Truth be told, there is no one answer to the question, “How long does the homeschool year really take?” Every homeschool family handles their routine differently. But that’s the beauty of homeschool—complete flexibility! We’ll explain what options are available and how you can divide your time to extend or condense the homeschool year to fit your needs and preferences.
How Long Does a Day of Homeschool Take?
Let’s start with one day at a time. According to parents who take Abeka’s Parent-Led approach, it takes them around 3 to 4 hours per day to get through the required subjects and subsequent seatwork. With that said, moms shared that they do not require their kids to take on every opportunity for seatwork. Not all of it is necessary, but it’s all there in case your child needs help working through or reviewing challenging concepts. Some moms who take a parent-led approach mix in videos on demand for certain subjects and lead the others themselves, depending on the needs of their kids.
To break it down further, each subject’s lessons take around 40 minutes, and there are five subjects. That amounts to a little less than 3.5 hours per day.
When you’re considering how long the homeschool year will take, think of it this way: If there are 170 lessons in a calendar year, you’re likely looking at homeschooling for around 34 weeks out of the 52-week calendar year. But there’s flexibility in how you want to take on those 34 weeks of school.
Here’s what one mom said about the length of the video lessons for 7th grade:
“I would say that each class video averages between 30-45 minutes for 7th grade.”
If you decide to do longer days for four days out of the week, you could skip school on Fridays and do something fun!
On the other hand, spreading school work out into 3 hours, five days a week will allow you and your family more each day to spend quality time together, play outside, take care of chores, and just enjoy the freedom homeschool affords.
Both ways provide flexibility! It’s up to you to decide what works best for your family.
One 3rd grade homeschool mom said:
“If your kids are elementary age, then it wouldn’t take that long…I’m thinking around 2.5 to 3 hours a day for elementary grades.”
And on the flip side, if you wanted to double up one day a week and do 6 hours worth of lessons on one day, you could speed up the school year. On the extreme side, if you are able to take on 6 hours worth of lessons every day, technically, you could get the school year done in half the time. That may not be a realistic plan, because two days’ worth of lessons could be too much for both you and your kids, but it’s nice that it’s a possibility!
As a reminder, homeschool families should check their state’s homeschool laws, as requirements vary from state to state. HSLDA’s website is a great starting point and provides detailed information on homeschool laws specific to each state. Click this link to view their website for additional information.
Doing homeschool year-round means more breaks throughout. You can give yourself an extended summer, or space outbreaks from school to allow your family to take vacations throughout the year instead of during the hot, crowded months of summer.
This style of homeschool can accommodate any combination of lifestyles and schedules. You and your kiddos can do school Monday through Wednesday and take off Thursday and Friday. If your spouse has an unconventional schedule that includes working on weekends, it might mean that your kids are able to spend more time with him or her. Homeschooling all year long can actually be an even more flexible way to do it. Here’s what a few moms we talked to had to say:
One year-round homeschool mom said they stick to 3- and 4- day weeks:
“We take two weeks between both semesters. We do 3-day weeks in June and July, and 4-day weeks the rest of the year. Then we take breaks for holidays, birthdays, and vacations.”
Another mom said she keeps things flexible to what’s happening in life:
“We take breaks when life happens! We also sometimes do Saturday school and school on the road. Teach your kids to adapt to and learn in various surroundings and the benefits will last a lifetime.”
One mom shared that she likes to set up breaks midway and in the summer:
“We do a six week on, one week off schedule. Then we take the entire month of December off and then either June or July.”
The bottom line is that you get to choose what fits what your family enjoys. It’s all up to you! You can do homeschool your way, and meet the needs of your family while spending more quality time together. Isn’t homeschool awesome?