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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

How Long is Your Homeschool Day?


Remember that public school class schedules require a lot of crowd control time, and you don't have that crowd.

The rule of thumb is to add about 20 minutes for each grade, but every KID is different and every DAY is different. Some days we get through our whole day in an hour and half, some days it feels like we trudge through at snail's pace.

How Long is Your Homeschool Day?
  • Preschool- 15 to 30 min
  • Kindergarten- 30 min to 1 hour
  • 1st to 2nd Grade- 45 min to 1.5 hours
  • 3rd to 4th Grade- 1.5 to 3 hours
  • 5th to 6th Grade- 2.5 to 3.5 hours
  • 7th to 8th grade- 3 to 4.5 hours
  • High School- 3.5 to 6 hours

This schedule applies to STRUCTURED learning, a.k.a as direct teaching and/or "seat-work".

Direct teaching is when you are teaching them directly, like reading their history book together or doing a science experiment. Seat-work is anything that requires your child to be seated (or laying on the floor in our house) and do independent or small group work, like Math and Writing.  For instance, you may spend 30 to 45 minutes reading History, teaching Math, doing a science experiment with a 4th grader, and then they spend the next 1 to 2 hours finishing assigned independent work, with you are there to ask any questions. The combination of that time is your structured learning time for the day.

Your day may go over this time with extra-curricular and educational activities that don't fall into "structured" learning. Guided free-play (like play-dough and dress up), gym class, audio-books, separate art class, and field trips are different, and will last longer because it requires a different type of engagement.

I taught preschool and kindergarten, and I can attest that the times above are the longest any structured time will be effective in those younger ages. Yes, you can get a compliant child to sit and listen or do worksheet for longer, but in my experience retention falls drastically after these age-appropriate windows of direct teaching.

You also have to find out what works for you. What works for your student, may slow down another.
This year we found the day goes faster when we do Math first (because my sons says then his brain isn't already tired when he gets to it), but that approach may slow down your day. Like I said, all kids are different.

Does this schedule ring true for your homeschool day?

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