Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Bedtime Wars

Bedtime, or rather getting-up time, has been the biggest hurdle for the beginning of this school year. Xavier had to write three laws, a la Hammurabi, for his world cultures class and the first injustice he decided to right was imposed bedtimes. Klaus hasn't woken up to his alarm since the first day of school, and Wolfie and I are both dragging ourselves out of bed as close to 9 am (Dad-imposed homeschool start time) as we can get away with.

Klaus's problem is self-inflicted but, being a night owl myself, it makes a lot of sense to me that we should follow our natural rhythms, even if that means studying at midnight and sleeping 'til noon. M.S. Beltran, writing in the March-April 2004 issue of Home Education Magazine, agrees. She writes, "Training at an early age to meet with any pre-set hours seems inessential; we can be trained to go against our body's natural rhythms with minimal discomfort, but we cannot change those rhythms. Each individual has certain hours during the day that are peak performance hours, in which his or her body naturally operates at optimal performance levels. Sleep experts agree that, rather than wasting these precious hours, scheduling activities around one's most productive time of day is the most beneficial approach. To ignore the body's natural tendencies, as Dr. Dement puts it, is akin to a person "using his best shirts to scrub the floor." (The Promise Of Sleep, p. 423)."

DH, the morning person, just does not understand this and, to his credit, he's probably right that no studying would get done if we left the boys to their own devices. We differ on whether that's a problem in 6th and 7th grade, but since the boys are in charter school, so do have deadlines, though very flexible ones, I'm going along with the 9 am thing. Leaving the structure of the public school has been very difficult for him, so this is the compromise I've made to allow the boys to stay home. I do wish that just sticking Beltran's article under his nose would help him see the light. Or rather, the beauty of the dark.


Zany Mom said...

Go to bed when you're tired, wake up when you're rested, and the learning will take care of itself.

DH needs to chill and maybe needs to read more (not only yours but I've got tons, too).

The belief that sleeping in causes laziness isn't true at all.

That said, I wish I could sleep in. Darn work, ya know. ;)

The Princess Mom said...

I knew you were going to say that! LOL

That's exactly the issue, though. DH says school is their work and should be done during the daytime just like work. I did ease into it more today. At 9, with Wolfie semi-comatose on the couch, I put on an Assignment Discovery video that we'd Tivo'd. He got some science info and discussion (we're still waiting on his biology class) and by the end of the show, he was wide awake. :D

Zany Mom said...

Some people DO work the night shifts, as he well should Doctors!! ;)