One of the most common homeschooling questions I get is “How long does school take every day?”
Well, there’s a short answer and a long answer to this one. I’ll start with the short answer first: As long as it takes!
The long answer is a little more involved, but it really depends on the age of your child and your teaching style. Obviously, a 4 year old will have much less structured school time than a 12 year old. Since I’m only homeschooling a first grader, I’ll share my experiences in school work thus far:
For preschool, plan to spend 30-60 minutes on “school” per day (I say “school” because it’s really just a few structured activities and games at this age, and not a formal curriculum.)
Kindergarten-1-2 hours per day
1st grade-3-4 hours per day
Here is a typical school day for our family. It’s not super traditional, because Junior needs a lot of attention, and we just can’t get everything done while he’s awake.
7am-Wake up. The kids come into my room and watch Sesame Street while I take my time waking up, showering and getting dressed.
8:30am-Clean up breakfast dishes, load and unload the dishwasher. Kids play in the family room.
9:00am-Speech Therapy with Junior. Either with an in-home therapist or just with me. Stinker gets free time while we work with Junior.
10:00am-Errands or appointments for the day. If there is nothing to be done, Stinker starts on independent work she can do herself, like a reading page or handwriting worksheet while I keep Junior occupied.
11:00am-Reading aloud time while the kids have a snack. (Right now we’re reading Little House on the Prairie and Stinker loves it!)
11:30am-Outside play time
12:30pm-Clean up lunch dishes, put Junior down for a nap. Start school with Stinker.
12:45pm-Math Lesson for the Day
1:15pm-Bible free reading (Stinker and I both sit with our Bibles and read to ourselves) and Bible study for the day.
1:30pm-Science Lesson for the Day
1:45pm-Art or Geography…I alternate them every other day
2:00pm-History Lesson for the Day
2:15pm-Reading Lesson for the Day, and Stinker reads aloud to me
2:45pm-Spelling Lesson for the Day
3:00pm Get Junior up from his nap, kids have a snack (Sometimes he’s awake before 3pm, but I’ll run upstairs and give him some toys to play with in his crib while I finish up with Stinker)
3:30pm-Kids play in the play room or outside while I make any necessary phone calls or answer emails
4:00pm-Start dinner while kids watch TV or a show on Netflix
5:00pm-Try to clean up so my husband doesn’t come home to a disaster. Operative word: Try
6:00pm-Finish any outstanding schoolwork with Stinker while my husband plays with Junior
7:00pm-Start getting the kids ready for bed
8:00pm-It’s finally quiet! I clean the kitchen (or thank my husband for cleaning the kitchen), and sit down for the first time that day. My husband and I usually watch a show or chat.
10:00pm-I hop in bed and read for a while until I finally fall asleep and do it all again tomorrow!
So, all told, Stinker (1st grade) does about 3 or 4 hours worth of school work on any given day. Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on how much she drags her feet, but most subjects take about 15 minutes to complete. Math and reading are a little more involved, so we spend about a half hour on each of those. This isn’t how everyday looks, but it’s a good guideline for what I try to do.
The best part about homeschooling is that you can create your own schedule based on what works for your family. As Junior gets older and is able to participate more, I will probably try to get all our schooling done in the morning when minds are fresher and take the afternoons off.
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