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


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Why?

 

Because I think 8 hours of solid schoolwork, 5 days a week, is too much for a child of that age.

 

The question asked was 'what would you think?'. I answered honestly. From your question, I take it that you disagree. This forum gets very tedious when honest answers to honest questions are constantly disputed.

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I think that they're probably using an online charter school? Or a "complete" program with every topic being covered every single day? I wouldn't assume, but those are the first things that would come to mind as a possibility. Overzealous mom or parents in general? I dunno. Without knowing details, my guesses are just guesses!

 

Depending on what's covered in that 6-8 hours, I might feel sorry for the kid(s), but if they're including outside activities that's different. And some kids might totally go for an 8-hr workday and hey, they're getting ready for the work world at the very least! LOL I'm not going to do that, though. :D

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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.

 

I think it has to do with whether or not the family is using K12 through a VA or independently. If my child had to do everything suggested for every lesson it would take forever (even if they were to be placed well below their level). When we used K12, I would choose what I thought were appropriate assignments and it was reasonably quick.

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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.

 

I think discussing how many hours for a "family" is a completely different question than how many hours for a particular student. For a family, I'd assume the younger ones are playing for some, if not most, of the time that the older ones are doing school. IMO, 6-8 hours for 6th grade is entirely reasonable even for a non-daydreaming, non-LD student (and with a new sixth grader, albeit one who will now attend school, it's hard to imagine not having daydreaming involved, LOL). Even different kids in the same grade may take somewhat different amounts of time. However, it makes no sense to compare how long a first grader is taking to how long a sixth grader is taking.

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> 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.

 

Oh, the clicking! And the screws! I hear you.

 

Picking out a sub-theme here, in terms of time versus payoff, K12 can be great or awful.

 

Taking an independent K12 course and using it for your own purposes may be very different from boarding someone else's one-size-fits-all program. Once you're on that train, you do not call the whistle stops. Period. That's why we wouldn't do it, though I have purchased two different K12 courses (MS art and HS English) independently and have generally positive reviews.

 

I understand why other folks might go for a K12 package. If you're working full-time, say, and your local school system will pay for it, that's pretty attractive. Some people are very happy customers, for all kinds of reasons. Per the main theme of this thread, you gotta hike your own hike, and nobody else should judge.

 

But -- please don't pick any package because you're scared that what you can put together with your budget won't be good enough. No brand name guarantees a magical Education with a capital E. Rule your resources, instead of the other way 'round. Reserve the right to dump something if it doesn't work for your student. That requires independence, though. Nothing's free. Alas.

 

Here's where I say a few harsh things about K12. Our family is pretty darned rigorous about some academics, so when I say that some K12 classes have enough content to choke a horse, you're not hearing that from slackers. Why do they stuff so much "stuff" into some classes? I speculate that it's to meet hour requirements in some states. (If you know the real answer, I'd love to hear.)

 

Anyway, if you're doing it on your own, just use what you need, right? Doesn't matter if there are empty squares on the progress chart. But if someone else is paying the bill, you may not have that option. To hear the previous poster, some K12 software might be written such that you can't even move past the unwanted content. Hmm. More hours of clicking. Worth checking out ahead of time, if you can.

 

Going to a 100% online format for a class is brilliantly profit-promoting. When a subscription is done, your customer has nothing to recycle with the next kid. Here comes another fee! (I'm a capitalist. No criticism there. It just is what it is.) Our K12 art curriculum book was a good complement to a good online course, but artfully crafted so it became useless without the computer component. The "real" books we bought through K12 remain useful, though.

 

Tia

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As a mom with two third graders who do 6 to 7 hours a day regularly without hearing complaints, I guess we just like learning and doing things.

 

Also, I'm sort of a zealot for taking time where time is needed. Although my boys are the same age and do a lot of subjects together, they both need individual teaching time in areas. One needs my attention for his reading, the other for math. And they both appreciate my making the time to go over work individually, mostly for the praise at the end.:D (They don't necessarily like the pointing out mistakes part!)

 

Another thing I have worked hard to teach them is that faster is not always better. I don't want them sacrificing quality for speed. I'm sure that if I pushed we could get done in less time. But I think it would cost us in some way. The penmanship that my sons are so proud of would suffer. They might not check their writing and math as carefully for simple errors. They might feel that lingering over a book to read it more than once would be a waste of time. I'd rather take the time since I have it now. We won't always have that luxury, and perhaps it won't pay off in the end, but that's how I feel. I like to see them take their time. (Not dawdle--but even a little dreaming while writing isn't a bad thing!)

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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:This is my son today. If he was concentrating, even a little bit, instead of whining, staring into space, and finding excuses to get up, he would have been done hours ago.

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In 6th we were probably doing 4-5 hours, by 8th 6-7 hours; an occasional 8 hour day if we had a lot of lab work.

 

The thing is, certain things have to be learned. If my son is struggling in math that doesn't mean that he won't be doing the math: it means it will take him longer. We did very short days in 1st and 2nd, but in 3rd we started revving up.

 

I don't think 6-8 hours is unreasonable for middle school at all. By high school - that's just a normal day (at least in my paltry 5 days of experience teaching high school, lol).

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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".

 

To me, it would say, "Gee, isn't that interesting how every family does things differently?" I'd need a lot more information before I came to the conclusion that another family wasn't aware of a child's ability to work at a particular level.

 

My ds, rising 6th, has typically had 5-7 hour school days since about 4th grade. It's partly because we incorporate music practice, time to explore in art and science and math, physical activity, and reading time into the day. And he thinks and moves and works slowly. His work is appropriate, both in amount and academic challenge.

 

I will be honest: This is bit of a touchy subject for me. I've run into this attitude from other homeschoolers irl, people who don't know us well enough to have a clear picture of our days or my children, who still suggest I'm making them work too hard or that the kids have a bad attitude. My boys still have plenty of free time and "time to be kids" (whatever that means). The slowness and time to get through the day without being rushed is part of the reason we homeschool.

 

I can't imagine turning this around to say that when a family only takes 3 hours to get through their subjects it says to me, "these children need more work at an appropriately challenging level." :confused: (To be clear, I do not think this!) I trust that most parents know their children well enough to choose materials and pace the day to suit their family.

 

OP, I'm sorry if I come across as defensive....I suppose I am defensive about this, and my post is more a reaction to a general attitude I've encountered than your individual post.

 

Cat

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I would think that there are probably breaks and/or dawdling going on, that it's not 6-8+ hours of strictly seatwork.

 

I'd also be glad it's not me! ;) Also, is this a whole family or just one kid? Because I'd say that our overall day is x hours long, but Sylvia does a bit less than Rebecca.

 

In any event, every kid and every family is different. Isn't that why we're homeschooling?

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Because I think 8 hours of solid schoolwork, 5 days a week, is too much for a child of that age.

 

The question asked was 'what would you think?'. I answered honestly. From your question, I take it that you disagree. This forum gets very tedious when honest answers to honest questions are constantly disputed.

But there was no age specified. Just in general grades K-8

I'm talking the K-8 set working on grade level.

 

No, I don't necessarily disagree with you. I just wondered why you'd feel sorry for a child who worked up to 8 hours. I'd feel for a K'er doing that much work every day for school. Not, necessarily an 8th grader. I think most 8th graders in outside school or homeschool do about 7-8 hours of work per day if one counts homework.

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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.

 

We have a house full of processing issues here. It takes as long as it takes.

 

I'd probably assume processing issues based on my personal experience. Or maybe they go off on bunny trails, or maybe they have appointments and things and it just takes that long.

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My 4th grader took that long to do those K12 subjects last year...6 hours on average. He is bright and worked fairly diligently through everything but the writing assignments. Since you asked, at that grade level, I would wonder if the student was picking and choosing assignments (not writing history journals, not doing the experiments fully in science, skipping over screens, etc.) if they are getting their work done in 2-3 hours.

 

In the K-2 levels, I could totally see someone being able to get it done in 2-3 hours, particularly if the parent could completely devote undivided time to the child.

 

Personally, I just kind of :001_huh: whenever people make a fuss, one way or the other, about how much time someone else is spending in their homeschool doing or not doing something...as long as they are adequately educating their children and meeting the requirements for their state, who cares???!!

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But there was no age specified. Just in general grades K-8

 

 

No, I don't necessarily disagree with you. I just wondered why you'd feel sorry for a child who worked up to 8 hours. I'd feel for a K'er doing that much work every day for school. Not, necessarily an 8th grader. I think most 8th graders in outside school or homeschool do about 7-8 hours of work per day if one counts homework.

 

DS13 goes to a local secondary school which comes top in exam results in our county (and comes in at around 60-ish in the top 100 in the country). He's there from 9 am to 4 pm, including breaks, lunch, walking from one lesson to another, disruptions in class. He does no more than an hour's homework each night. He's achieving mostly As. So to me, a homeschooled child of a similar age, working solidly for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, is overdoing it. Now, I know that's not what the OP said was happening, and at least a dozen other people had already said that it depended on the situation, so I didn't bother repeating that (partly, it was a quick reply as I was also cooking supper), so my response was based on the assumption that the child really was working intensively, for 8 hours a day (and the OP has said 8+), 5 days a week. In that case, yes, I'd feel sorry for them. Maybe I'm just soft.

 

FWIW we did school from 9 am to 5 pm or later Mon-Thur, 9 am to 1 pm on Fri, all last year, but that was a fairly relaxed schedule, with lots of breaks, read alouds, and general fun, because that's what works best for us, so I do understand the 'it depends on the situation' point of view, I just felt that angle had already been covered.

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We started this week, and I am just trying to fit all of the work in between now and the end of June next year. So far this week, most of our days have been upwards of 6+ hours, but one or two days were only 3-4hrs. That is just history, science, language arts, and reading. We haven't received our math yet, and haven't added in anything like art or foreign language yet.

 

My son also is a really slow reader, and likes to chat throughout his work (ADD), so it probably takes him longer than it should, but as long as he gets done what he needs to for the day, I don't really care how long it takes him. That's why I like to start early in the day (around 6:30am) so if he can take his time, and if he wants to take breaks he can. If he were in public school, he would be there from 7:30-3:30 every day, including bus time, anyway. Normally we are done before noon, and he has the whole afternoon to do whatever he wants to do.

Edited by somo_chickenlady
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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.

 

This is my 7yo ds right now, especially the constant talking and playing games with pencils and erasers (in our case it is Star Wars). Yet, when he finally does get the work finished, every answer is correct. I've tried giving him smaller amounts of work at a time, but it doesn't make a difference. Consequences do nothing but make him mad, and that makes the situation worse. I pretty much have to stand over him, and redirect every few minutes.

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I'd first wonder if the child really was taking 6-8 hours to get the work done, or if there was a lot of dawdling in there. If the latter, eh, some kids do that. If the former, then yes, the child probably needs a lower level of work. My DD can get her work done in 3-4 hours if she doesn't fool around (and that's including the subjects we do together as a family; it takes longer for me to read aloud than it would for her to read to herself, but it's pleasant for all of us for me to read aloud), but if she dawdles, it can take longer.

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Really, the only kid whose hs schedule is any of my darn business is my own kid.

 

We work anywhere from 2-5 hours but that is stretched out with 1-2 hours of family exercise and 30+ minutes of bike riding. Also some weeks we do school 5 days a week and others more like 3. So from beginning to end a school day could easily be 8 hours, including the exercise, bike break and lunch.

 

One thing to consider is that what an outsider might see as dawdling, the parent knows is a special need or learning issue. If I didn't transcribe some work for my slow with handwriting 2e guy on the spectrum, we might take all flipping day! If I insisted on no physical activity or snacks, we WOULD take all flipping day.

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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.

 

Mine can, too. And they can make a bowl of cereal last well over 90 minutes, so I dot think the work is too hard for them; they just fool around. :glare:

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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.

 

I'd think they include their reading time in their tally. Since it can seem more like recreation than school, I think homeschoolers often neglect to include it when they count hours.

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  • 7 months later...

I think the work load depends on the ability and desire of a pupil to do the "work". When my daughter was 7 years old we were doing "Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization" and at the end of level 2 it took about 2 hours for my child to recite 40 poems. Our school day was about 6-8 hours 5 times per day and 4 hours on Saturdays. We did math daily (2-3 hours), science 1-2 hours twice per week, 3 languages 2 hours per day ( each language twice per week withing 6 day totally), history/geography 1 hours 4 days per week, independent reading(not counting as a school work), skating etc. She was very busy. She wanted to do it so I let her. Her brother being only 2 could work on his math/logic books without a break for 3-4 hours while his sister was working on her penmanship, memorizing poems, doing art work. I think if kids are motivated it doesn't matter how long they study because it is fun. We also had days when things were not "perfect". So, I assign work load in accordance with their abilities and they need to deliver. We try to do a variety things to stimulate their brains be sure they are not bored with "school work" . May be your friend does something you are not aware of or her kids do not like what they are doing, that's why it take them too long to do the school. My second daughter is a dreamer with a lot of potential. It might take her 2 house to do something simple such as writing numbers and less than 10 minutes to put together an electric circuit which works(she is only 4).

Just my thoughts.

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The instruction time varies family to family, but on the average I have not heard of many families that actually take that long to "school". The school day could be that long with breaks and lunch included, but actual instruction/work time? Not many.

 

I would say without reading anyone else's answers:

 

1. Too much work for the child

2. Child is wasting time

3. The material is too hard for the child.

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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.

 

I have one of those too (mine has ADD.) He's now 13, but this has been an issue for years.

Today, for example, he got everything finished between 7AM and 10:30. Most days it's 8:30 til 4. But it's also not unusual for him to do more like 8:30 til 9PM and still not get the day finished!!

 

He now has a Time Tracker in his notebook. I have a timer on the computer that asks him every 15 minutes, "J, what are you doing right now?" No matter what he's doing, he flips his notebook open and colors in a tick mark on the subject he's currently engaged in...including "Goof Off" time.

It takes it out of my hands. He can goof off as much as he wants really, but if he tries to tell me he has too much work, I can just ask how much time he chose to spend goofing off today. And it's right there, in black and white. Five hours?? Well, I guess that's how you chose to spend your day...

 

 

 

So even if it was somehow relevant to me, just hearing how much time a kid spends doesn't mean anything with regards to how much time he's spending actually engaged in school.

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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.

 

 

Much of the time, our 10 yo would take three days to cover what you are covering in 3 hours. He has other days when his productivity is higher than his normal and he zips through everything efficiently. I refer to this as his "brain weather".

 

What I have learned from being on the more difficult side of this see-saw, is that comparisons with other homeschoolers are a hugely negative thing for me. I go to some lengths to avoid conversations that may reveal information that will end up with someone using us in a comparison, or me mentally comparing my homeschool to someone else's, or my kid to someone else's. My view of how these things end up is that usually one or more parents' egos gets pumped up, while another homeschool parent ends up feeling like carp.

 

I avoid these and focus on what works for us.

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I would not think anything of it. We homeschool so we can do what we want. And my now 13yo was spending that amount of time each day with her work when she was 11 and 12.

 

If this person actually asked me for advice, I might say that sounds excessive for the grammar stage and ask for more details before offering my 2 cents.

 

Otherwise, it is not something worth dwelling upon. My own clock is ticking! :)

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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.

 

 

Mine were getting to the point where it was taking 2+ hours to complete a math lesson. Not because it was hard, but because they were dragging it out, goofing off, daydreaming, complaining, etc. It was bumping all our other work after lunch, when the baby is usually awake for a while, and making things take even longer. I started setting a timer, giving them 45-60 min, and told them whatever they didn't finish in that time would be saved for the afternoon and would cut in to their free time. The first day they didn't finish and had to complete the work in the afternoon before going out to play. It made them angry, but I was thrilled because we'd once again been able to accomplish all the teacher intensive work during the baby's nap and before lunch. Ever since, it's been amazing to see how diligent they can be with a timer set and the knowledge that they're only impacting themselves and not throwing the whole family off course. I think it's that whole misery loves company thing. They longer days where OK when we were all stuck doing it together, but they sure don't want to be the only one working while the siblings are running around outside. There's too much that goes into that time to make a judgement.

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K-8 is a broad range. For a K, 6-8 hours might include a lot of art and field trips, making the "academics" more like fun and play. I'd wonder what the person who reported 6-8 hours considered to be school work. I might want to commiserate with the mom.

 

Our family's school day often goes from 9-4. "Recess" counts as part of the school day, and there's plenty of time for the younger ones play within the school day. I have a large family and it takes me a while to get through every subject with everyone. Add in a learning disorder (or two) plus a toddler who wants to be a part of everything, and everything just takes so much longer than it used to take! The younger ones are typically done with bookwork by lunch, then in the afternoon we do classes often with just the older ones to cover a special subject and/or do read alouds as a family.

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I would think that that there's something dreadfully wrong, and the whole thing needs to be re-evaluated.

 

:iagree:

 

I personally don't think it's healthy for a K-8 grader to be doing school for 6-8 hours a day; however, other than the initial "WTH" :confused1: moment I don't think a whole lot about what they're doing. To each his own. If some parents want to spend 6-8 hours a day on school with their elementary aged kid, have at it!

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Our days in the early years were often 6 hours long, and I used to feel sorry for those done in 2-3! :)

 

Look at it from my POV. A 6 hour day allowed us to have a day like below:

 

HISTORY: Read a chapter of SOTW. Make clay soldier figurines to dry and bury in our 'tomb'. While waiting for them to dry, watch a youtube clip and build booby traps around the soldier area. (1.5 hours).

MATH: Watch MUS clip, pausing to allow 4th grader to work out the problems with his own manipulatives. Build more on our own, then send him off to do the 15 problems. Have him teach me while I play stupid. (30-45min)

LANGUAGE ARTS: Read passage. Have him retell in his own words. Rearrange the sentence strips. Play a quick grammar game. (30min)

SCIENCE : Do the reading in the science encyclopedia. Head outside with the pocket microscope to look at different leaves and plant cells. Draw and caption. If time, go to the link provided in the encyclopedia and learn more online. (1.5 hour)

READING: take turns reading aloud to each other. Discuss the chapter (30 min)

ELECTIVE: drawing lesson. Easily 30-45 min, or foreign language class, 1 hour.

 

And that would be a nice short day of under 5 hours.

 

Yes, I absolutely could have gotten everything done in 2-3 hours, but look at what we would have missed: projects, hands on learning, multisensory lessons.....why on earth would I want to have given that up to be "done"? All that leaves time for is the bare bones, and why? So my kid can go play legos for 6 hours? The early years are about building skills so that real hobbies can develop.

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I had my friend's 1st grader a few years ago. We started school at 8am. We went until 2:30 (except one day per week he left just before 2). We were very structured and used a variety of materials, all of which had a purpose. So it was six hours, not including lunch. However, part of that is also what we called school. Just like school, we had recess and P.E. on top of a daily walk. He had educational materials (QuarterMile Math, Earobics and Explode the Code) on the computer a short time each day. He did the Wii Fit a couple times per week. We had games, did all the fun stuff in SOTW, etc. He did his FLL while sitting on a balance ball, same with spelling.

 

So I *thought* I was going to do quite similarly with my three this year, our first year homeschooling them (though I did homeschool the first through throughout). My middle one turned six this week. The older is 7. The little one would have been along for the ride, sitting in when appropriate. And of course I had Monkey and sometimes another kiddo (started the year with another young toddler). However, my kids really needed this year to be about attachment, not schooling. We still learned a lot but very little has looked "schoolish." Are they as far along as they could be? No, but they are as far along as they need to be.

 

I do hope to add a little schoolishness next year. I could see doing like we did with Goo (friend's son). I could also see being much more like we were this year. It does make me feel a little better when I see people saying 30 minutes for Kindy and 60 for first grade. As long as we're making adequate progress in the basics (since we are talking about K-2), I'm happy. There are more important things than academics though I prefer those be high also

 

ETA: If I counted all the times they are reading, writing, watching documentaries, working out/sports (PE?), doing educational program on tablets/computers, playing with the map, etc we probably make it past 6 hours more days than not even without me "doing school" with them.

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:iagree:

 

I personally don't think it's healthy for a K-8 grader to be doing school for 6-8 hours a day; however, other than the initial "WTH" :confused1: moment I don't think a whole lot about what they're doing. To each his own. If some parents want to spend 6-8 hours a day on school with their elementary aged kid, have at it!

 

 

This is why I try to remember not to talk specifics with homeschool acquaintances.

In 8th grade my kids tend to be aligned more with high school than elementary school. But even in elementary school once you add reading, acting out the historically correct battle with Playmobil, cooking food to match out historical readings or any number of other good things.

 

I'm confused why the timeline of another family is a moment for critique or disdain under most circumstances. Yes there have been a few families that made me raise my eyebrows and wonder. But for the most part things made sense if you knew the whole story. (For example I used to have my toddlers on the playground at dusk because we were waiting to have dinner until dh came home after work. The other kids were headed off to bed as we were going in to eat. Our whole day was offset by several hours. From the outside I'm sure it looked odd. But the alternative was that my kids would go days without any dad time. )

 

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Well, sometimes the child is actually doing something else. My youngest loves to read but hates to do math. I left her to do her math lesson while I did some other things around the house, so was not sitting beside her. Her lesson took an extra long time that day, but I kept coming back to her asking if there was a problem and if I could help.

 

"No Mom, everything is fine. I'm just slow today."

 

It turns out she had hidden a library book (that she was super excited about reading) under the table and would reward herself after EVERY problem by reading part of the book. One math lesson later she had read an entire 400 page book.

 

I always check for books under the table now.

 

Linda

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Well, sometimes the child is actually doing something else. My youngest loves to read but hates to do math. I left her to do her math lesson while I did some other things around the house, so was not sitting beside her. Her lesson took an extra long time that day, but I kept coming back to her asking if there was a problem and if I could help.

 

"No Mom, everything is fine. I'm just slow today."

 

It turns out she had hidden a library book (that she was super excited about reading) under the table and would reward herself after EVERY problem by reading part of the book. One math lesson later she had read an entire 400 page book.

 

I always check for books under the table now.

 

Linda

 

That's funny. I'm having a similar issue with my 5th grader. Every time he transitions between subjects, he ends up back in his room, either reading or listening to Jim Weiss cds. Occasionally I have to take a book away, just so that we can get through the school day.

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Well, sometimes the child is actually doing something else. My youngest loves to read but hates to do math. I left her to do her math lesson while I did some other things around the house, so was not sitting beside her. Her lesson took an extra long time that day, but I kept coming back to her asking if there was a problem and if I could help.

 

"No Mom, everything is fine. I'm just slow today."

 

It turns out she had hidden a library book (that she was super excited about reading) under the table and would reward herself after EVERY problem by reading part of the book. One math lesson later she had read an entire 400 page book.

 

I always check for books under the table now.

 

Linda

 

I used to do this all the time. Got to the point where I'd hear my mother's footsteps coming and quickly sit on the book or toss it further under the table.

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K-8 is too broad a range, but my thought for my DD's age set would be that maybe the parent has unrealistic expectations about the amount of independent work the child is capable of and the child sits there for an hour dreaming about something else instead of completing a worksheet that should take five minutes. Personally, there's no way I could let school run 6-8 hours a day for my DD. I would go insane.

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I'm confused why the timeline of another family is a moment for critique or disdain under most circumstances.

 

Well, it's just a moment. :) And to be fair, a lot of things cause me a moment of going: :confused1: I'm sure people will read what I wrote below and do the same, lol. I can assure you I'm not spending lots of time judging or criticizing what other families are doing. At all. I do enough doubting of myself to worry too much about other people.

 

This is how my day would go (with 1 11yo girl and 5 little boys) if I tried to follow an above poster's plan (my day is in red):

 

Look at it from my POV. A 6 hour day allowed us to have a day like below:

 

HISTORY: Read a chapter of SOTW. The entire time the babies are climbing all over me, in the middle of the chapter someone is on the toilet and needs to be wiped and just as I start back reading someone smacks someone else on the head with a toy and they start screaming. Make clay soldier figurines to dry while the babies stick their hands in everything and everyone is screaming at me to "take a turn" and bury in our 'tomb'. While waiting for them to dry, watch a youtube clip and build booby traps around the soldier area. Again, everyone is screaming at me and each other the entire time to take turns, everything has to be split up exactly among everyone, someone is bound to get upset and tackle someone else or break a figurine, causing wailing and tears... my anxiety level at this point is about 7/10. (1.5 hours).

 

MATH: Watch MUS clip, pausing to allow 4th grader to work out the problems with his own manipulatives. The entire time everyone is asking me to "do school" with them at their level. The babies are crying for a snack. Someone just fell down and got hurt. 4th grader is frustrated because everyone is being loud and he cannot concentrate. Build more on our own, then send him off to do the 15 problems. Have him teach me while I play stupid. And the babies crawl and climb all over me, the K'er and 1st grader continue to bug every 10 seconds for me to "DO SCHOOL" with them....my anxiety level is now 8/10. (30-45min)

 

LANGUAGE ARTS: Read passage. Have him retell in his own words. Rearrange the sentence strips. Play a quick grammar game. While being interrupted at least twice by a dirty diaper that needs to be changed, someone tattling on someone else, and someone continually asking for a snack. Now my anxiety level drops to about 7/10. (30min)

 

SCIENCE : Do the reading in the science encyclopedia. Wouldn't be able to get through the entire thing without being interrupted at least twice. Head outside with the pocket microscope to look at different leaves and plant cells. Draw and caption. If time, go to the link provided in the encyclopedia and learn more online. This would be fun and go well. Anxiety level: dropped down to 5/10. (1.5 hour)

 

READING: take turns reading aloud to each other. Discuss the chapter. I love reading aloud but as already mentioned, it causes great distress for me since the babies do not sit still and they continually climb all over me the entire time, everyone is constantly interrupting, etc. After reading aloud with everyone, my anxiety level is back up to about 9/10. (30 min)

 

ELECTIVE: drawing lesson. Easily 30-45 min, or foreign language class, 1 hour. The drawing lesson would go well, although it would be very loud.

 

Holding steady at an anxiety level of 9/10.

 

And that would be a nice short day of under 5 hours.

 

Then the PP asks:

 

Yes, I absolutely could have gotten everything done in 2-3 hours, but look at what we would have missed: projects, hands on learning, multisensory lessons.....why on earth would I want to have given that up to be "done"? All that leaves time for is the bare bones, and why? So my kid can go play legos for 6 hours? The early years are about building skills so that real hobbies can develop.

 

Well, in my family you can probably already get an idea of why 6+ hours of lessons and guided instruction just won't work. I posted the above more to be humorous, but that is almost exactly how things would go if I tried to do guided instruction like the PP mentioned. It's just not something that works well in our home. As my children get older I make sure they have a quiet place to do their school work and have them do more independent work so I can corral everyone else. This is something we are constantly working on and tweaking so they have enough instruction, stimulation, and the best education possible. The above day sounds lovely, but honestly I'm not sure how well it would work even if I just had 1 or 2 children. I'm sure a lot depends on the personality of the mom and the particular kids. For example, even if I just had my first two children, my first is incredibly chatty, needy and distracted, and very little would get accomplished even with that kind of guided instruction because she'd be chatting away the entire time, distracting my younger son and driving me up the wall. Add in 5 little boys and it's just a recipe for disaster. That being said, I'm sure I made it sound completely nightmarish but our home is so fun and full of so much love and so many lessons learned all the time. If I'm not doing guided instruction (which obviously doesn't work well for long periods of time) they have tons of playmates to play with all day. I'm teaching them all throughout the day about their social skills, how to talk to each other, reminding them to be nice, talk sweetly, etc (obviously, this is a work in progress :) ) and the olders are still able to get their lessons done in very short amounts of time. Based on their yearly evals, they are several grade levels ahead so it's working okay.

 

I do understand that each family has to do what works for them. I personally don't see how it would be possible for a mom to stay sane doing 6-8 hours of school work per day, but I am speaking from my own experience here (again, even taking into consideration if I just had my first 2 children). Just my opinion.

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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.

 

I haven't read a single response. But I'll volunteer that my sixth grader routinely takes this long to finish his schoolwork. I don't think he is "struggling" exactly, but school has always been a bit of a struggle for him and working quickly is completely impossible for this child. We spend about 90 minutes a day on math and that is what is needed for him to be even close to grade level. Given his quirky learning issues, he is all over the map in terms of his level, so it's impossible for me to say if he's on grade level or not. But I do envy those of you whose children can remain on grade level or above with much less time input. Not happening here.

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Well, it's just a moment. :) And to be fair, a lot of things cause me a moment of going: :confused1: I'm sure people will read what I wrote below and do the same, lol. I can assure you I'm not spending lots of time judging or criticizing what other families are doing. At all. I do enough doubting of myself to worry too much about other people.

 

This is how my day would go (with 1 11yo girl and 5 little boys) if I tried to follow an above poster's plan (my day is in red):

 

 

 

I do understand that each family has to do what works for them. I personally don't see how it would be possible for a mom to stay sane doing 6-8 hours of school work per day, but I am speaking from my own experience here (again, even taking into consideration if I just had my first 2 children). Just my opinion.

 

I have not read this thread....just the above post....Have you been spying in my windows?? :lol: What you described is exactly my house...except the outside microscope wouldn't go well either because they would be fighting over whose turn it is. :glare: Reading aloud to all of them is a joke even though I would like to and I do enjoy it when it goes well. (I do try often.) I have 6 children. My oldest is 7. Then, I have two sets of twins, ages 5 and 3 and a 6 month old. 5 of them are boys. The 7 year old is finishing 1st and the 5 year olds just started K. Our house is loud and crazy and stressful for mom, especially during school time, but I love it and love my kids. It's a season of our lives and it won't last forever. Before long, we will be doing projects and fun outings too, but for now, we stick to the basics and keep it as simple as possible. And, it still takes 4-5 hrs if we want to get it all complete...that isn't straight work though...see the above description throw in several nursing sessions and lunch and that's what comprises our 4-6 hrs. :D

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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.

It can also mean that mom is open to more "rabbit trails" where the kids can spend extra time pursuing the subject in depth. Some kids just love that kind of thing (mine don't; they want to be done.)

 

Also, it can also mean that mom wants that 6-7 hour window to be considered "school time" so as to minimize interruptions. While her kids may just be free reading, she still wants it to be the "school day." Some people are that firm with their idea of school for various reasons (to keep relatives from barging in unannounced, to keep the family's focus during the school day, with a reluctant spouse who is nervous about homeschooling, etc.) Also, mom could also be counting her grading, planning time as part of the school day.

 

REally, I don't care how long it takes other people to do school.

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Well, it's just a moment. :) And to be fair, a lot of things cause me a moment of going: :confused1: I'm sure people will read what I wrote below and do the same, lol. I can assure you I'm not spending lots of time judging or criticizing what other families are doing. At all. I do enough doubting of myself to worry too much about other people.

 

This is how my day would go (with 1 11yo girl and 5 little boys) if I tried to follow an above poster's plan (my day is in red):

 

 

 

I do understand that each family has to do what works for them. I personally don't see how it would be possible for a mom to stay sane doing 6-8 hours of school work per day, but I am speaking from my own experience here (again, even taking into consideration if I just had my first 2 children). Just my opinion.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with the bolded! Here is a day I wrote down a few months ago, with a 13yo and a 2yo:

 

Curriculum used:

Learning Adventures All In One, Vol. III

Art of Problem Solving’s Introduction To Algebra

Writing With Skill

Ellen McHenry’s The Elements and Mr. Q’s Advanced Chemistry

Supplements:

Jackdaws

Library books

5:30 AM – Wake up, start the coffee, throw in a load of laundry, do yoga with The Husband. Enjoy a little bit of quiet and help him get ready for work/do household chores before waking the kids.

 

7:00 AM – Throw a banana at the one,

 

wait for the grumpy teen to eat breakfast and do his chores. Hop on SkedTrack to see what needs to be accomplished today. A bit alarmed at all the extra classes until I realize it’s usually a co-op day. Check email briefly.

 

Compare online schedule to the books to get a better idea of what we’re doing and see if I need to make any copies or printouts. And I do. On the upside, we decided to skip social studies this time since we already eat enough Mexican/Tex-Mex without making it special for this.

 

 

8:00 AM – begin work. 13yo reads a chapter of Old Yeller and we discuss the story thus far before he settles into the corresponding grammar work. 2yo entertains himself by drawing his and my hands on the whiteboard.

 

 

8:45 AM – second breakfast. Mom grabbing a yogurt and handful of nuts is cue to stop working, wrinkle nose at mom’s dish, and grab a container of the plain with honey instead. Complain about the spelling activity and how it’s making him be creative.

 

2yo plays Mancala.

 

9:00 AM – check grammar and spelling work. Send 13yo back to actually finish the “so- EASY†grammar.

9:20 AM – Grammar ready to be checked. Finally. Checked quickly then sent the kid to grab the Jackdaw for history, along with Josefina’s World. Take a look at what Mexican territory may have looked like before and during the war while 2yo climbs on my back. Go over the 5 essay choices and assign 13yo to pick one, write a thesis statement, and outline his paper.

 

9:50 AM – 13yo gets to work, I take 2yo up for a shower and to fold the laundry left in the dryer the night before. Tidy up the 2yo’s bedroom and upstairs bathrooms before checking on the 13yo’s work, who announces he’s ready for lunch. During this time he has done quite a lot of reading on the couch, which is not conducive to notetaking and outlining

 

11:00 AM – send 13yo back to actually use the writing skills we just discussed, that he has been taught, and is currently working on in writing class. Make lunch for the 2yo.

 

 

11:15 AM – look at that! An outline! Reassure 2yo that his brother breathing and touching the table is NOT a national emergency. Time for lunch.

12:00 PM – take a few minutes to work on co-op’s schedule and respond to emails, plus start a draft of a longer one I need to send. Switch the laundry and call the 13yo back to work. Science. He’s had a similar lesson, so after completing the activity he needs to reread the other chapter. Quiz tomorrow.

 

 

12:30 – 2yo watches people do wii bowling on Youtube, 13yo makes chocolate chip cookies, I sweep up from lunch and get ready for an afternoon meeting at 1.

 

 

12:45 PM – 2yo announces he pooped his pants. Drop everything to get him cleaned up while 13yo continues making cookies. Make coffee and really hope house doesn’t smell like 2yo.

 

12:55 PM – Warn half-naked 2yo that if he doesn’t get out from under the little table and put pants on the next stop will be nap.

 

1:00 PM – I have meeting, 13yo finishes the cookies and does a section of math + his writing. 2yo pretends to be cute and adorable for company until big brother invites him down to play Wii.

 

2:40 PM – Meeting over.

 

Time to pour another cup of coffee, check math (all good!) and writing (yay!). Relax for a few minutes and check email. Look at post-it note kept during the day and type this up. Update Skedtrack with the work finished and get everyone to clean up the books and toys from the day.

 

--------------------------------------

 

 

Not a hugely typical day, but enough to see the dynamics and such in our house. Currently my day with a 3yo includes rotating through play-dough, reading him a book, working with the big kid while 3yo flips through the pages, do activity with 3yo, then snacktime for him while I do math with the big one......by 2pm we've started melt-down mode and it becomes quiet hour by any means possible.

 

Different stages for different ages. Sometimes everything flows and you can get a lot done....other times, you just have to ride the wave. I forget sometimes that I come at it as a mom of 1/4 of what many have on this board. :)

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