Homeschool Time by Age: How Much They Really Need

As a working mom newly starting with homeschooling back in 2017, I desperately wanted guidance, step-by-step instructions and an operating manual. I didn’t trust myself to make this work. And I definitely wanted to know what was considered the right amount of homeschool time by age

How much homeschooling would my kids need so that they succeeded? How many hours would they be expected to sit and quietly do work? And going on their time in public school, how was I ever going to fit all those hours into my already hectically busy day?!

It took some time, but eventually I figured everything out. So in the post today, I’m going to tell you what I found out and what works for us. And I bet you’re going to be pretty surprised by what I have to share!

Homeschool Time by Age

If you’re really busy, then I’m going to leave the recommended homeschool time by age here. But, if you’re really interested in creating a homeschool environment that’s perfect for your kiddo, then be sure to read on! 

homeschool time by age

This is a graphic created by the Illinois Board of Education during Covid. Granted, it’s done by grade, but it’s a good general idea of what is the recommended homeschool time by age. 

If you look at the minimum time and the length of attention, it makes homeschooling feel doable, right? There’s no need for 8 hours of workbooks and face-to-face teaching from you as a working mom. 

You’re welcome to stop reading if that’s what you came for. But I’d love to expand on the idea to make it even more doable! I have some tips that can make the time for homeschooling even easier to manage and more effective for your kiddo. 

Learning Never Stops

Realizing that learning never stops was a gamechanger for me. It meant that everything was a learning opportunity for my kids. And I’ve had the chance to teach them really useful skills:

  • My kids are learning how to do chores. It takes more practice than you think! 
  • We cook and bake together, which is another super useful skill. 
  • The boys come with me to run errands so they learn how to interact with lots of different kinds of people
  • They see my husband and I working on our businesses. Entrepreneurship is incredibly useful! 
I actually just created a reel about this. 👇🏻

An Engaged Homeschooler Needs Less Time

When we started out, homeschool math was a huge issue for us. I was afraid to teach this subject I hated and my kids were so resistant. 

We tried loads of different methods and curricula that just didn’t work. It was so frustrating and it took lots of time to get even a few questions answered. 

Luckily we found CTCMath (you know how much I love them), and everything slotted into place. Even though we had to go back a bit, the boys flew ahead and finished two grades in a year!

They did this by doing a maximum of 15 minutes a day, 4 days a week. They were doing the recommended amount of homeschool time by age. But they were achieving so much during the time! 

This is when I learnt that an engaged homeschooler needs less time to do more. Game changer, right?!

Finding Engaging Materials for your Kiddo

Here are some ways to find things that work to engage your child:

  • Don’t compare yourself. One curriculum might work for loads of people, but it doesn’t mean it will definitely work for your kid. 
  • Be open to taking a different path. Maybe a curriculum is not the best way for your kid. You could try unschooling, for example. 
  • Let your child be involved. If your kid has a say, they might be more open to trying new things. 
  • Lean into their interests. We did lots dinosaur-themed lessons when the boys were small. Now it’s all about Minecraft and Mario. 
These are a few things that worked for us. I think at the end of the day, being open, unlearning your preconceived notions about education and testing and tweaking often, will help you to find what really works. 

The Power of Year-round Homeschooling

My final suggestion is one I share a lot. We started year-round homeschooling early on and it made a world of different for me as a working mom and for my kids too. 

The reason why I’m so passionate about year-round homeschooling is because it’s so simple, yet so powerful. All you have to do is continue what you’re doing, but just do less of it. So simple! 

But why does year-round homeschool work? And how does it save time? I’ve identified two reasons from my experiences. 

Year-round Saves Time

Firstly, when you homeschool year-round, you can do less every day. It means you can reduce the homeschool time by age even more! 

This is such a win for time management as a working homeschool mom. It becomes much easier to fit the homeschooling you need to do into your busy schedule. 

Avoid the Dreaded Slide

Another fantastic benefit of year-round homeschooling is that you avoid the slides that happen after vacations. Trust me that these can be brutal! So it’s worth it to not have them! 

When you homeschool year-round, your kiddos stay in a routine. Their is continuity in their learning which means that you save time by not having to go back and review things. 

Apart from that, you also avoid the resistance it takes to get back into the swing of things. This used to take us up to a month! That’s a lot of time wasted!

Final Thoughts on Homeschool Time by Age

When you’re just starting out a new working homeschool mom, this can all seem pretty overwhelming. But I want to assure you one again, that you will figure it all out!

It may just take some trial and error. But if you’re in it for the long run, you’ll get there! If you do want to speed up the process, then be sure to reach out. I would love to walk with you on this exciting journey! 

Charlotte Jones - Working Homeschool Mom Coach

Follow me InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for more homeschool shenanigans, advice and resources. And please check out my working homeschool mom coaching if you need some extra help and support.

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