Sunday, June 12, 2011

The 2-Hour School Day?

Inspired by my Tri-Mom's post about beginning to homeschool, I'm stuffing a few more tidbits into the cracks of my blog this summer in an effort to encourage and inspire the fledgling (or possibly even the veteran?). 

I've mentioned before (here and here) that our school days are short and (usually, though not always!) sweet.  We tend to dress and eat, and start school right at the breakfast table.  We begin with Bible reading and memory, take time to study either art or music or nature study together, proceed to independent table time (math, handwriting, phonics, etc.), and finish up with reading our history selection together in the living room before lunch.  All told, the school work is finished in 2-3 hours.  

So how do we reconcile that with the 6-7 hours our public school counterparts are spending in school each day?    If they jump on the bus at 7:30 in the morning and don't return home until 4 in the afternoon, how can my kids be learning just as much between the hours of 8 and 11?!  

First of all, we mentally concede that we don't need to compare ourselves to them...or anyone.  But then we remember that the public school day has a lunch break (we do that!), recess (we do that, too!), bathroom breaks, and periods of standing in line.  Then we remember that we take field trips on the weekends and we read books aloud in the afternoon and at night.  Suddenly, our skeleton 3 hours have stretched into many more! 


How long is your typical school day?  Or how long do you plan it to be?


  1. I do something similar to what you do...I think ours takes about 3 hours...just with all the chaos around ;)

  2. Yikes! Did you have to ask that?!
    Well, as we are not as disciplined about our starting time, and as I am very slow and have an even slower can be three, four, five, six hours? (Usually in the four to five range.) But I have noticed that things move along at a better clip when we have an afternoon activity that everyone is enthused about!

  3. Or "structured" day is from 8 to 3 everyday. However, this includes snack, lunch & napt/quiet time. The actual "schooling" part is probably between 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hrs each day depending on the kids. Somedays they seem to get done quicker than others. After 3pm they can do whatever activities they want( play outside or inside, watch TV or play video or computer games if they have earned time for that.)

  4. I would say we "school" in the morning (when we can) and it takes about 2-2 1/2 hours. I expect that it may take a tad longer next year but I'm guessing we'll still be near the 3 hour range!

  5. All day. Really. But we take sooooooooo many breaks throughout. (and really we're barely doing anything inthe afternoon right now, except reading).

    I think since a few of mine are older, that's just how it has to be. ...I don't know how any 8th grader gets their work done in the morning (perhaps another CM tall tale:)

  6. Kristin, I'm so encouraged by this post. I've been trying to figure out how we will actually fit schooling into our busy days. I was feeling a bit like an underachiever by planning on only schooling for 30 minutes to an hour. Now I'm feeling much more confident about that decision.

    They are only 4 and 3 after all :)


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