Monday, January 14, 2013

Divide and Conquer

My sons were born on opposite sides of the day. Not literally, since they both came into the world after midday, but they have operated on opposite time zones ever since. 

Danny was a nighttime baby from the beginning. He didn't want to go to bed before 11pm or midnight at all, and we tried everything. Sometimes it would take hours of walking, bouncing or rocking before he could calm his never-ending energy and sleep. And then when he slept, he slept! He was the only baby on the block that slept all night and woke up when the other babies were going down for the their first nap, usually around 10am. I LOVED that part of his schedule, BUT we were totally out-of-sync for playdates! Because he slept so well at night, we gave up his naps by the age of two- exactly the same time his brother came into the world to bookend my day.

Benjamin was up with the dawn right away. For the first 3 years of his life, his day (and mine) started at 4:30am. I am not kidding. I saw more sunrises in that time than I ever need to see. It would have been doable- because he was such a sweet little thing - except that darling son #1 was still going to bed at 11 or 12 at night. Hubby and I didn't get eight hours of sleep for years. When Ben started sleeping late - until 7:30am - it was a party at my house!

So, to make a long story short (too late, I know!), I have started to realize I need to reorganize my homeschool day. Ben will get up before anyone else and start to play with his games. I will follow, guzzling coffee and catching up on my emails and business stuff. Then we wait for Danny. And wait. And wait. He wakes up late and he wakes up slow, regardless of poking and prodding by brother, parents or dogs. (I think he's giving us previews of his teen years..) So yesterday, when analyzing where I could make our school day work better (if you don't know what I mean, see yesterday's, I realized that since Ben needs more one-on-one anyway and Danny is loving the independent folder work in the afternoon, I'll just split them up!

If today is any indication, I'm really onto something. Before Danny woke up, Ben and I did reading, handwriting and math and he really needed the individual time with me. Once we shook Danny out of bed and he had breakfast and woke up, we all came together for geography, spelling and science. It was a zoo, which is normal and how our whole day used to be. After we split up again, Ben did cello practice and Danny settled down to his folder work with me nearby for questions and one-on-one help while Ben played. I really think this is going to work.

Yes, it took longer than usual, but they really did much better and the only time I felt a migraine coming on was when they were in class together and if that  continues, I'll just split the whole day up. Problem solved! For now....:)

A cool place to check out: Hip Homeschool Moms :)

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