Rise and Shine

School in Turkey is completely different to school in Australia.  In Australia school starts at the most civilised hour of 9 am and finishes at the very acceptable hour of 3 pm.  This allows you (and your brood) a decent sleep and leaving enough time for afternoon activities.  Here in Turkey Daughter starts school at the most uncivilised hour of 7 am and finishes at the completely unacceptable 12 noon.  This means I am dealing with a complete grump in the morning and, as for me, I can never get everything done in the few hours allocated as child free time.


There are advantages to a Turkish education in Daughter’s mind.  Yes she loves the fact that she is at school for one hour less here in Turkey.  She now has a butt load of free time in the afternoon to run amok with her friends.  Another bonus in Daughter’s mind is the fact that each lesson seems to run for approximately 20 minutes with a 10 minute break for toilet or canteen visits (although the toilets are squat toilets and never seem to have any toilet paper which is more horrific to an 11 year old than anything she has gone through so far).

Returning to my point – Daughter has to get up at 5.40 am.  This ridiculously early start is required to give her enough time to get ready, whinge, drink a coffee(!), whinge, eat breakfast and whinge some more before her servis comes to collect her at 6.35 am.   The reality is that she whinges – a lot – in the morning.

I have tried lots of different tactics to make the morning starts a little easier on everyone.

Get her to bed early.  This is usually difficult as Turkey seems to be a country of night time frivolities.  Lots of visitors, loads of food, occasional dancing and music and Daughter being Daughter will not miss out on a party, even if she is the only one at the party.

Blackmail (also called Negotiation)

You’ve all done it – don’t lie.


I gave the responsibility to Daughter.  Brought her an alarm clock.  Set it and did not get out of bed to help her get ready for school.  This option failed dismally as she missed her servis three days in a row and in fact missed school twice!



I put it to you – how do you get your child up for school when it is pitch black outside.  How do you motivate them enough to get ready for school when they hate you or hate life or hate the world.  And finally, how do you get your child to stop hating you or hating life or hating the world!

15 thoughts on “Rise and Shine

  1. OMG! Just today my son asked me, “What time does school start in Turkey?” I told him 9:00. 7 AM?? Really?? as in MORNING?? He is homeschooled now and we usually start school at 10:00. That is reasonable to my mind! As Burns wrote, “Up in the morning’s no for me, up in the morning early…”


    • I thought about home schooling but realised that we would probably kill each other! There are two school days – morning and afternoon. I didn’t get to choose mornings were allocated. I believe, however, the private schools start a little later though Ellen.


  2. Hmm, difficult one… bedtimes are the only remedy, harsh as it may be (8:30 here). Much different times here, servis at 7:50 and home at 5:10 with 2 hours homework every day, incl weekends and holidays…. and he’s just six next week. He gets 15 minutes playtime a day, that’s it. Poor kids, eh?


    • They work them hard here. Daughter has been given a free pass ATM due to her lack of Turkish but from February she is going to have to get her homework done as well. Her cousin does at least 2 hours of homework a night and god help her if it’s not done to her parents high standard! Your lucky spiky – later start time.


  3. That is really early. We start here at 8.30am, I must remind the boys how lucky they are next time they complain….mind it is a long day when they finish at 4.30 but the best way to get them to do anything is the smell of food! That will get them going at any time of the day.
    Jane your just going to have to get all bad ass on daughters butt for a while until it is her ‘norm’- have fun with that! lol


  4. It’s been five months and our kids are still adjusting to their 6:20am wake-up time here in Istanbul. We get them in bed by 8:30pm or so. We get them up, dressed, fed, and have their teeth brushed so they can catch their bus downstairs at 7:00am. School starts at 8:00am. (It’s a private international school.) They’re the first ones picked up on their route in the morning and the last ones to be dropped off after school. On Mondays and Fridays they’re home by 3:30pm (school is out at 2:30pm). The other days they’re not home until 4:30pm (school is out at 3:30pm). Fortunately, they’re not loaded up with homework. The day is long enough.

    Our 5-year-old daughter has the hardest time. She just does not want to get out of bed at all. Back in the States, her pre-school didn’t start until 8:45am. And it was a 15 minute drive. For our son, school didn’t start until almost 9am, and it was a 20minute walk.

    We just tell them this is how it is here and we know it’s hard. Sometimes they nap on the bus on the way home. Luckily for them, next year school will be back in the States.

    Best of luck with your daughter. Damn, 5:40am is very early…


  5. It’s been a while since the days of getting kids to school It seems to me that it was never an easy task whether school started at 7am or 9am. We moved around quite a bit, but it was around the USA and it was the same language. Hating your parents when you’re between the ages of 11 – 17 is normal. Any chance you’ll be going back to Australia?


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