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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

How Long is Your Homeschool Day?


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

These times apply to STRUCTURED learning, a.k.a direct teaching and/or "seat-work".  This does not include field trips, cooking dinner together, play time, and all the other learning that happens every moment in your house! 

 Your day may go over this time with extra-curricular and fun 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 they REQUIRE A DIFERENT TYPE OF BRAIN 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.

These are just jumping off ranges for new homeschoolers to see that they do not have to fill the same time period at the public school! Public school class schedules require a lot of crowd control time, and you don't have that crowd. Many moms are afraid they are missing something if they get Kindergarten done in 45 minutes, but as a former Kindergarten teacher, I can promise you that you are not!

3. 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.

You 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. 

Some days my kids through their school work super fast, but the next day we have a science lab, a math test, and an English paper to write and it takes most of the day.

If your days are CONSISTENTLY GOING WAY OVER THESE TIME RANGES and your children are struggling, maybe take some time to reflect WHY that is. 

  • Are you expecting too much independent work from your student, and they need more one on one time?
  • Is there too much busywork or redundancies in your curriculum? 
  • Would switching to audiobooks help a child who is struggling to get their reading done? 
  • Do you need to drop back a grade level in a few subjects?
  • Are you overscheduled on homeschool activities and trying to cram things into a shorter period of time?
  • Do you kids work better in the morning and you are trying to get work done in the afternoon?  Or vice versa?

Does this schedule ring true for your homeschool day? Please let me know in the comments!

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