to do. At the time, I appreciated the freedom I had to "set my own schedule" and I think that helped prepare me for the real world, too, knowing the objectives I had and figuring out how best to accomplish them, keeping in perspective the other responsibilities I had.

Is he bored? I don't remember being bored at all when I was 14...

That's my perspective from my homeschooled high school years...

Lisa said...

No, he's not bored. He has lots that keeps him busy, although I'd prefer him to find something that engaged his large motor skills (and energy!).

Remember, though, you and Debbie are the youngest. No littles coming after you, following in your footsteps. I have 3 younger children that look at E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G David does.

Denise said...

Yes, being the youngest definitely influenced our flexibility. David has a lot to live up to, he's got a lot of little ones (cousins included) looking up to him! So, yes, I suppose he's the test subject in setting the teenage schedule, huh?

Troy mentions now and then that it was so frustrating to him as a teenager how he fought for freedoms for himself (he was the firstborn) that his 3 younger sisters never took advantage of them! Sheesh - he thought that if he put so much energy into that, that they should have stayed out late, too, or lived it up more!! Things like a later curfew, or riding his bike across the street, etc...). Maybe David is going to fight ya on this but the other kids won't even have a bedtime/morning time issue?? But I can understand that he's setting a precadent (sp? I'm too lazy)...

Anonymous said...

I never said " let him sleep as late as he wants or sleep until noon". how do people get those comments out of a statement? that drives me crazy-
If he is expected to be up early and function than he HAS to go to bed and be asleep before midnight. I work 12 hr shifts. In bed with lights out at 10pm and often earlier to be out of bed at 5am-Janet