Sleep: A Surprising Reason to Homeschool

Share on Pinterest
Share this post via email










Submit

Sleep: A Surprising Reason to Homeschool

By itself, the promise of getting enough sleep is probably not a big enough benefit to convince you to start homeschooling. But once you begin homeschooling, and your children get enough sleep, you will wonder how you survived before.

The authors of Nurture Shock dedicate an entire chapter to sleep deprivation in children. They say that children today "get an hour less sleep each night than they did thirty years ago. . . . A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development" (30, 32). Meaning: an hour less sleep means your fourth-grader will think and behave like a second-grader.

How much sleep do your homeschool students need?

The National Sleep Foundation suggests

  • Toddlers ages 1 to 3 need 12-14 hours of sleep per day, including naps.
  • Preschoolers ages 3 to 5 need 11-13 hours in a day.
  • Children ages 5 to 12 need 10-11 hours per night.
  • Teens need between 8.5 and 9.25 hours.

With homeschooling, your children are able to wake up naturally, allowing them to get the sleep they need. Your family will enjoy increased focus and better attitudes.

Sleep deprivation and teens

With increased activities, events, and appointments, sleep deprivation only increases as children grow up.

As students hit puberty, their circadian rhythms change. This makes it hard for them to fall asleep as early as they once did. Optimally, a teenager would sleep from about 11pm to 8am. Yet most high schools start so early that students have to wake up by 6am in order to get to school on time.

Unfortunately, the massive sleep debt of most classroom school teens puts them at much higher risk for car crashes, depression . . . even simple irritability.

Some school districts have actually changed their start times because of this research. They've followed the advice from several studies showing that teens perform better in many areas of life when allowed to sleep a little later in the morning. In districts that have made the change, parents report that their teens are now easier to live with.

But homeschoolers don't have to change an entire school district in order to help their students sleep. You can implement a change tomorrow, if you want, allowing your children to wake when their bodies are ready, without an alarm clock.

Homeschooled teens have the chance to get far more sleep than their peers who go to school. And that sleep translates into better health, better moods, and better ability to learn throughout the day.

I love that homeschooling helps us meet our children's needs in different ways, including a flexible schedule:

  •  We can pause a math lesson to meet an emotional need.
  • We can take a day off if a child is sick.
  • We can take a break to pray at any time.

And we can orient our family schedules to help our children get the sleep they need to refuel.

Sleep easy by switching to Sonlight. Order a complimentary catalog today

Sleep: A Surprising Reason to Homeschool

Want more encouragement?

Sign up for Sonlight's bi-weekly e-newsletter

You'll be encouraged by the words of founder Sarita Holzmann, inspired by real-life stories from other homeschoolers, pick up practical tips for the journey and more. Plus, you'll be the first to hear about product updates, special offers and more!


Share on Pinterest
Share this post via email










Submit
Sarita

About Sarita

Sarita Holzmann is the founder of Sonlight Curriculum, speaker, writer, curriculum developer, missions advocate, beloved wife, veteran homeschool mom, and active grandmother.
Posted in: Sarita's Word, Updated Tags: , , , , , , ,
Link to this post.

5 Responses to Sleep: A Surprising Reason to Homeschool

  1. Ann Woodruff says:

    Love this article. I have found this benefit to be very true for my 15 and 13 year old teens. They are pretty easy to get along with if they have had enough sleep.

    Another benefit right now is that we have the flexibility to meet my 11 year old's chemotherapy schedule. He was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, bone cancer, and we have been able to be flexible with his days in and out of the hospital with homeschooling. It just makes sense for our family in many ways, but we have recently seen the benefits in the last few months. I am grateful for this privilege that we have to home school.

    • Sarita Sarita says:

      Ann – Yes, I sometimes wonder how much of “normal” teenage angst is spurred on by lack of sleep. I am so sorry to hear about your son’s cancer. I just prayed for him and your family and will continue to do so. God bless you in the road ahead. I am so grateful that you can homeschool and enjoy that flexibility now. ~Sarita

  2. Pingback: Teaching Kids how to say no | Sonlight Blog

  3. Kym says:

    So true! Being able to sleep a little later in the mornings and have more flexibility with our overall sleep routines has been a HUGE benefit of homeschooling!

    Visiting from the Homeschool Nook

  4. Amy says:

    Yes, sleep is a wonderful reason to homeschool! I observe such a difference between my homeschooled boys & their public school peers, especially my teen & tween. Wonderful reminders:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.