Homeschooling as a Night Owl

I thought perhaps it was just me that was a raging mean person in the morning, thereby making waking up early and homeschooling by 8 am a virtual impossibility.

After a quick Google search, though, I found that I’m not alone.  I was actually surprised at the depth of some of the discussions I stumbled upon on the subject.

In my ongoing quest to bring attention to the road less traveled, I decided it was time to discuss homeschooling when you’re not an early riser.

Here is a rambling of a few things I’ve found helpful in our situation.


Each day has its own progression.  Soccer practice and getting the neighbor’s children from the bus stop always happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Most of my “day job” is done Monday-Wednesday.

There might be a few more things, but basically this means that everything else flows around these things.

Babydoll knows that in the mornings on my workdays she is to do all the schoolwork she can do on her own until lunch.  After lunch, we come together to finish those things we must do together.

There is no set schedule for any of these other things, just a general outline for when they should take place.  Add my husband’s crazy work schedule to the mix and we just don’t live in a house where we can always do math at X time and science at X time and so on.

We all know the flow.  We all know the must-do items.  Other than that, we kind of fit it all in as each day requires.

How do I keep myself on track?  I have a digital Post-It on my Chrome home screen.  I *heart* Incredible Start Page for Chrome.

The yellow Post-It is where I record the must do things for each day.  This isn’t the note where I list “clean the bathroom.”  That doesn’t have to be done.

Picking the neighbor’s kids up from the bus stop has to be done.  Paying a bill has to be done.  Getting certain work done by a deadline has to be done.

Another colored note will hold the “I’d like to get this done” things.  Another holds the blog to do items.

This has worked amazingly well at keeping me organized.


I am one of those mean mothers that forced my child to learn to fend for herself as soon as she could.

Of course, I take care of her generally speaking, but if she happens to wake up before I do, she knows how to get her own breakfast, do her chores, and get herself ready to start her day.

I’d admit: I wasn’t into this idea when Vince first suggested it, but it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

She doesn’t need me to take care of her, she knows how to get herself started each day.

Heck, even if I am up, I don’t do breakfast for anyone…

This also helps me get the stuff done each morning that I need to, and then we come together at lunch.


This is a huge one, and one that I’m still currently fighting.  I despise waking up early, I always have.

I remember the first thing my baby sister would tell people about me is that I was a cranky person in the morning.

She was four.  That’s how bad I am in the morning.

Add to that the fact that we go to bed anywhere from midnight to 3 am every night, and I’m on a crazy schedule.  Rolling out of bed at 5 am just ain’t in the cards.

And this wasn’t a problem, until I started working from home.  In addition to the “fun” of my blog, I’m working as a social media maven and trying to write books, start e-courses, and other awesome stuff.

There’s only so much time in the day.  There’s only so much time left after working and homeschooling and soccer and…

I’ve started thinking of ways to tweak the flow a bit.  If I want to achieve all my goals, I might need to wake up earlier, which means going to be earlier.

It’s a sacrifice and I have to figure out if it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.


I realize quite a bit of this may apply mainly to my household and our unique circumstances, but the meat of the issue can apply to anyone.

If you’re a night owl, you can make it all work, it just takes some out-of-the-box thinking and an open-mind toward adjustments that may need to be made.

Remember that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing in their homeschools.  Work at what’s right for your family.

Now let’s chat: what type of risers do you have in your home? How do you make it all work?  Have any secrets to share?


  1. So glad I found this article! My husband has always worked night shift in the military, he has been gone on a deployment and I had high hopes of getting my boys on an early to bed, early to rise schedule. HAHAHA, hasn’t happened and i”ve been beating myself up over it all summer. We plan to homeschool next year and it’s nice to know there are others out there like us :).

    • Tiffany Manley says:

      I’m glad it helped you Haven! I think it’s really key to stop trying to fit the “normal” mold. I’m telling you, it really helps! :)

    • My hubby’s also in the military and switches back and forth between nights and afternoons. Being able to sleep in and adjust our schedule to fit with is, having school outside so he can sleep better, taking LOTS of field trips… don’t feel guilty–just feel blessed! It’s all part of the beauty of homeschooling. :)

      • Tiffany Manley says:

        Exactly Celena! It takes some time for a control freak like me to get used to it, but it really is awesome.

        Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This is my first year homeschooling too and I have heard so many people say that “kids are sharpest in the morning hours”. Well good for the kids but the teacher, me, is not. Therefore we home school after lunch everyday. It works for us and since my two babies are napping at that time, it’s alot quieter.

  3. Certified night owl, but have just learned to live with the fact that most of the world doesn’t exist on my time table. When I was in college and working, I had morning classes and afternoon work — or vice versa — and they didn’t really care much how I felt about it. :)

    We’ve been homeschooling for 19 years and I decided long ago that I wanted my children to have the ability to adapt. Of course we are flexible about things, but I don’t gear our entire schedule to my odd sleep habits. :)

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