September 3, 2010

Q&A: How much time do you spend each day homeschooling?


Courtney -  It's hard for me know how much time I dedicate a day to homeschooling.  We spread it out through the whole day, starting when we get around to it and taking breaks whenever we need to.  And there is SO much learning going on as we live our lives.  You know "Mommy, can you teach me to fry an egg?"  and "Mommy, what does Universal Health Care mean?"  (true story) There is no way I can put a time on every day teachable moments.

BUT if I were to estimate actual sit down learning and reading, etc. then I would say it's maybe three or four hours spread throughout the day, put into very reasonable 15 or 20 minute chunks.  We spend the most time on history and science since that is the subject we like the most :)  My girls would spend all day on a science project if I let them :)

Samurai Mom - We homeschool all the time, there isn't really a time when we are doing school and when we don't however, I do try to keep the mornings free of errands, visitors, and my special projects so we can focus on doing things as a family without distractions.

Tristan - We have official homeschool hours between breakfast and lunch, with about 45 minutes of that a break for chores and snacktime.  If the kids finish what they're working on while I'm busy with another child they are free to play.  So we're actively homeschooling about 3 hours a day for 5 kids.  Of that time, only an hour at most is seatwork, which we break up in sections.  The learning often spills over into the rest of the day, which is great, especially reading aloud a good book, playing games, or creating things.

Dana – We try to get the majority of our studies (Gospel,Reading, Writing, Math) and chores done in the morning before lunch.  Our afternoons are spent on life learning which is less structured like baking, cooking, reading aloud, and projects of interest. We like to play outside, meet with our homeschool group and visit the library. Some days we do a project for Science or Art in the afternoon when the children can spend as much time on it as they wish.  In addition we can be found at any time of the day immersed in our  History read-aloud.  It’s hard to say an exact amount of time because we have a learning lifestyle.  We are learning something all the time.

Jaime - Here in Alberta we have slightly different requirements (as far as I can see) then you in the I don't know how useful my input is. :)

We school for an average of (actual sit down and work at the Alberta Education Guidelines) 4 hours per day, Monday to Thursday. Only accounting for the hours of actual sit down and learn school, it is pretty short. (especially considering we take Fridays off, have all of December off, and we are done by May...) Of course as parents know, our "job" is to teach our children, so frankly I would extend that "teaching time" or homeschooling time to the waking hours of my children. I believe that homeschooling is not just school in the home...but a way of life.

So how much time do you spend homeschooling?

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9 comments - Add a comment below -:

Tracy said...

We spend about 2 hours a day doing formal homeschooling - I only have one son, so it goes pretty quickly with no distractions.
Of course all homeschoolers know that the rest of the day is learning also. :)

Plain and Precious said...

Wow! I'm so glad you posted this today! I was seriously just worrying about this yesterday.

Some days, with all the chores needing to be done,we don't get started until around 10AM. We continue until we finish the daily plan which usually is around 2PM. That includes a lunch break. I often worry that I'm not spending enough time on sit down work. Still, we almost always get everything finished with time to spare.

Thank you for calming my fears.

Jessica said...

We have only done two days of "school" so far this year and each day I have spent about 4 1/2 hours helping three kids (plus taking care of a very demanding 15 month old). I don't know whether that is long or short! It is just what has happened the last two days. Right now it appears to be working. :)

Rosalie said...

After 14 years of "homeschooling" now 7 children I realized that I am "home educating" my children all day long. Once I discovered what my true goals for my children's education were and what kind of adults I wanted them to grow up to be made the daily things so much easier to do. We invest 15 minutes a day in 8 basic areas after morning routines(2 hours). Then we enjoy learning life skills. We don't stop for breaks but incorporate it into the activities or vacations. It's so much easier to do a little bit all year long then stopping and starting again.

The one thing I can suggest is to really look at what your and God's true goal is for your children. Just getting books and "schooling" your children will cause frustrations on both you and your children if you don't know the goal. And keep reminding yourself that home education doesn't stop and start when public school does. At home children are learning 24-7 all year long. It is up to us moms whether they are learning to love learning, being creative and curious or not. Just a little learning and practicing today and everyday will give great rewards later.

Judi said...

I like what Jamie said about homeschool being during the waking hours of her children. My kids don't realize this as they look at actually book work as "school" and the rest of the time is just life :).

We pretty much start at 7:30 a.m. and finish by 3 p.m. Of course, there is a lot of flexibility because we aren't sitting at the table that whole time!

Happy schooling! :)

Cindy said...

Here in New York we're required to do 180 days and 5 hours each day. Well, that 5 hours includes snacks, walks, piano practice etc. etc. I know my kids get a lot more school than thier public school friends, and yet they have no homework! It's a great life!!!

clarisajo said...

I have a toddler that loves to learn and we, like all the rest of you, spend all day having teaching moments but we sit down and work through specific plans for about an hour a day.

Sherry said...

I just started with my 2 boys (ages 3 and 4 1/2) and am only doing about 1 hour a day split into 15 minute sections. Right now I'm trying to let them learn more through life and playtime.

Rebecca said...

THANK YOU!!!! This was a very timely post for me. I know that there are plenty of teaching moments throughtout life...but since this "accountability" thing is new to me, I was afraid maybe I was being to lax. I only formally school with my 5yo. We spend about 2 hours a day (when she isn't working fast) on math, phonics, and our unit studies. But we are constantly learning!