Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Now Homeschooling? One Minute...and 2 hours

Put kindness and love first. These are extraordinary times. Let's not make it any harder on ourselves than it needs to be. There is more fear floating around than most of us can easily deal with, and kids are vulnerable to the world's fear and to their care-giver's. Treat yourself with tenderness; it is normal to worry, you may be feeling afraid of many things; your child need not be one of them. Find joy in anything and everything; and live in that joy for a moment, before moving on to the next part of your homeschool to-do list.

The word on the street (and the t.v. networks), according to "experts" in education, is that a student at-home needs about half to two-thirds of the time they would normally spend in school to be spent in work at home. This would mean 31/2 to 4 hours, 5 days a week. Quantity over quality is not a recipe for success. The "how" matters more than the "what" in this learning equation. 

How you choose to face each day is more important than what you do or how many hours of schoolwork are getting done. After 19 years of homeschooling, my opinion is the same as that of many others who have experience with learning at home; in purely "sit down at home learning time" it looks more like 2 hours a day, less for a young child, more if one is attempting to prep for an AP chem exam or study literature. 

I do have a child who went on to college without ever going to elementary or high school, she has

graduated college and is now in law school. Her high school years were entirely self-directed. I think she studied German, math, piano and kung-fu. I never counted the hours and neither did she. Do I feel our time homeschooling was entirely successful? Yes and no. Academically? No question. Functionally? We all survived, my kids are the most wonderful human beings I know, but I spent more time worrying about how I could get everyone to behave and conform to the ideas I had about how our school at home should look, than the amount of compassion employed as I went about accomplishing it. This is a real regret. Steiner was correct. The greatest work is the work of how, not what we bring to the student.

Only 2 hours a day?! What else can the kids be doing? What else do they normally do? Do you spend time outside? Go!  (When allowed by your local powers that be, or having a back yard.) Do you read aloud together? Do more! Do you cook or bake together? Make lunch or dinner an elaborate affair. Do they play Legos while listening to audiobooks? (Our kids also like to fold origami, draw, paint, twirl a baton or work on a puzzle while listening to audiobooks.) Are there chores that need to be done? You are all home; recruit the forces. If you have an adolescent who likes to dance, maybe you can be an extra cool parent and agree to make a Tik-Tok thingy with her. I may cave soon, I already let her give me a makeover, gosh...maybe we could increase the amount of hours needed for schoolwork after all. 


  1. Do you have all five back home now? Do you know the book "The Hidden Power of Kindness"? That book is a perfect reminder to be kind and loving.

  2. Hello Eva; how nice to hear from a friend and expert homeschooler! As to kids, no, I have four home, one is in the city, studying online. I have not read that book. I think I will try to find a copy; thank you for the recommendation. Hope you are all well!


Thank you for stopping by. I am always happy to hear from you! Please leave a comment and let me know how you feel about a post or add advice, anecdotes, etc. of your own.