Among the many questions that we homeschoolers get asked on a regular basis is this one, “How many hours do you homeschool each day?” Now I know most people want a clearly defined, backed by a written log answer, but that isn’t usually how it works. Teaching and learning is not a set in stone process. It varies by subject, topic, student, etc.
How Many Hours Do You Homeschool Each Day?
I know in public school the claim is that the kids go to school for “8 hours a day”. But we know that even if the time frame were that long, the kids are not actively in class learning for all of that. There are bus rides, lunch lines, time between periods switching classes, recess. Even within the classroom I remember 50 minute periods really only amounting to about 30 by the time everyone is in and settled and the wrap up at the end to be out on time.
So how about in our homeschool? How much time do we spend each day?
The amount of time we spend certainly varies from day to day and subject to subject. I have used a tracking program for years to keep track of assignments, grades, time spent, days logged, etc. After many years of homeschooling I have general block amounts of time that I log for things.
For instance, my oldest always had math set at one hour. Once we hit Algebra I noticed a consistent trend of it taking longer than that for her to complete math. So I upped her block of time for math each day to one hour and thirty minutes. Does she always spend that much time? No. Does she sometimes spend more? Yes. But through experience I have come to the conclusion that an hour and a half a day is a good average for the time she spends on math.
Another factor in time spent is how focused the kids are. My younger two have a bad habit of wandering off both mentally and psychically to other things. Therefore their work that was set to take about 3 hours (1 hour for math, 30 minutes for spelling/grammar, 20 minutes for musical instrument, 1 hour for history, and 45 minutes for foreign language) turns into many many more than that!
So when people ask how long we spend homeschooling each day I usually respond by telling them that the kids generally get up and moving by 9am, and that most days they can be pretty much done by lunchtime. There are a couple of days a week spent doing science, or history projects together in the afternoon, and the kids may take longer when something is more difficult or they are distracted, but in general my younger grade children spend 3-4 hours a day and my upper middle to high school spend 5-6 hours a day.