The Meaning Behind the Name: Not Before 7

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Why is your blog is called, “Not Before 7”?

The answer to this question was published on my original blog on August 11, 2007. I dug it out of the archives to publish here.  At the time this post was written, my children were 4.5 years old, just about 3 years old, and 9 months old. 

I am not a morning person. I never was.

I don’t function well in the morning, at least, not before 7 AM.

Therefore, our house rule is that children can not enter our bedroom until there is a 7 on the clock.

We taught this rule to our kids as soon as they could read the “7” on the digital clock. Some pretty memorable and funny moments occurred as the kids learned to obey the clock rule.

Why is your blog titled, "Not Before 7"? I explain it all today.





Introducing the Kids to Not Before 7

We taught the 7 AM rule to our oldest child, Kayleigh, first.

We borrowed a digital clock from a room down the hall and set it up in her bedroom. We showed her the digit “7” and explained that when she woke up, she had to remain in her room until she saw a 7 on the clock.

We gave her a big ‘ole talk about staying in her bed in the morning if there was a 6, or worse yet, a 5 on the clock. She was very excited about her clock and was staring at it when we left. A few minutes later, we heard the sound of her feet running down the hall above us. She scampered into our bedroom, noticed we weren’t in the room, and scurried back to bed.  Curious to know what happened, I trudged up the stairs and into Kayleigh’s room.

Look, Mom! There’s a 7.

I looked at her clock.  It was 8:17. I laughed.

Of course, it wouldn’t be as funny at 6:17 AM, so I grabbed a piece of duct tape to cover the last two digits on the clock.  Now there would be no question about which “7” she needed to look for.  You gotta love the many uses of duct tape!

You gotta love the many uses of duct tape!

Two years later, it was time to teach the rule to Tricia. We explained the rule about the clock and this time, put more emphasis on the position of the 7. Then we left the room.

Within a few moments, we heard little feet running down the hall. I climbed up the stairs and found Tricia standing in the hall excitedly announcing, “There is a 7.”

I walked with her back to the room and the clock said, “8:18”.

Tricia stopped cold and yelled, “Oh no, it’s gone!” I laughed out loud.  She was so distraught about the missing 7.

Then, I blocked off the last 2 digits again. This time, I used a nearby picture frame to cover them.

The rule seems to be working fairly well these days. Of course, in 2 more years, our little David will be ready to learn!

It is interesting to note that my rule follower, Kayleigh, repositions the frame each night to perfectly block the last two digits. She won’t go to sleep if the frame isn’t in place…funny child!

There you have it, folks. One way to sum up this momma when it comes to blogging, homeschooling, and general parenting…

I am ALL in, but Not Before 7.


2017 LIFESTYLE UPDATE:  These days you could retitle my blog “Not Before 8”.  I’ve been spoiled by my homeschooling lifestyle and children who self-entertain in the morning…ahem.


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  1. This is FANTASTIC!!! We are so the same in this!! I tell people all the time that 6:59 is the middle of the night, 7:00am is an acceptable time to wake up. My boys are 8, 5 and 2. I did the same strategy of covering the last 2 digits on the clock and telling my oldest he could come in at 7. He is still an early riser and I let him get up early (because I don’t want to squash this trait… I wish I was an early riser!) but he is still not allowed to enter my room until 7. I keep my kids in their crib until they can identify the 7. Its a very serious piece in our successful days! 🙂

    I’m excited to explore around your site. I found it while blog browsing among Brave Writer posts.

    1. Glad to have you hear – a fellow night owl and Brave Writer Momma! Of course, these days, I wake my older kids at 9….LOL. Boy how times change.

  2. Haha, thank you for this explanation! I found your blog last year and wondered about this. I decided it meant to not worry about “instructing” my children before they reached 7 years, and it kind of gave me permission to not stress out too much about not doing a whole lot of traditional curriculum work. I follow and support their interests, and it seems to be working! My oldest who is now 7 reads well in 2 languages (we’re a bilingual family) without any reading program. So basically, I misinterpreted the meaning of not before 7, and it was very useful! 🙂

    1. AS Shawn Spencer would say, “I’ve heard it both ways.” (You have to be a fan of Psych to get that one) I have had many people interpret it the way you did and really, that works too 🙂 Happy School year!

  3. Awesome! I did the same thing when mine were little, but my rule was not before 8.

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