How Many Hours of Homeschooling a Day?

When I was a newbie I was always asking other homeschoolers, “How many hours do you homeschool?” I almost always got a vague response like, “We are always learning,” or “It changes from day to day.”

But I wanted something a little more concrete than that! I wanted them to give me lesson time breakdowns of how many hours you needed to homeschool. I wanted a guide – a homeschool schedule.

How many hours of homeschooling a day?

Survey Findings – How Many Hours Do You Homeschool?

At our home school group we did a survey of days mums spent on formal lessons and 13 out of 14 mums only did it 4 days per week.

I have set up a simple routine in my home. It is the perfect mix for me. A little routine to stop me stressing out and feeling like “we do nothing”, and the freedom to pursue interest and play.

When I first began homeschooling I kept asking other home school mothers, “How many hours do you homeschool?” They all seemed reluctant to put a time on their day. Finally one confessed how much time she spent doing lessons and I was a little shocked to find out it wasn’t much at all. Coming from a school mentality I expected that approximately six hours per day were spent doing lessons.

What Do Schools Suggest For Lesson Times?

Schools have a 25 week and they fill it with activities and when we first begin homeschooling we think that is what we need to do.

But when you homeschool all learning activities can be counted as educational. However it is helpful to see how schools breakdown subjects and their recommended hours. Now remember before you take these to heart these are not sit down lessons every day.

Although school hours are somewhat irrelevant. You can find the NSW lessons times reference here.

Primary lesson times by grade
High achool lesson times by grade

How Many Hours Do You Do Formal Lessons

Now I understand more about homeschooling I realise, homeschooling is a lifestyle. When we set up an atmosphere of learning in our home, that makes learning happen “whenever”.

Many a time I, and other home school mothers, have been asked if we are school teachers by the general public because we are always making lessons out of our day; looking at a view, visiting the doctor, going through a checkout can turn into a lesson and to record all these moments would be impossible to capture on paper.

Children learn on their own as well, they can spend time doing all sorts of learning activities that could be lessons such as cooking, writing letters, caring for animals or coding computer games.

Read about how we used curriculum and natural learning in this article – Unschooling in Australia – Is It Possible If You Use Curriculum?

Why We Don’t Like To Set A Time

It’s good to get organised but some homeschoolers balk at setting times to home school because they argue that children are always learning and we need to wait for the learning opportunities to arise and then facilitate learning. However, I find it hard to drop everything in order to take advantage of all those learning opportunities available. To give me peace of mind and to accomplish things other than home school I need structure in my day.

I am reluctant to put a time figure on this because I know others will feel differently. But here goes!

How Many Hours Do You Homeschool – Per Grade

  • Kindergarten (Prep)—Grade 2: 1 to 1 ½ hours/ 3 to 4 days per week.
  • Grades 3—4: 2 to 3 hours/ 4 days per week
  • Grades 5—6: 3 to 4 hours/ 4 days per week
  • Grades 7—8: 4 to 6 hours/ 5 days per week
  • Grades 9—10: 5 to 6 hours/ 5 days per week

This time allocation is reflecting the formal time learning. It does not include reading aloud, excursions, nature study, sport, art lessons, music practice and hobby subjects like craft, sewing or movie making. For the rest of our day we are still learning but it is just not confined to a sitting down/traditional schooling position.

We only have structured lessons for four days per week in the primary years. The other day is left for errands, field trips, visiting and special events. I am not alone in this.

Don’t Believe Me? Other Homeschool Mums Have Also Confessed.

Amy at Raising Arrows has similar homeschool times to me.

And if you are interested in the lesson times of some Charlotte Mason and Classic Educators then this old forum post discussing how others organise their homeschool day. It is interesting!

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