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November 12, 2009


My parents gave me this tile for my birthday.  They knew it was perfect for me the minute they saw it.  They know me all too well, although honestly, I’m the only one who has a hard time with mornings in this household.  No matter what time they go to bed, the boys are up at the crack of dawn, which thankfully isn’t quite so early at this time of year.

I thought the time change last week would be the perfect chance to adjust (or really not adjust if you think about it) my sleep schedule and get up an hour earlier in the mornings.  But as it turned out, I was so in need of extra rest that Sunday that I took the hour to sleep and got up at the same time as usual according to the clock.

I’ve never been one to hit the ground running in the morning, but I have noticed that I’m responding to my morning alarm better this week.  I think I’ve used the excuse of being pregnant and dealing with morning sickness as the reason for not getting up earlier for too long now.  I’m actually feeling pretty good in the mornings.  Finally!  I still feel like a beached whale in the middle of the night when I can’t roll over without waking up and attempting to heave myself over, but that’s another story.

Our family home evening this week on responsibilities has really helped our mornings.  The boys have been much better about making their beds right when they get out of them and remembering to put their pajamas away.  I even think they’ve all had their hair combed every day this week.  You’d think we’d have that down by now, but no, the basic morning routine is still not an ingrained habit around here.  I think there is hope though!

I also know that a huge part of the success of our homeschooling is dependent upon what time we get started in the mornings. We’ve added more to our schedule this year and fitting it in before lunch is tough some days.  But the more we can accomplish before noon the better, because we have a hard time settling back down to work in the afternoon and things just seem to take longer.  People always ask me how long it takes to homeschool, and I always say 3 hours a day for official schoolwork is more than plenty for now, not counting independent reading and any longer projects.  So if we start at 9:00, we’re done before lunch.  So how many days do we manage to start at 9:00?  I’m not going to answer that…I feel like I’ve written this same post several times before and here I am back at the same place. 

Our school checklists are still going great though and A at least is getting much better about getting back to work in the afternoon if need be, probably because he can see what needs to be done and more importantly, can see that there is an end in sight.

I remember our first official year of homeschooling him as a 5-year-old.  Our main goal was to do something that could be called “school” every day.  We soon learned that due to several out of the house commitments throughout the week, “school” was never at the same time two days in a row.  We also learned that we work best in the mornings.  So the next year we tried to do school in the morning and schedule everything else we could in the afternoons.  As we’ve added more children and more subjects into our day, the need to have our entire morning free has become even more pronounced, as well as the need to start as early as possible. 

This year we’re down to D’s Kindermusik class at 11:00 a.m. one day a week and it still just drives me nuts.  It was the only time he could take that particular class.  Next year he’ll be in the 4 p.m. class so luckily this is the last year our mornings will be interrupted with that.   Music classes are important to me though, so I can only complain so much.

Now that I’ve said that, a friend of mine has just informed me about a choir for homeschoolers that meets on Friday mornings at 10.  It sounds like a fantastic opportunity and while part of me wants to plunge right in, the other part of me is hesitant because I hate being gone from the house in the morning.  With a baby coming though, this year is not the year to commit to anything new.  I can ponder this some more before next fall and see where we end up. 

Until then, I will continue my endless quest to get up earlier in the mornings, with impeccable timing as we’re heading into the darkest and coldest months of the year!  I just really don’t like getting up when it’s still dark, not to mention cold, but I feel the need to match my rhythms to the rest of the family’s.  Knowing I’ll soon have a nursing baby to wake me up is actually appealing to me at this point in time! 

Wait, did I really just say that?  It must be time to go to bed!

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