Planning for a school day can be quite overwhelming for some homeschool parents, especially new ones. If you or your children have spent any amount of time in a traditional brick and mortar school, you might lean toward planning for a 6 hour day. Why? Because that’s what feels familiar and comfortable. Let me give you a little piece of encouragement and advice...let’s throw familiarity out the window and venture outside that comfort zone.
Think about a traditional classroom. Teachers must teach to many children, at many different levels, with many different learning styles. Some kids “catch on” right away - they work independently and finish their work quickly. They sit and read a book or work on a different enrichment activity as they wait for the others to finish. Other kids may struggle a bit. They sit and wait for the teacher to come around and give individualized assistance. There are even kids that fall somewhere in the middle who work a bit, daydream a bit, talk to their friends a bit...do you see where I am going with this?
Think about lining up 25 kindergarteners, taking time to get them quiet, giving directions 100 times (that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I’m leaving it here because it seriously feels like 100)!
In a classroom full of kids, it is inevitable that there will be down time (or wasted time). Think about lining up 25 kindergarteners, taking time to get them quiet, giving directions 100 times (that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I’m leaving it here because it seriously feels like 100), all before walking to the next destination. We know everything takes more time with more individuals involved. So we can naturally assume that when we are working with fewer children, as is the case in most homeschool situations, we will take less time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished each day.
I should note that different states, countries, and territories may have different requirements for the number of days or hours you homeschool each day, week, or year. But keep in mind that your homeschool plan can look much different than that of a brick and mortar school’s (field trips, anyone?!). All kinds of life lessons can be learned through housework, shopping, cooking and baking, volunteering, and more.
Keep in mind that your homeschool plan can look much different than that of a brick and mortar school’s.
You can find all sorts of suggestions on the internet from veteran homeschool families - my suggestion is to do a bit of research to find suggested times.
You can find some suggestions from these trusted homeschool sources:
Of course, the amount of time you spend will depend on the age and learning style of your child as well as the curriculum you choose. Find a schedule you are comfortable with. Try it for several weeks - enough to get in a routine - then adjust if necessary. The longer you homeschool, the more comfortable you and your child will feel and the better you’ll be able to zero in on a schedule that best fits your child’s educational needs.