Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sleep Schedules

One thing seems interesting to me from an unschooling perspective. For years, I've let my children sleep however late, and go to bed at whatever hour. Homeschoolers (and schoolers - as the kids used to call them) would ask me, "How will they be able to hold down a job - follow a schedule - adhere to expectations -- if I never impose any on them as children?" Well, it's a non-issue. It's like practicing the act of waiting in line. Or working on eating. Honestly, when they were younger, I'd think, "well, they just won't choose a job that conflicts with their natural rhythm."

But that's not what happened.

They found a job they wanted, and they made their own rhythm cooperate. They are not late to work. I sometimes don't even get up with them! They have alarm clocks. They shower. They manage just fine thank-you-very- much (I don't mean that snappy tone for you all - just my long ago naysayers!) Katie proved this to me a year and half ago when she went to stay with her grandma in Dallas so she could attend a month-long intensive drama program. She got herself up at 5 a.m., checked her email, fixed her breakfast, showered, dressed, and caught the city bus to go downtown. She was 15.

And now they both have jobs at Barnes and Noble. Alyssa goes on cheerleading competition weekends. We frequently stay in hotels and have to get up to be at the competion by 7 a.m. That means she usually needs to start getting ready around 5:45. She jumps right up and gets to it.

So, that's my real life experience with kids and sleep schedules. No one needed to rehearse getting up early. They did/do it when they need to.

Just an interesting little fact... at least to me.

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