As I sit down to write this, I have a fresh cup of coffee by my side, a little sweet snack, and a guarantee of little to no interruptions for the next hour or maybe longer!
But wait, don’t I homeschool? Aren’t my kids supposed to be piled in my lap from morning to night? Are they at a playdate? With the grandparents? Are they watching TV like zombies? Am I writing this in the middle of the night???
Yes, I homeschool, and no to all the other questions. It is currently Quiet Time in our house! That means that everybody goes to their room and does quiet activities for about an hour after lunch.
I love being with my kids – which is one of the reasons I started homeschooling – but we have ALL benefited from establishing a daily Quiet Time.
I started doing Quiet Time years ago when my oldest was trying to drop her daily nap. I could tell that she was struggling to be awake all day, but she didn’t necessarily want to sleep.
Instead of sending her to nap (which she now hated), I told her she was going to Quiet Time. She had to stay in her room for a certain amount of time and she was free to play with toys, read books, lay down in her bed, color, or whatever she wanted.
As the years have gone by, we have decided to stick with Quiet Time for everybody! Let me share with you the 6 awesome ways that we have seen Quiet Time bless our family – and hopefully it will give you the motivation to give it a try!
Why Your Homeschool Needs Daily Quiet Time
1. Mom’s Time (and Sanity!)
The clearest and most obvious reason for a family Quiet Time is so that mom has time to rest and get things done. Don’t feel guilty about this! It is a good thing for EVERYBODY in the family when mom takes time for herself.
You can use this time to review the next day’s lesson plan, meal plan, watch your favorite tv show, do some housework, workout, take a power nap, call your best friend in peace, reply to all those text messages you missed during school hours, prep dinner, schedule those appointments you’ve been meaning to get around to, or eat chocolate without having to hide it!
I personally do a little of all of these things, depending on the day. Having this free time scheduled every day makes me a more organized, productive, and happy mom without question.
What could you accomplish with 1 hour of uninterrupted time every day? Do you think it would cure that feeling of burnout you are struggling with? Would you be more organized? Would you have more time with your husband at night? Would you be more patient with your children later in the day?
2. Sibling Break
My three girls are currently 7, 5, and 3. They typically get along pretty well, but they definitely benefit from getting a break from each other.
I find that the “after lunch slump” sets in about 1230. Everybody is a little tired, listless, and irritable. Going to Quiet Time gives them a daily chance to take an intentional break from each other and recharge.
When the girls come back together after Quiet Time, it is so cute to see them excited to see each other and wanting to play again!
I have found that on days we skip Quiet Time for various reasons that they have a tendency to be more frustrated and argumentative with each other. They’ve just been together too long.
Do you often have to separate your kids in the afternoon to evening hours? Does their arguing drive you insane? Do you think a daily Quiet Time BEFORE the bad attitudes start would help?
3. Time for Individual Projects
A huge benefit of Quiet Time has been that my 7 year old has time to herself to work on projects without small hands trying to tear it apart.
My oldest loves creating things! She has done knitting, weaving with a loom, perler bead work, bracelet making kits, and many other projects. Whenever she has tried to work on these crafts when her younger siblings have been present…it has often ended in tears for everybody. Their little curious hands can’t seem to help themselves!
Quiet time has given her a window of time every day where she is free to create, read, or write and know that her siblings will not be trying to destroy her work.
Do you find you find that your older kids are constantly frustrated with the little ones for knocking down towers, scribbling on valued papers, or breaking fragile projects? Do you think they would be thrilled with a chance to have some sibling free time?
4. Less Meltdowns and Better Focus
So we have established that Quiet Time is a big plus for Mom, sibling relationships, and older kids…but what about the little ones?? Are we just trying to tuck them in their room so we can all finally get a break? No! They actually stand to gain the MOST from a regular Quiet Time!
When little ones regularly have time to be alone in a quiet place with no outside stimulation, they become more creative, independent, imaginative, calm, manage their emotions better (i.e. less melt downs), and develop a longer attention span. What parent doesn’t want to develop that in their child??
When Quiet Time is over for my little ones, I often feel like they are refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day (me too!). I have sometimes found them in their rooms so focused on flipping through a book or coloring a picture, that they didn’t even notice Quiet Time was over!
Don’t just take my word for it – there are many other blogs and websites out there that are realizing kids need daily Quiet Time. Sarah from How Wee Learn shares some great insight in “The Astonishing Benefits of Quiet Time for Kids“
If you don’t have time to check it out yourself – this is my favorite quote:
“Quiet Time really is the magic that has changed my days to such an extent that I feel I am a completely different parent. The magic of Quiet Time has been completely life changing for me and my busy little boys too.”
5. Extra Sleep
We sometimes stay out late for church or sports activities. My kids don’t ever sleep in, so they tend to run on a sleep deficit the next day. Interestingly, my 3 and 5 year old will occasionally crawl into bed during Quiet Time and catch up on that lost sleep.
I think it is amazing that Quiet Time gives them an opportunity to tune into their body’s needs. Instead of tantruming because they are tired – they crawl into their beds and get some rest!
Truth be told, my 7 year old has even fallen asleep during Quiet Time when she has had a particularly intense week.
6. Weekend Time
Because of the benefits of having a daily Quiet Time – and the problems created by NOT having a Quiet Time – we choose to do Quiet Time on the weekends too.
This is HUGE for me and my husband. We have a regularly scheduled block of time on the weekends where we can talk without small ears listening, watch our favorite show, take a nap together, or even work on separate things that need to get done without any “kid help.”
This regular routine has been tremendous for us in being organized, productive, and having time together (not an easy thing with children running around!).
Do you think your husband would jump at the chance to have adult only time during the day – not just at night when you are already both so tired?
I know, I know. You probably have all kinds of thoughts about why this wouldn’t work for you. Let me guess…
My kids will not go for this!
I hear you. None of my kids were super happy about Quiet Time when we first started. I just stayed consistent with them and enforced it – the same way I enforce brushing teeth, bath time, and bed time. Eventually they got used to it, and it just became part of our normal expected routine.
Take the time to explain why this is important (in terms they can understand) and stick with it. They will get used to it! You might be surprised to see that they grow to like the time being by themselves. My kids actually smile and wave at me as I shut the door everyday for Quiet Time!
My kids are too old!
In the unique situation of homeschooling, I don’t think there is anything wrong with everybody in the house going to a separate room for about an hour a day – regardless of age. If you think it is not appropriate for their ages or personalities, do a modified Quiet Time.
Unless the house is burning down, tell them there will be no talking. Everybody is to either take a nap, listen to music (headphones), read, or work on an independent project. Again, explain why you are doing it, and be consistent!
My kids share a room!
My kids too actually. Oldest does her Quiet Time in my bedroom or in our living room while Middle stays in their shared room.
You may have to just assign your kids areas of the house if there are not enough rooms for everyone – still works just fine!
No you don’t understand – my kids are crazy!
I got it. You think your kids may stay in their room, but they will probably destroy it like a heavy metal band. Sounds familiar. The truth is that your crazy, rambunctious kids need a quiet time even more than the sweet little ones you envy at the grocery store.
They play hard all day, and that is not a sustainable pace. Be firm with rules and boundaries and they will fall in line. You may even find an improvement in their behavior due to the Quiet Time!
Everybody taking a daily quiet break is a good thing…but you may be wondering how in the world do you establish and maintain this new part of your daily routine? How do you sell this to you kids??
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Part 2 of this post – The Best Tips for Establishing a Daily Quiet Time – will answer your questions, give you ideas, and get you going!
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