Monday, October 22, 2007

Another reason to homeschool - so your child can get enough sleep

Susan Wise Bauer, author of The Well Trained Mind, recently reminded me of another reason we homeschool. On her blog The History of the (Whole) World Susan writes that she has been reminded of the importance of sleep. She references a recent article in the New York Magazine. In Snooze or Lose the point is made that children today on average are getting an hour less sleep than children thirty years ago. A study in Israel found that getting one hour less sleep was the equivalent to the lost of "two years of cognitive maturation and development."

One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is we are not driven by the schedules of public schools. If we think our daughters need more sleep, we can let them sleep in. In a typical evening we'll send our daughters to bed between eight and nine. Our older two daughters normally get up around seven in the morning. Our seven year old can sleep in for hours, so I will usually wake her up around eight in the morning.

With homeschooling we can do what is best for our children. If they need sleep, we can let them sleep in.

This approach applies to other aspects. The third foster care child we had cried a lot and needed attention. Janine was able to go lighten up on school work last Friday and off load some of the burden to our daughters. Our daughters learned skills and bounded with the child.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education, ,


Gem said...

One of the biggest problems with our sending our girls to school this year is lack of sleep. Part of the problem is that we chose to send them to a charter Montessori school that is 20 minutes away and starts a half-hour earlier than the local public school, so they have to be up by 6:30 to head out the door at 7:15. When we homeschooled, they were to bed by 8 or 9 and slept until 8 or 9. My husband works afternoons, so our whole household functioned a little later in the morning. Now, with homework taking hours (!), we try to get them to bed by 9, but sometimes there is work that must be done. They're losing up to 3 hours of sleep from when they were homeschooled!!! It shows in their attitude -- they are crabby, uncooperative, quick to give up on a problem and throw a tantrum (this at 7 and 9 years old!), and generally unpleasant to each other. Now, they were not perfect when they were home full-time, but I can see a definite difference! And my relationship is constantly confrontational with them instead of working alongside them. It's enough of a change that my husband, who was the one who thought they should go to school this year, is seriously considering bringing them home at the end of the semester.

Anna said...

Believe it or not, we have a four day school week, and MONDAY is our day off. The kids are always tired after the weekend, and school never goes well. After a relaxing day on Monday, the rest of the week goes well.

Henry Cate said...

In some ways we have a four day school week. Our daughters do most of their academics Monday to Thursday. On Friday they attend a homeschool co-op in the morning, and often go to the library in the afternoon.

Lostcheerio said...

I *WISH* my child would sleep in!!! Benny will get up with the sun, regardless of when that is, and regardless of whether he's been up half the night reading. Sadie would sleep until 10 if I let her (and I frequently do) but... that boy child is an early riser and there's nothing I can do about it! Hehehe. Oh, how I long for those teen years when they supposedly want to sleep until noon! Because I secretly (or not so secretly) want to sleep like that too. At least once.