My kids went back to school this past Wednesday: M, a high school senior; my twins C1 and C2, 8th grade; and DJ, 7th grade. This means that the balancing act begins again, not only with homework and chores but also with the kind of books the kids read. The ability to read is a necessary skill for gleaning information, but I want them to also think of reading as an enjoyable pastime. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be enough time during the week to read the required texts and sneak in books that they want to read.
I think that M and C2 will suffer the most in this area. M really dropped the ball over the past couple years with her grades, so she has to take two English classes this year. She is required to read classics for classwork and earn 60 Accelerated Reader points outside of class. Add in French and marching band and M won't have any leisure time left. C2 doesn't have quite the same load, but she is my reluctant reader. She reads slower than the rest of us even if it is a book that she likes, and her reading slows down to a glacial speed if she isn't captivated by the book. It is a chore getting her through her required reading, so she rarely has time for her preferred choices of manga and mystery novels.
On top of all this, I've set myself a goal of watching less TV during the school week. I don't allow the kids to watch TV on school days, so I thought it would be a good idea if I tried it myself. The first week didn't go so well. I haven't adjusted to the earlier wake-up time yet (I have to get up at 5:30a when school is in session instead of 7:30a) so I ended up getting four hours of sleep a night. I was too cranky to do anything in the evenings but watch TV. Hopefully, I will do better this week.