I am not a morning person, but one of our children most definitely is.
(I used to be a morning person, but I suspect 7 pregnancies in 9 years may have had something to do with that change.)
Regrettably, I’ve wasted much time lamenting lack of sleep. I had convinced myself I needed a tight 8 hours to get through the day, and often rolled out of bed grumpy when I didn’t get it.
Truth be told, I kind of resented the energy and zest our Early Bird had at such an hour. Early Bird’s rising was what woke me up, and the contrast between our moods was shameful.
I didn’t want to be woken up; I wanted to wake up on my own!
In one particular subject, I knew that Early Bird would benefit from more concentrated time with no distractions. I could capitalize on Early Bird’s morning disposition, but that meant giving up an hour of precious sleep, and that was hard for me to do!
Every time we struggled through this subject during a later part of the morning with distractions abounding, Proverbs 20:13, to my great irritation, always came to mind!
“Love not slumber…”
I began to feel convicted that my love of sleep was becoming an idol, and it was getting in the way of putting Early Bird’s interests ahead of my own.
So last year, with much fear and trepidation, I thought I’d see what kind of difference, if any, could be made by getting out of bed earlier and spending a solid half hour of one-on-one time with Early Bird before the others woke up.
I wake up at 6:25am now, and hear a rap on my bedroom door at 7 sharp, followed by, “Hey Mom! You ready?”
When I come out of bed, Early Bird has a stack of books ready for us to work through. If Early Bird gets finished before the children filter into the living room, I will read a “just for fun” book on a topic Early Bird truly enjoys for the remainder of our alone time. It incentives diligence and is a delightful reward for both of us.
I cannot even begin to tell how much of a difference this new rhythm has made to our school day. Early Bird has progressed by leaps and bounds in a subject that once brought frustration to both teacher and student, and that time with just the two of us has become truly special.
The crazy thing is, I don’t even miss the sleep I gave up for this. I thought it would feel like a sacrifice, but now I see that Early Bird gave me the real gift.
Changing routines has given us all a smoother day, a better rhythm, and a better relationship with learning and each other.
And that’s worth an awful lot of Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.