If a packed or unusual daytime schedule is derailing your homeschool, try homeschooling at night to maximize your schedule. Bethany has five reasons why a schedule change may be just what you need!
So often we embark on this homeschool life with the idea that learning happens between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. We make our beautiful, color-coded schedule and set the alarms. Then, we don’t understand the disappointment when things don’t go as planned.
Life gets in the way of that perfectly timed schedule.
Before you get discouraged and flag down the school bus, remember, this is your homeschool and learning happens all the time. Sure, it can happen at 9 a.m. if that suits your family, but 9 p.m. is okay, too. And for those of you with teenagers, I see you already nodding your head because you know how difficult life can be with a 15-year-old at 9 in the morning.
5 Benefits to Homeschooling at Night
Have you ever thought about homeschooling at night? Consider these benefits.
Working Around a Parent’s Unusual Work Schedule
Many families homeschool because one parent’s job is affected by a varying or unusual schedule. Whether they are a police officer or nurse, ER doctor or college professor, many jobs require evening or overnight hours.
The flexibility of homeschooling can make family life better since you have more control over your children’s schedules. If your child is in a traditional school, it can be challenging to see the parent that works an evening shift. Homeschooling means you can make adjustments that allow for more family time.
Homeschool at night leaves mornings free to spend time with that parent before they head off to work. You can then finish up your homeschool activities in the evening when they’re away.
Managing Appointments More Effectively
Circumstances such as special needs or chronic illness can mean a lot of appointments. Many factors can contribute to the number of outside appointments you have, such as:
- Having a larger family
- Therapy appointments for a child with special needs
- Tutoring for children with learning differences
- Chronic or short term illnesses
It’s incredible how quickly your time can become consumed with necessary errands and appointments.
Getting your family everywhere they need to be while also maintaining a morning homeschool routine can quickly become overwhelming. If your family finds your days crammed with appointments, you might consider moving those must-do academic subjects to the evening.
A slower-paced morning allows time to organize your day and thoughts before heading out for a day that makes you feel more like an Uber driver than a homeschool mom.
Carving out Time for Field Trips and Outside Activities
Another huge benefit of homeschooling is it allows us to go places, see things, and have amazing experiences outside of a classroom. These opportunities are excellent, but many times parents lament they aren’t home long enough to get all the school work completed.
Maybe we should change our ideas of the “proper” time to complete school work?
Take those field trips, vacations, and extra classes without guilt, by doing some of the necessary homeschool work in the evening. Homeschooling lets you skip the “school year” mentality.
Enlisting the Help of the Other Parent
You struggle to help your children with Algebra while your engineer spouse is at work. Or maybe you hate teaching science, but your biologist spouse would love it.
Is muddling through math or science a good use of your time or your child’s? Not really.
Why not put those subjects on hold until the evening when your spouse is there to tutor?
We all have subjects we understand and enjoy better than others, while there are other topics where we struggle. If our spouse can better help with a subject but is only available in the evening, that’s okay. Do what works best to get the job done.
Accommodating a Homeschooling Family of Night Owls
I know night owls exist, though I am not one of them. However, I do have teenagers, which is pretty much the same thing.
If your family likes to stay up late and sleep in, shift your schedule. Just because traditional schools start at 8:00 am doesn’t mean your homeschool must follow the same schedule.
Also, following your natural schedule often means everyone is more likely to be receptive to new ideas and information. Getting your night owls up early and expecting them to pay attention to math is going to end in frustration for everyone.
Homeschooling at Night Can Work
Homeschooling can be summed up in one simple belief, do what is best for your family. Learning happens all the time. We don’t have to regulate it to traditional school hours.
If your spouse works evenings, it’s okay to homeschool at night. Does your teen sleep until noon? You can homeschool at night! If you’re seeing that an elderly family member makes it to appointments, nighttime homeschooling is perfectly fine.
Our entire lives have led to an ingrained belief that school equals learning, and since school happens between 8 and 3, those must be the hours we should homeschool. However, all of life is learning, and learning cannot and should not be limited to four walls and a fixed schedule.
Do what works for your family. Homeschool at night, on the weekends, in the car, or at the park, because all learning counts.
Do you homeschool during non-traditional days or hours? What benefits have you discovered?