Successfully Home School In The Afternoon


Successfully Home School In The Afternoon?

Posted by: mom23 Aug 27 2004, 05:55 PM

I like the idea of schooling first thing in the morning, while everyone is fresh and motivated. The problem is, for my family, it is vital to get outside for a couple of hours every day. And it is oh-so hot and sticky by 11 around here. So in order to wear the toddlers out, we really have to get outside after breakfast. I tried afternoon schooling last year but it didn't work out well at all, mainly because DD would be pretty mouthy and also because I couldn't seem to maintain a consistent afternoon schedule. This year, both toddlers nap at the same time, after lunch, around 12:30, so I should be able to arrange school around their nap. Are there tricks to p.m. schooling that I need to know about? Maybe schooling in the afternoon goes against the very grain of children, in general, and is a lost cause?


Posted by: DeborahinOR Aug 27 2004, 06:28 PM

Hi Lisa,
No one in my family is a morning person. I've tried in our six years to do what sounds like what most people do (or perhaps it just gets more press?): get up early and get school done by lunch. First of all, none of do well if we wake up to an alarm. Second, none of starts to really think until after lunch. So, I let everyone wake up on their own and we start school about an hour after the last person is up. We all seem to need some time to truely wake up before we can think. This year my ds, who just turned 14, started putting himself to bed at 10 pm. He says that's when he starts to feel tired. Dd (who's 12) and I stay up until 11-12. We are all up by 9 and we start our day at 10. This means that we do most of our schooling in the afternoon and evening.

The trick I've found is to tell them what I want done that day and let them decide how much to work on at a time. As they've gotten older they've learned things about themselves and how they have to work. For example: both have to do Math first thing. If they leave it to later they don't have the patience or energy to do it well. Ds needs more breaks. He works on two subjects and has a 15 minute break. Dd prefers to do half of her day and then take a longer break. 15 minute breaks are a waste of time to her.

We take breaks to get the things in life done and finish school around them. Sometimes they're done by 4pm. Sometimes they do most of their school and finish after dinner. Sometimes we have so many interuptions (like yesterday) school is spread out all day. We schooled from 10-12, 2-4, 7-8 and ds took his history to bed with him. It sounds gruelling, but all three of us thought it was a great day.

It sounds like afternoon schooling may work for your family. Getting out first thing when it's cool and schooling when the toddlers are resting sounds ideal. If last year was your first, I'd say stick with it. Some of the mouthy-ness and maintaining a consistent schedule will fall into place, but will take time.

My kids came out of public school, so we had a lot to overcome the first 1-3 years.

Hang in there. Try it again this year and I think it will fall into place.

Posted by: AKHomemom Aug 27 2004, 09:10 PM

We do school beginning around 9-10 in the moring to about 12-12:30 then take about 1hr for lunch and school for about 1-2 more hours. While my kids don't like doing stuff in the AM I'm wasted by about 3pm so we have to work w/what works best. I try to have the stuff that will need the most instruction from me done in the morning or right after lunch when I am able to do this. Then the stuff they can do alone or w/little help from me I have them do later.

I'd love to start school about 8-8:30 but I'd never get them up in time w/o getting a bad attitude from their lack of energy/sleep. See I'm a morning bird in a house of 3 night owls (3rd is DH).

I'd say do what does work best for YOUR family and forget about everyone else.

Posted by: shelbygt Aug 27 2004, 09:27 PM

we are all night owls here, expect i have to be a morning person because of work.

DS does most of his school work in the afternoon and evening. he will do about an hour or so with DH during the afternoon and then he gets a break until i get home from work. DS and I then do about 1 or 2 hours more. Some days go very well and some days dont go well at all, like today is a very bad bomb.gif day. DS is mouthy, disrespectful the whole nine yards and he hasnt done one page of work yet (it is 10:25pm here) DS has been grounded to his room until morning so today has been scrapped.

I agree with AKHomemom.... do what is best for your family. This is one of wonderful things about homeschooling.... no set schedules to follow..... twocents.gif

Posted by: sumi Aug 27 2004, 10:08 PM

I have a question. Once the boys get into doing something other than school in the mornings it is really hard to pull them away to start school. That's why schooling first thing is often easier for us. But with the new baby, and lack of sleep...the boys are often up before I am, and starting school at around 10 or 11 would be more practical. How do you get the kids into school-mode when they are already in play-mode?

Posted by: ELSANNE Aug 28 2004, 07:51 AM

I am forced to be a morning person by my dog (drooling Great Pyrenees) who HAS to go out somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 every day or she smacks her dog lips by my head on my pillow. Don't need an alarm clock. This has given me about 1-1/2 to 2 hours for me and my coffee. I find I really need this for some reason.... joe.gif Kids get up around 8 or 8:30, and after wake-up time, breakfast, a couple morning chores, we usually start school around 9:30 or sometimes 10. We take about 45 minutes for lunch and usually finish all school work by 2. I don't think I could make it much past 3:00 every day. By then the pub school is out and the kids are so distracted by their friends being done that they can't concentrate. I do have to enforce a bedtime of 9:30 at the latest, or my daughter wouldn't be up until 11:00am every day. She needs about an hour of wake up time too, and by then it would be time for lunch.
I wanted to be one of the moms who could spring out of bed with everything prepared for the upcoming school day, wake kids at 6:30 with pancakes and sausages ready and the clothes laid out from the night before, etc. They would joyfully accomplish all of their tasks for the day and we would be done by noon. That isn't our reality, however. So our actual schooling is about 9:30 - 2 or 3. The great thing about homeschooling is we can all do what works for us. I love it!


Posted by: CelticMuse Aug 28 2004, 09:05 AM

we manuver our school schedule around my work schedule at least until I'm able to quit. (praying it will be soon)

Noah usually does better in the mornings but he is starting to be able to learn at anytime of the day. I try to do math and phonics/reading early in the day then we do bible, history and science in the evening. But we don't do the experiments until whenever(sometimes we just don't do them) But this year I think I'm going to do them on Saturday morning. We also don't do any writing in the evening yet. I just make him narrate back to me. Although I write I don't make him do it. Writing is very hard for him still..........

It will all work out just be patient and keep your children's interest at heart. Oh yes, I almost forgot~ you have to be stern enough to make them work when you want them to. But that is not any different in the morning vs afternoon/evening for homeschooler's. whistling.gif

Posted by: CareyJ Aug 28 2004, 09:06 AM

I love hearing about everyone's reality! Makes me feel better... we didn't do too well last year.

This year we will try to get up earlier, and get going asap. If I don't, dd gets distracted and it is nigh impossible to get started any earlier than 11:00, then pretty soon it's lunchtime and I'm wasted by 1:30 or 2:00!

So the plan is
#1 I'm not allowed to use the computer till night time!!!! user posted image This was the biggest time waster for me, I NEED ya'll but I also really need to get school done. Then at night I can visit here with a clear conscience. hdance.gif

Then I think all else will fall into place, dd is usually pretty compliant and likes to hs, though she does miss her "friends" at ps.

Posted by: dilandcamsmom Aug 28 2004, 09:51 AM

I am glad to hear how everyone works this out. We start our mornings at 7 am and school at 9 am. We are usually done by 1 pm or so. He takes only a small break and then eats lunch afterwards. I make adjustments in the schedule as needed especially since the little one has been so sick. Yesterday I tried letting him wait until around 3 or so to do a math test and what a mess. I agree, he has a hard time switching from play mode to school mode so mornings do work best here, at least for now. Thanks flower3.gif

Posted by: mamamia Aug 28 2004, 10:51 AM

I thought I would add our twocents.gif . Last year I had the kids start school by 10 am and we took a lunch at noon and then continued to work for another hour or two. This worked very well for us. We had no problems what so ever.
This year, however, with moving and all, it seems my kids have gotten totally off schedule. They are more cranky in the mornings and are just completely brain dead if you ask me. I said to my dh that I am not even going to try to do school in the mornings this year!
I now start school right after lunch. Lunch is served at noon and when they are done they can play until 1 pm. At 1 pm we start school and get done in time to welcome dh home and have dinner on the table. Afternoon school is going so much more smoothly than mornings. I have no crankiness and no attitudes and if I do get attitudes dh is home just in time for dealing with them tongue.gif
I do however have those times where they are outside playing and are just so involved with what they are doing that I just let them play. I mean, after all, how often do all of your kids get along? When mine do I just let them play until the argueing starts and then it's school time yes.gif

Posted by: Donna Aug 28 2004, 11:03 AM

It doesn't matter when a person starts, as long as they start at some point and their schedule doesn't make them crazy.

I was raised to believe early is best for everything, but I don't believe that it is true for everyone or everything. If afternoons or evenings works best, then a family shouldn't feel strange or guilty about not starting in the morning. I think feeling like we're 'doing it wrong' is just a result of the 'early to bed, early to rise' idealism. Of course old Ben didn't have to work 3rd shift, did he. laugh.gif

Posted by: DeborahinOR Aug 28 2004, 04:21 PM

QUOTE (mamamia @ Aug 28 2004, 08:51 AM)
I do however have those times where they are outside playing and are just so involved with what they are doing that I just let them play. I mean, after all, how often do all of your kids get along? When mine do I just let them play until the argueing starts and then it's school time yes.gif

When my two came home from public school, they fought constantly. When they had times of getting along, I did this same thing. It actually helped their relationship a great deal. Now that we've been home for 6 years and they are 12 and 14 they fight rarely. A miracle I didn't think possible!

Posted by: DeborahinOR Aug 28 2004, 04:27 PM

QUOTE (CareyJ @ Aug 28 2004, 07:06 AM)
So the plan is
#1 I'm not allowed to use the computer till night time!!!! user posted image This was the biggest time waster for me, I NEED ya'll but I also really need to get school done. Then at night I can visit here with a clear conscience. hdance.gif


Our computer crashed so I have an imposed one hour a day limit at the library Tues-Sat. What a difference it makes in my day. I had no idea how much time I spent on the computer.

Due to finances, we cancelled our cable (it came with the Internet we couldn't use anyway) and haven't gotten an antennae yet. Another time devourer!

We've never been without either computer or TV and we're living a different life. I miss both and don't want to be without forever, but it's been a good test...for the adults. The kids have handled the change much better than us! rolleyes.gif

Posted by: mom23 Aug 28 2004, 06:16 PM

Thanks, everyone! I like seeing that other families can make it work. I like the school after lunch idea. I could have DD start some work while I get the boys down for their nap, or even just start at 1, when they are already asleep. I just realized that this will even work out better on the days we run errands, as we usually are gone in the morning.

Oh, I also have to really limit my internet time. We only have dial-up, which is very slow since the phone lines are iffy out here in the sticks. I try not to be too hard on myself about it, though, because I don't really have any neighbors, and the only adult I see five days a week is DH!

Anyway, thanks for the ideas and encouragement!


Posted by: mamamia Aug 28 2004, 07:17 PM

Donna- I think you are so right. I think that most of us have been taught that doing things in the morning is the best way to go. I have always felt guilty about not getting my chores and errands done before noon... dunno.gif I'm not sure why but it always made me feel like I was a slaker. Well, Now I have just realized that sometimes it is impossible to get everything done in the mornings! I have started to feel less guilty and more "normal" laugh.gif
I used to be very strict about the kids doing their work in the mornings and being done after lunch but I say as long as they get it done before I go to bed then it is fine by me. If we do school at 11pm then so what, it works for us. I don't think we should set a limit to ourselves. Being homeschool moms our schedule change daily at times and if you try to stick to one set time limit then you just might make yourself crazy.

This has taken me a year to find out rolleyes.gif laugh.gif

As homeschoolers our motto should be " You live and you learn"

Don't look back on mistakes.

Posted by: MomofBunbun Aug 28 2004, 10:26 PM

We do a little bit in the morning and a little more when the youngest takes her nap in the afternoon. We are only doing K this year and so I feel better if we do an hour total each day. I am hoping that this prepares me for next year or the year after when there will be more that has to be done.

I know someone who primarily does it in the evenings. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she has to work a couple of days a week and on those days, the lessons get done after dinner. Whatever works, right? happy.gif


Posted by: hsmom64 Aug 30 2004, 01:41 AM

I tried afternoon schooling last year but it didn't work out well at all, mainly because DD would be pretty mouthy and also because I couldn't seem to maintain a consistent afternoon schedule.

Have you considered "quiet time" for everyone after lunch. Then a good snack before schooling? Maybe you were dealing with tiredness and low blood sugar by the afternoon.
No schedule works great for me blush.gif so this is just a guess. I was advised to have a quiet time where everyone stayed on their beds and read or did something quiet for 45 minutes right after lunch. No need to try to sleep. hi.gif

Posted by: mom-to-five Aug 30 2004, 07:10 AM

We do it mostly in the mornings because I work in the afternoon and evenings. But when I have days off we sometimes end up doing it in the evening. I am usually "spent" by the time my days off roll around and need time to "recoop" so we spend the day just having fun(or doing any errands or library stuff) and then in the evening get the other stuff done. I have to agree with Donna, it does not really matter when you start just as long as you do and you get it done.

Posted by: Ranchermom Aug 30 2004, 12:06 PM

In the morning we are too busy with farm/ranch chores (whole family) and getting dressed and eating breakfast. AFter her chores, Daughter will usually work on her basics alone like Reading so many chapters, her cursive writing and studying for spelling test or doing some sort of computer problem in the mornings.

Later in the afternoon after lunch we do our main school work. Its like the hottest time of the day for us in the summer and we are thankful to have airconidtioning so its nice to be inside, at our old house we only had airconditioning in one room so we did everything in that room. Daughter wants to get things done by 3pm cause of her cartoons coming on or her neighbor friends coming home from school that she wants to play with. She has incentive to finish up early or no tv or friends.


Posted by: hsmomforjesus Aug 30 2004, 06:08 PM

Since I have toddlers as well as school age kids, I tried doing school in the afternoon, but it did not work well for us because I would fall asleep reading to them....I am a morning person and most of my kids are too, the latest waking up about 7:30. So morning is best for us. Today we were done with all school work by 1:30 !!! Wahooooo!!! So then we had quiet reading time for 1 hr and baked some zuchini bread, and I took a 15 min nap! clap.gif clap.gif clap.gif What a good day!

Posted by: labellady Aug 30 2004, 07:10 PM

banana.gif I homeschool two boys and I have found that schedules are hard to keep. My oldest has speech and occupational thearpy two days a week. So some days I do mornings and some days afternoons. I think they like the change in pace from day to day. flower3.gif

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