Our modern school system has created the idea that school takes most of the day, five days a week. The reality for most homeschoolers is quite different. I’m often asked how I manage to blog and homeschool and do housework, but school doesn’t take us from 8 am to 3 pm. So how much time does homeschooling take? Here’s the amount of time we’ve spent homeschooling in the past three years.
How Much Time Does Homeschooling Take in Grade 1?
When I was wondering how to start homeschooling, I sat down with a friend of mine who had just finished Grade 1 with her two children. She showed me all their materials and talked about what their school day looked like. For Grade 1, she followed a fairly unschooled approach, letting the kids dictate what they wanted to do each day (but making sure they did school each day).
Both of them managed to meet all the Grade 1 provincial outcomes for the year, as well as several Grade 2 and 3 outcomes. They spent about 20 minutes a day on school. Some days, if the kids were really into a topic, they’d spend longer on it. She said school never took longer than an hour a day.
For Sunshine’s Grade 1 year, we spent about an hour per day on schoolwork. I followed a slightly more bookish approach, making sure we worked through each topic each day. I used the daily lesson plans included in my curriculum, so I knew we weren’t doing too much or too little each day.
If we worked through all subjects one after the other, we could finish in about an hour. If we took breaks between each subject, then it took us most of the morning to finish. I would get some housework or other tasks done while Sunshine was on her breaks.
How Much Time Does Homeschooling Take with Two Students in Two Grades?
Since Lily started school too last year, I spend a bit more time working with both girls. School now takes most of the morning and sometimes goes into the afternoon. I do some subjects with the girls together, but they each get a break while I’m working with the other on math. While they are on their breaks or working independently, I can load or unload the dishwasher, throw supper in the crock pot, switch a load of laundry, check email, etc.
We tend to start our mornings a bit later than other families. I usually call the girls to start school between 9 and 10 am. We work from then until about noon. In the afternoon, they have to practice music and dance (for Sunshine) and we have our extracurricular activities.
Of course, the time kids spend in school isn’t just dedicated to book work. Sunshine and Lily also enjoy making art work and crafts (though I’ve had to say that crafts can’t come out until after school is done). On nice days, they take “recess” outside. We have at least one day a week when we get together with other homeschoolers.
How Much Time Does Homeschooling Take in Higher Grades?
Currently, I’m doing elementary subjects with two students. Some of my friends who are teaching more kids and higher grades have indicated that homeschooling takes more time.
From my own homeschool days, I remember doing a lot more of my work on my own when I was in my teens. My mom assigned and checked my work, but otherwise it was up to me to sit down and read my textbooks or work through my assignments. If I wanted, I could still be done all of my work by noon or early afternoon.
If you’re a homeschooler, how much time does homeschooling take for you? If you’re considering homeschooling, does the amount of time required to teach your children worry you?