A Typical Day
The Department of Non Public Education mandates that home schools operate “on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year.” They recommend (though do not require) at least five hours of instruction a day and at least 180 days of instruction per year.
But the beauty of homeschooling is that, by and large, you set your own schedule. Some parents teach their children at home Monday through Friday; some teach at home three days a week and attend supplemental programs the other days. Some families wake at 6:00 am and finish by noon; others homeschool in the evenings and leave the days for activities.
“My children know what subjects they are required to get through each day,” says Bartscher. “I have one child that begins his day with History, Science, and Reading, while others prefer to start their day with Arithmetic. They work steadily through the morning, and we are generally done by around 1:00 pm. Sometimes we are finished sooner, and sometimes later depending on what we have going on throughout the day.”
“We usually start school around 10:00 or whenever the baby is napping and the toddler is entertained with her own activity,” says Willis, mother to three children but only one old enough for traditional schooling. “We do all the things she actively needs me beside her to do first. Then she will take her work away from the littles and finish on her own. It usually only takes a few hours to complete. Some days we are going to various activities so she does most of her school in the car. We do a lot of field trips!”
Having such a flexible and self-regulated schedule can be both a blessing and a curse. “The biggest challenge of homeschooling that I’ve run into this year is really just trying to find a style and a flow that works for your family dynamic,” says Travaglini who homeschools her kindergarten-aged son while caring for her two younger children.
“Our biggest challenge homeschooling would have to be sticking to a routine because we are free spirits,” adds Fullilove. “We cherish the flexibility homeschooling gives us. Some days get busier than others and we fit lessons on a weekend, but never for more than fifteen minutes. We also love the ability to make our schedules around family vacations, sick days and sunny days, where it’s too beautiful outside to work inside.”