Working outside of ‘normal’

 The pea viners went on working all through the night. I hardly slept a wink and it took several cups of strong tea this morning to crank me up. It wasn’t just the rumble of the engines that kept me awake it was also the excitement of the activity as the pea crop was harvested under a massive eye of moon.

So I was left facing work rather shattered and raw this morning. But since I work at home, as it was with home educating the children, it doesn’t matter if I can’t get down to business till later in the day. I can always make up time later if needs be. Similarly, I never used to worry that the children had a slow start because learning did not have to be kept within the boundaries of everyone else’s working day.

Everyone else seemed to find this a problem. ‘They’ve got to fit into normal working hours when they’re older so they ought to be made to now’ people would say. Or ‘They’re lazy if they don’t get up and get on’ or ‘how will they fit into normal society if they can’t get up’ etc.

Well none of those statements became true as my children, and those home schooled children we grew with, all fitted into ‘normal’ working/study hours (many went onto Uni) as easily as anyone else even though they were never forced into those sorts of routines. In fact, probably more easily, as they have many other useful skills that some schooled children, who have been forced all their lives to fit into these structures, seem to lack. Skills like motivation, self discipline, organising themselves and their work loads, managing their time effectively and a broader understanding of what’s of benefit to them, how they fit into society and what society can give to them. Many young people are so busy resisting all that was forced on them they’ve lost sight of what’s of real benefit.

And anyway, I would dispute the idea of what’s now ‘normal’!

In the current employment climate many people are straying away from the idea of ‘normal’ working hours and working lives. They are needing to be much more inventive, flexible, entrepreneurial, and self motivating. Some are opening their own businesses, creating their own work opportunities, using the web to work from home. There was even a short piece on the news about the increase of home working and how well it fits round family life.

There’s nothing like home education for encouraging our kids to think outside the idea of ‘normal’ and give them the skills to lead productive lives. Since jobs are increasingly rare these have got to be skills that are of real benefit and will stand them in good stead as they enter their working lives.

Being motivated and self disciplined to get on at whatever time is what’s important, not fitting into a dated idea of normal!

(On a similar subject you might also like ‘Is it lazy letting sleeping teenagers lie?)

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12 thoughts on “Working outside of ‘normal’

  1. So true. I love the flexibility of our hours. Not sure I could cope with the kids having totally the opposite hours to me, but as long as when they get to their teens they are contributing to the household in some way for some time of the day (either working/studying/helping in the house) we can pretty much work around anything 🙂

  2. Brillant post, I completely agree with everything you’ve said. We usually have a relaxing start to the day, and do more activites towards lunchtime. This works for us and thats what homeschooling is all about, doing whats right for your family. Really enjoyed reading this. Kelly xx

  3. What a totally fabby post! it is difficult for folks who’s lives are corsetted to understand what it’s like to look at what you need to be doing instead of when you need to be doing – if that makes sense. I have a theory that teenagers need more sleep than others because of the rate of growth and development, so I work around this – it still all gets done. In these hard times we have to unlearn restrictive ideas just to survive, so why not with education as well.

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