Enhanced – video response
hand writing the words Dear Durenda
Does it have to take all day?
“Homeschooling doesn’t have to take all day because as parents we can zero in on what interests our kids and we can engage their learning through those interests.”

hinking that schoolwork is an all-day event is a myth that keeps some parents from considering home education. But even for those who have made the decision to homeschool, there can be a nagging feeling that if we aren’t hitting the books well past lunchtime, we can’t possibly be giving our kids a complete education.

Nothing could be further from the truth!
The first thing we must keep in mind is that kids are always learning. That means even if we are simply living life with them, going about normal daily activities—keeping up the house, going to the grocery store, visiting the library, and stopping by the post office—our kids are learning! They are taking in so much more than we realize.

In the early years (Pre-K to 3rd grade), we are laying a foundation for character and helping our kids make a healthy connection with learning. This means it’s crucial that we don’t force too much bookwork too soon. (I talk about this in my book, The Unhurried Homeschooler.)

What this looked like at our house was spending anywhere from zero to thirty minutes a day doing bookwork with our kindergarteners and first graders—with most of their learning happening through real life alone and copious amounts of self-directed play.

Slowly and gradually we would add more bookwork as they were ready. That meant that all bookwork could typically be accomplished by noon (or before) throughout the elementary and middle years.

When our kids entered high school they would usually spend a full four hours on “school” as there were credits to be earned and more time spent in formal education, but even then, we could double up on subjects. For example: If they were writing a summary or essay assignment for history, we could also count that toward language arts (writing). Time spent on hobbies, interests, job shadowing, etc. also counted toward credits, as well as home projects including things like home upgrades, landscaping/yard projects, etc.

Homeschooling doesn’t have to take all day because as parents we can zero in on what interests our kids and we can engage their learning through those interests. We can choose the curriculum that best fits our kids, avoiding unnecessary busywork. We are also available to answer questions and to give them direction without them having to compete with thirty other students.

Books and curriculum are very helpful resources, but they do not make up the sum total of a full and rich education. A series of adventures launched from a secure home base is what rounds out our kids’ educational experience making it vibrantly unique and surprisingly efficient! (You can read more about this in The Four Hour School Day!)
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