Musings on a Schedule – Middle School Mondays

Musings on a Schedule

Years ago, when I had two young children, another mother and I had a discussion about schedules.

Her family ate dinner at 6 PM and were in bed by 8. She had four children, the oldest around 6th grade or so at the time and her youngest at that time was the same age as my child. Her husband worked in the public schools, so he was off by that time most nights. This was an easily consistent schedule for them most of the time.

We lived in a very small town and my husband was going to work at 6 PM that year. He was just beginning to get ready for work at 5; if we had dinner before he left, it would have been at 4 or 4:30. So, we had dinner at 7, because my husband could generally get off for 30 minutes or so at 7 and we could eat as a family. Plus, he could bring co-workers with him and we could have some “getting to know you time” with them. It worked great for us! After dinner was cleaned up, I got the girls ready for bed, read to them, and they were generally asleep by 8:30 or so. It worked for us.

My friend’s comment has really stuck with me, for probably close to 10 year now. Her comment was not intended to be mean or hateful or judgmental. It was just what struck her at the time. She said “How can you do that to your kids? Putting them to bed on a full stomach?!” Now, our schedule was really not that different from hers except that it worked from 7 – 9 instead of 6 -8. But, it has had me thinking ever since then.

Do you compare? Your schedule? Your educational choices? Your work choices? You family choices? Your clothing? Your house?

We all do and that really isn’t bad, if . . .

If you don’t beat yourself up over it or decide theirs is always better or yours is always the lesser of the two.

I have been musing on schedules because I am trying to decide what will work for us. What we are doing isn’t working as well as I would like. So, I am comparing. Especially for the middle schooler.

See this comparison of our family and my friend’s family is kind of what all of life is like. What kind of schedule will my child have when she grows up? Well, it depends on what she does in her adult life. Will she work an 8-5 job? Will that job be one that is tightly scheduled for her, like a teacher’s schedule is? Or will she be in a position that requires her to meet deadlines but doesn’t tie her down to every step along the way? Or will she be self-employed and have to schedule it all out herself. Most likely, it will be somewhere between the two extremes.

We need to ease into something where she has enough structure to not quit or fall behind but not so much structure that she doesn’t learn to set her own markers along the way to her ultimate goal. So, when I am hunting down examples of a schedule for a middle school student, I tend to shy away from those that are highly structured but I know that we need more structure than we have now.

This is truly just a musing because I don’t have an answer of what we are going to do as we get back to a full schedule after the holidays. But I think we will start with a conference to discuss what I would like to see from her and hear what she thinks she might need to be successful. Maybe that will help direct my thoughts and ideas to something more concrete.

I would love to know your thoughts on scheduling and teaching students to schedule for themselves.

At Home.


Linking up:

My Full Heart: Junior High Junction

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7 thoughts on “Musings on a Schedule – Middle School Mondays

  1. rodandmegs January 11, 2016 at 6:51 pm Reply

    I loved reading this, and I thought I’d share what my 7th graders schedule is like. I wake her at 7:30 every morning for a shower. She has a checklist of schoolwork every day and chores. When she has done it all, she can do whatever she wants. She has to be in bed by 8:30, but can read until 9:00 or so (I’m not strict on that). Maybe I should blog about this…? 😉

    • 3gigglygirlsathome January 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm Reply

      Thanks for sharing that. I have debated about waking my daughter in the mornings. Still on my list of things I’m musing over. As far as blogging on it, I think its a great idea because when I looked for middle school schedules, there was not a lot out there and much of it was uber-detailed. So not me or my daughter!

  2. Mother of 3 January 20, 2016 at 4:01 pm Reply

    I would think the schedule you and your daughter make would depend on her personality; is she a morning person, a night owl? When is he most active and alert and raring to go? My son typically wakes around 6:30/7 (he’s a morning person!), he eats breakfast and watches TV. I typically put a pile of schoolwork on the table before going to bed the night before or early in the morning when I get up so he can tackle them as he wants (usually the moment he’s done eating). He knows he can work at them whenever he’d like but can’t just ignore it for the day. When school is done he’s free to choose his own activities. Bed is at 8 and he can read until 8:30 ish. But I have definitely heard of families that school in the afternoon because their middle school/ high school student sleeps in. I think it just depends on what works best for both of you.

    • 3gigglygirlsathome January 20, 2016 at 11:03 pm Reply

      Agreed! Sounds like you have found what works best for you son. Kudos! That is definitely key.

  3. Annette Vellenga (@athomepets) October 15, 2019 at 9:53 pm Reply

    huh, I like how you are thinking it through. What decisions did you come up with?

    • 3gigglygirlsathome October 16, 2019 at 8:05 am Reply

      Wow! I can hardly believe that was just a couple of years ago. Our oldest, now a high school sophomore, schedules herself completely. She prefers to read in the mornings for pleasure, get done around the house what she needs to (printing worksheets or project pieces), and then take it with her to the dance studio to have work to do while she waits for her sisters. Our middle daughter, an 8th grader, also completely schedules herself, though that is not new for her. She has always been a get up and get it done kind of child. Our third, 5th grade this year, we have to keep on top of to get her work completed. We don’t keep a tight schedule, except that it is get up and get breakfast and start on school. She does a subject or two and take an active break – maybe working on dance or riding her bike. Then some more book work. We generally have her school completed by lunchtime. So, flexibility ended up being the name of our schedules. 🙂

  4. […] loved what my friend Lori had to say as she considered schedule needs with one of her girls. “We need to ease into something where she has enough structure to […]

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