Spoiler alert: How long homeschooling takes each day is still a mystery to me! I wish I could answer with an exact number of hours. But I find it almost impossible to predict how long homeschooling will take each day.
Somehow there is an expectation that homeschoolers should match what kids in public school are doing. So if children spend seven hours a day, five days a week in a public school, the reasoning goes that we homeschoolers should be doing at least that much, too. Anything less means we are doing a bad job. But this fallacy is not true at all!
Changing our mindset about how long school takes each day is part of the transition from public school to homeschooling.
As homeschoolers, we have the advantage to do as much or as little as we want or need. It is a blessing to be in charge of our children's education, and is very convenient to accommodate learning into our own rhythms and lifestyle. With the efficiency of fewer students, we homeschoolers can also be far more diligent with our time and accomplish more in fewer hours than public schools could ever dream of.
In my experience, there are two primary factors that define how long homeschooling takes each day.
1. Homeschooling Is A Natural Part of Our Family Rhythm
When we decided to homeschool, we knew we wanted to raise lifelong learners who learn all the time, everywhere they go. So learning is a natural part of our family rhythm of life. There are always opportunities to learn some new; we are not bound by an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. schedule. We follow a routine, not a schedule. No bells will ring for subjects to start or end.
Homeschooling gives us wings to fly. We are not confined to four walls or to a number of hours a day. Two hours visiting our local science museum can teach us more than six hours reading a science book and doing science worksheets. Some days we are so excited about a topic that we spend all day learning about it.
Other days, life gets in the way of studies:
- an ill child who needs all your attention
- trips to the ER
- a plumbing disaster in your home that makes life a mess
In days like those, we press pause on homeschooling and attend to the crisis or immediate necessity. Learning may happen by listening to an audiobook on the way to the hospital or by watching DVDs like Mathtacular or Discover & Do. And it's okay.
2. We Respect Our Kids' Individual Pace of Learning
Our children are so unique and so different from each other. Each child can have a different learning style and learning pace. My 9 year old son often surprises me by completing his homeschool in less than an hour or two a day. He is very independent and self-driven. On Mondays, I hand him his weekly checklist, and he gladly works through it on his own.
My 7 year old daughter is the opposite. She is the dreamer of the family, often dancing, singing, and easily distracted by anything beautiful. If it were up to her, we would take a whole day to complete just a few homeschool assignments.
And then there is our youngest, who is 6 years old. She is learning to read and trying to write all she can on her own. While she is very determined, she still needs a lot of one-on-one help. And it is very important that I neither rush her nor hold her back.
With these three very different children, the "how long homeschooling takes" question is still a mystery! It's different day to day and different for each child.
So, How Long Does Homeschooling Take Each Day?
The length of your homeschool day depends on your family rhythms, your children's learning pace, and life's unpredictable circumstances. I have days when homeschool is complete by 1 p.m. Other days take until 4 p.m., and on some occasions we are roadschooling for an hour or two.
When it comes to my children's education, I have learned that it is much more important to focus on the quality than the quantity. I respect my children's pace without allowing the slow-paced to slow everyone down or the fast-paced rush everyone else. In five years of homeschooling, I've learned to be flexible and find the perfect pace for our homeschool. When you get in the groove of a homeschool routine and grasp how homeschooling works, you'll find your perfect pace, too.
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