How Many Hours Per Day Should You Homeschool

How Many Hours Per Day Should You Homeschool: What Experts Recommend PLUS 16 Things to Consider

Homeschooling your children can be a rewarding experience for both you and your children, and with that come many questions and concerns. One question many parents have is how many hours per day should you homeschool their child. In this post we’ll discuss what experts recommend, as well as some important things to consider when making your decision.


Most families find that between 3-5 hours of homeschooling per day works well for them. This allows for a good balance of academic learning time and free time for other activities such as extracurricular activities, family time, and down time. Some families may need to do more or less homeschooling per day in order to meet their goals.

Of course, every family is different and you will need to find what works best for your family’s schedule and needs. However, there are few things you’ll want to consider when deciding how many hours per day should you homeschool. Keep reading to learn more about how to find the right balance for your family and learn what experts recommend.

How Many Hours Per Day Should You Homeschool?

Most families will agree that balance is key when it comes to how many hours per day you should homeschool your kids. While 3-5 hours is ideally a good amount of time to spend on academics, you’ll also want to factor in other important aspects of your child’s day such as free time, extracurriculars, and family time. It’s important to find a balance that works for your family and helps your child thrive academically, emotionally, and socially.

The reason why experts recommend 3-5 hours of homeschooling per day is because this leaves enough time for other important activities in your child’s day. Free time is important for kids to have in order to explore their interests, relax, and spend time with family and friends. Extracurricular activities are also crucial for helping kids socialize, stay active, and learn new skills. Family time is important for bonding and building relationships. Lastly, down time is important for kids to unwind, relax, and recharge.

One important thing to keep in mind is that homeschooling does not have to be done all at once. Most experts recommend that you break up the day into shorter blocks of time rather than one long chunk. This helps to keep kids from getting overwhelmed or bored. You can break up the day however you see fit, as long as your child is getting the required number of hours of instruction to complete and understand each lesson. For example, you could do two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon, or one hour in the morning and three hours in the afternoon.

Shorter blocks of time is recommended mainly because kids have shorter attention spans than adults. Studies have shown that the average attention span for a young child is between 15-20 minutes. This means that if you try to homeschool for extended periods of time, your child is likely to get bored or frustrated and will not retain as much information. So the age of your child and their attention span will play a role in how you decide to break up the day.

There are actually a few things you’ll want to consider when deciding how many hours per day should you homeschool your kids including your child’s age, attention span, and learning style. Let’s discuss some of those considerations so that you can make the best decision for your family.

Things to Consider When Deciding How Many Hours Per Day Should You Homeschool

There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding how many hours per day to homeschool your kids. Here are a few considerations to help you make the most of your homeschool schedule.

Age: First, you’ll want to consider the age of your child. The age of your child will play a role in how many hours per day you homeschool them. Younger kids tend to have shorter attention spans, and get tired more easily than older children. As a result, you’ll probably want to homeschool for shorter periods of time with younger children and remember to break up the day into blocks of time. Older kids can usually handle longer periods of instruction.

Family Schedule: You should also consider your family’s schedule. You’ll want to make sure that you have enough time for other responsibilities such as work, cooking, chores, errands, appointments, extracurriculars, family time, and down time. Lesson Planners and Daily Task Planners are extremely beneficial in staying organized and balancing homeschool and daily tasks. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re not over-scheduling your kids. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that your child has at least one hour of free time for every hour of instruction.

Learning Style: Another thing to consider is your child’s learning style. Some kids learn best by doing, others learn best by listening, and others learn best by seeing. Some kids also learn better in short bursts while others can focus for longer periods of time. Knowing your child’s learning style will help you to decide how to structure your homeschool day and how long each homeschooling session should be. Consider exploring different learning methods such as Montessori vs Traditional Education, to decide which is best for your child.

Subjects: The type of subjects you’re teaching will also play a role in how long you should homeschool. If you’re teaching a subject that requires a lot of hands-on learning, such as science or art, you’ll probably want to homeschool for shorter periods of time and include time for preparation and cleanup. If you’re teaching a subject that is mainly focused on listening and understanding, such as history or literature, you can probably homeschool for longer periods of time broken up into 2-3 blocks separated by lunch and recess.

Grade Level: The grade level that your child is homeschooling at will also play a role in how many hours per day you should homeschool. If your child is in elementary school, they’ll probably need less instruction time than if they were in high school. In general, kids in elementary school need about 3-4 hours of instruction per day while kids in high school need about 4-5 hours of instruction per day. Of course, this will vary depending on the child and the subjects being taught.

Season: The season can also play a role in how long you homeschool each day. In the summer, when there are more daylight hours, you may want to start homeschooling later in the morning or afternoon and take advantage of early morning opportunities to explore and play outdoors before it gets too hot. In the winter, when there are shorter days, you may want to start homeschooling earlier in the morning so you can end earlier and get to other household responsibilities. Some families choose to take summer breaks or winter breaks from homeschooling altogether so they can enjoy family vacations or time off.

Completion Time: Finally, you’ll want to consider how long it will take to complete each lesson. You don’t want your child to feel rushed or like they’re not learning everything they need to know. But you also don’t want your child to get bored or feel like they’re dragging on. Finding a good balance is important. Try to time each lesson so that it’s neither too long nor too short and keep it interesting with different themes and activities throughout the year.

What If My Family Needs More or Less Homeschooling Time?

Some families may need to do more or less homeschooling per day in order to meet their goals.

If you find that your family needs more homeschooling time than the recommended amount, or that your family’s schedule can’t fit in 3-5 hours per day of homeschool, don’t worry. You can always supplement with other learning opportunities outside of the traditional school day.

There are many great resources available online and in libraries that can help you to provide a well-rounded education for your child. You can also take advantage of opportunities to learn together as a family such as household tasks, cooking, gardening, story-time, table-talks, field trips, community events, and volunteering. If you work full time and are wondering how to homeschool, there are many ways to make it work. You can check out this article for more tips: How To Homeschool Your Child While Working Full Time: 10 Tips and Helpful Strategies

Things to Consider When Deciding How Many Hours Per Day Should You Homeschool

  • The type of subjects you’re teaching
  • The grade level that your child is homeschooling at
  • How long each lesson should be
  • How much time you want for preparation and cleanup
  • How many breaks you want to take
  • What season it is
  • What the weather is like
  • How much daylight there is
  • Your work schedule
  • Other family commitments
  • Homeschooling methods
  • Your child’s learning style
  • Your child’s attention span
  • Your child’s energy level
  • Your child’s mood
  • How much one-on-one time your child needs

Final Remarks

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when deciding how many hours per day you should homeschool your kids. The best way to figure out how many hours per day should you homeschool your child, is to experiment and find what works best for you. Every family is different and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s important to find what fits your family’s schedule and needs. So trust your instincts and go with what you feel your child needs. Just remember to stay consistent, but flexible, while providing a well-rounded education for your child. Homeschooling should be fun for both you and your child!

Do you homeschool? How many hours per day do you spend homeschooling? What works best for your family? Let us know in the comments below!

References:

Homeschool Products & Resources

How to Create a Homeschool Schedule: Downloadable Content and Samples

Montessori Homeschooling for Beginners: How to Get Started, Tools, Tips and Resources

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