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#1 Melinda

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 01:52 PM

How long do you spend on school per day? I'd like to know overall and per child.

Do you have them work on each subject for a certain amount of time or a certain number of lessons/activities?

--Melinda (*still* trying to figure out how to fit everything in)

#2 gracesteacher

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:02 PM

I was told that for elementary it was about an hour per grade number they are in. I honestly think it is per child and what they can do
10-20 min on math
10-20 min on reading
5-10 on handwriting
The rest is gravy for kids in the k-1st in my opinion.

#3 Targhee

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:03 PM

our umbrella school requires 10 hrs a week for K, 20 hours a week for 1-3, and 25 hrs a week for 4-12. That includes music, pe, art, etc.

We do about 40 minutes of "academic" work each day (math, reading, writing) and about 20-40 minutes of project/integrated work. The rest of the time we fill with read alouds, PE (at least 3-4 hours a week), art, music, etc.

Edited by Targhee, 25 March 2009 - 02:05 PM.


#4 newlifemom

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:05 PM

I say however long it takes to get your work done. For me, K lasted less than two hours and that was everything. 1st grade here is done typically before lunch and that is usually with several long breaks. (I have an ansty 6 year old) We do some independent reading in the afternoon.

#5 lotsofpumpkins

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:06 PM

We don't follow a strict schedule here. I might try to get into more of a set routine still, but we are still on fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants mode since having a new baby 6 months ago.

My 4-year-old is doing some preK. Some days he doesn't do any at all, but on days that he does, it takes him about 30 minutes.

My 5-year-old is in K but using 1st grade math. He usually gets a math lesson done in about 15-20 minutes. Phonics lessons take longer, since I am trying to teach him to read. We are using ETC and Happy Phonics; the games in HP take a while. So, I'd say on average we might spend 30-45 minutes on phonics.

My 7-year-old is in 1st. She is able to do a lot of her work independently but I do have to help her some, as well as listen to her read her word lists. She gets distracted super easy though, so her work easily takes her 3+ hours a day.

This is all going on at the same time, and I'm going back and forth between them. Once the younger ones finish they go play. When I just have dd working, I go back and forth between her and housework or cooking or whatever.

We alternate science/social studies/etc on different days right now. Those are usually pretty quick lessons. I am working on lesson plans for our new schoolyear starting in May, which will involve everyone together and hopefully be more involved and more organized than right now. So, that will take more time than it does now. But even with that, we should be able to finish our schoolday within 4 hours. Though with dd starting 2nd grade and picking up English and spelling, her work might take a bit longer if she isn't staying on task. We'll see!

I hope this helped some! I saw that your children are pretty young. If my K-er were my oldest, our school day would be 1 1/2-2 hours probably.

ETA: None of this includes read-aloud time. I'm still trying to get consistent with that. For some reason it's been hard to do that, with 5 children going in different directions!

#6 TxMama

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:18 PM

[quote name='Melinda']How long do you spend on school per day? I'd like to know overall and per child.[/quote]

1-2 hours for the younger years with a gradual increase to 3-4 hours by around age 10. This is only counting time spent on purely academic subjects not including subjects they may explore on their own.

By age 10 my time with each child is about 1/2-1 hour + another 1 hour with the group working on group studies. So they will have 1.5 -2hrs with me + 1-2 hours doing independent work. My goal is by highschool they are fairly independent in their studies and my role is not teacher but counselor/co-learner.

[/quote]
Do you have them work on each subject for a certain amount of time or a certain number of lessons/activities?

--Melinda (*still* trying to figure out how to fit everything in)[/quote]

yes. :lol: When they are younger and I'm more directly involved I aim for certain number of lessons. When they start working more independently we start aiming for a certain amount of time. By highschool they are full managers of their time and schedule.

If you get a chance to read my blog it is mostly about my time/schedule etc with the little kids and how it has evolved since I started the blog last year.

#7 dragons in the flower bed

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:58 PM

How long do you spend on school per day? I'd like to know overall and per child.


I'm not honestly sure. The kids take breaks between subjects, and there's a bunch of kids, so I couldn't add it up in my head if I tried. I'm schooling one or another from about 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m., 10 - 2 on easier days. (That is, days when they don't dawdle.)


Do you have them work on each subject for a certain amount of time or a certain number of lessons/activities?)


I have often heard it said that you can expect an hour per grade from first to fourth or fifth grade. I use that guideline when planning how many activities to give my non-dawdling children. I try to estimate how much time each lesson or activity will take them and plan our days so they have as many activities as should take that much time. For my dawdlers, though (who have been different kids at different times), I set a time limit for each subject and they do as much as they can during that time, then stop wherever they find themselves when the timer buzzes. (Not that I have a literal timer -- I'm their timer.)

#8 patchfire

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:06 PM

The state technically requires 4.5 hours of instruction. I think that is a hugely ludicrous number for kids under fifth grade or so, but there you have it.

In practice, dd can usually finish her work in two to three hours, depending on how much reading she's doing for history or science on a given day. There are no good 'typical' days - we often have other things that 'interrupt' school so it's hard to say. Yesterday was park day plus they had swim lessons, so schoolwork wasn't finished until 3:30. Monday we were done completely by 10 or 10:30, and that included time for breakfast. :)

Dd can be a dawdler, though, so I go for a specific amount of work rather than a specific amount of time. I can see her starting to mature and understand that in the long run, not dawdling is to her benefit... but I don't expect that to fully develop for years to come.

#9 Elm in NJ

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:11 PM

I am schooling 4. Grade 2 does about 3-4hrs daily, grade 4 about 5 hrs daily and my 7th grader works about 8am - 4pm with a 1 hr lunch break.

#10 Homeschooling6

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:40 PM

I just blogged about this today. If you like you can read it HERE

Blessings,

#11 KRG

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:44 PM

My son is 11 and a full homeschool day usually lasts about 3-4 hours.

Bible: 10-15 mins--We do a daily devotion

Math: 30-45 mins--We try to do 2 lessons but sometimes it's just one. Math is not his strong point so we try and take it slow and easy.

English: 20-30 mins--Definite strong point and we can easily do several lessons here.

Spelling/Vocab: 20-30 mins--Another strong point. The amount of time is determined by the activity we are doing for that day.

Lunch/Break/Outdoors 1 hr

History: 30 mins--Sometimes this goes on for quite awhile depending on how involved we get in our discussions. We usually just do one section, discuss and then do some kind of activity

Science: 30 mins--Same as history--it just depends on where our conversation takes us.

Outdoors/free time/computer time--he is usually outside or writing during this time.

Reading(done at night w/family): 20-30 mins--We enjoy reading together as a family. Dh does the reading. Sometimes I'll have ds write about or do some kind of project over the book.

I work part-time at a school and he takes Art, P.E. and Computer there on Mondays and Fridays and German on Wednesdays.

#12 Ellie

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:17 PM

There is no "should." When you finish stuff you planned, that's how long your school day is. Practically speaking, with littles like yours, you'd be pushing to get to noon, and that would be the "should" for you.

#13 Cadam

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:23 PM

You have little kids! When dd was 4 and 5 we did school for about 45 min. three days a week. Now we start at 8:45. Dd is easily done by lunch or before. It is not uncommon for ds to still be working at 3 or 4. He is in Jr. High now and only does school 4 days a week, one of those is a light day that he does on his w/o me.

#14 runamuk

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:36 PM

Our day varies, depending on what we're doing, but my 3rd grader averages around 3.5 hours a day. I schedule our subjects by lesson or chapter and they take as long as they take. Some days English will take an hour, other days she may finish in 20 minutes. She also does an hour or more of reading for fun outside of the school day.

My preK (almost 5) son spends about 40 minutes a day on his lessons. He really loves his math program and wants to do a whole chapter a day. I've even caught him under the dining room table with his work book and pencil when he's supposed to be having quiet time in his room. We spend time on phonics, as well. Outside of lessons, he spends time doing mazes, dot-to-dots, building marble runs, playing with legos and listening to stories.

#15 lovelearnandlive

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:37 PM

We have a lot going on right now, so I don't do school every day. The days we are home, we do school until dd4 is tired of doing it, or until we need to leave the house to visit friends, or go to an activity. Some days that's an hour, sometimes three. :001_huh: I would say though, overall, we probably do about 8 hours of school a week. This fall, that number will probably increase to about 10 hours. I think that's probably on the higher end of what most people here are doing for K.

#16 Melabella

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:47 PM

I am struggling with this right now as I plan 5th grade for my dd9 next year. If I use the time guidelines from the WTM for Math, Grammar/Spelling, Writing, Reading, History, Science, Latin, and Logic, then add in art/music/typing, we are looking at 7 to 8 hours of "class" time. Isn't that a bit much for a 5th grader?

A 5th grade PS student would only attend school for 6.5 hours and that includes lunch, recess, etc. I can definitely see 5 to 6 hours next year, but then I feel like I'm not "doing" WTM. KWIM?

#17 Penelope

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:31 PM

I am struggling with this right now as I plan 5th grade for my dd9 next year. If I use the time guidelines from the WTM for Math, Grammar/Spelling, Writing, Reading, History, Science, Latin, and Logic, then add in art/music/typing, we are looking at 7 to 8 hours of "class" time. Isn't that a bit much for a 5th grader?

A 5th grade PS student would only attend school for 6.5 hours and that includes lunch, recess, etc. I can definitely see 5 to 6 hours next year, but then I feel like I'm not "doing" WTM. KWIM?


Have you seen this article?
http://www.welltrain...m/schedules.php
:D

For the OP: First grade takes us 1-2 hours, and I feel that we are following TWTM pretty closely. This does NOT include activities for history, if we get to them, or setting up science experiments. It also doesn't include additional read aloud time, which we do every day in the evenings and/or via CD's in the car.

For K it was less than an hour for structured curriculum, 3-4 days per week. I did not do a formal math program, though, and we would read lots, cook, play educational games, plant things, grow butterflies and catch worms, all through the day. I'm not counting any of that, but it is all learning.

#18 Melabella

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:37 PM

[quote name='Penelope']Have you seen this article?
http://www.welltrain...m/schedules.php
:D

Thank you for the link. I had not read that and it has already brought me down of the ledge. ;)

#19 Carrie12345

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:50 PM

Dh and I were trying to figure it out the other day. My K and 1st graders usually do between 2 and 3 hours, including reading time. My 5th grader is closer to 5 hours, but it'd be less if he'd stop dilly dallying.

Many things don't get factored in though. Measuring ingredients while cooking dinner or dessert, our rock tumbling experiment (which I hate, btw), "Phys Ed", music lessons/practice/fun, the time they spend in the woods comparing frogs and bugs, playing board games, watching The Discovery Channel...

#20 rainforest mama

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 06:05 PM

DD10 (4th grade) does about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week. I expect that next year, as she enters the logic stage, her school time will increase. When she was K and 1st grade, I'm sure she didn't spend any more than a hour a day doing school.

In addition to her school time, she reads another 3 or 4 hours a day, just for the fun of it. Plus, she does crafts and helps with the cooking, housework, and looking after DD2.

As she's gotten older, the time I spend supervising her has decreased. This year I have noticed a big jump in the amount of independent work she is able to do.

#21 lionfamily1999

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 06:10 PM

How long do you spend on school per day? I'd like to know overall and per child.
I'm only hsing one. We start at 9 and finish (normally) by 12:30.

Do you have them work on each subject for a certain amount of time or a certain number of lessons/activities?
I've tried to time subjects, but found that we were spending more time worrying about timing, lol, than actually learning. I've gone back to going subject by subject, moving on when he's got it (or become frustrated) and lingering if it is really enjoyable, or complicated.

--Melinda (*still* trying to figure out how to fit everything in)
(me too, lol :) )

#22 Karen in CO

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 06:17 PM

I used to think there was no way we could do 4 hours a day. However when I count up my day, it is usually more if I include all of the educational things I put in there. We currently have it broken into about 2 1/2 hours in the morning where we generally accomplish the math, copywork, memory work and whatever else I needed dedicated attention for, an hour of independent reading that I don't schedule, and an hour or more of me reading in subjects like history and literature at night. The rest of the day, my kids play, do art, help around the house, read, or do something that could probably be considered educational if I were trying to stretch my day.

#23 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:33 PM

There is no "should." When you finish stuff you planned, that's how long your school day is. Practically speaking, with littles like yours, you'd be pushing to get to noon, and that would be the "should" for you.


Unless, like me, your day starts at 11:30 :lol:

#24 razorbackmama

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:26 PM

How long do you spend on school per day? I'd like to know overall and per child.

Do you have them work on each subject for a certain amount of time or a certain number of lessons/activities?

--Melinda (*still* trying to figure out how to fit everything in)


When mine were your child's age, we spent about 1-1.5 hours a day on school.

Currently I have 6th, 4th, 3rd, K/1st, and PreK that I'm teaching. My school day starts at 8 and ends at 3:30. HOWEVER, included in that time is 1.25 hours for lunch and me getting the 21mo down for a nap. Also that is MY amount of time - my kids don't do nearly that much LOL.

My 6th grader is scheduled to do school from 8-12 and then 1:15-3:30.
My 4th and 3rd graders are scheduled to do school from 8:30-11:30 and then 1:15-3:30.
All 3 of them finish early pretty much every day.
My K/1st grader does 1-1.5 hours in the morning (reading, math, handwriting, etc.) and then a 45-minute Bible lesson with us in the afternoon. On Wed. and Fri. he joins in for science, which takes about 30 minutes.
They all have 30 minutes scheduled to play with the 21mo, and that time is included in the times I listed for the 6th, 4th, and 3rd graders above.

(Have I totally confused you? LOLOLOL)

Typically we do one lesson a day. Since we're in our 8th year of homeschooling, I have a pretty good feel for how long those things "should" take, so I've scheduled it as such. If it doesn't take as long in reality, bonus for them as long as they've done it right.;)

#25 Alison in KY

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:44 AM

Mine are 9,7, and 5. We'll roughly get started around 09:00 and hopefully end by 1:30, but that includes lunch. I was ramping up the time for my son this year, but I've decided it works way better for us if I use those short Charlotte Mason lessons. I'm getting more done in school and with the house, so I've got a better balance here.

During or after breakfast and all kids combined for approximately 15-30 minutes depending on our talking and clowning around:
We'll start with Heart of Dakota Bible, storytime, poetry.
Go over our Old Testament books that we are ALL trying to learn:001_smile:
Go over VP cards

Block 1 - 9 yr old: 20 minutes of Bible/MUS online facts, and one quick page of a science workbook
-7 yr old: Bible and OPGTR
-5 yr old: computer programs like Reader Rabbit

Block 2 - 9 yr old: 20 minutes math
-7 yr old: HWT, one pages of easy spelling workbook, MUS online facts
-5 yr old still on the computer or playing

Block 3 -9 yr old: 15 minutes Typing or Music Ace
-7 yr old: math
-5 yr old: playtime or maybe a Rod and Staff workbook if I can juggle both the 7 and 5 yr old together

Block 4 - 9 yr old: 15 minutes HWT and GWG
-7 yr old: WWE
-5 yr old: whatever

Block 5-9 yr old: 20 min or lessCLP science oral reading of 1 page and WWE
-7 and 5 yr olds playing

Block 6 - 9 yr old: 10 minutes AAS

Block 7 - 9 yr old: 15 minutes Abeka 3rd grade history
-7 yr old whatever
-5 yr old school...a small phonics and/or math lesson if we didn't get it done yet

Block 8 - All together: 30 minutes or less of HOD history reading, possibly science reading, possibly a small activity

Wow, that comes out to 2 hours and 55 minutes or less. It never goes that quick though, as you can see from my top...but it looks like I need to try and get my kids to move faster

#26 sunflowerlady

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:58 AM

Wow, you all school way longer than we do.:D Of course, we are not homeschooling classically right now, but are using worktext style curriculum. Also I just have one child.

Anyway, when she was in K and 1st, we schooled less than an hour. Now she is in fourth, and we school an hour and a half to two hours. I am a little embarrassed to say that, after seeing how much the rest of you school. But, she gets her work done and she also reads a lot on her own through out the day. I gave her the CAT-E test last year from Seton, and she scored well, so she is doing fine.

I read in a book that a general rule is half an hour per grade level, so grade four would be about two hours. I know someone mentioned an hour per grade level, but I wanted to give another perspective.

#27 Melinda

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:09 AM

What if they never want to stop, though?

My 4yo and 5yo want to be doing school from the time they wake up (7 or so) until the time they go to bed (9) and they want me to sit with them the entire time.

I love that they *love* to learn and are enjoying themselves, but I have to do things like dishes and laundry, and pay attention to the 2yo at some point. Oh, and maybe do something *alone* that I enjoy once in a while.

All three kids will sit and listen to me read for hours at a time (I've never had the patience to go beyond 2, though). They do not like books on tape so much, because the snuggle element is gone there. The older two will sit and do math or spelling for several hours and literally cry sometimes when I tell them that we need to stop.

I have created this problem, I suppose. While I know it's a problem of luxury to have children that just can't wait to crack open that math or grammar book, it is thoroughly exhausting.

I do have them do online school (time4learning.com and timez attack, right now) to give myself a bit of a reprieve, but I would love to pare down the actual teacher-student one-on-one time spent per day in order to do something other than school sometimes.

Any suggestions?

#28 Ellie

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:16 AM

Unless, like me, your day starts at 11:30 :lol:

Yeah, there is that.:lol:

#29 Alison in KY

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:20 AM

Wow, what a problem to have. Dare I say some TV school? Sessame St., Word Girl, Letter FActory videos, Animated Hero classics videos.

They'll just have to learn you aren't a slave to "school". Include them on small chores like loading the washing machine, taking the laundry basket for you, making their beds, etc. I love it when my kids save my back by loading the washing machine.

It will happen. Just slowly and lovingly change a few things so they won't totally lose their zest for school.

My kids have NEVER been excited about school:confused:

#30 razorbackmama

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:31 AM

They'll just have to learn you aren't a slave to "school".


Yep. Just say no.:D

#31 razorbackmama

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:33 AM

Wow, you all school way longer than we do.:D Of course, we are not homeschooling classically right now, but are using worktext style curriculum. Also I just have one child.

Anyway, when she was in K and 1st, we schooled less than an hour. Now she is in fourth, and we school an hour and a half to two hours.


If I only had one child who was a 4th grader, I don't think we'd do school much more than that either. We're required to do 4 hours per day here, and I'm SURE I'd have to come up with all sorts of stuff to count as "school" LOL.

#32 Frelle

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:49 AM

I would concur with the hour per grade theory. K takes me less than an hour, and 2nd grade and 3rd grade takes 2-3 hrs. This includes her reading to herself time, her reading aloud time, her flashcard review time... not just what we do together in the mornings.

#33 kewb

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:02 AM

We average about 3 hours of formal learning a day. Some days we get through what was planned in an hour and a half and some days take 4 or more. However, take that with a grain of salt. This is our first year and I did not want it to be an overwhelming experience so we have our core subjects and everything else is gravy.

#34 Blessedfamily

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:06 AM

I've been reading the statute this morning, and it looks like we have to do the same number of hours (and days) as public schools. (Someone from VA correct me if I'm wrong.)

It doesn't take as long to teach one child as it does to teach a class of twenty. (Even with my k'er, who does A LOT.)

As for your situation, just cover what you deem necessary and/or desirable. Don't worry about time.




ETA- OK... So this is what I found for number of hours for VA. I guess that's not as bad as I thought. But it does mean a first grader would do 5.5 hours of work.

"The standard school year must consist of 180 school days, averaging 5.5 hours
per day (not including meals and recess), or 3 hours for kindergarten"

Edited by Blessedfamily, 26 March 2009 - 09:11 AM.


#35 lionfamily1999

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:12 AM

ETA- OK... So this is what I found for number of hours for VA. I guess that's not as bad as I thought.

"The standard school year must consist of 180 school days, averaging 5.5 hours
per day (not including meals and recess), or 3 hours for kindergarten"

I didn't even know we had a time requirement. How do they check that? IOW, we're done in around three hours, but how would they know that?

So strange, I read everything they gave me at the school board office and it didn't mention a time requirement at all.

#36 Pongo

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:14 AM

How long do you spend on school per day? I'd like to know overall and per child.

Do you have them work on each subject for a certain amount of time or a certain number of lessons/activities?

--Melinda (*still* trying to figure out how to fit everything in)


I remember someone on this board once talked about how they equated hours with the grade level. I have done that ever since. Mu 1st/2nd grader does 1.5-2 hours a day, my 3rd grader does a little over 3 hours a day and my 5th grader does 6 hours a day only because she is several grades ahead in math and it takes more time. We start at 7:30 AM, yes I am a morning person. And we are done by 1:30 with a 30 minute outside break/snack at 10am( they are outside rignt now) and lunch at noon. They have 1/2 days on Fridays, and everyone is in bed by 8pm and they read until 9pm. It works perfectly for us:D

#37 Mallory

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:42 AM

What if they never want to stop, though?

My 4yo and 5yo want to be doing school from the time they wake up (7 or so) until the time they go to bed (9) and they want me to sit with them the entire time.

I love that they *love* to learn and are enjoying themselves, but I have to do things like dishes and laundry, and pay attention to the 2yo at some point. Oh, and maybe do something *alone* that I enjoy once in a while.

All three kids will sit and listen to me read for hours at a time (I've never had the patience to go beyond 2, though). They do not like books on tape so much, because the snuggle element is gone there. The older two will sit and do math or spelling for several hours and literally cry sometimes when I tell them that we need to stop.

I have created this problem, I suppose. While I know it's a problem of luxury to have children that just can't wait to crack open that math or grammar book, it is thoroughly exhausting.

I do have them do online school (time4learning.com and timez attack, right now) to give myself a bit of a reprieve, but I would love to pare down the actual teacher-student one-on-one time spent per day in order to do something other than school sometimes.

Any suggestions?


Kids this age want to please you. And a mom who is very into homeschooling when her kids are so little, has probably showed them that she thinks bookwork is the pretty much best thing they could be doing.

I wonder if you watch the way you talk about math as compared to the way you talk about playing legos or digging in the dirt or doing somersaults, what kind of differences you would find?

Also, if bookwork is something you will sit next to them and do, but playing trucks is boring for you or you feel like they should just go play while you pick up- then they are also looking for that level of interest from you.

I wish I could point you to some of those studies about kids who have a very rich enviroment for the early grades, instead of a worksheet rich classroom, and how those kids who got to paint, and see things, and go places at 4 and 5 and 6, were much better readers in late elementary, compared to the kids who had intensive phonics in K.

There is plenty of time to do worksheets, at this age eating melting popsicles is learning, holding rolypolies is learning, climbing trees is learning- and these are such whole body expierences that they really stick and build brain connections.

I also think that house work is appropriate for a preschooler to be learning. There is no reason everyone shouldn't be washing dishes, or mopping the floor, or folding clothes. These things top my little ones "schoolwork"! Getting kid friendly cleaning supplies is important.

Maybe a schedule would work- time for reading aloud, time for chores, time for playing outside, quiet time, ect. Post it somewhere and let it tell when it isn't time for you to do school.

Maybe something here will help, if it doesn't, then just ignore it:tongue_smilie:

#38 Karen in CO

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 11:18 AM

Kids this age want to please you. And a mom who is very into homeschooling when her kids are so little, has probably showed them that she thinks bookwork is the pretty much best thing they could be doing.

I wonder if you watch the way you talk about math as compared to the way you talk about playing legos or digging in the dirt or doing somersaults, what kind of differences you would find?

Also, if bookwork is something you will sit next to them and do, but playing trucks is boring for you or you feel like they should just go play while you pick up- then they are also looking for that level of interest from you.

I wish I could point you to some of those studies about kids who have a very rich enviroment for the early grades, instead of a worksheet rich classroom, and how those kids who got to paint, and see things, and go places at 4 and 5 and 6, were much better readers in late elementary, compared to the kids who had intensive phonics in K.

There is plenty of time to do worksheets, at this age eating melting popsicles is learning, holding rolypolies is learning, climbing trees is learning- and these are such whole body expierences that they really stick and build brain connections.

I also think that house work is appropriate for a preschooler to be learning. There is no reason everyone shouldn't be washing dishes, or mopping the floor, or folding clothes. These things top my little ones "schoolwork"! Getting kid friendly cleaning supplies is important.

Maybe a schedule would work- time for reading aloud, time for chores, time for playing outside, quiet time, ect. Post it somewhere and let it tell when it isn't time for you to do school.

Maybe something here will help, if it doesn't, then just ignore it:tongue_smilie:


Mallory,
There are lots of studies like that. They have been many recent studies specifically about the benefits of preschool. Preschool is a great benefit for kids who come from an environment that is empoverished. The kids that receive the most benefit from a preschool environment that is full of toys, storybooks, blocks, and opportunities to play and environments that are language rich. The studies further conclude that this type of preschool allows kids to make up the difference in advantage that kids from higher economic group have by being raised in an enriched environment - of course the studies conclusion were taken out of context to justify universal preschool but that is a different rant. :D

There are also many studies that show that kids need full development of their gross and small motor skills. And further qualitative studies that have shown that a child's early imaginative play is crucial for later creative thinking.

It is important to make sure that you not only give your child the book work, but also the work of childhood which is play. Play is important. It is through that trial and error of self directed play that kids learn about the world around them.

I'd suggest maybe setting up a block area, dramatic play area, art center, sand table, and having regular nature walks. Schedule them into your day. Make sure your kids know that these are important to you too.


I'm really nicer than I sound. Small kids are precious and they run off to college long before you are ready leaving that short childhood behind them.

#39 TxMama

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 11:36 AM

What if they never want to stop, though?

Any suggestions?


Put the books away and go dig in the mud. :lol:

Seriously just step away. Tell them that school is done for the day and it is time to go play. If they don't want to play have them wash the dishes, clean the windows or dust. If that doesn't work find a local park and go for a nice long hike or play in the playground.

Seriously I wouldn't do more than a couple of hours of schoolwork at that age and I personally would skip the computer programs. OR if you do the computer programs then include it in their school time. When time is up....it is up....time for something else!

Best of luck, mama!

#40 EKS

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 11:41 AM

1st grade: 2 hours on formal lessons, 1 hour free reading, 0.5 hour read aloud in evening, 2x/week 3 hours of outside classes, 1x/week 0.5 hour violin lesson, 1x/week 1.5 hour music class+book club

7th grade: 4-5 hours on formal lessons/independent work, 1 hour free reading, 0.5 hour read aloud in evening, 2x/week 3 hours of outside classes, 1x/week 0.5 hour violin lesson, 1x/week 3 hour robot club

#41 Stacy in NJ

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 11:51 AM

How long do you spend on school per day? I'd like to know overall and per child.

Do you have them work on each subject for a certain amount of time or a certain number of lessons/activities?

--Melinda (*still* trying to figure out how to fit everything in)


For 4 & 5 yo's, 2 hours broken into 15 or 20 minute increments with breaks inbetween, except for read alouds which can go as long as the kids are involved/interested.

20 minutes of math
20 minutes of reading instruction
20 minutes of handwriting ~ if small motor skills are developed ~ build up to it
20 minutes of grammar or memory work
20 minutes of music or art (alternate)
20 minutes listening to a read aloud or longer

Add in enrichment: nature walks, educational CD's/DVD's, and lots of play (puzzles, play doh, dress-up, lego's, board games, bike riding, roller bladding.....):001_smile:

#42 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 01:26 PM

One thing that I keep in mind is that when I was in third grade I was in school from 8-3 and then I had an hour or two of homework. So if our day takes all day, I don't feel bad. :) On paper, it is only 1-2 hours, but boy do we know how to dawdle!

#43 Mallory

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:01 PM

Since I didn't actuall answer the question, I thought I try again ;)

We start formal lessons about age 6 or 7, then we do an hour or so per grade, leaning towards the short side, not the long.

#44 Blackforest mom

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 09:45 AM

I guess I kinda did a combo of prep school...we worked hard...but we played a lot too. I had my boys watching good videos, playing on park days, going on a gob of field trips and doing a bunch of camps and programs at the library. I think they were learning all the time.
In fact for christmas, their gifts were usually somehow educational. A map shower curtain, books, science kits, rockets, solar powered cars, and potato bomb books.
So, even though we worked hard from 8-12, we knew how to do lots of fun and educational stuff.

Now that I have two little girls and two big boys, I am becoming more of an unschooler and focusing mostly on reading and math and having my girls in lots of enrichment stuff. It's pretty hard to teach high school, middle school , elementary and preschool. Hmmm.

#45 Blessedfamily

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 10:06 AM

I didn't even know we had a time requirement. How do they check that? IOW, we're done in around three hours, but how would they know that?

So strange, I read everything they gave me at the school board office and it didn't mention a time requirement at all.


Yes, It's strange to me too. I found that info first on a website that lists homeschool laws for different states. I checked the Virginia Dept Education's site to see if it was accurate. Here's what it says-

§ 22.1-254. Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers; alternative education program attendance; exemptions from article.
A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.

You know what else I don't like about that? It says "during the same period of each year the public schools are in session". I was under the impression that as long as I did 180 days, it didn't matter when. I set my schedule, not the school board.

As for the time requirement, like I said, it doesn't take as long as teaching twenty kids in a public school. We don't have to stand in line for the potty here.

I don't want to de-rail this thread, so I'll start another one on the general board to see if we can get clarification on VA requirement.

Edited by Blessedfamily, 28 March 2009 - 10:38 AM.


#46 Blackforest mom

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 10:17 AM

Ok, but I consider the time on computer games doing math games, cooking with me, watching an ed. IMAX, and even Sesame Street (at certain ages) as school at our house. Oh, and time playing on the playground as well as swimming lessons. Don't forget that! I also count camps in the summer towards their hours during the year.

And, in Colorado it's 4 hours a day...but I do that on an average in some cases. For example, my HS student goes to tech camp and spends 12 hours a day or more on computer science. So...when I am counting carnegie hours for high school credit I count that. And, I count time on the TECH team at our church where he is running lights, cameras and computers and time learning that stuff too.

#47 NayfiesMama

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 10:34 AM

Funny, I wonder how pajama days at school, and field trips fit into the hours per day in Oregon. No kidding, the kids get to go in their pjs with pillows and blankets and read books all day. OR, the whole day for a field trip...OR, a few days to the festival...etc. Think about what your school does with their hours.

#48 lionfamily1999

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:34 PM

Yes, It's strange to me too. I found that info first on a website that lists homeschool laws for different states. I checked the Virginia Dept Education's site to see if it was accurate. Here's what it says-

§ 22.1-254. Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers; alternative education program attendance; exemptions from article.
A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.

You know what else I don't like about that? It says "during the same period of each year the public schools are in session". I was under the impression that as long as I did 180 days, it didn't matter when. I set my schedule, not the school board.

As for the time requirement, like I said, it doesn't take as long as teaching twenty kids in a public school. We don't have to stand in line for the potty here.

I don't want to de-rail this thread, so I'll start another one on the general board to see if we can get clarification on VA requirement.

Responding here, but I'll also look for your new thread.

I was not informed by anyone that there were these requirements. I find that wierd, because they overwhelmed me with rules. Also, all of the other homeschoolers I know irl, go year round and by their own schedules.

I wonder how they check up on that anyway?

#49 homeschool_mom

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:47 PM

Our school days are about 7 hours long. However, we take lots of breaks. It seems like that is what needed to get all the work done. I prefer to work straight through and be done in the morning, but unfortunately, I'm the only one in our family who thinks that.

#50 LaurieinCA

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 01:14 AM

Our days seem to blend together, because we rarely finish what we have planned...!:willy_nilly: My sons are in 4th and 5th, and if we have a "free" day we usually start around 9-9:30am, take a lunch break about 1-1:30, and finish about 3:00. However, our day is broken up by music lessons (2 each per week), tennis classes (2 per week), visits from friends, music practice (2 hours per day) and various other things, not to mention the fact that my boys are constantly distracting one another and fooling around. So, we often have daily "lists" that are still unfinished by the weekend, which means a Saturday or Sunday afternoon spent finishing schoolwork.


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