Homeschooling Hours, My Rant
Who says we have to go to school for 6+ hours a day? Well if your children go to public school it is like 6 hours of in school time but if you include all of the driving it is like 8hrs. Hummm…. so I was thinking that is insane but fist you have to remove the hours spent not in instruction to get a better picture of actual “school-time”. Take away any “specials” as they called it in my son’s old school and you get an hour off the 6…(hum specials? gym, art, library…special?? um…no essential) Lunch and recess which are together and means in the end something will give…bet it is nutrition because what kid doesn’t prefer the swings to carrots, 1 hour off. I included line up- walking time in these hours but maybe I am being too generous… So we are at 4 hours of teaching time but I bet there is some non-instruction time in there… correction, redirection, frustration, and finally maybe some clean-up time. I bet there is a solid 3 hours in total of actual teaching time.
I would not suggest that any homeschool need look at public schools for guidance. However, understanding the educational expectancy is a good resource. I based my daily hours of instruction on reality. In all reality as an adult the hours we can spend in instruction are limited. 4 hours max is the standard time most people will or do spend in a college classroom, daily. However, many students do not plan their college schedules so they are in class 4 straight hours which in college time is actually like 6-8 if you include the possible time in between classes.
What do we do then? 3, 4, 5 hours a day of instruction? Nope, that would be insanity. The time spent teaching needs to be relevant to the child you are teaching. For my pre-k aged Olie, he does 30-1 hour of straight school: worksheets, puzzles, stamping, drawing, coloring, games, matching ect. The rest of his day is play. Li has a day planned out for him which can take 2 hours of straight work, however it takes as along as if takes. He has been done in 2 hours and sometimes he is done in 3. His day is his own, all he has to do is do the work that was planned.
So my advice to anyone who is thinking about time-spent on work, gauge it per child. You want the best work your child can give so don’t push. If your son or daughter is just refusing to work or their work is poor because it is matching their attitude that day then completely forget it. Just stop the day. I mean it. There is always Saturday and there is zero need to push math on a kid who refuses, full-stop, to do it. Li hates math, if he is not into doing it, it will take him a full hour to do 10 math problems, no joke an hour. However on a BAD day, he can have a nuclear meltdown at math time which for me means, no school. I will not commit hours to bad work and fussing, those lost hours can be made up.
In all reality when Li is 14yrs old, 2 hours will be too little, he will be having more independent work to complete and his day will most likely be 3 at the least. Olie is only 4yrs old so his work-load is appropriate for now but when he is 6yrs old he will have much more work to do as well.
In-School hours are pliable and should suit the child’s abilities. They should support the lesson, the child’s knowledge growth, and the parent’s teaching skills. Putting high demands and schedules on your child and yourself will only result in negative outcome.
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