For the past month, my husband has been working a second shift job. For the most part, I am enjoying the second shift lifestyle, but it has meant some adjustments for our family and for homeschooling.
We now eat a large lunch as our main family meal of the day. This is really healthier than having a big dinner, and I find that I have more energy to cook at mid-day than I have in the evenings. Of course, that means I have to be even more diligent to plan ahead. I must have my plan for lunch before I go to bed the night before.
I am used to eating leftovers for lunch, so it has been an adjustment to sometimes have the kitchen in full swing while Sprite is also needing input on a school assignment. While I’m cooking, I ask her to either come to me in the kitchen or to do her independent work without me.
So that we have time to spend with my husband, we have shifted the bulk of homeschooling to the afternoon hours when he is at work. Mornings are still free for Sprite and her dad to run errands, go to appointments, and swim at the gym.
Although I prefer to get my work done early, I have seen that a shift to afternoon homeschool has been pleasant for Sprite. In fact, I would say that school is easier for her in the afternoons since she seems more energetic and focused. Research has shown that because of the changes in their bodies, teens do not do well with early mornings. So second shift homeschooling seems a perfect match for a middle schooler like Sprite. We are normally done with lessons by dinner time which is a simple meal of a sandwich or leftovers (what used to be our normal fare for lunch).
Some of her friends, both homeschooled and public schooled, are surprised to call and find Sprite still working on school at 5:30 PM. But she is quick to remind them that she didn’t begin her work until around 1 PM.
Sprite has loved staying up late for many years now, and it has worked fine for our lifestyle, so I have allowed it. That meant I could rise early and have the house to myself in the first hours of the day. Now she likes to wait up for dad to get home and visit for a while before going to sleep. (I’m sure there is a psychological desire to have dad at home and connect with him before going to bed.)
On my part, I admit that I am usually already in bed and often already asleep and normally when he gets home. I’m not a bit of a night owl. But even with allowing her to stay up late and get up later, I always felt this nagging concern that we should be done with homeschool by 2:00 or 3:00 PM, that we are somehow lazy if we don’t get done before then. I am loving the freedom that a second shift homeschool gives us to start as late as we need to and keep working until it’s done.
A downside to my husband’s working second shift is that I can no longer go out for a ladies night or even to the local homeschool group since they all meet in the evenings. But I am thankful that he has a job and for the perks that second shift homeschooling offers us.Photo Credit: thanks to Scalespeeder for the awesome clock image that I modified.