Works for Me Wednesday: Break Time

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I have a confession to make:  Every day, my kids each lunch in front the the TV.  And, I eat lunch in front of the computer (or with my nose stuck in a book).

Now, before you nominate me for Worst Mom of the Year, we eat dinner as a family at the dinner table nearly every night of the week.  However, early on in our homeschooling journey, something occurred to me — if I had  “real job” and I put in eight hours a day, I’d get two fifteens and a thirty (minute breaks, that is).

I love my kids dearly and I wouldn’t take anything in the world for them, but I need that (relative) quiet time for my sanity.  I need time to catch up with friends via email and blogs and to have the closest thing I’ll get to adult, at-the-water-cooler time as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.

And, honestly?  I think my kids need that downtime away from each other (they’re generally not all at the same TV) to just relax and let their minds rest.  We’ve handled lunch this way for several years and it really seems to work well for us.  Want to know another secret?  We take longer than 30 minutes for lunch.

Oh, and, if it makes it any better, they usually go play outside or in our basement playroom when they’re finished eating.

Visit Kristin at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. You know what? I do the whole TV at lunch time, with me at that computer at least a few times a week. It's some nice down time for me, and a nice treat for them. Win-win! (We, too, have family dinners.)

  2. Oh. my. goodness. I am SO GLAD you said this! I do the tv at lunchtime also (and typically feel guilty). But it DOES give us a nice middleof the day break and we do eat dinner as a family every single night. =)

    So…thanks for taking a load off!

  3. Same here. Moms and children need a little break from one another so they'll appreciate each other more in the afternoon. 🙂

  4. Thanks for your confession Kris! I remember feeling terribly guilty after telling someone that I worked the crossword and cryptoquote at lunch time. It seems that everyone thinks you need to squeeze educational time into every second of the day. You should be reading aloud to your kids during lunchtime. (I've tried that and it definitely does NOT work for us.) How am I supposed to eat if I'm reading?

  5. We do the exact same thing! Phew! I feel so much better now. My kids watch tv and eat lunch (usually an hour) and I work on the computer. I thought I was the only "terrible" mom out there. I think it does all of us good to get this break everyday. We come back to school in the afternoon a little more refreshed.

  6. My kids are not homeschooled but I really enjoy reading about the families that are. I found your blog through the BlogFrog network and am a big fan of WeAreThatFamily. Kristen is awesome. Have you heard of Raising Olives? She homeschools her 9 children! (and she has another on the way).

    I think any mom who has the commitment, dedication, energy and organization it takes to homeschool her children deserves a few minutes of peace at lunch while the kids watch TV. No harm done. You deserve the break 🙂

    I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. p.s. if you ever have any questions about BlogFrog, just let me know.

    Holly (co-founder TheBlogFrog)

  7. We do our Artist/Composer time at lunch (which is what my WFMW is about)but then it's free time because mama needs a break too! 🙂

  8. We do the same thing, and then the kids go to their rooms for a little reading time. It's a perfect break in our day and one that we all seem to need!

  9. If we want the nice family dinner with Dad, we need to eat in front of the whatever-sport-is-on-this-time-of-year-game on TV.
    I hope it counts that the dinner is usually homemade.
    that lunch thing is sounding good.

  10. Thanks for the heads-up on my two fifteens and thirty….I wish I would have known that 16 years ago when I began the journey. We do what we call "reading lunch" where we all bury our noses in books and read and eat and read and read. It took me awhile to break off the shackles of what I thought I HAD to do as a homeschooling mom, instead of what I really WANTED to do.

  11. Love it!!! Most days I spend lunch in front of the computer. Glad to hear I am not the only one.

    Wouldn't it be great if we just threw away the rule book of what we think a homeschooling family should and shouldn't do.

  12. We take an HOUR for lunch, or more, and I do all kinds of computer "work" during my lunch hour. My kids can't watch TV but that is because *I* would just let them watch and watch and forget what time it is and we'd never get back to school…

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you for admitting this. In an effort to protect and preserve homeschooling, so many of us, I think, emphasize all the good and selfless things we do. But we're humans, not saints, and God more than anyone knows that we homeschooling mom need our breaks!

  14. Y'all are great! I love knowing that I'm not alone. We usually take about an hour for lunch, too. We all enjoy the break.

    I agree with Judy — we should probably toss out the "Homeschool Family Rule Book" and just feel free to do what works best for our families…and let others do the same.

  15. Thank you! I thought I was the only one! But the computer is only about 3 feet away from the dining room table. 🙂

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