Friday, August 21, 2009

Mid-Week Church Dilemma

Like most churches, our church has a mid-week program for children and teens. Our daughter (Miss G) is in 3rd grade and that would place her in Kid's Impact (1st - 6th graders), which is a group that does both drama ministry and a missions club. Great combination, right? So what is the dilemma?

The dilemma is two fold - (A) It ends at 8:30pm, and that is if they end on time. We don't get home from church until about 8:45 to 9pm, so Miss G does not get in bed until 9:30 and that is on a good night. She has a pretty exciting or at least over stimulating time, and so she has to wine down. On school nights, our children go to bed at 8pm sharp, maybe an occasional 8:30pm. Homeschooling on Thursday is a nightmare because she has trouble thinking and controlling her emotions, which I believe is due to the lack of sleep from the night before. Her tests show how poor her performance is on Thursdays compared to other days. This leads me to believe she is not learning what is being taught to her on Thursday. I may be able to check school off to do list on Thursday, keep my records, but what has she really learned?

Some people have given me the advise to let her sleep in Thursday morning, pushing the start and end of school back on our timed schedule. However, I have been blessed we early risers, so even if I let her, she has not made up the sleep. Another suggestion was to do a light school day, do read-alouds instead of tests. This would not work either because we would have to add a double lesson on another day or do school on a Saturday to keep up. Also I work some evenings and so we could not make the lessons up then. I know that public schools do not always finish their textbooks, but they have standards they do have to meet, and so does our homeschool.

(B) This brings me to B reason, I already work 2 to 4 evenings a week depending on how busy the store is during that season. My husband has worship band practice every Tuesday night, so that basically leaves Sunday and Monday night for family time, maybe Wednesday too if we are lucky. I have to work, so quitting is not an option right now. We really would rather do a church activity as a family. My husband works 10 hours a day at the moment, since he has been away from the kids all day, he wants to spend some time with them. We could volunteer to work in Kid's Impact as a family, but we do have a 5 and 3 year old who will be tired, bored and probably thirsty and hungry too.

We do want to be involved in our church to grow on our own Christian walk and build relationships with other members of the church community. We do thoroughly cover Bible, scripture memorization and missions at home through homeschooling and family Bible time. What should we do? Do you have an "out of the box" ideas on how to solve this problem?

As you can see from my earlier post, we started school and have gone to some family nights at church they have in August, so it is fresh in my mind what a problem this will be come September when family nights stop and Kid's Impact begins. Also, I read the Building Cathedrals BLOG and a mom with a Kindergartner had a similar dilemma. Click on link to read that post. It is a great BLOG, the builders do a fabulous job. My daughter is older and we attend a Evangelical Protestant church (program attendance is not required for sacraments), so our dilemma is a little different.

I need your input!


  1. - what does your daughter think about not been involve anymore, if that becomes the case. Or rather, what does she thinks about the whole situation...

    - my other comment is that...there is a season for everything, right now, what is that season for your family...what is God telling you about this. Obviously, your heart is unsettle on this, you still have some days before you have to make a decision...take a time as a family and pray for God's guidance on this every day to the day a decision needs to made.

    I understand the dilemma that you are in...we are in a similar one, it is difficult place to be. Us for the moment, we plan around the church activity but your family is different than mine. So the best thing I can say is pray about it.

  2. What time does the program begin? Would leaving early, for example at 8pm, be an option? While this may not be ideal, it will buy her an extra 1/2 hour of sleep, and still allow her to participate.

    Another suggestion, is it possible to have her attend every other week? We have had a similar problem with naps in the afternoon--my boys need a nap and are miserable if they miss it but Gianna all the homeschool extracurriculars seem to be scheduled at 1pm. We have solved this problem by only skipping the nap once a month or once every other week, and have limited Gianna's afternoon activities to these few days a month. This allows Gianna the social time, but only throws the schedule off once in a while, not every week. Skipping the nap once per week would be a disaster for our family schedule, and it just isn't worth the stress. I have considered starting my own activities that begin at 2:30 or 3pm, but at the moment don't have the time to head up something new.

    If neither of these are possible, I would recommend not attending the program. Soon your daughter will be old enough to make up that extra sleep in the morning (or deal with it better when she misses an hour of sleep). You have plenty of time for her and your family to participate in these sorts of activities. She may just not be old enough for such a late night and that is totally ok. In just a few short years she will be more mature in dealing with sleep loss, and your family will be able to participate in this program without all the hassle.

  3. I read your post and your blog and my advice to you is to skip Kid's Impact (for now). It seems like your plate is pretty full and everyone could probably use the family time at home. Before I read your blog I was ready to say something completely different. :) The church we attend does not have a mid-week kids program but Bridie attends one at another church, but she wants to go and she is a night owl! I did find it difficult when she was younger to get her in bed at a decent time after AWANA but I was a leader (and had been for a long time) so we struggled along.

    While I recognize the benefits of the midweek group, you have to ask yourself if they outweigh the costs? Is it worth the disruption of your schedule and struggle to stay on task?

    Whatever you decide remember that you CAN change your mind! If you find after giving it a go for a bit that it is too much and not working out, you don't HAVE to go.

    Well, that's my 2 cents worth. :) Have a great day!


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Karen,

    Hey there. I read your post, and your blog entry. You have some reasons why Wed. night is NOT working for your family, but I didn't see one reason WHY you would go? I only read the "cons", no "pros". So, I guess my advice would be to try to fill in that column and really weigh the two sides.

    If you decide that the pros are good enough... then I'd suggest a compromise of sorts with your lessons. Can you spread out a couple subjects so that you are doing 5 days worth in 4 days, instead of 3 normal days, and 1 double day? Then on Thursday maybe she can do the things that are not as difficult for her so she is still in the routine of things, but also not really taxed as much.

    Just my .02!


  6. I guess you are right. The post is very NOT, let me state more clearly, our main purpose in going to the Wednesday night activity would be growing in Christ and building relationship with the members of the church community. It is in there, but not very clearly.

    I should probably also mention we have a few afternoon activities, so afternoons are taken up with rest, activity or errands. Also, for 20 weeks out of the school year we go to a co-op on Fridays, so we while we get school done, it is not our curriculum - like math for example. So, we are already making up math and language arts from those days.