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Janeway

How much time does a 3rd grader take for school?

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We start our day about 7:30am and are done by 9:30am. I expect tomorrow to take longer as we will be working on a writing project. This does not include history, science, Latin, art, that sort of thing. Easily though, we then spend a couple hours or so on science or history, depending on the subject of choice that day. I have opted for us to not do Latin. I have no idea why I am feeling so much anxiety over this. I know if he were at school, he would spend a bunch of time waiting in lines and going between classrooms and so on. Heck, the sheer volume of pep rallies and time spent on fund raisers and morning announcements really adds up. Maybe it is because I am just not used to having a grade schooler around all day anymore (my other kids are high schoolers or too young for school).

 

What would you expect a day to look like with a 3rd grader?

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DS12 did an hour of math and an hour of language arts (spelling, vocabulary, grammar, literature discussion) for 3rd grade. His literature reading time is not in that hour as he is a slow reader and takes breaks while reading.

DS13 is a fast worker and took 20 to 30 mins for math and at most an hour of language arts. He is also a fast reader so easily finished the assigned literature readings within the hour. 

When DS13 was in 2nd grade public school, language arts was two to three hours daily and includes an hour of reading/literature, an hour of grammar, an hour of spelling/vocabulary. Math was two hours daily. School was 8:15pm to 2:15pm, with 15 mins recess and 20 mins lunch. PE was twice a week, Library, Music, Art, computer lab and science was once a week (1 hour) each on their schedule. 

What took most of my kids time was writing (sentences, short paragraphs) because they just don’t enjoy writing. My oldest did the HWOT cursive workbook in 3rd grade and liked it very much.

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This is what we’re doing for third grade. I would love to hear from others because it’s just our second year of homeschooling.

Prayer, Handwriting, Geography OR Life of Fred (30 minutes)

Spelling and Reading lessons (30 minutes total)

Read aloud to me (30 minutes)

Language Arts loop (45 minutes)

Math (45 minutes)

Science OR History (30 minutes)

I read aloud at lunch and bedtime (history and literature). Both boys also do Spanish (15 minutes) and piano (15 minutes) most days.

Our days feel long because my son needs lots of little breaks.

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For 3rd grade, I would expect about 4 hours of directed work per day.  This icludes read alouds and content subjects, but excludes silent reading, P.E., and instrument practice

  • 1 hour 'together time' - read alouds and oral work [may be broken into 2 or 3 sessions throughout the day]
  • 1 - 2 hours seatwork - (30-60 minutes each for math and language arts, plus breaks as needed)
  • 30-60 minutes hands-on:  science, history, art, music, and/or other 
  • 30-60 minutes silent reading 
  • plus outside time and instrument practice or special interests

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My third grader does this.  We start at 8, and end anywhere from 12-2.

Morning time: go over habit of the week, poetry memorization, and history sentence. (5 min)
Latin: right now he's doing a slow run through of First Form Latin.  He does one page a day, plus vocab and/or video (30 min)
Math: warm up, hands on work, worksheet, Life of Fred chapter (1 hour)
History: we currently have a read aloud going, and he has picture books he looks through plus we do SOTW 2x a week, picking 2-3 activities or field trips (1 hour)
Language arts: reader + questions (10min), dictation spelling (5min), cursive work (5min), and a literature book (20 minutes).  We alternate between a writing program and a grammar workbook (20 minutes).  1 hour total.
French - various sources between worksheets, books, and video, but it averages 20 minutes total.
Music - 20 minutes per day practice, except on lesson days.  That's an extra half hour.

Science and art are alternated and variable.  We have a science group that meets and he's working through a botany course I pulled together, and right now he's learning about spiders to incorporate with his literature.  On non-project days for history we do hands on science, otherwise I read over lunch.  Art is slow going because he hates it, no matter what I try.

So he has 3 one hour courses, and 3 that are about half an hour, which means straight work would be about 4.5 hours if I take all the averages in, but some days it's longer and some days shorter, so it's hard to say.


I think your anxiety is coming in because you feel like part of the day is intentional learning, and part is haphazard.  I think if you could identify a rhythm for the history and science portion, you'd have less anxiety about what is being learned and how the day is divided between skill and content lessons.

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I would expect a day with a 3rd grader to look like 2 hours in the morning for some sort of morning meeting to get the brain going, Language Arts, and math. Little breaks as needed for bathroom, a drink, snack, or run around outside for 10 minutes.

After lunch, I'd expect 1 hour for hands on science and history. At that point, I'd call the official school day done. That's 3 hours total where they are doing "seatwork."

Although, I'd expect another hour outdoors, 30 minutes music practice (typically do this after dinner), 30 minutes independent reading (usually do this before bed), and one art project per week, but that's because I'd require those things above public school hours anyway if the student went to brick and mortar school.

If your 2 hours in the morning doesn't count the content subjects, it sounds like you are doing great. 

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7 minutes ago, MrsRobinson said:

I would expect a day with a 3rd grader to look like 2 hours in the morning for some sort of morning meeting to get the brain going, Language Arts, and math. Little breaks as needed for bathroom, a drink, snack, or run around outside for 10 minutes.

After lunch, I'd expect 1 hour for hands on science and history. At that point, I'd call the official school day done. That's 3 hours total where they are doing "seatwork."

Although, I'd expect another hour outdoors, 30 minutes music practice (typically do this after dinner), 30 minutes independent reading (usually do this before bed), and one art project per week, but that's because I'd require those things above public school hours anyway if the student went to brick and mortar school.

If your 2 hours in the morning doesn't count the content subjects, it sounds like you are doing great. 

Thanks!

 

I think I probably have it fine now. I am just having adjustment issues from starting over. Going from high school mode to 3rd grader mode basically. We spend two hours on language arts and math. And then another two plus hours on a block subject. The first two days this week it was science. Now, tomorrow will be history and geography. Since we are doing hands on projects and experiments and such, I much prefer doing those subjects in blocks rather than trying to start something and then put it away and start something different after a short bit and then try to get back on track with it the next day.

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Sounds about right. My 3rd grader does about 2 hours of math and language arts. She reads constantly so I am not necessarily including that. Our combined history, science, art, etc is another 2 hours. If we start at 8am we typically finish that all up by noonish most days. We attend an umbrella a couple days per week for enrichment so those days look a bit different. I would say you are right in the ballpark.

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My DD7 is in second grade, and we average anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hrs of math/language arts per day.  My DD9 is 4th grade, she spends anywhere from 3 to 5 hrs per day (depending on how long she drags out some assignments.)  We spread history/social studies, art, science and more across all 3 kids and throughout the week, though many weeks, we probably squeeze all the history and science into one field trip.   These are the things I consider "seat work" and most of the rest of the stuff I don't really consider seat work.  We have a lot more "doing" activities for those sorts of things and many times, these things are spur of the moment, based on a question asked. 

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1 hour ago, Janeway said:

Thanks!

 

I think I probably have it fine now. I am just having adjustment issues from starting over. Going from high school mode to 3rd grader mode basically. We spend two hours on language arts and math. And then another two plus hours on a block subject. The first two days this week it was science. Now, tomorrow will be history and geography. Since we are doing hands on projects and experiments and such, I much prefer doing those subjects in blocks rather than trying to start something and then put it away and start something different after a short bit and then try to get back on track with it the next day.

I wish I could do the block schedule! I've tried and fail miserably! Dd and I both have short attention spans so after 30 minutes of science, we are saying, "okay, enough about atoms, let's explore China!" lol ?

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We did 1.5-2 hrs of seat work last year (3rd grade) + 30 or so min or read aloud history or science + about a half hour for foreign language and religion.

That's not including bedtime storytime or free/silent reading.

We had some days that were shorter, but we schooled 5-6 days per week. If we did the full 5-6 days, we had shorter days that week.

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My 8yo is halfway through third grade. Here's our daily schedule:

Morning block ~1h
Morning Time
Fiddle
History or science

Language arts block ~1h
Read in English
Latin lesson
Greek phonics and copywork
Grammar or progym in English

Evening block ~1.5h
Mathematics
Spelling and dictation in English and Latin

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This is our second week of school so we are still getting into a rhythm. My third grader was done with everything by 12:30 today. We started about 8:30 and took a 30 minute walk halfway through our morning. Some days are a little shorter, some a touch longer. This was the first day where I tried to cover every single thing in my plan, and we did it all!

Third grade took about the same amount of time when my son was that age. 

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I'm teaching my 8th 3rd grader. None of them have spent more than 3ish hrs on seatwork.

Typical scenario (hypothetical approximations)

math: 45 mins

all language arts topics (spelling, grammar, writing instruction) 45 mins

reading: 45 mins

history/geography: 20 mins

science: 20 mins 

That is what I classify as seatwork. We are always reading books for bedtime stories. Music, art, and anything else is just what I consider part of life.

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On 9/12/2018 at 10:08 AM, MrsRobinson said:

I would expect a day with a 3rd grader to look like 2 hours in the morning for some sort of morning meeting to get the brain going, Language Arts, and math. Little breaks as needed for bathroom, a drink, snack, or run around outside for 10 minutes.

After lunch, I'd expect 1 hour for hands on science and history. At that point, I'd call the official school day done. That's 3 hours total where they are doing "seatwork."

Although, I'd expect another hour outdoors, 30 minutes music practice (typically do this after dinner), 30 minutes independent reading (usually do this before bed), and one art project per week, but that's because I'd require those things above public school hours anyway if the student went to brick and mortar school.

If your 2 hours in the morning doesn't count the content subjects, it sounds like you are doing great. 

That makes me feel better.  I am trying to fit in 30 hours work plus I have a child at school 9 to 3. We do up to an hour in a park after dropping off ds11.  Then we do about 20 minutes each of Maths, Composition, History and readaloud. Then depending on the day he goes to the neighbours, comes to work with me, has a music lesson or has more readaloud or another walk.  After lunch he does independent work (coding, music practice, reading, crafts, outdoor play) on the days we are home or the neighbours and plays with electronics if at my work (I am hoping to change that but work is so cold at this time of year it is hard to do much.

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If you are ONLY counting math/language arts...hmm..

Math - 30 minutes or so, give or take

Spelling - 10-20 minutes depending 

Phonics - (she has dyslexia so still working on this) 10-20 minutes at least

Handwriting - 5-10 minutes

Writing - 10-25 minutes depending on what we are doing

Plus time for a toddler to interrupt a zillion times. 

But in reality it takes way longer than all that do to asking questions, getting a drink, dropping pencils, finding the right page, going potty, dealing with the other kids, etc etc. And I'm teaching the other kid too, and there is the toddler.....and breaks....so if you include social studies, religion, science, read alouds, etc it's from 9am to 2pm most days. 

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Yesterday was at 2.5 hours, today was exactly 3 hours. My daughter does independent reading and piano practice outside of our school time. 

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2 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

How much time for a 3rd grader to finish school?

F  O  R  E  V  E  R ...

 

 

agreed

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My young 8 year old only handles short bursts. At the moment he does about:

20mins maths

30mins LA (spelling, FLL, WWE)

15min independent Reading

45 mins ish morning time

10mins music practice 

Joining in with science a couple times a week.

He spends a lot of time outside and in his head. I'm really happy with his schooling at the moment.

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On 9/13/2018 at 11:28 AM, Margaret in CO said:

How much time for a 3rd grader to finish school?

F  O  R  E  V  E  R ...

 

 

 

This is mathematically accurate.

It varies of course. My current third grader (9 years old) does this:

  • Science outside of school time
  • 10 minutes/ day Poetry memorization
  • 20 minutes/ day LA
  • 5 minutes/ day Spelling
  • 30 minutes/day math
  • 10 minutes/ day non-poetry memorization (phone numbers, pledge of allegiance, whatever)
  • 30-60 minutes/day read aloud and discussion
  • 60 minutes/ day reading and narrating
  • 45 minutes/ twice a week history
  • 30 minutes/ thrice a week drawing

So it's about 3-4 hours a day. I block out 8-1 for school some days, 9-1 others. 

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I hate posting things that sound like bragging, but I have been accused of not being positive before..so I will just say it...having a child who does his work is baffling and fun! LOL...I used to struggle so much with my now 9th grader. I thought I was going to have a stroke one day! I was scared to ever home school again.

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On 9/13/2018 at 7:57 AM, Ktgrok said:

If you are ONLY counting math/language arts...hmm..

Math - 30 minutes or so, give or take

Spelling - 10-20 minutes depending 

Phonics - (she has dyslexia so still working on this) 10-20 minutes at least

Handwriting - 5-10 minutes

Writing - 10-25 minutes depending on what we are doing

Plus time for a toddler to interrupt a zillion times. 

But in reality it takes way longer than all that do to asking questions, getting a drink, dropping pencils, finding the right page, going potty, dealing with the other kids, etc etc. And I'm teaching the other kid too, and there is the toddler.....and breaks....so if you include social studies, religion, science, read alouds, etc it's from 9am to 2pm most days. 

YES!  I'm thinking that I'm doing something wrong because we can barely get our work done by 3pm!  I have 8yo twins, one has aspergers, spd, and hypotonia. The other has a lot of trouble reading.....oh yeah, and a 5 year old that is outright refusing to do anything!  Ugh.  So I am spending a lot of our time doing just what you said.  

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If I had a 3rd grader who had good focus and work ethic I would expect core skill subjects (math, ELA) to take about 1.5 hours a day  and content area subjects however long we decided to spend on them. My 7 year old starts at 10 and we end by 2:30, but that includes plenty of “breaks” for her while I work with other kids and do things around the house. The total amount of time of actual work for our Morning Basket, Math, ELA, violin, and one content area I would guess averages 3-3.5 hours.  I will say that my oldest two took more time at that age because they were distractable.

Edited by Targhee

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We spend 2-3 hours, but that includes a bit of downtime.  I may assign a book for her to read in the afternoon or a math lesson to finish, but we generally stop before lunch whether we're done or not.  I need to focus on my older ones after lunch. 

Our typical day:

independent work: math, spelling, copywork--This is where I focus on my preschooler.  She could easily finish in 30 minutes, but usually spends an hour! 

Together work (3rd & 6th graders):  Recitation/Flashcards/Review, Literature, Latin, grammar/composition, plus one extra subject (Bible, Geography, Science, or History)--We never get it all done, but I keep trying!  We spend anywhere from 1-2 hours on these subjects, depending on how early we get started. 

Assigned reading: one easy chapter before or after lunch when I remember to assign it.  Usually I make lunch while she reads. 

Lunch, Chores & Free time in the afternoon, maybe an educational video or handicrafts

Family Read Aloud & Bible just before bed. 

Edited by Holly

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