How Long Each Day Should it Take to Homeschool?

Homeschooling for the day can be completed very quickly when compared to traditional schooling. The reason is that when you have fewer kids to work with, you have less time wasted for each child.

How much time do we spend homeschooling? For us, homeschooling is done in the morning, with the afternoon left for unscripted educational activities. This unscripted time is usually filled with reading, outside discovery, computer games, and for my oldest, computer programming. So technically, they homeschooling from about 9 am until 4 pm excluding lunch, which is the same as other children.

How much do time we spend on instruction? As for one on one instructional time, with two children, we take about 3 hours each morning. In addition, the kids spent 4 hours on Monday afternoons at local classes, and took swimming lesson, which also count as homeschooling time.

How much time we are supposed to spend homeschooling? According to our state’s (Georgia) homeschooling laws, we are required to homeschool for the equivalent of 180 days per year, at 4 ½ hours a day. This equates to 810 hours of instruction a year. This minimum requirement can be easily met by homeschooling from August until May for 2-3 hours a day. The requirements for each state can vary so check with your states homeschool laws.

How long should they homeschool according to grade level? The amount of homeschooling instruction varies from grade to grade starting with less time required for younger children, and more time required from older children. In my opinion, children of all ages should be engaged in meaningful activities about 8 hours a day, without distractions of television and video games (that are not educational). However, for younger children the majority of these activities should be at the student’s whim (like the Montessori or unschooling models). As the child grows older, more of that time is moved to educational instruction, and less of that time goes to free activities. For example, a Kindergartener would get one hour of educational instruction with the rest of that time dedicated to activities they want to participate in like painting, building Lego’s, and digging for worms. For middle schoolers like those that I have, 4 yours of instruction, and 4 years of free time is acceptable. For a high school senior, free time would probably pushed to just 2 hours a day, with six or more hours dedicated to educational instruction.

Come back and see my next post that gives more specific time requirements for each grade level.

*Have a question about homeschooling? Just ask.

*Want to know more about homeschooling? Start with the 2006 homeschool blog in review!