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How much time do you REALLY need to spend homeschooling your child?

Right now, kids all over the world are home with parents.  

And parents who have never put much thought into what their child actually does during those long hours at school, suddenly find themselves filling their child’s day with learning.

Or do they?  Is it even necessary to fill your child’s day with academics when homeschooling?

According to a poll done by this website 54% of homeschoolers only work on their academics for 2-3 hours per day!

Wait… what?  

Woman confused at the idea that homeschooling only takes 2-3 hours daily.

So then what are your kids doing at school for all those hours?  The dynamics of a school environment are much different than a home environment.  It will take a teacher a lot longer to shuffle 28 students through a math activity than it will take you.

Add transitioning, recess, lunch time, and “special” like art and music, you’re children are spending a lot of those school hours just learning to follow procedures.

So then spending 2 to 3 hours on homeschool should be perfectly fine… right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that cut and dry. The time it will take your child to complete their academics will vary greatly depending on your child’s grade level, the learning pace and how focused they are during their lessons. 

One child may be able to complete an entire list tasks from the curriculum in one hour, while another child may require 6 hours and multiple short breaks.

However, there are some general guidelines to help you make sure you are giving your child the time he/she needs.

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Guidelines for how long to homeschool your child.

#1 Focus on reaching goals

As a general rule, you should have your child focus on reaching a specific goal as opposed to spending a specific amount of time.  

For example, if reading a full story is the goal, then as long as your child reads the story and understands it (more on this next) then you’ve reached your goal even if it took only 15 minutes instead of 30.

So if your child is accomplishing all of the goals that you (or your child’s teacher) has laid out for the day, don’t feel guilty about calling it quits.  Instead, be proud of your child for working hard and accomplishing their goals with a high level of focus!

#2 Focus on comprehension

One of the bonuses of teaching children in a one-on-one atmosphere like homeschool is that you can assess your child’s level of understanding much easier than a teacher who is working with a full classroom.  Whether you are working on a reading assignment, a math worksheet, or science experiment, you can (and should) ask your child questions to check for understanding. After your child reads a story ask them to summarize what happened. Ask them why they think “x” happened or  say “What do you think would happen if…”

#3 Look for opportunities to integrate concepts into your day.

At our house, it’s not at all unusual for us to end up with a math lesson at dinner time.  (Especially when there’s only one roll left on the table and 3 kids who want it – “If we split this up into 3 equal parts, what fraction will each of you get?”

#4 If your child is struggling to reach a goal, try changing things up.

You’ll probably never have a better opportunity to really understand your child’s learning style than you have right now.  

If you notice that your child is really struggling to accomplish goals in a reasonable time, then try shifting the learning to something less abstract.  

For example.. Your child is struggling with time’s tables?   Give him a bunch of pennies or beads and help him “act out” the multiplication problem.  For some children, understanding why things work is like an “aha moment” that will change the way they learn!

But my school wants my child working longer hours.

What should I be doing all that time?

Remember that children are always learning.  That means that you can count much more than the time they spent in front of their workbooks as learning time.  

For example, outdoor play could count as phys ed and helping with dinner could be home ec, or could even be turned into extra reading as they help you prepare a recipe.

This type of learning is believed to be more beneficial to a student than learning from a set curriculum.

Meet your child’s daily goals and then allow the other parts of your life to become a part of your child’s learning.

So, How Long Does Homeschooling Take Each Day?

The length of your homeschool day depends on your child,

When it comes to educating your child,it is much more important to focus on the quality than the quantity.

So be flexible but be diligent to make sure that your child is really LEARNING something.

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How much time should homeschooling take each day?