Friday, January 09, 2009

Odd Hours

It was noticed by one of my commenters that my dh works "odd hours" - 2nd shift. She said her husband did too and was relieved to find another homeschooler whose dh didn't work 9-5 hours. Let me tell you, it is great to meet you too!

My dh currently works 2nd shift as a correctional officer. He leaves here at 1:30 p.m. and gets home around midnight. Some days he works a double shift and doesn't get home until 8 a.m. We are so thankful for 2nd shift though, because 3rd shift is almost impossible!

It took me a while to figure out how to make homeschooling "work" around my dh's schedule. Here is what we have so far :)
We school main subjects in the morning. Math and language arts are the "main subjects" in my homeschool. I say that because if you can read and do math you can learn anything else. We school from around 8:30 till around 10-10:30. Sometimes the boys finish up independent reading after that, but I am usually done by 10:30. That also happens to correspond with when my dh gets up (unless he works a double shift - more on that below). The boys do their chores while I cook lunch (the big meal of our day because that is when dad is home) and then they are free to visit with dad and play. We eat lunch together as a family almost every day. When dh leaves for work at 1:30 we do the rest of school: read aloud, science, history, geography, art, music, etc. NOT all on the same days or even same weeks! That is the allotted time for such subjects. This time is also when Bear takes his nap so that works out well. Dh has gotten into the habit of putting him down for his nap while I clean up from lunch and that has been such a blessing for me! School is almost always done by 3. We eat a light supper. I call it "fend for yourself" LOL Our evenings are filled with things like reading, playing, drawing and TV/computer time. We are all in bed when dh gets home from work. He "decompresses" alone when he gets home and comes to bed around 2 a.m.

When dh worked 3rd shift it was very difficult to get schooling done. My husband has a very hard time going to sleep in the daylight. We never really could be quiet enough so that he could go to sleep. Most of the time we ended up leaving the house for a few hours and came back after he was asleep. At that time the boys were younger and we did all of our schooling in the afternoon after dh was asleep. That way he was able to spend mornings with the boys.

Frequently, dh works double shifts. He will get home at 8 a.m. and will have to leave again at 1:30 p.m. Those are days that we have to be very, very quiet. The boys don't spend much time with dad and we eat without him. He will eat after he gets to work. Otherwise our schedule stays the same.

Another hurdle that we have crossed is the fact that my dh has Thursday and Friday off each week. On those days we school in the mornings only. At this time we do not school on Saturday or Sunday. We attend church on Sunday. Saturdays are for cleaning and other projects that I need to do. Sometimes we will completely take off on a Thursday or Friday but we try to make that the exception to the rule.

Homeschooling is possible when the father works 2nd shift. It is important to remember when planning your school schedule that your children need to spend time with their dad, especially if you have boys! Don't force school for the whole time when dad is home. Try to allow time for daddy pursuits! We pray that one day dad will have "normal hours". It will be several years. For now, we have learned to function around his schedule in a manner that works for all of us. Be creative!


Tammy said...

Another shift work momma here! My dh use to work 3 different shift,days 6 am - 2 pm,afternoons 2 pm - 10 pm and nights 10pm - 6am. These changed from one to another one week to another. Its very difficult to get things done with hours like this. He now works 2 nights in a row and then a day shift,nights are very hard with the kids here because we try to remain very quiet so he can get some sleep but as you know with children it's very difficult. I love summers because we spend alot of our days on our deck on the other side of the house and in the yard.

God Bless

Joy Comes in the Morning said...

Hi. Thanks for putting up your schedule. This seems like it could work. I like the idea of major homeschool stuff earlier in the day. I hope dh gets on day shift soon, but it is nice to know you aren't alone. Thanks. Blessings.