Our Family

Our Family

Friday, February 14, 2014

How Long Is Enough?

Do you ever wonder if you are spending enough time on school everyday?  Or have a hard time deciding how long to spend on each subject?  Or how many subjects your children should be learning?

It can be hard sometimes to find a balance and decide how long is long enough to spend on each subject, or school in general.  Especially when comparing your homeschool to how long children the same age spend in public school every day.  You cannot really compare a homeschool to public school because they are just so different.  Most public school are in session 6-7 hours a day, but not all of that is doing school work, of course. So if you do not use the public school as a guideline for how long you should spend on school every day, how do you figure out how long is long enough?

Some subjects are pretty easy.  Most math books for example are set up to complete a page a day.  Other curricula come with a Teacher's Guide telling you what you should be completing in a day. But what about the ones that aren't so clear?  I read this guideline once and it made perfect sense to me, so we have followed it ever since:

Spend 2 to 2.5 times the child's age per subject every school day.  A 6 year old should spend around 12-15 minutes per day on each subject, while a 12 year old should spend 25-30 minutes.

This to me makes perfect sense. By using the age as a guideline, it helps me keep the lessons age appropriate for the child's attention span.  It is not a hard and fast rule, but a guideline to follow.  There are times when we get finished with some things a little faster or times when something may take a bit longer.  When I combine subjects with many different ages, like our Bible lesson, I try to keep it towards the lower end of the age range.

When it comes to deciding how many subjects your child should be learning, that is going to vary not just from family to family, but from child to child.  For instance, I do spelling with my 4,6,8,and 10 year olds, but my 12 year old has never really done spelling.  He has always been a very good natural speller so there wasn't any point in making him memorize lists of words he could spell.  Many families teach grammar as a separate subject, but I prefer to teach grammar in the context of our writing.  You would be surprised too how much children can learn about a wide variety of subjects just by listening to you read aloud good, living books.  So, do not base your subjects on what other people do/do not do.  You have to figure out what subjects work best for you and what your children are interested in learning.

Don't stress about whether or not you are spending the "right" amount of time on school.  Each individual situation is different.  Do what works for you and your family at this point in your life and try not to compare your homeschool to anyone else's.

Happy Homeschooling!
Post a Comment