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Topic: How long is your school day?

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Subject: How long is your school day?
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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Our school days seem to be taking way to long this year with a pre-k, 1st & 3rd. We seem to be working from 8am to 3pm and I think that's too long.

Am I wrong in thinking that homeschool days should be shorter than public school days? How long is your typical day?


Date Posted: 5/7/2008 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 438
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Last Edited on: 12/10/08 12:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 662
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I used to get annoyed that our school day took so long, too.  (Okay--sometimes I'm still annoyed...)  :)  Eventually, however, I realized that there was no way to compare our day to a traditional school day.  Some days, a subject will take my daughter extra time--and I appreciate the homeschool flexibiltiy I have to let her stay on task and figure out her problem instead of rushing her off to the next subject.  Other days, we take longer times for lunch or find ourselves in an interesting discussion that puts our more traditional school stuff aside for a while. 

So--our days aren't shorter, but I think we do better things with the time.   (And, my daughter's daily swim practice at 3:30 p.m. cuts us off every day whether we like it or not.)

That being said--back when my daughter was little, we did not spend nearly so much time on school.  Pre-K was whatever educational moments happened during play time.  K through 2 we focused on daily math and reading lessons, and science and history happened as we discovered things.  I had a history and science curriculum, and I beat myself up a lot about not getting to them enough.  Now, however, as I look back, I see that the math and reading foundation was really all she needed at that age.  The science and history all gets covered again--when they're older and have a better understanding.  I'm glad I let the curriculum wait in favor of field trips, library trips, and playground trips!  (Sigh.  I miss those days....)

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 438
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I miss those days too :-)

I wish that I had not been so overzealous in the beginning to try and cover history and science like a crazy woman.  We just ended up spinning our wheels and feeling frantic and guilty.  Hi my name is Rebecca and I am a curriculum junkie. LOL!!

Out of necessity my younger kids are focused on the 3R's and then pick up whatever else is going on around them.  It's wonderful!  I wish I had given myself permission to do that with my older kids. 

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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We have never worked from 8am to 3pm. Mine are in grades 2 & 5 this year, but we do Charlotte Mason style espeically the 'short lesson plans' part of the method!

It is hard to compare what you do to other people as the length of time that is spent depends largely on what your curriculums say to do, how much YOU DO of what they say to do and also the speed at which your children work or if they dawdle. My friend who used Saxon math said it takes about 45 minutes to do one day's lesson but when we do our Math U See which my kids learn quicly from they can finish one lesson in 10 minutes. I do make them do more than what the curriculum company says as 10 mintues is just not long enough IMO. But do you see the difference? And then too with our math if the child struggles or has to fix errors that will take longer than the day when they whip through it and get everything correct.

And I am not counting various outside classes or activities. My kids do a 6 hour science class every week so if I didn't have that I'd have to add on 6 hours to what we are already doing, KWIM?

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2007
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We start around 9 or 9:30 and then they work until they are done, taking breaks here and there. They are usually done around 2. That's 8th, 6th, 5th and sometimes PreK (whenever she wants to LOL).

Date Posted: 5/9/2008 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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We do from 11:30 and finish about 3:30, that includes 30 minutes for lunch.  Of course, I only have one so that makes it a little easier.  My ds is just finishing 4th grade. Next year I plan on school taking a little longer.

Date Posted: 5/10/2008 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 36
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I just finished listening to a homeschool seminar where the lady said that for grades 3 & up, she recommends taking the full 6 hour day.  We have our kids for that long (while the other kids are in public/private schools) so let's fill that up with all the learning that we possibly can!  We only have our children for about 18 years before they have to venture out into the real world, so let's prepare them with all the knowedge that we can.  She said that if they get done with a certain subject early, then let them read a good historical fiction book that goes along with the time period in history that you are studying, or work on a special project along those lines.

My 8-year-old is much more motivated that his 10-year-old brother and finishes quicker, so I am constantly giving him extra reading assignments, which he loves and learns so much from.

Just my two cents worth!



Date Posted: 5/10/2008 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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My 10 y.o. does about 2-3 hours of direct, formal curriculum.  Then he does about 5-6 more hours of independent, self-directed study (that I don't ask for - he loves to learn).  On top of that, he reads whatever, and whenever he can.

That will go up this year as he adds more high school courses, including an online Biology class, Geometry, and a 180-lesson history course rather than a 108-lesson one.


Date Posted: 5/14/2008 12:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2007
Posts: 109
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my boys are 1st and 4th, but we are very unschooly, so anything you might formally call school could take anywhere from 0 to 3or 4 hours depending on the day.  Mostly I'd say about 1hour of formal type stuff (or less) , and spend the rest of our time exploring the kids interests on their own or together, and reading tons of books.

Last Edited on: 5/14/08 12:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/15/2008 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 349
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We do 5 hours of formal school 180 days a year. Then in the summer we do lots of Science and art any where from 2 to 5 hours a day depending on what the projects are. This summer our project is plants, Gardening. We plant we pull weeds we water them. Field trip we take all day some times two days.


Date Posted: 5/15/2008 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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We start around 10 am and he usually finishes around 3pm, but it totally depends on how much he dawdles, talks to Grandma, plays with the dogs, etc.  :)  He's been known to finish way early or waaaaay late, depending on the evening activities.  Amazingly, when he has activities that he wants to do at night, his work is always finished promptly.  LOL! 

We're year-round hsers here, but take time off when family and friends visit (we're suddenly popular now that we live in Las Vegas) and take full advantage of the multitude of classes and field trips offered here.