Who Actually Has Time to Homeschool for 6 Hrs/Day?

Homeschooling doesn't take as long as you think!

Most adults today have grown up with the public education model as their foundation of what schooling is supposed to look like. So it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone when people scoff at the idea of homeschooling with the reasoning that they would never  have time to homeschool for 6-7 hrs/day.

Well, guess what? Neither do I.

In fact, most homeschooling parents are far too busy with life than to spend that large chunk of time teaching their kids everyday.

So how much time does homeschooling take? 

That depends on who you ask. Some people take just a couple of hours, while some may take 4 or 5 hours on formal learning. Others may tell you that it takes no time at all because it simply blends in with the rest of their lives.

The point is that it’s up to the parents and sometimes the children to decide how long it takes. Comparing the amount of time kids spend in brick and mortar schools with the time spent on at-home learning is really like comparing apples and oranges.

It’s important to remember that children who attend traditional schools may spend 6 hrs/day there, but they certainly aren’t learning for all that time. The task of managing such a large number of students in each class is an arduous one, and it takes time. Time for things such as:

  • Waiting for all students to arrive and be seated
  • Taking role call
  • Finding out who is buying lunch and who has packed
  • Morning announcements
  • Passing out books
  • Passing out papers and corrected homework assignments
  • Disciplinary issues
  • Classroom distractions
  • Bathroom breaks
  • Changing classes
  • Waiting for other students to finish classroom assignments
  • Lunch time
  • Going over homework assignments
  • Collecting homework and other activities
  • Collecting books at the end of the day
  • Packing backpacks and retrieving jackets

I know this is far from everything that goes on, but just by reading over these, it should be very clear that there isn’t much time left for actual teaching, is there?

I came across an interesting post by a former educator who calculated how much time is spent actively learning in school by deducting time for the sorts of things listed above, and guess how much time she’s concluded is actually spent on actual learning out of 6 hrs and 15 minutes/day?

51 minutes. 51 minutes/day out of 6 hrs and 15 minutes!

So while the average student is in school for hours and hours everyday, they could do the same amount of school work at home in 51 minutes.

Is it any wonder that homeschooling goes faster?

Not only does homeschooling afford us the freedom from majority of the distractions of school, but one of the best parts about it is that when your child has completed an activity, they can move on. There is no busy work while waiting for other students to complete their assignments.

Spelling done in 10 minutes? Check.

Math done in 20? Check.

Finished that science experiment in 15 minutes? Check.

Do you get the picture? And, in all honesty, if this educator’s calculations are correct about the 51 minutes, most homeschoolers are doing far more than their peers in school.

So, those people are right. Who has time to homeschool for 6 hrs/day?

That’s just plain silly.




Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

44 thoughts on “Who Actually Has Time to Homeschool for 6 Hrs/Day?”

  1. Love this. We are getting ready to do our “first homeschool day” which is really organize the books and make sure everyone knows what they are doing. It will take 51 minutes 😛 *kidding. As a public school student, I remember waiting and waiting. this was a great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When you factor in everything that a child has to walk around to or wait around for within a school day I am not surprised when they tell me they haven’t learnt anything new all day!
    When I was in upper school we only had four lessons per day with each lesson being 1hr 15minutes long. This was so that we had 20 minutes either side for people who were late, handing out papers and then packing up however this meant that the time inbetween was intense and whilst it worked well for most kids it still was too long a lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just started homeschooling my HS senior for the first time last week – one of my concerns was how much of my time it was going to take to keep him on task, and working with him. Uh, almost none, it turns out! I help him with his English (as a 2nd language, he speaks Spanish), and he does the rest himself. I had to take some time to find materials in Spanish to cover the information in his American History curriculum, but other than that, he does everything on his own. And we’re both loving it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Our state (KY) requires private and home schools to have 6 hour school days! Whether or not I agree with that is a moot point because it’s the law. However, it takes us usually around 4 hours to get our “schooling” finished each day. That means that my boys can watch educational tv, play minecraft, or lego for 2 hours. And, of course I count chores as part of our learning, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Found you on the Homeschool Nook! I totally agree with this. The only reason school takes us longer than a couple of hours is when a concept won’t still. Even then we leave it for the next day and then hit it again when everyone is fresh!


  6. Exactly! Most people look very uncomfortable when I say that we’re done school in about an hour a day (even for my middle school kids)… then I try to explain all the wasted classroom time (I know I was a teacher myself!) and they nod along but i still walk away knowing they think I”m nuts and my kids can’t possibly be learning enough. Oh well…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When my 13 year old stepdaughter wound up in public school Alternative Classroom (isolating punishment for anything and everything from lying to principal, tardies, fighting, or even drugs), she suddenly had all day to work independently. Of their 8 periods, she was completely done in the first 2 with all daily assignments. She was allowed to sit and read for the rest of the whole day. Doesn’t sound too different from my home schooling schedule!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yep. John Taylor Gatto stated kids spent (and this was YEARS ago) about 1.5 hours per day on actual learning. When my kids were younger, and I spent the time with them, our day was about 1.5 hours and we were covering over 20 subjects per week. So…. 6 hours a day? I think not.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so embarrassed- I just sent a reply, but please delete it as I did it through the blog e-mail of the blog I run for my church (highlandsranchmormons), not my actual name. I’m sorry!!! Please delete that comment and use this one instead, with my actual name:
    I have a sincere question. I have been homeschooling for three years, and we love it- no plans to go back. At first, we did finish in just a couple of hours a day. But, as they get older and we are adding in spelling and other subjects, and math is getting a little harder, and they LOVE art, etc. etc., I find that school actually IS taking us 6-7 hours, and a lot of that does require me being very hands on. Needless to say, I am feeling a little burned out, but what would I take out? Spelling? Writing? Reading? Math? I feel like everything we do is important, and I want to add in even more- like science (which I’m not good at right now), and German, which I speak and my kids really want to learn. But those take time. Even if it’s “only” 20 minutes for each,that adds up. So, here’s my question: How do you fit it all into 4 hours, how do you get your kids to be more independent, and how to stay sane while trying to “get it all done?”
    (I apologize for the long post! Obviously, this is something I really could use some help with!)


  10. I know you’re sick of me- sorry!

    I have been scouring your blog all day. It’s fabulous. I have definitely been feeling burned out and BLAH about homeschool (hence my previous message), even though we love it. We switched from Sonlight (which I love) to Konos this year because Konos has more hands on activities. However, Konos is a lot of work- and I think that is making me feel burned out. After searching your blog, I am now feeling rejuvenated and recharged. We are going to start a new poetry unit tomorrow and use a lapbook instead of Konos. I am super excited! I think my girls will LOVE the change- and I will, too, as this lapbook has everything we need. We have never done lapbooks before, I didn’t even know what they were- but they look amazing!

    Thanks for giving me the courage to try something different and mix things up! I was thinking of switching back to Sonlight next year (easier prep!), but now I think I might stick with Konos, with lapbooks mixed in throughout of various topics the kids are interested in (my 9 and 7 year old love Shakespeare- and guess what? There are free Shakespeare lapbooks on-line!). THANK YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s