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When you hear a hs'd child is taking 6-8+ hours to do school work..


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what do you think? I'm not talking a highschooler, I'm talking the K-8 set working on grade level.

 

To me it says "this child is probably struggling and needs less/lower level work".

 

ETA: Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

Edited by BlueTaelon
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To me, I think the child is probably not really working that whole time but taking breaks, whining, and playing between subjects. I don't think the child is likely to be diligently working the whole time. I say this as someone w/ a child who would easily take 6-8hrs to do 3hrs worth of work that was not too hard.

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I think it means nothing other than the child is taking 6-8+ hours to do their work. It's never crossed my mind that a parent would be assigning the wrong level work to their own child.

 

It could mean that the child isn't diligent, that they have a different schedule and are forced to have longer days due to outside commitments the child wants to participate in, that the child(ren) are dealing with various distractions, that the mom has a chronic illness that doesn't always allow her to stay on top of what her children are doing, that they count more things as school than other people in the time given, etc., etc., etc.

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I say it means that we have no clue of the family or home dynamics and what is going on at that time. Our school day with a K & 2nd literally takes all day. We are also very liberal with our breaks, have a fair amount of dawdling, and have rigorous work. I wouldn't judge a family based on the time they say they spend, especially what they say online.

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To me, I think the child is probably not really working that whole time but taking breaks, whining, and playing between subjects. I don't think the child is likely to be diligently working the whole time. I say this as someone w/ a child who would easily take 6-8hrs to do 3hrs worth of work that was not too hard.

 

:iagree: with my son who did that, it was day dreaming, dawdling, talking, distractions, etc.

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Well, my kid is about to be a 7th grader and we are in that range. It isn't difficult to get there. He has a lot of reading to do. A couple chapters here, a chapter there, it adds up. Plus, those readings are mostly "read and discuss" and that takes the amount of time that it takes.

 

An hour a day on math, 45 min on piano practice, read two chapters for lit., read two chapters for history, discuss what you read for yesterday's assignment, a logic lesson, grammar, and then a science experiment..well... it takes the time it takes.

 

he's not struggling or whining. He's not chained to a desk either.

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I think it means nothing other than the child is taking 6-8+ hours to do their work. It's never crossed my mind that a parent would be assigning the wrong level work to their own child.

 

It could mean that the child isn't diligent, that they have a different schedule and are forced to have longer days due to outside commitments the child wants to participate in, that the child(ren) are dealing with various distractions, that the mom has a chronic illness that doesn't always allow her to stay on top of what her children are doing, that they count more things as school than other people in the time given, etc., etc., etc.

 

:iagree: Too many possible scenarios for me to think anything unless I know all the specifics, and unless I actually live with the family I'm not going to know them. I will say, I see quite a push in the younger years from some on the k-8 board. I often wish I could post and tell the moms of younger kiddos to slow down and enjoy their children more. I wish I had, but I don't think I would have taken the advice back then.:D

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One of my DD (then 7) could easily burn through 6-7 hours sitting at the table, talking to herself, drawing in the secret notebook stashed under the table, pantomiming with her hands, asking 100 random questions consecutively, playing games with pencils and erasers... and she might complete one page of math during that time.

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To me, I think the child is probably not really working that whole time but taking breaks, whining, and playing between subjects. I don't think the child is likely to be diligently working the whole time. I say this as someone w/ a child who would easily take 6-8hrs to do 3hrs worth of work that was not too hard.

 

:iagree:

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I say it means that we have no clue of the family or home dynamics and what is going on at that time. Our school day with a K & 2nd literally takes all day. We are also very liberal with our breaks, have a fair amount of dawdling, and have rigorous work. I wouldn't judge a family based on the time they say they spend, especially what they say online.

 

:iagree: Too many possible scenarios for me to think anything unless I know all the specifics, and unless I actually live with the family I'm not going to know them. I will say, I see quite a push in the younger years from some on the k-8 board. I often wish I could post and tell the moms of younger kiddos to slow down and enjoy their children more. I wish I had, but I don't think I would have taken the advice back then.:D

 

It could mean any number of things, and I wouldn't judge unless I happened to know more about the personal circumstances.

 

:iagree: Yes. All of this.

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Or too many subjects? Or isn't motivated?

 

It could also be having work that's too hard. Just speaking for myself, though, my kids can make 30 min worth of work take 2 hours.

 

This. Ds8 has 8 sentences to rewrite because he wrote them so messily (and with no punctuation or capitalization) yesterday. He has been at it for 25 minutes already, and has so far written 3 sentences, gone to the bathroom, gotten a drink, claimed to be starving and about to pass out from hunger (he ate breakfast), and tried to start a discussion about the difference between homophones and homonyms. He could make just this one assignment take all day at this rate. :glare:

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when I hear about K-4 doing that much I wonder what all they are doing. If it's lapbooks that take a long time to cut/paste/put together I could see it. But we are pretty fleshed out subject wise and never took that long. When parents say they start at 7am and not done by 3pm for a 1st grader I feel badly for the child. If the kid is taking forever to do their work I think it's too much work, or mom is pushing too hard and it's the kid taking forever to get it done. Maybe taking the day off would do everyone good :tongue_smilie:

I have one who's not motivated but I don't ever remember doing 8 hours of school a day. If the day was running too long we just stopped and picked it up the next day.

 

I have 4th and 5th grade this year. Our time varies depending on activities for science and history but we can get our core stuff done in less than 2 hours on a good day....up to 4 hours if math is awful hard and we have a long writing assignment. Our history and science have never added hours upon hours on to our core subjects. *shrug shoulders* Maybe they do a lot of projects.......

 

Who knows....I just know it does make me wonder.

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Well, as someone whose children regularly do school for 6-8 hours a day, I realize that there are many possible reasons.

 

They could have focus issues.

That time could include several breaks.

They could be doing extra work, by choice.

That time could include watching educational videos, playing educational games, read-alouds, fun projects, or experiments.

The child could be struggling.

The child could just be a slow worker.

 

Basically, I would think that it is not my place to judge, since I don't their situation. However, that could be largely due to people assuming that I work my kids too hard, push too much, etc. In our case, it's that my kids are very academically-minded. They do many subjects each year, including ones that they have asked to add to their day. They do work well above grade level, because they work at their own pace & are naturally accelerated. We do many projects, activities, experiments, watch lectures & documentaries, and incorporate games. The kids are not overworked, still have time to follow other interests outside of school time, and play on their own & with friends. Yet, people hear that they are doing 6-8 hours of school in elementary grades & they assume that I am pushing too hard, forcing work that is too challenging, forcing page after page of busy work, etc.

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Or too many subjects? Or isn't motivated?

 

It could also be having work that's too hard. Just speaking for myself, though, my kids can make 30 min worth of work take 2 hours.

:iagree: Don't you love it when they do that! It is like they have set out to drive you batty and are being wildly successful. You stand there alternating between :confused: :001_huh: :glare: :toetap05: before deciding that it is best just to shrug, ignore and walk away. My middle ds was particularly good at this trick. Some days he would finish everything in well under 4 hours and I would have to add hours of PE and life skills to meet our 4 hour requirement. Other days he would still have unfinished work well after dinner.

 

FWIW, when he began dual enrollment classes, he was totally on the ball.

Mandy

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It's not really my job to inspect other people's homeschool environment, so I don't know that I would think anything unless the person asked my opinon and gave me a lot of information.

 

I think 6 hours + is perfectly fine for a 7th-8th grader. My 12yo is in 7th now and that's what she's doing--between algebra and chemistry and history and literature and writing and Spanish that's what it takes. Though I am learning to schedule the CW Poetry in the morning, because if she leaves it till last she whines! :001_smile:

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I agree with everyone who said they would need to know the specifics. As soon as I read your question, two specific families popped into my mind, and they couldn't be more different from each other -- but the thing they have in common is that their kids are "doing school" each day for about 8 hours.

 

Family 1 has a child who can't focus for long periods of time, so the mom spaces things out, takes snack breaks, lunch breaks, and play breaks. The kid does well with this kind of schedule, and even though I know the mom wishes they could just do a few hours of school in the morning and be done by lunchtime, she has found what works with her child, and she works with that.

 

Family 2 had a child they considered to be the next Einstein. (I'm sure they still have him, but I lost touch with them several years ago, so I don't know what they're doing now.) This kid was pushed and prodded since the mom started teaching him foreign languages before birth by putting headphones on her belly. If you want a definition of "chained to a desk," it's this poor kid. They were showing him flash cards the week they brought him home from the hospital. Their school day started at 7am sharp and went for a total of 8 hours, with a timer set for each and every subject, including lunch. The parents decided that this boy would be finished with college by the time he was 13. (I have no idea why, and quite frankly, I don't think they did either. Personally, I think it was all about the bragging rights.) Don't even get me started on the subjects they were forcing on a 7 year-old, because if I told you, you'd never believe me. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself.

 

So... Family 1 had a happy, well-adjusted kid, despite long school days, because he was working at the right level and his mom put his needs before her own desires for a shorter day.

 

Family 2 had a really nice little kid who was already burning out on school at 7 years old. He was a bright boy, but he was never going to be the Einstein his parents wanted, and the mom was incredibly critical when he made mistakes, and then of course, the poor kid would have huge meltdowns and cry that he wasn't smart enough. :( (Gosh, he was only taking 3 foreign languages... how hard could that possibly be for a 7yo? :glare:) This was a case of too much and too fast, and parents who were thinking of their own dreams for their child instead of what was actually best for him. They weren't bad people, and they did love the kid. Certainly the mom gave up a lot in order to provide the rigorous education for him, but she never stopped to see what the kid wanted, or to realize that maybe there's a reason why most kids aren't going to be taking advanced calculus at 11 years old. (She really was planning that, BTW. :svengo:) Every time I think of them, I hope that she finally realized that her son didn't need to learn every single fact on the planet before he was a teenager.

 

So... that's a very long and convoluted way of saying that I don't think there's a definite answer to the original question.

 

I think the length of the school day is less important than knowing what is best for your child and your family... and that "what is best" isn't always what is most convenient for you as the parent, or what you planned "the ideal school day" to look like, before you realized that your kid may have a different personality and learning style than you do.

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Or it means that the parent is counting more as "school" than I do. Yesterday, my DD did a 2 hour lab science class, found a practice math test for a contest she wants to take and spent about an hour taking that, read a history chapter, took a 1 hour gymnastics class, practiced piano for 45 minutes and spent three hours working on her "why I should have a pet snake proposal". Oh, and memory work in the car-probably close to an hour between getting to/from science and to/from the gym.

 

I could easily count all that as school and get to 8+ hours. In practice, the only thing she checked off on her weekly agenda was the history chapter, and from her point of view, she barely did any school at all.

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Or it means that the parent is counting more as "school" than I do. Yesterday, my DD did a 2 hour lab science class, found a practice math test for a contest she wants to take and spent about an hour taking that, read a history chapter, took a 1 hour gymnastics class, practiced piano for 45 minutes and spent three hours working on her "why I should have a pet snake proposal". Oh, and memory work in the car-probably close to an hour between getting to/from science and to/from the gym.

 

I could easily count all that as school and get to 8+ hours. In practice, the only thing she checked off on her weekly agenda was the history chapter, and from her point of view, she barely did any school at all.

 

Yup. We always had interesting things going on at home that I kinda counted as school. About 5 years ago another homeschooling family moved in across the street. They used strictly Abeka and sat from 6am and did school at home. They were usually done around 11-11:30 and for a while showed up at my door just when we were getting ready to go outside with the dogs. Then they thought they would be safe showing up at around 3pm right when Dc were getting ready for piano practice or painting, or heading to the county park for a hike, or any number of things. They couldn't understand why we 'did school' for so long. Then again, their 'school' was a lot different than ours and we did not start a 6am!

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Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum so its comparing apples to apples:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

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Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum so its comparing apples to apples:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

 

It's still going to vary depending on the abilities of the kids, family situation, schedules, what else they might be doing/exploring.

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Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum so its comparing apples to apples:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

 

If the other families are truly doing the same work, it could be because the mom has to give individual attention to more kids, the kids aren't as motivated/bright/advanced as yours are, the kids are daydreamers or spend more time whining about having to do school than they actually spend doing the work, the schoolwork is too difficult for them, or maybe they just take more breaks than you do.

 

FWIW, I have wondered the exact same thing when I've heard about families using the same curriculum we were using, and it was taking them all day long to do what we did in a few hours or less. All I can think of is that their day is just structured differently or something.

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Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum so its comparing apples to apples:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

 

But you see, it is so very different for each child. Just as you said in your OP that it said to you "this child is probably struggling and needs less/lower level work" someone else might think your child wasn't being challenged enough.

 

I am NOT saying or implying that in any way, ok? I am simply pointing out that it is very difficult to make a judgement about such things based on time.

 

In grades 6-8, the families I know personally are easily getting to the 6 hour mark, if not more. During 5th and 6th grade things really stepped up. It was a gradual transition. But, I am sure there are many that don't hit that mark.

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Well to me it means they're playing with the cats too much, but I'm sure that's not what you meant. Is there a handwriting issue, or just too much work? I'd probably want to be fully involved to gauge exactly what is going on and how long each subject takes.

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My immediate reaction is this - exactly what are we calling school here? Breaks? Lunch? A couple hours running around outside (aka PE/recess)? Trips to the library? Practicing an instrument? Singalong time? Building projects in the yard? Putting together elaborate lapbooks? Arts and crafts?

 

My second reaction is - what grade level are we talking? An 8th grader taking 6hrs, even on straight academics, seems fine. A Ker maybe not, but again, if there are field trips, outside time, art time, etc in there, plus breaks, then yeah, I could see it.

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what do you think? I'm not talking a highschooler, I'm talking the K-8 set working on grade level.

 

To me it says "this child is probably struggling and needs less/lower level work".

 

ETA: Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

Dd works from 8a to 3p every day with an hour break for lunch. So she gets 7 hours of school 5 days a week. She is officially in 8th grade but doing some high school level work. She isn't struggling. She is a very bright child who needs some depth in her studies.

 

Her curric is listed in my siggy.

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what do you think? I'm not talking a highschooler, I'm talking the K-8 set working on grade level.

 

To me it says "this child is probably struggling and needs less/lower level work".

 

ETA: Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

 

Since you are probably referring to me, and my other post on a K12 thread, let me explain a few things.

 

FIRST: My son was placed correctly in the math course. This was his second year. He completed both 2nd grade and 3rd grade math during his first grade year. However, K12 changed the math course that year to being nearly 100% on-line, so that it was pretty much impossible to get through it. We couldn't skip redundant things, the lesson was l.o.n.g. requiring multiple click-throughs. Things that I could "help" my son do, as far as adjusting the lesson, I could no longer do. The first part of the year, we couldn't print, so I hand-wrote out all of the problems for ds to work (and there were many more), then we had the assessments. Math usually took a minimum of 1.5-2 hours (most of the time I would input answers, and God forbid you made a mistake, you would have to go back and re-do everything!!!). It. was. awful.

 

Additionally, the VA required students enrolled in the class (regardless of actual age) to participate in the test sessions, elluminates, and study island work. So, even though he didn't have to actually take the 4th grade math SOL, he had to prep as if he were taking the 4th grade SOL. :glare:

 

The work was not too hard, it was the manner in which it was formatted and the extras required that chewed up our time. Which, is the reason we LEFT the VA after that year.

 

He now spends one hour on math (regardless of how many lessons are done), and he now completes a full day's work in 3-4 hours (unless he's daydreaming...which he can do).

 

All of my children had done K12 independently, and two years with the VA. Using K12 independently and during the first year with the VA we did not experience this. It was year two that the "screws" were put on, and everything changed dramatically. And again, WHY WE LEFT.

 

My 7th grader is in school for at least 7 hours a day. My daughter, who is entering the 5th grade, will be doing about 6-7 hours a day too...however, both of these children are working 2-3 grades above level, and not struggling with the work they are given.

Edited by LisaK in VA
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Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum so its comparing apples to apples:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

 

It really doesn't matter, though. There are still differences in the family culture and the way they do things.

 

So, I'm curious: what prompted the question? Are you worried that you/your kids aren't doing enough? ETA: Ooops, reread the OP... are you worried about a friend's homeschooling?

Edited by marbel
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The whole family? Doesn't it differ by kid/grade level? What grade levels - grades K-2 are not the same as grades 6-8.

 

I had asked 6th graders specifically but different grade families gave answers too and they were kinda the same across the board. My 1st grader is done in about 2 hours, less if she's focused. A lot of parents mentioned having to drill in the info, I've never had to do that, we cover the concept once or twice and they "get it" the vast majority of the time. I adapt each lesson to their learning style so maybe thats why it goes a lot faster? I just can't wrap my brain around doing school for 6-8 hours straight for just core subjects.

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what do you think? I'm not talking a highschooler, I'm talking the K-8 set working on grade level.

 

To me it says "this child is probably struggling and needs less/lower level work".

 

ETA: Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

 

 

To me it says that my 11 yo son has decided once again that staring out the window somehow helps the information ooze into his brain which is also ODing on hormones. :glare: Mom's BP skyrockets in proportion to this behaviour. I know it shouldn't; I'm working on it. But there ya go. Proof positive I'm just.not.perfect.

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Perhaps I should have told you the curriculum so its comparing apples to apples:) K12 core subjects, math, LA, regular science and history plus optional elective of either art, music or foreign lang with Powerspeak. Were done in 2.5-3 hours flat and it was shocking to me that families are taking 6-8 hours doing the same work.

How many kids? What grades? LDs that may not be known to you?

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I just can't wrap my brain around doing school for 6-8 hours straight for just core subjects.

 

I know it works for other people, but I can't imagine it either... and not just because it would be rough on my son, but because I would be a stark raving lunatic after 6-8 hours of straight schoolwork every day. :willy_nilly:

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I agree with many others that it really varies by family.

 

In science/math week, we spend about 2 hours on science-- we have socratic discussion, we have labs, the kids have things to read or look up; we might have a video by Neil deGrasse Tyson to watch. They might have notes to take. Something they read or look up or explore or watch may inspire them to create their own labs that I had not planned on to investigate a question they had (in which case our two hours of biology may take far longer). We may need to hike to a nearby pond or stream to collect samples. Math can take 45-min to an hour. For German, we have the usual Rosetta Stone or Easy German Lesson. We might watch a TV show in German, or just have a household discussion in German in addition to the regular lesson. There are logic puzzles, brain teasers, and logic games. We have our Mapping exercise and Geography games for fun reinforcement. There are art and music lessons. We might have gym class, swimming, or gymnastics or karate. There is silent reading time and group reading time. and there is more.

 

History/Language week focuses on different subjects, but the issues are much the same. We stress exploring subjects for the fun of learning rather than "check off the boxes and git'er done!" style of learning. I have one 2E learner with executive function issues who needs a lot of one-on-one time, and I make time to spend with my other child as well so that he knows I value time with him as well, though he is more independent. We do have programs like Michael Clay Thompson that are very teacher-intensive and Life of Fred that are entirely independent (for my older child), so there is a mix. Both kids work pretty effectively, but I do believe in taking breaks through the day, too.

 

Some days we are done by 1; other days we're finishing up just before dinner. It depends upon the flow, doctor appointments, outside classes, and any mini-crises that pop up :).

 

For me, I cannot imagine having a sixth grader finish everything in under 3 hours daily and having the kind of complete education I envision for my kids. However, i don't imagine that what we do is what everyone needs to do. For other families, I know that that half day off every day is part of what homeschooling means for them, and that's cool with me. Sometimes we bag some of our lessons and just go play outside, head for the pool, or get a movie or meet up with friends. And once in a while, we are done early, too.

 

But the key thing for me is that . . . this is what's right for *my* family, and I have to let other people determine what is right for theirs.

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I had asked 6th graders specifically but different grade families gave answers too and they were kinda the same across the board. My 1st grader is done in about 2 hours, less if she's focused. A lot of parents mentioned having to drill in the info, I've never had to do that, we cover the concept once or twice and they "get it" the vast majority of the time. I adapt each lesson to their learning style so maybe thats why it goes a lot faster? I just can't wrap my brain around doing school for 6-8 hours straight for just core subjects.

Would you mind terribly linking that thread?

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