To Wake Or Not To Wake

That is the question.

I took a photo this morning of my open planner, but no kids at the table, and put it up on my Instagram, asking if homeschool parents prefer to wake their children or let them sleep on school days. After a few comments, I saw very clearly that there are two distinct options to this topic.

{First, let me say that I am not judging either side. We are homeschool parents. In our home. Where we are in charge. So every person is going to have a different set of rules and standards. That’s how it should be! No Mommy Wars here.}

The option in favor of waking has some great points:
– teaches diligence
– the Bible speaks of waking early
– more geared toward preparing for real life, job, college, etc.

The option in favor of letting children sleep until they’re ready to wake also has interesting points:
– children can follow their body’s natural sleep cycle
– a recent study shows that homeschool children are more well rested because of this
– children are more prepared to learn because they are well rested

Interesting points, right?  So how do I handle the wake or not wake question?

I am a No Waker. Here’s why:

1) We aren’t on anyone’s schedule. We are on my schedule. And honestly? I don’t like alarms. So I don’t use them. That’s not to say that we always sleep in. I’m terrible at sleeping late. Some mornings I’m wide awake at 5am, just staying in bed so as to not wake anyone else. My three-year old, six-year-old and I are both usually up by 7am at the latest. But my ten and twelve-year-old daughters? They can sleep! And for us, that’s okay! They don’t sleep in late every day. On a normal day, we’re all up and moving by 8. But when they need to sleep, they can. Many studies have shown that tweens and teens do not get enough sleep. Lack of sleep leads to all kinds of ick like trouble thinking, health issues and self control problems. We all know it’s true – when you’re tired, it’s just harder to function. While I’m able, I like having the freedom to let my older girls sleep as much as they need. They feel better, they listen and react better, I get some time with my little girls in the morning. Win, win.

2) I don’t cook breakfast. I don’t really like breakfast. I’m a ‘toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee’ kinda gal. That’s not changing any time soon. So the undesirable task of making breakfast more that once just doesn’t apply to me. Everyone makes their own breakfast when they’re ready to eat. Usually, I’ll make the younger girls their breakfast but sometimes the older girls chip in to help. Our choices haven’t changed in years – toast, oatmeal or cereal. You can feel bad for my daughters now.

3) In my opinion, letting an older child set their own wake time teaches personal responsibility. My older daughters know what they have to get done each day before they’re free to play or call friends. Their chores are laid out and their school work is listed in my planner. It is no surprise to them when I tell them at noon that they still have work to do, even if they act shocked. I’ve tried to stop hovering and start allowing them to create their own schedule. If they want to wake early and get school done, they can. I don’t allow them to play all day and do school at night, however. They have to complete that day’s assignments and chores. But if they’re bored and want to work ahead? That’s totally allowed.

What’s your take To Wake Or Not To Wake? Do you let your children sleep? Or do you enjoy the routine of a set morning wake up time?