Have you ever heard the question: “How long should a homeschool day last”? Maybe you’ve even asked yourself this question. You can relax because there’s really no right or wrong answer. But if you’re concerned, here are some things to consider about the length of your school day:
- What criteria are you using to evaluate your school day to determine why it’s taking so long? Choose a schedule that works for your family—not one set by other families’ clocks.
- Do your children learn better by studying the lesson and then doing all the homework immediately with concepts still fresh in their minds? Or is it better when they have a more regimented routine with “subject hours” in which to learn their lessons and then use the remaining time for homework? Remember that you are always in charge of the schedule (even when using Distance Learning). How you organize the day may vary depending on what works best for you and your children.
- Are your children goofing off or really struggling? Evaluating their activities during lesson time by noting any distractions or excuses to get up from the lesson could key you in on how well your child is learning.
- How involved are you with your children’s progress? It’s important to make sure they comprehend and properly apply the information they learn.
- How are you balancing extracurricular activities in your regular day? Do music lessons or sports overlap with academic lessons, pushing them back and extending your day? Have your other children bring independent work to complete, or watch Distance Learning video lessons in the car.
- How many breaks do you take during the school day? How long do you take for lunch? Making a meal every day takes time (for you and your children); try getting ahead with food preparation. If your kids are older, they can serve themselves with something like DIY Lunch Stations.
- Are your children studying every subject daily? Keep in mind that each subject is a minimum of a full semester of study. So in order to stay on schedule, they may need to study a subject only two or three days a week rather than daily.
- Do you have your children estimate the time they think it will take to accomplish a task? Both average and special-needs students often benefit from a physical timer to help them stay focused and to learn to complete tasks within certain time limits. If you give your child the responsibility of choosing the time limit and finishing within the allotted time, it can help him develop analytical estimation and scheduling skills.
- Are you able to prepare ahead for material that will be covered? Being prepared is a major part in keeping you and your children on the track to academic success and regular routine.
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That sounds like an efficient system! Thank you for sharing!
I homeschool my son and plan to do so until high school and maybe through high school. I like your point about not having to study all subjects everyday. For science and social studies, I make a study guide, teach the lessons, and he studies it 20 to 30 minutes a day for a week then he is tested and we start on a new lesson. I am able to combine related lessons this way. It works for us!
Hope, thank you for your question! We always look forward to hearing from our readers!
Some families are looking to stretch the lessons of one semester over a full year. In which case, you would only be teaching approximately every other day, or you would be alternating subjects every day. This type of schedule works well with students who struggle to maintain the subject matter. If they take an extended break during the summer, they may struggle more to begin in the fall because of memory issues.
There are also families that use this method but do not teach a full lesson each day. They have to teach through the summer to cover all the material.
Let us know if you have more questions.
“Keep in mind that each subject is a minimum of a full semester of study. So in order to stay on schedule, they may need to study a subject only two or three days a week rather than daily.”
HI! Can you elaborate on this?