Most of the time with canned extract kits, I don't bother with the hydrometer readings until I think the fermentation is over. Actually, I quite frequently forget to take Original Gravity readings. Only if you *need* to have an alcohol content for your beer do you need it.
If you are not growing your own 6th generation barley and hops, you're not *really* homebrewing.
Fermenting: Real Ale, Extract Lager (with WLP830), India Pale Ale
Drinking: Pale Ale from the keg