Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Family time in a nutshell!

Illustration by: David Brinley

One of my special needs homeschool groups "Homeschooling Special needs kids" on Facebook encouraged us to see how many hours we gain back with our children by homeschooling. I took this challenge a little further and figured up how many hours a year the average family loses with their children ALTOGETHER. If you are away from home for any reason this number goes up.

There are 8,766 hours in the year. The average kid goes to school about 1600 hours a year, most people sleep an average of 1600 hours a year so in total they lose 3200 hours a year of quality time with their kids. That is 88 hours a week out of 168.

Year: 8,766
Sleep: 1,600
School: 1,600
Total loss: 3200 hours
Weekly hours: 168
Weekly loss: 88

This theory does not include hours worked away from home that do not coincide with school, extracurricular activities or time spent away from the family for other reasons. Add up your "extra" time away and deduct it from our numbers to see an accurate representation of your personal time lost as a family.

Looking at the above chart it makes me realize why so many parents wonder why it is they do not know their kids. It also makes me realize that people who "think" they DO know their kids cannot possibly do so since they don't spend enough time with their children to properly know them. The average parent turns their child into an "independent" being before children should ever turn into one and they don't even realize it! Now I am totally realistic in the fact that I know you cannot avoid the sleeping issue but you can do something about the rest of the time. Fewer extracurricular activities, less alone time, homeschooling , there is always a solution to get time back to be with your children.

I shared my findings with my husband who told me he hardly ever saw his family during his teen years. Between school, football, band, work and farm chores he was lucky to see them an hour or two a day. It is funny the things we never realize about someone until you have your eyes opened. Hearing his account of his daily routine made me realize why it is he was so open to the idea of homeschooling.

Want to see how badly you need more time with your children? Take today's activity challenge!


Do you know your children?

Have your child make a list of at least 10 questions about him/her and print out two copies. Both of you sit down as not to see each others answers and answer all of the questions then compare notes. Do the same to see if your child knows YOU. Once you have done this exercise ask yourself again "Do you know your children?"

IDEA: While you are taking the "Kid Quiz" why don't you let your children take the same quiz about each other since it is equally important for siblings to have a quality relationship. Altogether this could make for a seriously eye opening experience.



  1. Great post! You came in a google alert I have set up for my website. It was my group on facebook! I love your quiz and it didn't even occur to me the thought about 'knowing' our kids. That is spot on! Is it alright if I share your blog? I really like it. (I've been browsing :)
    ~Jen B (the snparentshomeschoolingsnkids lady :)

  2. Oh of course, feel free to share. If anything helps anyone I am all for it! FYI - I love your blog and that facebook group! :D