Work Before Play.
Play Before Work.
Now, does it really matter?
Many will say “Yes, it absolutely matters. You have to do your work before you do the things you want to do. You have to earn it.”
I am going to challenge that notion. I have had to challenge it in my own life. I grew up where you did the work and then you go the play time or the time to relax or do whatever it is that pleased you. And I am NOT saying, at all, that the work does not have to be done.
But, like everything else in life, times are a changing in this realm. When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone who worked was gone from 7:30 to 5:30 or thereabouts. There was not a lot of shift work going on. This was what happened in my family and it worked well. That was my dad’s work schedule. We went to school during the day and then got to play after chores when we got home. Nothing wrong with that.
My life as an adult has been quite surprising and this is one of those places where things are not quite what I expected. My husband works from 3 PM to 1 AM. If he has to work and then have time to play, he is doing so at the wee hours of the morning and that does not allow time with his family. That old notion doesn’t work for our situation. With his schedule, the girls see the down time first and then the work time. They see the work commitment being honored, the hard work, the time frame consistently held. But they see that after some down time and time around the house.
So why should I push them to complete all of their work before they have any down time? It doesn’t jive with what they see. And you know what? They work a ton better when they are stepping into their own work after just a bit of down time first. So that is what we allow.
One of the girls prefers to get up, get breakfast, and dig straight into her schoolwork. We don’t stop that because it is what she prefers. It works for her. Another of the girls does much better when she has had some time to read her own choice of material first so she reads in bed for a while before getting up, showering, and moving on with her schoolwork. The third, well, it depends on the day for her. Sometimes she wants to dive right in and other times she wants to read or color first. So, I am flexible with that.
When we add to the equation that their dance rehearsals are later afternoon and evening, and they are working hard at those times, it makes sense to allow some down time and free time before that during the day.
So, I am going to ask you if you have truly evaluated what your family does and sees in this arena. Does it really work for you? If not, feel free to challenge the standard notion and the old sayings. It just might create a beautiful, peaceful situation in your family.
Lori, At Home.
Tagged: encouragement, life, parenting
I can see the benefit in both you know? I figure it doesn’t matter if you work or play before or after as long as balance is provided in life.
Right. Balance is necessary and one way or the other is not the important part.
I love this! I’m all about the down time! Both of my children (and me) NEED down time in order to accomplish all the things we need to do.
I think everyone functions better with down time.
I agree with Annette above – it’s the balance that matters. Also, whatever works for your family – after all, that’s a benefit of homeschooling!
Our family is pretty similar to yours, my husband works the overnight shift. So I tend to do things such as play outside and let my children have free time in the morning. Then once my husband heads out for work, we really get moving on school. It’s just the way I find that works the best for us without me having to stop to help my husband get things ready for work. This also allows my kids to sit and relax with Dad before work instead of being tied to their schoolwork. If we didn’t homeschool all this wonderful time we get to spend together would almost be non-existent.
It is such a blessing to have the time between a father and his children and allowing the “play” first certainly helps with that.