Monday, August 5, 2013

Whose Schedule Are We On – And When Did We All Agree To It?

I dread the beginning of the school year.

The getting up when it’s still dark outside and, feeling rushed, your thoughts not your own, having to jump into clothes (the poor kids into uniforms designed to be ugly) and into the car to get everyone to school.

The 3+ hours of homework the school prides itself on assigning every night, which eats up the evening, causes anxiety and dread, will encroach, if we allow it, on the kids getting enough sleep. (See an article I wrote about how experts think this much homework is not a good idea.)

I often think that, if my kids and I ruled the world, everything would be moved back by an hour or two.

We would get up later and linger in our pajamas longer, contemplating the day ahead. I am a firm believer in what Henry David Thoreau said about alarm clocks versus waking up naturally: “Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor.”

But it isn’t just mornings. The whole day would move to a nicer rhythm. In the summer, when we are more in charge of our own lives, my family eats dinner late – often not till 8 pm, a dinner the kids and I spent time making and will spend time enjoying. My kids go to bed later, when they feel like it, after reading or drawing or writing or (gasp) playing a computer game, all for the pure pleasure of it, for as long as they want to.

Being busy, busy, busy all the time has serious drawbacks.


  1. You can choose to homeschool them:) just saying'

    1. :o) When my kids were young, they told me they wanted me to homeschool them ... because, they explained, they figured I'd never get my stuff together and we'd end up watching cartoons ... which sounds about right.

  2. I live in a schizoid world where during the school year, Monday-Friday finds my offspring capable of getting up when required to be someplace they are expected. The weekends, vacations and summers bring a different reality- where my teens get up on an "as-needed" basis, go to bed when they feel like it, and show up to dinner if they are hungry and not "meeting friends" later.. It's enough to make me crazy but I get it that as an authority figure I have lost my luster. I appreciate that non-familial authority figures still matter to them- makes me feel that all is not lost and that I am not hopeless as a parent.