Tea Time with Annie Kate Rotating Header Image

Get Going Early in the Day

Early to bed, early to rise,

makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Long ago, as a little girl in a school desk, I learned that saying, and I have often wondered if it is true.  Certainly there are many benefits to rising early.

When reading about productive people, I notice that the vast majority of them rise early.  When I meet a night owl who, for whatever reason, becomes a morning person, the person always is astonished by increased productivity.

Yet many people would rather stay up late.  My husband, who’s a night owl but often gets up at 5AM, agrees that one joy of staying up late is that it is ‘found time’, time that is not earmarked for anything else (besides sleep) and thus can be used for pure relaxation.

But what does this have to do with homeschooling?  Well, my children (and their mother) cannot think as clearly after late bedtimes.  We also are not as happy nor as kind, and that’s a bad thing…but that’s a different matter.  We’re talking homeschooling now, and this is what we’ve discovered:  For our family to learn well, we need to go to bed on time, because we’re not very good at sleeping in. Or we need to learn to sleep in.

We tried the latter last year, for various reasons.  It did not work for us, so now we’re back to ‘early to bed, early to rise’… and early to get going.

It makes life so much more pleasant to be sitting on the couch by 8:15 doing French than to realize at 2:30 that it still needs to be done.  What’s more, it’s really no big deal to get going early.  The first school bus whizzes by here at 7AM!  School kids and many adult workers are at the job much earlier than we are.

Not to say that we are not busy early in the morning.  We’re reading, writing, blogging, keeping up with the news, or snuggling by the fire—all things that we choose to do.  But around 7AM we begin chores, breakfast, music practice, and all the other things that we must do.

I’ve found that I am the key to this, though.  If I get too caught up with other things to remind everyone it’s 7AM, we don’t get going.  Then we need to eat in a rush and to rush through our breakfast devotions so Mr. 16 can get to work.  We start our schoolwork late, and in the afternoon even the Little Misses are still studying.  Those are not good days.

If we don’t get to bed on time the night before, we cannot think and are grumpy.  Those are not good days either.  So we try to have sensible bedtimes, although it’s not always possible.

I don’t know if ‘early to bed, early to rise’ will make us healthy or wise.  It certainly hasn’t made us wealthy, yet, although we are a lot more productive than we were last year.   But I do know that starting the day on time helps us learn.  It works for our family.

Visit the Carnival of Homeschooling for an inspiring break.


  1. Jenn4him says:

    You said it perfectly. As it goes for mom, it goes for the rest of the family in MANY areas. I try to get up with my husband and then we get the kids up when he leaves for the day. I like having a bit of time alone with him in the mornings.

  2. Lisa says:

    I really need to work on this area! I am finding it more and more difficult to rouse myself (and our children) out of bed each morning and, you’re right, it does put such a rush and different feel to the day when you start off like that.

  3. Briana says:

    It is true even if I hate to admit it that I get way more done when I get up on time. I’m a night owl but I am trying to make myself go to bed earlier and wake up around dawn. I feel better when I do! Thanks for the reminder as I’m sitting here at the computer when I should be in bed.

  4. […] Kate shares her story of “early to bed early to rise” effectiveness with Get Going Early in the Morning at Tea Time with Annie […]

  5. Cindy says:

    I’ve often wondered if things would be easier if I woke my children up earlier for breakfast. I get up at 5 (6 if I’m not feeling froggy), but I let them sleep until they wake up, which is about 7:30 most of the time. We really don’t get started early enough. I may just try it and see what happens!

  6. JoAnn says:

    We don’t get up that early, but the kids are always up by 7:00, starting their lessons after they eat their breakfast. They get up even if I sleep in a bit. But I do agree, that having a certain time to go to bed and get up does help the day go smoother. 🙂

Leave a Reply

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