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Hours in a Homeschool Day...when does it change?

Posted by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 11:39 PM
  • 11 Replies

 I've found at age 6-8 that not only does homeschool at this age not take more than 2 hours most days, but that most days if I try to push it longer than that (add more stuff to make it longer) my child burns out and the extra time is wasted because he's DONE after 2 hours (even if the two hours are broken up with lots of breaks).

Sometimes we do three hours, if I have a lot planned and he's just really "with it" that day. There have been rare days where it's reached four hours...and usually because he got lost in one of the the first day we tried out the microscope, and he spent hours looking at different things in it. But those days are rare. I'm wondering if this is true for other two...that when you try to put in more than 2-3 hours in early elementary that it just burns your kiddo out?   And when does this start to change? When did you find you could add more time to the academic portion of your homeschool day?

by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 11:39 PM
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by Member on Sep. 8, 2016 at 7:25 AM
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On days when your child is interested in the topic they will keep actively learning way past your arbitrary time limit for school. If they are just learning math or English because it is required and don't see any practical application for it, they will get bored and clock watch the same way kids in school watch the clock on the wall before lunch, recess, or the end of the day.

We homeschooled from 5th grade through the end of high school and if you don't count music practice, rarely spent more than 2 hours a day on academics.  My daughter is now a senior in college and it looks like she will be an honor graduate in the spring. BTW, she is not a music major.

My advice is to throw out the clock and calendar when it comes to academics and make peace with the concept that real learning does not happen by the clock or the calendar, but when a person is engaged in an interesting activity. 

It wasn't part of our academic program, but my daughter taught herself how to create video montages and sync them to music to share on YouTube. She would spend hours working to complete a five minute video. She did this because she was interested in what she was doing. When she had to learn to use power point during her freshman year in college, the knowledge and skill she acquired creating videos made learning power point a lot easier. 

During this same time period it was like pulling teeth to get her to complete worksheets, because she didn't see the practical applications of those until much later. However, she used her math skills daily whether we were cooking, shopping, or at the bank. 

by Member on Sep. 8, 2016 at 10:47 AM
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Agree with Ladyre. It may not seem like it, but you're clocking in the hours. If he's learning and keeping up with instruction then I'd drop the clock. Squirrel gets done in about 2 hours. If I schedule anymore we both get burned out. She's learning and keeping up with our goals so I'm not too worried. Public schools have such long days b/c they need that for standing in line, helping others, discipling the troublemakers, and other stuff we homeschoolers don't have to worry. So it might not feel like a full day, but sounds like he is. At first I was blown away by how little time we had to spend on school. "This is it? That's all?" 

by Silver Member on Sep. 8, 2016 at 11:22 AM
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My teens usually have around 3 hours of actual bookwork. There's no reason for it to ever take much longer than that.
by Member on Sep. 8, 2016 at 11:39 AM
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When I was homeschooled (4th and 5th and 9th and 10th), both times it was about 3 hours of bookwork. Sometimes a little more for the highschool level but that was usually only days when we started a new math section or had a science experiment. My kinder only does about 45 mins to an hour.
by on Sep. 9, 2016 at 6:37 PM
Mine are in 5th and 3rd and we finished our main work in 3 1/2 hours today. Some days it takes longer, but that's usually when they are not cooperating lol
by Member on Sep. 10, 2016 at 1:47 PM

We do six hours of schooling a day, since we have to have the hours required, but we can shorten the hour since it is one on one.  We take field trips to enhance a lesson or two. This is sixth grade. We also did six hours with my high school daughter whom I just graduated from high school. With that we take an hour lunch, so in reality it is five hours but during lunch we still talk about the lessons. My daughters are happy with it all. At age 6-8 I did about three to four hours, many times more when we watched a movie that went along with a lesson or took a field trip to go along with a lesson, PE was bowling, soccer, and dance. Teaching is wonderful.

by Gold Member on Sep. 22, 2016 at 9:02 PM
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We are currently at about 3 1/2-4 hours a day of instruction.  Mine are 8 and 10 and finishing up 3rd and 4th grades.  I add an extra 30 mins of reading every day to their list of stuff to complete.  I think reading something you picked will add a small level of enjoyment to their day.

Have noticed that with my YDD (ADHD) that if we are doing direct 1 on 1 that she can't handle more than 30-45 mins tops.  She stresses out and loses focus.

We did a state project a few months ago and she LOVED some of it so much that she got lost and worked for 4 hours without a break.  There were no complaints and she enjoyed every moment of it.  She begged for more at the end of each lesson that we just kept on going.

I think you just have to continue to test the waters.  He will lead you into longer days just by staying focused and having a thirst for more knowledge.  It does come but it takes some time.

by Member on Oct. 3, 2016 at 10:29 PM

3-6... depends on how focused they are and what's on the agenda for the day. 

by Group Admin on Oct. 4, 2016 at 9:43 PM

Thanks.  What ages are they?  (Or around what ages...early elementary, late elementary, middle school, high school?)

Quoting MamaNeeNee:

3-6... depends on how focused they are and what's on the agenda for the day. 

by on Jan. 8, 2017 at 5:13 PM

Unless one of us is sick or we have a lot of running to do, we generally do about 3 hours a day.  Our state said we have to have 180 days.  It said nothing about hours.  So aws long as he is learning, and retaining what he is learning, I'm OK with that.

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