Homeschooling hours

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How many, how often and when? These are some oft-repeated 

questions when it comes to homeschooling hours. Flexibility is of 

course one of the key underlying principles behind homeschooling. 

This flexibility applies not only to the curriculum but also to 

the number of hours. It is only natural that parents, especially 

if they have just started out on homeschooling should feel that 

their children should be at their books all the time when regular 

school-goers are at school. This is not only fallacious but can 

also be damaging and counter-productive.

One of the most ignored but glaring drawbacks of the public 

schooling system is the sheer waste of time and energy that it 

causes. Many periods are simply wasted away and the child 

effectively derives only 1-3 hours of study everyday. Then, there 

are days when the studies become too intensive and other days when 

it’s only games and no work at all. There is a lot of ‘invisible 

wastage’ involved here.

Early on in your homeschooling practice, work out a schedule. It 

is advisable to stick to the same hours everyday. A routine makes 

it easier to learn and gives structure to the learning experience. 

It also tells the students that parents are strict about their 

learning. A routine also allows your child to free his mind from 

other activities and concentrate on studies. He knows that a 

particular time is strictly set aside for learning. 

The actual number of hours that you need depends on the curriculum 

you have chosen and the learning style that suits your child. If 

you are dealing with a subject that seems to be more complex, you 

may need to sit with the child for a longer period. Using various 

techniques, it may be necessary to demonstrate what you are trying 

to teach. For instance, a lesson in Algebra may take more time 

than a lesson in English. 

Homeschooling does not refer to the practice of sitting in front 

of the books and learning the printed matter. Field trips, 

watching documentaries, visiting factories and libraries also make 

up an important slice of the homeschooling process. It makes sense 

to intersperse these activities so that learning becomes fun. 

You may want to finish off the few hours of textbook learning 

in the morning and dedicate the afternoons to these kinds 

of activities. 

Given the fact that too many public school hours are wasted in 

meaningless activities ranging from talking to extra-curricular 

activities, do not allow public school hours to dictate the time 

you should spend teaching your child at home. Remember that at 

home, he is getting a high-quality one-to-one time that is highly 

productive. About 1-3 hours of study is enough in the primary 

level. It is of course true that the more number of hours you put 

in, the more learning takes place. This is also the reason why 

homeschooling children are much smarter and more balanced than 

regular school going children.

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