No two homeschools are alike. They are as different as the reasoning for choosing them is. I guess by this reasoning, ours is “normal” by lying outside the box.
While most homeschoolers are up getting ready for the day and starting by 7:00, 8:00, or even 9:00, we aren’t. We aren’t even close to that. And it’s okay.
Because evening classes just work so much better for us.
Oh, we’ve tried to go with the flow and do the morning thing. In fact, I’ve prayed hard that morning classes would work out for us so we could have our afternoons off like all the other homeschool kids (and moms). It’s not for our lack of trying that has lead us to this point.
In fact, you’ll remember when I tried–it was a disaster! We were in tears. It just didn’t work for us.
Instead, we do afternoon/evening classes. And they couldn’t be a more perfect fit for us.
Here’s why afternoon classes just work better for our family:
1. We are farmers
Doesn’t sound like a good reason? Well, it is. When we get up in the morning, we’re hungry and we have breakfast and get ready for the day, right? Well animals want to eat first thing in the morning too.
First thing in the morning, after devotionals and bible reading time, we head out to take care of our plethora of animals. If we didn’t take care of them first, they would have to wait until after lunch to get any attention. I can’t even imagine that!
The children love going out and letting the chickens out, milking the goat (or cow, depending on the season), and feeding the horses. Sure, we could rush through this, but those animals are our friends. We really enjoy taking care of them and spending quality time loving on them.
2. We still have littles that take afternoon naps
Anyone with littles understands how frustrating and near impossible lessons become with a little one underfoot. One of the ways we are able to keep our sanity homeschooling with littles, is by planning the hardest materials during nap-time. This gives me the ability to do one-on-one time with the child without distraction.
3. I have a child with a heart condition
If you have healthy children, then this may confuse you. My child has to sleep a lot. His heart gets tired much more easily than a healthy child. And this can mean that he goes to bed by 8:00 pm, and doesn’t get up until 10:00 am. And there can be a 3 hour nap just before dinner in there too.
We tried adjusting his schedule a few times, with disastrous health consequences. I will never do that again. Nothing says he has to get up with everyone else. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we can go around him if we need to. And at this point in life, we need to.
4. I love to have everything clean and organized before starting school for the day
Weird reason, right?
When we were doing lessons in the morning, I would often stay up late to have everything cleaned and ready for the morning. My sleep took a back burner. And often, I would prepare things for the next school day, only to remember them after we had concluded the lessons.
When I am preparing for lessons in the morning just beforehand, things are fresh on my mind and don’t get missed that afternoon.
When the extent of the animals chores that the little ones can do is done (I don’t let them around the cows or horses), the older ones can finish-up while we come inside and I tidy the house and prepare the lessons.
5. In the summer, afternoons are hot
Kids gotta wiggle. They wiggle and giggle best outside of this tiny farm house.
In the summer, it’s just cooler in the mornings. It just makes sense to us that they be outside during the cool of the day. When it’s too hot to be outside in the afternoon, it’s the perfect time to calm ourselves down and come in out of the sun. (Yes, we homeschool year-round.)
Perhaps you have circumstances that alter your schedule? Have you tried non-traditional hours in your homeschool? I’d love to hear what works (or doesn’t) for you.