I recently wrote How Long Each Day Should it Take to Homeschool, which explained my thoughts on the amount of time a child should spend in educational instruction as well as time spent exploring. I thought I would break it down further to give you a sampling of how long it should take (purely for educational instruction), year-by-year for the homeschooler.
How long it should take to homeschool a preschooler: For a preschooler, homeschooling should happen during the course of the day in short spurts. If done correctly, the child will not even notice the difference between educational time and play. 1 hour broken into four- fifteen-minute stretches should be more than sufficient. This time should include letter and number recognition, leading to phonics and addition. Time should also be spent reading to the child, and learning basic skills like getting dressed, tying shoes, and using scissors. An hour a day spent with an educational CD ROM like Reader Rabbit would do the trick also.
How long it should take to homeschool a first through second grader: A first grader needs about 1 ½ hours a day on educational instruction. A second grader needs 2 hours. This time should included dedicated reading instruction, beginning grammar and writing, as well as dedicated time spent to math. To cover science and social studies, it makes sense to have the reading materials be history and science based.
How long it should take to homeschool a third through fourth grader: A third and fourth grader needs about 2 1/2 hours of dedicated homeschool instruction a day. In addition to the items mentioned for first and second grade, it is time to start introducing time management skills, and making the child responsible for checking his or her own work. This is also a good time to introduce geography, especially local geography.
How long it should take to homeschool a fifth through sixth grader: For students in the fifth through 6th grade, 3-4 hours of instruction are necessary. Pre algebra can be time consuming, as well as learning to write essays and different types of letters. History and science should also become a deeper focus in the student studies. Science experiments, living history, and museum visits are necessary at this age.
How long it should take to homeschool a seventh through eighth grader: Four to five hours of instruction is required for pre-high school instruction. A minimum of an hour of math is required each day, and well as an hour of writing. Extensive reading is necessary during this time. History, Science, Social Studies, and foreign language are also very important as the student prepares of high school. Independent learning should be encouraged at this time.
How long it should take to homeschool a highschooler: High school should take five to six hours of instruction per day. (It is also important to look at the credit requirements for prospective colleges and compare that with the hours you spend homeschooling) Fortunately, by this time the student is capable of learning independently and will know how to call on you to provide or find help should they need it? In the 11th and 12 grade, college bound highschoolers should be taking a sampling of courses outside the home and at community colleges while they are still home for you to help them solve college related problems.
*Have a question about homeschooling? Just ask.
*Want to know more about homeschooling? Start with the 2006 homeschool blog in review!