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#252 How Long Should I Homeschool Each Day?

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Hello, how are you doing this wonderful day?

I had a really cool question the other day in my Instagram DMS and as soon as I got this question and I'd answered her, I knew I had to do a whole episode dedicated to this question.


So just so you know, if you ever have something that you would love on the podcast, just send me a message.

Instagram's an easy place where you can e-mail me and just let me know.

Like Meg, I would love to know more about this.

My Instagram is coach Meg Thomas, so allow me to read part of this message of this question.


So the question says I'm in the process of figuring out what schooling is best for our kids.

My husband has some questions about home school that I'm trying to find answers to.

I'm hoping you can tell me why you believe there's such a discrepancy between public school hours and home school hours needed to accomplish the same thing.


He is concerned that I told him I could do kindergarten with our son with our son for one to two hours a day, but the state wants him for seven hours to do the same thing.

I'm not sure what to tell him just now.

I don't want my baby gone for seven hours a day.

Why do you think that is?


Isn't that such a great question?

And I am so excited to dive in this.

I ended up going down tons of rabbit holes and tons of research of why is there such a discrepancy and why can I homeschool?

If you've ever heard of like the five hour school week or homeschooling for an hour a day And like why can people homeschoolers do this and public school cannot.


And yet homeschoolers continue to test hire all these different things.

So I am so excited to share this with you.

So I think this question is great whether or not you are a new homeschooler or a current homeschooler.

And because part of the reason I want to just remind whether wherever you are in your home school is if you are trying to create public school at home, it doesn't work.


So if you are trying to make your kids just sit there for six or seven hours a day, they are going to hate it.

They're going to be fighting with you and they're going to be pushing you back.

So if you're a new homeschooler friend, don't even try to do the public school model at home.

And if you are a current homeschooler and you are trying to do the public school model at home, please stop.


It does not work.

The public school model was created for a classroom without 20 to 30 kids.

So this LED me down my first rabbit hole of where in the world did our public education system come from?

And I've always heard it was based off this Prussian model, all these types of things.


So I found several articles, several things, and allow me to read part of this article called An Eye on education Prussia Model Influences American Public School System by Stephen Davis.

America's model of public schooling is derived from Frederick's revolutionary system of public education in 18th century Prussia.


Frederick's primary goal was to build a productive and obedient working class by creating an educational system that would produce competent factory workers, but not free thinkers and innovators that was to remain in the province of the aristocracy.

Ultimately, Frederick envisioned Prussia as a leading World Economic and military power.


Nevertheless, he introduced several educational, educational innovations that carried over into modern times.

Here are some examples, reduced illiteracy, compulsory tax funded public schools, prescribed curriculum and discrete subjects.


National testing, science and technology emphasis, teacher training and certification.

Teachers, teachers, salary systems strengthen national identity and respect for authority.

Secular instruction, religion taught only as a subject matter, efficiently run schools and students tracked by vocational and academic aptitudes.


Over time, other features based on the Prussian model emerge, such as age based grade levels, letter grade, professional hierarchies, permanent student records, and minimum number of school days.

In the early 19th century, the American model of schooling was largely a product of convenience rather than deep investigations and scholarly debates about how best to align the structures and processes of schools with the cultivation of powerful thinking and learning.


At that time, America had no reservoir of research based practices or robust theories about education.

There was no system of public education.

We simply didn't know much how children learned or how to build an educational system that supported good learning.

Prussia provided an established, handy, handy, and debatably effective model.


There's quite a bit more to the article, but that those were the highlights of it.

So it's so interesting that America started a public school system not knowing much about how children learned or how to build an education system that supported good learning.

They copied a system that was to help create competent factory workers who didn't question authority and who did what they are told.


So part of the reason why we like let's dive in a little bit more of what do they do in those seven hours of school.

So this is from why the home school day is so much shorter than a typical school day by Aaron Vincent.

So part of the reason why school lasts so long is there are 20 to 30 kids per classroom.


If you live in a state with a lot of kids, it can be even bigger.

Taking time for individual and unique needs for each child.

Keeping the classroom organized, taking time for roll calls, Taking time for class disruptions.

Redirecting students and keeping them on task.


Bathroom breaks, lunch breaks, hand raising, discipline issues, standardized testings and preparation emergency drills.

We actually have an elementary not too far from me where they're taking the whole day just to do emergency drills in case there was.


I believe they're doing it in case there's a shooter of where all the parents will have to come to the school school and check everybody out and do this whole thing and that is their whole entire school day.

This doesn't even say anything about assemblies or just other different things like that that take up some of the time in the school day of why they are in there for so long.


So all these requirements cause teachers to lose important teaching time.

Home schoolers may have some of these same issues to contend with as well, but they are equipped to handle them much more quickly and efficiently because of the drastically lower student to teacher ratio.

Those things take up a lot of time, which led me down another rabbit hole of how much time a day are children actually learning in those six to seven hours?


I found multiple studies with.

The general consensus was that if students are engaged, the more learning is happening.

The problem then is keeping students engaged.

So this is what I found interesting.

I found this from the US Department of Education of how long a teacher should be teaching for different subjects.


And I found this really interesting because it does not equal six to seven hours.

So I guess they had to add in all the time for like the other article I was reading where bathroom breaks and class disruptions and organizing and roll calling and time to line up and time to go do whatever assemblies go do all these different types of things.


So from the US Department of Education, it says that a teacher should take around 2 hours and 15 minutes of academic activities for a second grader.

These include things like reading, math, science and social studies.

Then for non academic activities they should be around 55 minutes, which includes music, art, story time and sharing, and 44 minutes of non instructional time such as transitions waiting between activities and class business which is a total of three hours and 55 minutes.


So it just kind of blows my mind that even from the US Department of Education, it's saying it could be a total of four hours and yet here we are six to seven hours.

So adding in a lot of waste of time with different things that why a kid would be there all the whole entire day.


So it's interesting because if I took that same model of what the US Department of Education set for a second grader and implemented it into my home school, I wouldn't need all of that time because I don't have to teach that many kids.


I don't have to teach 20 to 30 kids.

I'm teaching either one at a time or at the most at one time.

I taught six at a time.

I have seven kids, right?

But he came later, so he was never with the whole entire group.

So the most at one time I ever had was six kids and I still didn't need as much time as they were taking that they suggested, right.


So I don't need 2 hours and 15 minutes to teach my kid all the academics because I'm teaching one kid and I can go much faster and I can go at their pace And honestly, if they understand something with math or reading, it's really short and I help my kids to become an independent learner as quickly as possible.


So that one is significantly shorter.

And the cute question said that she would take an hour to two hours of teaching your kindergartner.

And for the academics, for kindergartner, you can honestly do in 15 minutes, right?

And then if you want to take a couple hours, make sure that's a lot of the fun stuff and playing and reading, going to museums, creating all that kind of stuff.


So then it talked about taking 55 minutes for non academic activities, which is the arts and all these types of things.

And it's so interesting because so let's say I do prepare an art lesson.

Like we're always doing stuff with arts and poetry and and all those types of things.

And so sometimes my kids can get creating and then they're going and creating all day long, right?


But like let's say taking time for me to actually sit there and do it with my kids and our project or something like that.

And it doesn't take me an hour because once again, I have one kid or up to six kids, how many other kids you have?

So it made me think of this one time one of my sons was really into paper airplanes and creating a bazillion different type of airplanes.


And we would, we could do it together of origami.

And I was right there and I could help him and we can do it really quick.

And then I decided, oh, this is so fun.

My kid loves it.

I'm going to teach origami for a homeschool Co-op class.

And I went from teaching like my small amount of kids to teaching at least 15 to 20 kids and it was crazy of how much longer it took.


So every single fold, making sure everybody did it right versus just like all being there together at one table, like, oh, we all did it great, let's move on.

So it took so much time and took about 45 minutes in the classroom setting, which in my within my just on kids, it took so much less time.


So if you take out a lot of the fluff, like the what was it like 44 minutes or something of transition time?

All these types of stuff, taking away a lot of this excess stuff, I can put our whole school day, a really good academically, like really enriching school day down to about two hours.


So if I spent two hours, four to five times a week, I am keeping up with the public school kids as far as how much they are actually getting taught.

But here's the beauty of home school.

I'm with my kids almost the whole entire day.


Well, let's say I'm with them from about 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

That's pretty regular schedule at our house.

About time, people wake up about time.

Some people go to bed.

Sometimes kids get up a little bit earlier, sometimes when My teens usually stay up a little bit later, right.

So it could be even longer.

But so let's just say that schedule 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.


That is 14 hours of me being with them, talking with them, teaching them, showing them how to do things, helping them learn to be independent, going to co-ops, extracurricular activities and all all, and so on.

So let's do some real quick math.


The public school model suggests that kids are getting about four hours of learning a day, even though their school day is much longer.

So let's say 4 hours a day, five days a week is 20 hours of learning time each week.

With my model, 14 hours a day, seven days a week is 98 hours a week with my kids.


Now you can start to see why homeschoolers are testing so much higher than the public school kids.

It is because their whole life is about learning.

Now, you may argue that they're not always with you, or sometimes they're watching a movie or just doing nothing.


OK, let's half that 98, which would still mean that they are learning for about 49 hours a week, which is 29 more hours than kids in public school.

So how long should you be homeschooling your kid each day?

The answer is just by being with them they are learning.


That may be from a book at times and doing some more structure type learning, but a lot of times it comes from living and experiencing life.

So for those of you who are worried if you are doing enough or if you're keeping up with the public school, if you are with your kids, you are doing more than enough.


Have a fantastic day friends.

I'll talk to you next week.


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