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What are your school hours and how strict? and bed times for all ages


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Our school hours are 9 to noon and 1 to 3. This means 5 hours of dedicated school this. They must be doing their school work during this time. The only exception is for going outside and doing outside activities like PE or field trips. Right now, it is 1pm and 14 yr old did not eat during lunch time because he wanted to rearrange his room.  Now I had to tell him to stop, it is class time again. In the "real world" he would not be able to just shirk his responsibilities because he just felt the desire to do something else. 

 

I do not allow chores to be given, visits to be taken, or otherwise, during this time. It is strictly school work time. Before I set the school hours, we had to cut back on academic expectations because they could not get them done. These children are 11 and 14.

 

Also..bed times. 14 yr old does not need one as he goes to bed on his own by 11, but usually closer to 10pm.  However, younger one seems to be trying to push the envelope on this. Then, he is exhausted and cannot drag themselves out of bed by 9am. 

 

Also..do you allow the kids to talk to each other much during school time? I get having an academic conversation. Maybe if they are watching a documentary. But another issue we had is constant goofing off during the day. 

 

These school hours and strict rules are in response to a lot of problems we have had. It is not how we started homeschooling. So, I won't reduce them. I am just wondering what everyone else does, what they allow, if their schedule gets more detailed, and so on. I do allow them to study where they want and how they want. One is spread out on the floor doing English and another is laying in bed reading a book for history. 

 

I am thinking of making my 11 yr old go to bed by 10pm. Would you say lights out? Or would you let him read a book during this time? Should it be earlier? I am not sure that earlier would be feasible for his ability to get to sleep. 

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We generally do school from 9am - 2 or 3pm.  My 7th grader may take a little longer, my 3rd grader a little less.  I don't allow a lot of chatter during school.  Sometimes I find the kids wanting to talk about what they're doing that night, or something a friend said and I ask them to focus on their work.  We have a "couch time" around mid-morning where we are together as a group and they get a break from seat work and the opportunity to talk and participate together (talk is still related to what we're doing, not just free chatter).  Our lunch is generally an hour and a half and obviously lots of free time to talk together then!  They also do their chores after lunch.  I find with the couch time and lunch it's a good balance between focused seat work and a bit of a "brain break". 

 

I do my best to keep these hours reserved for school.  Occasionally an appointment comes up or we choose to get together with another family but I'm quite strict about keeping our mornings at least completely dedicated to school without interruption.  If we know we're going to have an interruption in the afternoon we may start school a little and/or have some "homework".

 

Bedtimes - 8 year old is lights out between 7:30-8pm, 10 year old between 8-8:30pm and 12 year old around 9pm.  They all generally wake up for the day around 7pm, the 8 year old sometimes earlier.

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My oldest (12) does schoolwork from 8-11 am and then from 2-4 pm. She takes a break from 11-2 to practice her instruments and eat lunch. My second (10) works from 8-3. He takes a mid-morning break to practice piano and a midday break to eat lunch and play outside. I find that they still really need a break during the day, so I deliberately build it in with something productive. I am always in the room or nearby with the younger kids while they're working, so we don't really have a problem with talking or goofing off. I don't schedule other stuff during the day unless it's the kind of medical appointment where we just don't have any choice over day & time, but those are pretty rare.

 

I still have a strict 9 pm bedtime for them, and I don't apologize for that at all. If they go to bed any later, then they are exhausted the next day and snap at each other and at the younger children. They do try to push the bedtime thing, especially the oldest who will linger in the bathroom for-ev-er. I don't have a magical solution for that, other than making them start getting ready for bed even earlier the following night.

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We do school from about 8:30 - 2, with lunch break of course. My boys get done sooner than the girls.

My girls do their piano and clarinet after 2 which bring it to after 3 ish. Then they do their chores, take a shower, and have dinner. After dinner, they read, play gadgets,watch movies, or whatever.

My boys go to bed around 8 and my girls around 9.

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Mine are wee babies compared to yours, so I can't offer advice.  But I will say that each child's body is different with how much sleep they need.  My six year olds are twins.  They eat the same things and have the same activities and time commitments.  One kid jumps out of bed every morning as soon as the sun is up, if not before.  The other kid could sleep until 9am most days and be perfectly happy.  They have the same bedtime.  I'm pretty loosey-goosey with my school times.

 

As a night owl, I've spent a lifetime trying to wake up in the morning and forcing myself to go to sleep before 2a nightly.  This includes when I was a kid.  So, as an adult he will have to get used to waking at a normal time, but perhaps he just needs more sleep now and can't force himself to fall asleep earlier.

 

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Our school hours are 9 to noon and 1 to 3. This means 5 hours of dedicated school this. They must be doing their school work during this time. The only exception is for going outside and doing outside activities like PE or field trips. Right now, it is 1pm and 14 yr old did not eat during lunch time because he wanted to rearrange his room.  Now I had to tell him to stop, it is class time again. In the "real world" he would not be able to just shirk his responsibilities because he just felt the desire to do something else. 

 

I do not allow chores to be given, visits to be taken, or otherwise, during this time. It is strictly school work time. Before I set the school hours, we had to cut back on academic expectations because they could not get them done. These children are 11 and 14.

 

Also..bed times. 14 yr old does not need one as he goes to bed on his own by 11, but usually closer to 10pm.  However, younger one seems to be trying to push the envelope on this. Then, he is exhausted and cannot drag themselves out of bed by 9am. 

 

Also..do you allow the kids to talk to each other much during school time? I get having an academic conversation. Maybe if they are watching a documentary. But another issue we had is constant goofing off during the day. 

 

These school hours and strict rules are in response to a lot of problems we have had. It is not how we started homeschooling. So, I won't reduce them. I am just wondering what everyone else does, what they allow, if their schedule gets more detailed, and so on. I do allow them to study where they want and how they want. One is spread out on the floor doing English and another is laying in bed reading a book for history. 

 

I am thinking of making my 11 yr old go to bed by 10pm. Would you say lights out? Or would you let him read a book during this time? Should it be earlier? I am not sure that earlier would be feasible for his ability to get to sleep. 

 

We did things much differently than you. :-)

 

I didn't want our home to be just like school, so it would not have occurred to me not to allow children to talk to each other during the day merely because it was School Hours (I might have had to correct one child from nagging the other, just on general principles, not because it was During School Hours). We usually did chores first thing in the morning, or after lunch, or after dinner, or on Fridays (our major cleaning day). We didn't visit with people during the week until the afternoon, except for our regularly scheduled field trips every Thursday, and park day once a month.

 

When dc were younger, up to about 12yo, they were in bed by 8 p.m. (except for Wed. and Sunday, when we were at church). At 12yo, 9ish became the norm. Eventually, there was no bedtime.

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I'm pretty "school at home" (or, rather, for us, "Catholic school at home"), but those rules a bit harsh for me. When my children have work to do, they're expected to buckle down and do it, but I don't set hours, because this isn't a brick and mortar classroom wherein I need to teach 30 different children with as many different learning styles, questions, etc - and I don't have to account for class transitions, etc. 

 

My 9th grade DD (14 years old) takes about 5 hours a day for her work, but it can be split if needed, and if I notice that she's overwhelmed, I call it quits for the day.

My 1st grader (DS6) only takes about 2-3 hours daily.

My 3 year old just concentrates on wreaking as much havoc as he possibly can - all day, lol.

 

No bedtimes, really. I begin the boys' bed routine around 7. DS3 is asleep by 7:30 most nights; DS6 is a night owl and I'm lucky to have him in bed by 9. DD14 is in charge of her own bedtime. 

 

Yes, I allow them to talk and enjoy each other during the school day. 

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I get the girls up at 7 and we start school by 7:30. I didn't always get us up this early, but we lose a lot of momentum after lunch, so I decided to fit as much school time in before lunch as possible. We school from 7:30 to 11:00. There are some 15ish minute breaks in there and the girls chat as much as they want. At 12, we get back to work and my youngest (7) usually has just a couple of things to wrap up while my oldest (10) has around an hour to an hour and a half more work. I try to have them done pretty early so they can enjoy free time before after school activities. I wish we were less schooly, but we also enjoy just being done with school stuff so we can do the things we'd rather be doing. (Right now they are building a time machine.) We start bedtime routine for both at 8:30. We read together until 9:15. The youngest is usually straight to sleep following books and my oldest is allowed to read until 10:15. She's kind of an insomniac though, so if she has trouble sleeping she'll turn the light on and read a while longer.

 

I asked mine how they would feel about not chatting during school and they looked absolutely horrified. "Please please please don't do that here, Mommy!" was my youngests response.

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I have an only child, age 13. We homeschool Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm or so. One of our days (usually Thursday or Saturday) is shorter so that we can do family things or hang out with friends. We begin with Morning Time, which often lasts an hour to an hour and a half. We work through lunch. DS has chosen an academically rigorous path and has a fair number of outside commitments (mostly music related), so we really try to protect those hours unless - as others have said - we need to adjust for a medical appointment. DS is usually in bed by 11 (sometimes earlier) and up by 8:30 at the latest.

 

We also take a week long break about every six weeks. This week is one of them.

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We use routines, not schedules, and the children are allowed to speak to anyone, anytime. If they're not focusing on their lesson and need some help with that, I'll remind them.

 

We have a very rigorous and effective curriculum and extremely high expectations, but at the end of the day...and all through the day...

 

this is a home. We are a family.

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We have work routines, but not time schedules here.

 

I have a child who needs me with him for nearly all his school work due to special needs.

So  child 1 starts his independent work, then reads or plays while I work with child 2.

Child 2 gets his break time after lunch. I switch kids to go over the work that child 1 did on his own, and complete the individual subjects he does with me. We go over the assignments he'll be completing on his own the next day, so he knows what to do when he gets up.

 

Both kids and I join together in the late afternoon/evening, depending on the day's work, for things like science and history.

 

I feel annoyed when one child is being silly to interrupt my time with another. It does happen, though. Child 1 is constantly off task by nature of his issues unfortunately. That's mostly why I am with him. I do constant redirecting.

 

One of mine has a reasonably strict bedtime of 9. The other fluctuates based on what he's doing outside the home on a given evening. Some of his activities don't end until 8:30 and when he gets home he needs to shower and wind down before bed. Sometimes he's in bed closer to 10, though I wish it wasn't so late. He wakes on his own, almost always about 11 hours after he went to bed.

 

The 9 pm bedtime child has major sleep issues, so some mornings I wake him and other mornings he wakes himself. His wake time varies a lot more than his twin's. I only wake him when I know he's really off schedule sleep wise/struggling to sleep, because I don't want him sleep too late to be tired the next night. I see making sure they have adequate sleep as a big homeschool advantage. They are 11 years old.

 

Both kids start their day when they get up.

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We use routines, not schedules, and the children are allowed to speak to anyone, anytime. If they're not focusing on their lesson and need some help with that, I'll remind them.

 

We have a very rigorous and effective curriculum and extremely high expectations, but at the end of the day...and all through the day...

 

this is a home. We are a family.

This, only I don't think I would say I have a very rigorous curriculum.   

 

I am a person of routines, but I really dislike strict schedules.  My high schoolers structure their own school time.  I help structure little dd's school time.  The only hard and fast rule I have (and I allow exceptions at times) are "no electronic devices until the afternoon, after school is done".

 

Little dd and ds12 go to bed at 9, with lights out at 9:30 ish.  Ds15 goes to bed closer to 11.  I have had to adjust our start time due to my own recent severe insomnia so I no longer set an alarm in the morning for myself, and we are getting started quite a bit later than we used to start.

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I don't really have a school day, but I do have a "no recreational TV/video games/screen time until 3pm" rule, that's basically meant to delineate the school day as a time that we're active and interactive.  They play and talk together plenty during that time (though my kids are younger and don't have as much work, so they have plenty of free time), but I guess I consider their active/imaginative play as educational in its own way, whereas staring at preschool TV shows quickly becomes a time suck.

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We get Meg up at 8am. She is to feed and water her pets, eat breakfast, and get dressed/teeth brushed/face and hands washed. She has her school supplies laid out the night before and usually looks over her subjects before her first class starts.

 

Mon and Wed

9:15-10:30am Linguistics

1030-11:45am Saxon Math

12:30-2pm is her Latin

She does her Linguistics homework and has lunch after her math class. She completes her math homework and Latin after her Latin class and a small break.

Wednesday she has Voice at 330pm. therapy at 6pm, 730pm is hip hop.

 

Tues and Thurs

9:15-10:30 Literature

Reads her Literature and starts on her vocabulary and reading comprehension.

11:45-1pm Grammar/Writing

She finishes her Literature and does two lessons on Tues and two lessons on Thurs. in Self Paced Veritas history.

Guitar Lesson 2-2:30 on Tuesdays.

Thursday she has AHG Troop meeting at 6:15pm

She comes home and works on her Grammar/Writing

 

Her chores are to clean the kitchen after dinner, keep her room picked up and clean up after herself. She sometimes vacuums and helps with laundry.

She practices her guitar, voice and hip hop twenty minutes a day.

 

She goes to bed at 10 and lights out by 11.

 

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We have school 8-12:15 then 45min lunch and school from 1-2:30. I encourage discussions and I feel like some of our best learning has come from those discussions. I try and incorporate those discussions in every area that we can. Arguing and just messing around is different and I am always trying to keep them on track. I don't want them arguing whether we are doing school or not and messing around just makes our day longer. Now if they want to follow a bunny trail on something we discussed in science or history then I don't mind that. We also have a loop schedule that we try and do daily with art,history crafts,science experiments, composer studies and poetry. We go outside for that and I feel like it breaks up our day and it's something fun my 4yo can join in on.

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We did not used to have a strict schedule, but being loose was just not working for us. I would love to be able to be loose again in the future. But for now, we got so little done in recent years, it was to the point that children should be flunked, only, I don't do that sort of thing. I tried a variety of things to change it around. Then I had to accept that my vision of our home school is not necessarily what my children needed. And my children need schedules it turns out. It came down to either having a schedule, or simply not educating them at all as they would not do anything without it. It became a hostile fight every day with us inkling through, getting nothing done. But now that I set a schedule, things are much better. On the not talking, they can talk. But, with only 5 hrs of school a day, they love to ham it up and talk about nothing but friends, movies, computer games, etc, while not glancing at their home work. The dedicated 5 hrs a day is really making a difference.

 

It is interesting to hear how different everyone is. But, it is also a little sad to see judgement being passed over each other. It would be nice if we could just be different from each other without being catty. Remarks like "this is a home, we are a family" in reference to objections to schedules and keeping the kids on topic, and references to being horrified at my rules were not necessary. I get not wanting to be just like public school, but likewise, I don't have to be exactly like every other homeschooler or I am "doing it wrong."

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I'm not good at strict schedules, I'm just not. A routine is good, but we've been known to start school anywhere from 8 til 11! We are very flexible but I have high expectations. Both my older kids do better with a checklist of their own and some autonomy over what order they do it in. They are a little younger than I would normally do that much independence, but they are thriving.

Bedtime I am also not strict about, my 10 year old is generally asleep by 9.30ish and drags herself out of bed 11ish hrs later, she's not an early morning person, like me. My 8 year old stays up til about the same time reading and is up with the sun!

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School hours 9-3 on M, T, W and F.  Field trips are included in school hours -we do very few of them.  Every now and then we start late.  If we start late we end that much later.  We take a morning break for about 30 min.  We take off for lunch and we take a short break in the afternoon for about 30 min. TH is PE at 10:30 -11:00 followed by lunch social time with PE kids until 2. 2nd, 4th and 5th Ts are Art Class from 1:00-2:30 or 3 ish depending on the project followed by social time until 5ish or 6 depending on the hostess's schedule. In bed reading to yourself (kid chooses the book) at 9:30 and lights out at 10:30.

 

When I was homeschooling 3 kids discussions that were related to school were fine.  Chit chat that distracted from school was not. I had one (middle) who has always been extremely focused and driven and hates interruptions and distractions.  The other one (my oldest) had serious follow through issues and looked for all kinds of ways to distract herself.  We used the 36 week file folder system to help with independent study and school had to be done during school hours until it was done with a hard deadline of F at 3:00.  Nothing was allowed to happen until school was done if you missed the deadline.  No phone, no social media, no TV, no meals, no seeing friends, no reading for pleasure, no activities; nothing. No messing around during school hours and saving everything for TH and F. If they worked hard and got done early then they could do whatever they wanted. If they wanted to go to a midnight showing where TH meets F and then sleep in on F when they got home, they had to have everything done and turned in by TH at 3:00. My kids had never been in classroom and thought the transition to college was very easy.  They thought I was more demanding than most of their teachers.

 

On school days everyone was assigned a weekly chore along with daily chores (an hour at the most, but not usually.)   After school and chores, their time was their own.  We didn't do weekly chores on weekends, just the usually daily stuff.  Now that they're on completely different schedules they get weekly chores done as needed between work and school. My youngest and I share the daily chores because we're not gone all day long like the older two kids.

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We use routines, not schedules, and the children are allowed to speak to anyone, anytime. If they're not focusing on their lesson and need some help with that, I'll remind them.

 

We have a very rigorous and effective curriculum and extremely high expectations, but at the end of the day...and all through the day...

 

this is a home. We are a family.

This.

 

DS usually gets up around 7 and we usually start official schoolwork between 8-9. We finish when we are done or before he skips off to sports around 2:30. Ocassionally he and daddy do some math after dinner, but I don't assign homework. He is bed nearly always by 7:30 or 8 and turns his light out by 8:30 most nights. We don't have a bedtime, he just honors his need for lots of sleep. :)

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We use routines, not schedules, and the children are allowed to speak to anyone, anytime. If they're not focusing on their lesson and need some help with that, I'll remind them.

 

We have a very rigorous and effective curriculum and extremely high expectations, but at the end of the day...and all through the day...

 

this is a home. We are a family.

 

:001_wub: :001_wub: :001_wub:

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I used to be a lot more loosey goosey. But it just wasn't working for us. At all. I am very strict this year. Very strict. And we're doing really well with the structure.

 

We start at 8:00 and we end at 3:30. There is a 1/2 hour lunch and 5 minute breaks between subjects. It works out to about 6-6.5 hours of work a day depending on the subjects. Note: my 8th grader has the full 6.5 hours of work to do, but the 10 yo often runs out of work to do on a given subject and then he plays for the rest of the time until it's time for the official 5 minute break and the next subject. I do not think that 6.5 hours of work total for 8th grade is too much. I think it's just right.

 

When we're doing school work, we're doing school work. There's no reason to be talking about other things. If we start talking about other things, we can't be doing the school work. I mean, if my oldest is in the middle of a complicated algebra problem and the youngest starts telling us about a dream he had, then the oldest can't concentrate. When that happens, it drives my oldest son nuts. "I can't concentrate!"

 

Same if we're reading history together. Sure, we might converse about the history we're reading, but if one boy suddenly starts talking about Minecraft while we're in the middle of reading history, I'll ask him to talk about Minecraft later, unless it clearly relates to what we're studying. Why would we start talking about other things when we're in the middle of school? School would come to a complete standstill and we'd never get through the material that I want us to get through.

 

Sometimes there can be a little leeway. If we're doing science experiments together, we can sort of chit-chat while our hands are busy (for some experiments) but when they chitchat they start to move at a glacier pace. So I'll say, "Guys, let's get back to the experiment."

 

However, if they're coloring in something (like a map for history, or decorating a piece of writing), then they can talk and it doesn't seem to slow them down. Same with art. I read a bit about the artist and a piece of art and then they do a project based on the artist/piece of art. I let them talk the entire time during that. Of course...I save art for the end of the day so that if they run over in time, it doesn't cut into another subject. Then I don't mind if they work at a glacier pace because everything else is done.

 

The way we're set up, when we're doing school it wouldn't make a lick of sense to be talking about other things. It would just derail what we're studying. Of course, if the conversation is related to the subject then we talk about it. I'm referring to things that don't have anything to do with the subject at hand. Also note: I do a lot of teacher intensive stuff. We are all working together. I don't just hand out a workbook and send them off. We are constantly talking, discussing, learning, etc together.

 

Bedtimes: We used to be very good about a 9:00 bedtime, but I've been getting loosey goosey about that. However, they're rarely in bed after 10:00. Usually it's by 9:30. I would prefer that they're in bed at 8:30 and talking or reading with each other (the oldest likes to read to the youngest) until 9:00 and then lights out. And then voices out at 9:30.

 

But lately, they've been heading to their rooms at 9:45 and it's an immediate lights out. We all do better when they wind down in stages rather than head up and go directly to sleep.

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Also note: we school for 6.5 hours, but the boys have 8 solid hours a day to interact with each other outside of school time.

 

My oldest gets up at 6. He has an hour of alone time (which he loves) before the youngest is up at 7:00. When they eat breakfast they talk non-stop, joking, playing around, until 8:00.

 

At 3:30, when school is done, they talk non-stop. They are each other's best friend. They don't call or text other kids on the phone. They play together, they watch a tv show together, they talk together. They are inseparable. So it's not onerous that we focus on schoolwork during school and save the casual conversations for the rest of the day.

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I miss bedtimes! Also wake-up times. Mine are 16 and 18, and they outlast me! The oldest is in college and does his own schedule now (quite well--which I mention to offer hope to all those who wonder if their kids will learn the skill of getting up to an alarm clock some day. For some reason we struggle with that here...)

 

We've always aimed to start by 9 or 10. We tended to follow more of a routine than a strict schedule. My husband is disabled, so if he has a rough night, I might not be up as early--and once the kids were beyond the "little" stage, they started sleeping in later as well. So basically, I would get up and then wake them. Somehow I never managed to get them to get up on their own consistently...but figured if that was the worst thing I had to deal with, it wasn't so bad. This year I've been trying to let my daughter get up on her own...and she's started pretty late a number of times! We were doing well until a couple of fall colds derailed us.

 

Once they were up, we started with bible and history together, and then separated for individual topics. My kids couldn't work in a room together. One needs absolute silence to learn, and the other needs to talk or sing to learn some things. Not a pretty combination! So...we haven't had many issues with talking during school, because they mainly talked during breaks between subjects. If a break was getting too long, I redirected them gently as needed, "So, where are you with your workboxes?" (We used workboxes to keep them moving through their subjects.) 

 

In early/mid elementary, school was usually 9-12  or 10-1 (with a late lunch so we could be "done by lunch.") By about 4th or 5th grade though, we'd go after lunch, and by 7th and up it was about 5-6 hours. We just started when we could and went until the boxes were done. 

 

Bedtime here was 8:00 until around age 10. When they started needing less sleep, it inched up to 9 and eventually 10, but by high school we didn't assign a bedtime. In retrospect, one thing I wish I had done was to assign devices a bedtime. I know a family that does that (kindles, DS's, and other hand-held devices are all turned in at 10 pm). If I was to parent over again, I'd go for devices having a bedtime, LOL! 

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My boys are 11 yo. This has changed over the years. When they were little, school from 7am-11am or so was really good. Now we do school from 9ish to 2ish or 3ish... it really depends. Definitely no rules about talking. If kids are having trouble focusing, I occasionally send them to work in different rooms. Or I leave myself. Sometimes if I say, look, this just needs to get done. I'm going to yoga/the grocery/for a walk and when I get back, hopefully it will be done... strangely that helps. Mostly they want to talk to me, not each other. Ha. We do not have a strict schedule. That would not work for us.

 

Bedtime depends. Someone gets home after 8pm most nights now, which is really rotten in terms of schedules, but c'est la vie. In general, ready for bed at 10pm. Lights out at 10:30. Sometimes they are beat and head to bed as early as 9 or 9:30.

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My child thrives on routine and she stresses out if she doesn't know the schedule. I on the other hand would love to unschooled. So, what our school looks like is this.

 

Monkey is in bed by 9-9:30pm

 

Monkey wakes up about 7am and she makes her breakfast. As she does this and eats, I read our Bible lesson. This is also the time If I need to read like a poem, or newspaper article, or anything else before her independent studies starts.

 

She starts her independent studies of Math, Latin, Spanish, writing, and literature or language arts. If she is not reading a book the she uses that time to do her language arts. She is very independent, but she is very good about getting my attention if she needs help.

 

At noon, we stop all work and have lunch and watch previously recorded The Daily Show and the Steven Cobert show.

 

Then from 1pm-3pm she finishes any independent studies and works on science, history, and or geography, her choice.

 

At 3pm, school stops.

 

That's our schedule. What helps us is that we homeschool all year round. That's our saving grace. It gives us the time for those days when no matter how long she stares at her book, it doesn't get done. Also, what helps us, is that in the beginning of the school year I determine the bare minimum that I want to completely accomplish, nothing extra. When those are completed, then we do the extra until the new school year starts. It takes a lot of the stress off.

 

For the talking during the school lesson, she is an only child, so no problem there. But, we can both be pretty chatty at times and we are both guilty about chatting about non school subjects.

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I love reading everyone's responses!  We definitely fall in the "we used to be loosey goosey, but that didn't work" category.  This is our first year being uber-strict about school times--it's been an on-going process for a couple years.  It has been perfect for my children.  I love the no-talking-about-non-school-things rule!  I need to be more strict about this.  Also, my four year old just throws a wrench into a lot of those types of rules, but I try not to be bitter about it. :cursing:

 

But for the answer to the question, our school hours are: 8:00-12:00, with a 10:00 break for 15 minutes, then 1:00-3:00.  There are no electronics until school and their daily chore are done.  The younger ones are often done before this, but then they get "quiet time" until 3:00.

 

ETA: bedtime for youngers is 8:00, for olders it's 10:00.

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We did not used to have a strict schedule, but being loose was just not working for us. I would love to be able to be loose again in the future. But for now, we got so little done in recent years, it was to the point that children should be flunked, only, I don't do that sort of thing. I tried a variety of things to change it around. Then I had to accept that my vision of our home school is not necessarily what my children needed. And my children need schedules it turns out. It came down to either having a schedule, or simply not educating them at all as they would not do anything without it. It became a hostile fight every day with us inkling through, getting nothing done. But now that I set a schedule, things are much better. On the not talking, they can talk. But, with only 5 hrs of school a day, they love to ham it up and talk about nothing but friends, movies, computer games, etc, while not glancing at their home work. The dedicated 5 hrs a day is really making a difference.

 

It is interesting to hear how different everyone is. But, it is also a little sad to see judgement being passed over each other. It would be nice if we could just be different from each other without being catty. Remarks like "this is a home, we are a family" in reference to objections to schedules and keeping the kids on topic, and references to being horrified at my rules were not necessary. I get not wanting to be just like public school, but likewise, I don't have to be exactly like every other homeschooler or I am "doing it wrong."

 

I certainly didn't mean to pass judgement. I'm sorry if it came across that way. Everyone does what works for them. I was only trying to reply to the question of how strict. At my house, school is only a little strict and it gets done.  If it didn't, I would have to be more strict. You said you have your rules because school wasn't working without them. It's good that you realized what needed to change to make things work for you. I certainly didn't mean to offend. I guess I was mostly trying to add levity by including my child's comment about not talking. Many apologies.

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The only strict time for school is our start time each day, which is 9 am.  Everything else is more routine and not on a timed schedule.  Lunch is somewhere between 11 and 1 depending on what the day has in store for us.  My youngest has a lot of specialist appointment that can take up more time that I would like.  Kids are done with school whenever they are done with schoolwork that is assigned that day.  But if they rush through it and don't do a decent job, then they have to redo it.  Bedtime is set at 9 pm, which means in their rooms, and lights out is around 10ish.  Some days this just doesn't work out due to evening events, but we try very hard to keep bedtime as consistent as possible.

 

Being too strict was just not working for any of us, so I found I needed to loosen up a bit on expectations.  I do try to keep the house somewhat quiet during the day.  Two of my children do best in a quiet atmosphere, so there isn't a lot of talking, but it isn't prohibited.  We do a lot of discussions during the lessons and sometimes get a bit sidetracked but sometimes those are times we learn more than what I had planned, and others it is just a fun goof off time for a couple minutes and then back to work.

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It is interesting to hear how different everyone is. But, it is also a little sad to see judgement being passed over each other. It would be nice if we could just be different from each other without being catty. Remarks like "this is a home, we are a family" in reference to objections to schedules and keeping the kids on topic, and references to being horrified at my rules were not necessary. I get not wanting to be just like public school, but likewise, I don't have to be exactly like every other homeschooler or I am "doing it wrong."

 

It is my opinion that regimenting little homeschooled children's day to the point that they mayn't even speak to their siblings is "out there" enough for people to be startled by the contrast between that and normal family life. This level, to some people including myself, is more than just a difference.

 

If you want to characterize me as catty and claim I said that everyone must behave like myself or they're "doing it wrong," you're free to do that (I think it's a little catty and judgy of you), but disagreeing with a philosophy doesn't mean I'm trying to be snidely hurtful or that I actually said everyone has to be like me.

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I am pretty strict on school hours.  Field trips, which we count as "school", and illness (on my part) are the only deviations. If the boys are sick, we do read alouds and/or documentaries instead of bookwork. Now, within the day I have a basic schedule which can be tweaked as necessary for that particular day, but for the most part, we get it all done. Below is a schedule  made before we started this year.   Bolded items are classes with me. The rest is independent work  Thursdays are now different as piano lessons for my oldest and myself have been postponed, so it is only my youngest at 3pm. Lunch is back!. This is our third year using this type of system.

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The boys are both sent to bed ~9:30pm with the expectation they will fall asleep about 10. My youngest wants computer time before school so he wakes up when I do at 7:30.  My oldest rolls out of bed at 8-8:15 and usually crawls to the couch with his blanket in time for read aloud.  

 

I have a set time for school for my sanity, because I relish the fact that at 3:30 I am off the clock. Now I might have school related work to be done, but as far as my kids are concerned, we are free!

 

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It is my opinion that regimenting little homeschooled children's day to the point that they mayn't even speak to their siblings is "out there" enough for people to be startled by the contrast between that and normal family life. This level, to some people including myself, is more than just a difference.

 

 

 "...mayn't even speak to their siblings" is over stating it and over generalizing by a whole lot. 

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No schedule here, just daily assignments and reminders to get them done. I give each child a few minutes notice when they are going to have an individual lesson with me so they can wrap up whatever they are doing. I also usually give the kids a little warning time before we get started and tell them generally if and when they can expect their one on one lessons each day.  

 

I can't stand schedules and always had difficulty showing up at a set time each morning when employed.  :rolleyes: I did much better in positions that were results based (i.e. get this document finished by Wednesday...)

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Everyone wakes up at 6:30 for half an hour of some form of exercise. My husband and oldest daughter usually go for a run, I do pilates with my younger daughter, and my son lifts hand weights, rides the stationary bike, or whatever strikes his fancy. We start school at 8:00, have a mid-morning break around 10:00, break for lunch from 12:00-1:00, and the school day ends for each child when their school work is finished. For my 3rd grader that is normally before lunch time, my older two usually have work for an hour (6th grader) or two (8th grader) after lunch. Bedtime is 8:00 for all three kids.

 

Conversation is usually limited during school time simply because I am almost always working one-on-one with one of my kids at any given time or trying to read aloud, and I hate having to try to talk over someone else or be interrupted. My kids insist on doing school all together in one room, so I insist on respect for whoever is talking at the moment.

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Every day is different. We have 1:1 time sometime between 6am-10am. Could be the whole time or not. Most days she has independent work too. That amount varies.

 

She has several hours of activities outside the house daily, and they aren't academic focused.

 

Bedtime varies. She probably should be asleep by 8 but it's usually later.

 

We have a regular pattern to our days, but every day of the week has its own pattern. We both work full time and homeschool so we would fail epically if we didn't have any consistency. But, we are quite laid back about it. I don't always know what subjects I'll cover on a particular day until it happens.

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We start by 9 (usually), but my daughter starts at the butt crack of dawn. She's one of those crazy morning people and does better working before anyone else is awake. Everyone has a checklist and has things to finish before lunch and things to do in the afternoon. Some things require me and some don't. If they're done with that list, they're free for the rest of the morning. My oldest is not a morning person and has the heaviest workload, so he works up to 12 or 12:30 every day on his morning list. Then we eat lunch and play outside or in. We clean up, lay the twins down, have circle time for about an hour, and then I rotate amongst the big kids for another hour or so. They read when I'm not working with them in the afternoon. Around 3:30 we have a snack and do something like art, or poetry tea, or play outside together depending on the day. Then everyone's free till 5:30 when they get to keep the twins busy while I make dinner. 

I'm a pretty structured person by nature, but having the little boxes of time where everything is scheduled to the minute has not worked for my toddlers or my school age kids. Having a little bit of freedom in choosing what to do when makes them happy. And them being happy makes me happy.

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Definitely more structured here.  I don't know how to do it otherwise.  Kids are up at 6:45 ... all 5 of us are ready for the day (including breakfast and chores) by 7:20.  We do morning group time and we start individual subjects at 8.  We stop for lunch/play @12 (kids normally use this time to read on a book), start again at 1:30 and are done for the day at 4.

They talk.  I have music on.  I hate quiet rooms.  LOL!  But they are to focus and get their work done.  My oldest two always have additional work that needs done after school hours.

 

All 4 of my kids go to bed at 9:30.  They can read for an hour ... lights out at 10:30.

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My only rule for the teens is that they get up and start by 9am. I don't care if they only work for 3 hours, then save it all for the evening, as long as it gets done. They know my schedule, and when I'm available to help them, so its up to them to ask for help during regular "school" times. There are some days when my husband is home during the middle of the day, then my college kid breezes in after his easy schedule day. I can't keep anyone on task then so I don't bother. As long as the wok is done by Friday, it's all good :-D

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I've found that if we don't get most of our work done in the morning, it does not go well.  I try and do most appointments and such for the afternoon.  I also don't let the girls do a ton of talking while we are doing lessons, because they don't get them done, and what is more they interrupt me when I am trying to talk.  My eldest in particular is a procrastinator extraordinaire.

 

So - we generally try and start at 9, though sometimes it is 9:30. (Although Tuesday we have lessons so we have a different schedule.) Dd7 only has about an hour of work.  She sometimes starts late - she seems to need more rest so if she sleeps in, I don't wake her.  Dd10 can finish by noon if she is focused, but often she has something to complete after lunch. They have a few fun classes abd of course things like room cleaning and special events, but the rest of their time is generally up to them to scedual.

 

We start getting ready for bed with baths right after supper.  The goal is to be in bed at 8:30, or even 8 if they are tired.  On a bad day it may be more like 9.  Dd10 is usually allowed to read until 9 if she wants to.

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Every day is a little different here because both dh and I work part-time and so our daily schedules are different. We have a weekly pattern instead of a daily schedule. Mondays and Wednesdays are generally half days for the younger two. Thursdays we have co-op out of the house. Tuesdays and Fridays are our two longer days of work at home. 

 

Because of our schedule, Tuesdays and Fridays we might work 9-4pm or 9-5pm with a break for lunch and at least one break for outside time. 

 

With all three kids I write their weekly assignments in a notebook. Then for the 4th and 1st grader I write out what the goal is to get done every day. I also jot down for them any outside commitments we have that week. On Sunday evening or Monday morning we talk about the week and I mention any unusual things that will change our normal routine like a field trip at the end of the week. The seventh grader is a good independent worker. He is good about prioritizing and planning out his week. So he might see he has a writing assignment and knows he hates writing so he'll work on it on Monday so it's done early in the week. Or he might know that we have a field trip on Friday so he can't leave work for Friday or he'll have to do it on the weekend or on Thursday afternoon which is usually free time. I meet with him frequently during the week to make sure he's on track but I see having him control his schedule as being one of the main skills I want him to learn during middle school.

 

The first grader wants to have a notebook, otherwise I probably wouldn't do it for her. Her assignments are the same every day (reading, writing, math, piano). The seventh grader than works independently and meets with me multiple times a day to discuss what he is doing or for the subjects where I need to do more active teaching. The fourth grader can choose what order he wants to do the day's assignments but just knows he has to get them all done that day. He has a very different personality than his brother and needs me to be nearby and pretty involved in what he is doing. The first grader is dependent on me being available so I try to work with her fairly early in the day. I usually am alternating between working with the 1st and 4th grader in the morning and then check-in with my seventh grader a few times and do more work with him in the afternoon. 

 

They work each day and each week until the assignments are done rather than for a certain amount of time. If something is taking much longer than expected I will readjust the expectation for the day/week. If it's because of goofing off I'll just make them do it at a time when they might have had more free time. If it's because the assignment was more challenging than I thought it would be I'll figure out how to adjust the weekly goals. 

 

We do several subjects all together: science and unit study (which this year is world culture/geography). We also have a very open house plan so most of the time we are all together. They talk, if it's getting out of hand I redirect and they get back to work. The oldest usually takes math into another room. Or sometimes if someone is on the computer they will use headphones. Two of mine are very extroverted (the younger two) and would find it really hard to not talk and interact during the day. So all the joking around and talking is part of our school environment. I'm ok with it as long as the work is getting done. 

 

Bedtime is 9:00 for everyone. The seventh grader and fourth grade share a room and so go to bed at the same time. My older one seems to need a lot of sleep. I figure at some point he will chafe at the earlyish bedtime but he seems to need it now. He's also a swimmer and often genuinely tired after practice. He has a couple of evening activities where he will come home later but if he's home then they are all in bed at 9:00. We read books as a family from about 8-9. Generally, I just say lights out at 9:00. If we are done reading together early they will read alone in bed until then. 

 

 

 

 

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For those who can't see signatures, my girls are 20 (college grad, working) 11th grade, and 9th grade.

 

We have no school schedule, wake-up time, or bedtime. Outside activities, of course, have their schedules so different days depend on what time a voice lesson, dance class, karate class, robotics meeting, etc. is. My school-girls have a list each week of assignments, and they get it done. They even have their iPods/iPads and can message their friends- I see that like having a chat with a friend in the hallway at school.

 

My only rule is that they have to plan time with me for when I am actually available, which most days is after breakfast and before lunch or the afternoon rush of activities.

 

It works for us.

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We start school at 8:30.  Have a 20 minute break at 10:30 and then work until noon.  Then start again at 1 until they are finished with their checklist (each child has a list of assignments for the week)   unless they have permission to put things off for another day.  Usually under high-school agers are done by 2:30 or so.  My three oldest at home leave for basketball practice everyday now at 2:40 so usually most things are done by then.

 

We have a short day on Fridays so sometimes a kid puts off a long assignment until Friday to make another day shorter.  I actually love it when they do this because I like to see them taking charge of their schedule and learning how to manage their workloads.

 

Bed times are as follows:

      6 yo and 7 yo are in bed by 8:00 (except on church nights, Sunday and Wednesday).

      10, 11 and 14 yo are in bed by 9 on most nights with permission to read for 10-15 minutes.

      no bed time for my high school age kids . . .they need to figure it out for themselves.

 

The kids and I talk all the time about all kinds of things during school.  Goodness, that's how we share information about what we are learning.  Some of the best conversations occur like that . . . of course, some of the silliest conversations also happen :)  We have a good time during school.  I do have a couple of kids who like to read aloud their math problems or whatever they are working on . . . I just send them to a different room, especially if I know other kids are trying to really concentrate on a subject that is difficult for them but it's not a rule . . . just a suggestion to go to the other table if they need to talk through their assignment. Most of the time it's me that gets distracted by all the talking.  It never seems to bother the other kids at all.

 

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This is just what works for us and would obviously not work for every one.

 

When they were younger we would sit at the table and work on school for a couple or more hours a day.  I would do my best to keep them on track reminding them that the more they goof off the longer it takes. I wish I could go back and lighten up on them, take more time to play and learn in different ways.  

 

Now that they are 14 and 12 we do things very differently.  I give them direct assignments such as -read these pages answer these questions - for some subjects and more general assignments for others, like- research this then present it, don't ask me how.... think of something (I will help if they truly struggling but not until they put in some time).  There is no scheduled time for school.  They come to me as they need me (daily) and we discuss or I instruct.  I give them a weeks worth of assignments on Monday and let them know when I want it turned in or when they have to check in to show progress.  They are learning time management and executive decision making skills.  There has been a marked improvement this year over last. I wouldn't say they are doing a great job at the time management thing but I don't really expect them too.  What they are doing is learning life skills that will benefit them more as adults then knowing who won what war or what a direct object is and how to diagram it.  

 

Bedtimes, we've never been on a normal schedule, for years Dh was on 2nd or 3rd shift so we were too.  He's on an early 1st shift now bu we kind of sleep when we want and wake up when we want.  Both kids are good at regulating themselves though they do occasionally get off their own preferred schedules and have difficulties, again real world life lessons (they both are natural night owls but make themselves get up before 8am most mornings). 

 

 

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Also note: we school for 6.5 hours, but the boys have 8 solid hours a day to interact with each other outside of school time.

 

My oldest gets up at 6. He has an hour of alone time (which he loves) before the youngest is up at 7:00. When they eat breakfast they talk non-stop, joking, playing around, until 8:00.

 

At 3:30, when school is done, they talk non-stop. They are each other's best friend. They don't call or text other kids on the phone. They play together, they watch a tv show together, they talk together. They are inseparable. So it's not onerous that we focus on schoolwork during school and save the casual conversations for the rest of the day.

Now that I think about it, I think they are even getting along better with the schedule. You see, before, they were going at it all day long. Some of it was goofing off, but some of it was arguing nitpicking at each other. Now, with the schedule, they both have to focus during their times. Then, when they get to break, it is like they appreciate each other more. I was pleasantly surprised last night when they just out of the blue offered to help each other with a chore.

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We did not used to have a strict schedule, but being loose was just not working for us. I would love to be able to be loose again in the future. But for now, we got so little done in recent years, it was to the point that children should be flunked, only, I don't do that sort of thing. I tried a variety of things to change it around. Then I had to accept that my vision of our home school is not necessarily what my children needed. And my children need schedules it turns out. It came down to either having a schedule, or simply not educating them at all as they would not do anything without it. It became a hostile fight every day with us inkling through, getting nothing done. But now that I set a schedule, things are much better. On the not talking, they can talk. But, with only 5 hrs of school a day, they love to ham it up and talk about nothing but friends, movies, computer games, etc, while not glancing at their home work. The dedicated 5 hrs a day is really making a difference.

 

It is interesting to hear how different everyone is. But, it is also a little sad to see judgement being passed over each other. It would be nice if we could just be different from each other without being catty. Remarks like "this is a home, we are a family" in reference to objections to schedules and keeping the kids on topic, and references to being horrified at my rules were not necessary. I get not wanting to be just like public school, but likewise, I don't have to be exactly like every other homeschooler or I am "doing it wrong."

This is us, too. I tried a free flowing day, I tried routines without times, and with 3 kids with ADHD and a preschooler, and a DH working ever-changing shifts (sometimes during the day he is at work, sometimes he's sleeping, sometimes he's home) it just isn't enough - these kids *need* structure. I think the key for us is not scheduling too tightly, and not scheduling anything outside the house before 2:00 because once we leave the house there's no reining them back in.

 

Kids get up usually around 7:30 on their own, but if they aren't up by 8:30 I wake them to do their morning routine (dressed, personal care, animal chores, bed made) and be at the counter for breakfast and morning basket by 9:00. We begin with morning basket together as a family, while they are eating. This is an hour for scriptures, sharing recitation, vocabulary, biography, poetry, artist study, composer study, and read aloud (not all things every day) which sets the tone for our day. From 10-12 I work with the kids in blocks - when you aren't working with me you are working independently on things from your checklist - and we cover math and language arts/writing and foreign language. We take 30minutes at noon for a break and to eat. Afternoon is for working on history/science (depends on day) from 12:30-2:00 and whatever they didn't finish in the morning after that (like "homework"). Thursday we are at co-op all day. Friday we keep the morning schedule but afternoon is for projects/documentaries/notebooking.

 

As far as talking goes this is what I don't allow - they cannot interrupt my direct instruction time, and the cannot interrupt anyone listening to/watching something for school (eg SOTW audio, online classes). They know the school work has to be done by day's end if they want to do outside things (soccer, gym, youth group, scouts, etc), and I remind them of this if the talking gets excessive.

 

 

As an aside, I don't think the comment about "it's a home, we are a family" was a judgement of anyone. I just think it was a way of embodying the tone of their homeschool. I still have a schedule but I try to make our homeschool home-like.

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No set times. Just routines. We are often managing around travel and a work-from-home job. Generally I have a morning block and a late afternoon block set up 6 school "blocks" during the day/week (about 2 - 2.5 hours at a time) + another 4 during the early evening or weekends (usually 1.5 hours). But these are not at a set time - it depends on the week. Basically 20 hours of "facilitated school time" a week. These are times when I am directly available to facilitate a lesson or provide direct guidance. The kids are also responsible for weekly "homework boxes" that they work through with their aunt when I'm working or in the evening or weekends, if needed - these take anywhere from 5 hours over the course of the week for the oldest (almost 10), and 3 hours over the course of the week for the younger (almost 8). They are also responsible for violin practice, independent reading and "SST (self-scheduled time)" on projects of their choosing, and participate in outside classes (homeschool and otherwise).  

 

Screens aren't on except for educational purposes between 9 - 3, and then after that, we just follow the general principal that screens cannot distract from work needing to be done (breaks are okay). We are late birds so bedtime isn't strict, but generally happens by 10pm. The kids get up on their own between 8 - 8:30 am. 

 

Routines are set around certain things happening "first thing" (care for the chickens, violin and silent reading are usually how the day begins, followed by the morning block lesson as soon as is feasibly possible); some givens in my work schedule; and regularly scheduled outside classes/commitments. 

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We're really flexible. I start with whichever child is up first. The kids are finished when they are finished, and they can play and talk all they want as long as they finish. The goal is to be finished by 3 when our public schooled neighbor gets home. My K'er usually needs about 1.5 hrs total, and that's working above level. My 3rd grader needs about 2 hrs, and my 6th grader about 3hrs. I try to get them in bed by 10, but they often stay up later, especially my 2yr old! They are usually all up by 9am or earlier.

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I've tried the schedules, the strictness, and it doesn't work here. It stresses me out and then makes for a tense home.

 

We use routines. I've (slowly) learned to relax. I'm finally realizing that the journey is more about us growing as a family than boxes being checked off.

 

Wow, it's been an interesting ride. Happy where we are headed. I'm finally realizing for my family is home schooling not traditional schooling at home.

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