A Typical Homeschool Day

What Do Homeschoolers Do All Day?

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According to the National Home Education Research Institute, as of 2016, there were approximately 2.3 million homeschooled students in the United States. Those two-million-plus students hail from a variety of backgrounds and belief systems.

The NHERI states that homeschooling families are,

"...atheists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas. One study shows that 32 percent of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and others (i.e., not White/non-Hispanic) (Noel, Stark, & Redford, 2013)."

With the wide diversity found in the homeschooling community, it's easy to see why it's difficult to label any day a "typical" homeschool day. There are as many ways to homeschool and as many ways to accomplish each days' goals as there are homeschooling families.

Some homeschooling parents model their day after a traditional classroom, even starting their day reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The rest of the day is spent doing sit-down work, with a break for lunch and perhaps recess.

Others arrange their homeschool schedule to suit their own needs and preferences, taking into account their own high- and low-energy periods and their family's work schedules.

While there is no "typical" day, here are some organizational generalities many homeschooling families share:

1. Homeschooling Families May Not Start School Until Late Morning.

Since homeschoolers don't need to dash for the school bus, it's not uncommon for homeschooling families to make their mornings as calm as possible, starting off with a family read-aloud, housekeeping, or other low-key activities.

While many homeschooling families get up and get school started around the same time as children in a traditional school setting, others prefer to sleep later and avoid the drowsiness that plagues many school kids. 

This flexibility is especially helpful to families with teenage students. Studies have shown that teens need 8-10 hours of sleep each night, and it's not uncommon for them to have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m.

2. Many Homeschoolers Prefer to Ease Into the Day With Routine Tasks.

Although some children prefer to get their most difficult tasks out of the way first thing, others find it stressful to dive into complex subjects first thing. That's why many homeschooling families opt to start the day with routines like chores or music practice.

Many families enjoy beginning with "morning time" activities such as reading aloud, completing memory work (such as math facts or poetry), and listening to music or creating art. These activities can help kids get warmed up for tackling new tasks and skills that demand more concentration.

3. Homeschoolers Schedule Their Toughest Subjects for Prime Time.

Everyone has a time of day in which they are naturally more productive. Homeschoolers can take advantage of their peak hours by scheduling their toughest subjects or most involved projects for those times.

That means that some homeschooling families will have math and science projects, for example, completed by lunch while others will save those activities for later in the afternoon, or even at night or on the weekends.

4. Homeschoolers Really Do Get Out for Group Events and Other Activities.

Homeschooling isn't all sitting around the kitchen table hunched over workbooks or lab equipment.

Most homeschoolers try to get together with other families on a regular basis, whether for co-op classes or outdoor play.

Homeschooling families are often active in the community with volunteer work, drama teams, sports, music, or art.

5. Most Homeschooling Families Allow for Regular Quiet Time Alone.

Education experts say that students learn best when they're given some unstructured time to pursue their own interests and privacy to work without someone watching over their shoulder.

Some homeschooling parents use quiet time as a chance to work with one child individually while the others are busy on their own. Quiet time also gives kids the opportunity to learn how to entertain themselves and avoid boredom.

Other parents choose to have quiet time for the entire family each afternoon. During this time, they can enjoy their own down time by reading a book, answering email, or taking a quick power nap.

No two homeschooling families are the same, nor are two homeschool days. However, many homeschooling families do appreciate having a somewhat predictable rhythm to their days. These general concepts for organizing a homeschool day are those that tend to be fairly common in the homeschooling community.

And even though the homes of many homeschooling families look nothing like a traditional classroom, you can bet that learning is one of the things that homeschoolers do all day, at any time during the day or night.

Updated by Kris Bales

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Ceceri, Kathy. "A Typical Homeschool Day." ThoughtCo, Oct. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/a-typical-homeschool-day-1833376. Ceceri, Kathy. (2017, October 10). A Typical Homeschool Day. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/a-typical-homeschool-day-1833376 Ceceri, Kathy. "A Typical Homeschool Day." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/a-typical-homeschool-day-1833376 (accessed November 24, 2017).