Thoreau Quote

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, 5 October 2012

Letting sleeping teens lie

It's the usual morning dilemma. Shall I, or shall I not, go and wake the teens?!

Yesterday was an especially busy one. Thursdays always are. We have recently joined a home ed multi-sports group which B and J are really enjoying. The opportunity for some regular team sport couldn't be ignored, but it's an hour's drive from us. So that's a two hour round trip for me for two hours of sport for them. It's well worth it though, for me also as I get to chat with some home educating parents AND the chance to play with the SatNav facility on my new mobile phone in order to find the place! Just as well it's only every fortnight though as I wince to see the petrol gauge head downwards so quickly!

Thursday mornings start as normal - I'm up with A before she heads off to catch the school bus. I then get B and J up so there's time for them to fit something in before we leave for the sport session - yesterday I managed to persuade them to write up an experiment on yeast they'd done a few days ago, while I finished off some work for a client, started the online Tesco order, paid the mobile phone bill and so on. We head off at around 11.00.

SatNav cool, sports enjoyed, chats agreeable!

Since I usually shop on a Friday, by Thursday we've normally run out of basics so it's a quick dash to pick up milk on the way home,which means we roll in at about 4.00. Chat with A who's just in from school, listen to her news, check if she has homework, try not to get annoyed with tales of the narrow minded educational demands she is subjected to on a daily basis ;)

Then it really gets busy!

Thursdays is the night that T, B and J all have various activities. In different towns. So the evening is pretty much a whirl of drop offs and pick ups for me, at the same time trying to work in things like dinner for everyone at different times to suit their schedule! Fortunately A is now old enough to be left at home so she enjoys a lovely evening in complete control of the TV remote and sitting in the comfy chair, chilling out while the rest of us whirl in and out of the house at speed! 

Their Dad comes over and takes care of J's football training transportation, which is a lifesaver really. I take B to her drama class, shoot back to sort out dinner for A and me. Keep an eye on the clock as I then have to leave to take T to football, straight to collect B and drop her back home. It's about 8.30 now so quick check that An is OK and back to collect T. Home at last by 9.30, another quick chat with A before I chivvy her off to bed as it's school tomorrow.

Sit down while T and B sort their own food out. They're plenty big enough for that! J is staying with Dad tonight so he's taken care of. Remember to finish off Tesco order otherwise I'd be looking forward to a delivery of four pints of milk tomorrow - not for the first time I'm ashamed to say!

Relax in front of telly with a glass of wine :) 

While finishing the Tesco order on my mobile (boy I do love that piece of technology!) I find a link to an article about Seth MacFarlane's forthcoming hosting of the Oscars and, more specifically, about the objections to this choice by a group in America called the PTC (Parents Televsion Council). MacFarlane, if you're not aware, is the creator of such shows as Family Guy and American Dad, renowned for being graphic and choosing controversial topics of humour! Knowing that they'll take an interest in this, I wave the article at Tom and Beth for a brief opportunity to raise the subjects of censorship, freedom of speech, personal and parental responsibility and so on. I decide not to start a 'conversation' though - this time it's enough just to leave it with them. Plus I'm tired and I'm not sure my brain would work very well!

B and I catch up with something on the Sky planner and when it's finished I'm about to suggest bedtime when we notice that the next programme - 'The Boy Who Can't Forget'. Intrigued we keep the telly on and it is indeed a very interesting look at a young man who has the ability to recall a vast amount of his life, being able to tell you what he was doing on whatever day in the past you care to choose. This is right up our street, especially since I did my degree in Psychology and B took the same subject for GCSE last year. But it turned out to be educational for us in other ways too. I comment on the boy's unusual name, Aurelien, and B reminds me that it was the name of one of the sons in the French family she stayed with on an exchange trip with her drama group last year. The mother then appears on the screen and appears to have a French accent - that probably explains the choice of name then! A little later on B comments 'I think he's gay', at which point, right on cue, the programme introduces a new person as 'his boyfriend' and continues with the investigation. We were very impressed by the way his sexuality was not swept under the carpet with vague allusions to 'his friend', but neither was it  given any disproportionate attention. It was just a fact, in the same way his having a sister, or a cat might have been. We applauded the production team!

The next programme which managed to catch our attention before we could get to the off switch was 'Embarrassing Bodies' which seemed to be largely about penises which bend. Well OK then! T appeared just at the right time (wrong time?!) to watch aswell. I'd not seen the programme before but it treated all the subjects in a professional, medical fashion so was pretty educational really. Although we couldn't quite work out what motivates people to actually be featured on the show!

When we finally fell into bed sometime past midnight our minds were well and truly full thanks to the impromptu learning opportunities that had been thrown our way by means of the box in the corner. There are many times that I feel like throwing it out of the window, such is the addictive nature of some of the tat that appears, but every now and then it does something to redeem itself. On reflection, last night turned into hours of learning which, in a school curriculum, might be planned and delivered as part of PHSE, but which I find just happens naturally in the course of our lives, unplanned and unforeseen and probably taken in a lot better as a result. We'd just stuffed a lot of it into a short space of time!

So yesterday turned out to be pretty full on as far as education is concerned. I'm not surprised the teens are tired! In which case I think a lie in is appropriate this morning. There's nothing magical about the hours between 9 and 3 which make them most appropriate for learning as I think yesterday demonstrates. It was also as good an example as I can think of recently of education being 'full time' and 'efficient'!

Letting them sleep also benefits me. Getting sufficient 'me time' can be one of the biggest challenges of home education and a couple of hours peace and quiet is not to be sniffed  at.

Having said that, B could sleep for England if left alone so I'll go and shake her in a bit. As flexible as home education is, you do actually have to be awake for some of it to happen!

But, maybe, just one more cup of tea first??


  1. Hi Just hopping around the blogring and saying hello.

    I have this dilemma often as I am neurotic about sleeping in. We tended to compromise and dd would sleep til around 10 then get on with her day.

    Carol(Welcome to Our World)

  2. sounds v busy! SB not a teen yet, but v happy to sleep in like one. given half the chance i think i would like to as well!DH said he had seen you at multisports.

  3. Great post - I posted on just the same dilemma Jane. I reckon it's something we all worry about. Sounds like you've got it well sorted! x

  4. Thanks all!

    Carol, do you find that your daughter sticks to the compromise and gets up? I tried this approach in the past but DD didn't get up (to be fair I don't think she was being awkward on purpose, she's just really bad at it!). I would spend an hour tramping upstairs and downstairs trying to get her up, getting crosser and crosser and by the time she was up we were both in such a foul mood that any productive activity was out of the question!

    1. LOL, it mostly worked. There were days though where she just was NOT rising before noon no matter what I did. I agree that its not worth the fight most the time and now she is 16 she manages her time herself. She gets up at 6.30am without a problem on college days but is never seen before noon any other day.

  5. Hi Helen! Yes multi sports is great. I just think I'm going to have to be a bit more conscious of the budget to be able to afford the petrol! Worth it though.

  6. Hmm, Ross, I'm not sure if I've got it sorted at all really. As soon as I think I have the angle they change the goal posts! Still, keeps me on my toes I suppose :)

  7. I've got two coming up to teens who would happily sleep half the day away. But then again, I'm a night owl, so can't complain completely...

    Any chance you could take the captcha off given you've got moderation? Probably don't need both?

    1. Hmm, didn't know captcha was still on....doesn't show in my view of course. I'll look into it, thanks!

  8. Hi ~ just dropping in :D
    In our house 'teen' & 'asleep' seem to be synonymous words!! ;)

  9. Hello :) also going round blogring - think we have met before though. We have one teen and one almost teen, neither really lie in, youngest usually up and about by 7/7.30am and teen closer to 8.30/9am but encourage them to be busy by 9.30am.

  10. oooo lovely, a blog on the blog ring with teenagers! I need all the help/advice/tips I can get. I have one teenager at present - now 15 - and five children who will, presumably, all be teenagers at some point. Eeek!


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