A big reason we chose the homeschooling lifestyle was so that we could be a close family. HOWEVER, constant togetherness with no break can be maddening torture, so I have always insisted on an hour of quiet time in the afternoons. The rules are:
1. No talking
2. No electronics
3. Do not come in my room unless the house is on fire or someone is bleeding profusely.
Seems straightforward and simple to me, but I have a child who needs to know every specific detail about everything, so I've had to clarify and explain the rules many times. This clever child hates to be isolated, so he looks for loopholes and pushes the boundaries all he can.
This is how it went today. I was in my room with the door locked, because certain people don't always respect rule #3. I heard Sarah go into the bathroom. (I'd like to make a rule that you can't leave your room during quiet time, but after all, this is not prison.). The clever child heard it too and sensed a loophole. He went in the bathroom too.
S: Noah! Get out! I'm going to the bathroom here!
N: But I have to go too.
S: Well then go in Mom's bathroom!
N: I can't. She locked the door.
S: Well, you'll just have to wait till I'm done then, and don't stand there and watch me.
N (yelling from outside the bathroom door): Are you done yet?
S: No! Stop rushing me!
N: Are you peeing or pooping?
Me (yelling from my room): Noah, go to your room and wait till she comes out.
N: But I have to go really bad, and she's just stalling on purpose!
Sarah finally came out, and there was more talking and more arguing and more attempts to get into my room. When "quiet time" ended, I was grouchy instead of refreshed. I went over the rules again, and in my frustration, I changed #3 to: "Do not come into my room for any reason." Noah asked, "But what if the house is on fire or someone is bleeding profusely?" I said, "Call 911, and go outside and wait for them."