What does a typical day look like for a homeschooling family? In many ways, it is the same as anybody else’s day. Parents go to work, chores are done around the house (you hope), and kids do their homework, either with or without their parents’ help. However, in many ways the day is very, very different for the homeschooling parent.
The main difference is that the child (or children, but let’s work with just one), does not need to get out of bed, rush to get dressed, bolt down a breakfast and then catch the bus. The parent is not left alone for hours, and the child is not attending a class somewhere else. The parent does not have to guess or even worry about what is going on with their child because the child is right there.
This difference leads to many other differences. The family may go on a field trip, with the parent learning right beside the child. The child’s craftwork can be shown to the parent immediately and even considered for a fair or craft show. The questions of the student can be answered when they arise, with any needed tutoring provided quickly and effectively. Communications are quick, loving, and productive.
A Possible Schedule
Let us work through an ordinary day in homeschooling, seeing what is done and how long it takes. A key fact to remember is that all times are subject to change as determined by either the teacher/parent or the child.
Many homeschoolers start their lessons in the morning, but notice that there is no bus ride, homeroom, or assembly. Therefore, the child can take time to dress, to eat, and to get comfortable. Lessons start when the child and the parent are ready to start, not at some administratively determined timeslot.
A typical homeschool day covers four or five subjects. Each lesson is individually created for the child, with input from both the parent and the child. Some lessons will take a short period of time, say 30 minutes, and some will take longer, up to hours. Lessons will include reading, writing, mathematics, art, and other activities as needed and desired.
If we take an average of an hour per lesson, the student is done in the early afternoon. Lunch is handled when there is a break between lessons, and after the lessons are done the child is free to run and play without a time limit. The child can control the amount of time needed, while the parent sets the target results.
On other days, there are field trips, library trips, and other outside activities. The child can participate in sports, organizations, and other outside activities without fear or guilt in missing classes. The teacher knows the child will be able to do special activities without having to make arrangements with third parties, and the administrative paperwork is kept to a bare minimum, taking almost no time at all during the normal day.
I guess the main point is that the day is both a lot less structured and a lot more productive than is possible in a school. The time can be structured according to the needs of the student, not the needs of somebody else. The material can be covered as many times as needed and extra activities are welcomed, not treated as a burden.
In short, the child can learn as an individual, with an individualized schedule. There is no typical day, just the day of the child. Learning as it should be.