Yes, homeschooling is a full-time job. By using the word job I am not denoting something negative. By using the term job I am referring to the amount of time spent. While all homeschooling families are different, most would probably tell you that homeschooling is not just a small blip in their day. Even unschoolers are “on call” ready to support their child’s learning. I recently cataloged my time spent in direct homeschooling activities for one day. This doesn’t include trips to the library or any extra reading about different resources, programs, curricula, or strategies. It doesn’t include taking advantage of incidental learning opportunities that happen during the day either.
My catalog of time began when we started school for the day.
Read aloud to both boys – 30 minutes
Discussion about recent book read with oldest son – 45 minutes
Started older son on math and then read aloud to younger son – 45 minutes
Made cookie dough with boys (geography project) – 30 minutes
Decorated a cookie cake with boys to look like a map of China – 30 minutes
Set up older son on foreign language and then listened to younger son read to me – 30 minutes
Set up younger son on foreign language and did a grammar lesson with older son – 30 minutes
Read science book to younger son – 20 minutes
10 minute break (to do laundry)
Did short science experiment with boys 10 minutes
Read science book to older son – 20 minutes
That was the end of our school day. After kids were asleep I spent about 90 minutes marking grades, reserving library books, and getting the next day’s activities ready. Everyday is different, but our school days are typically a little longer and preparation time is typically shorter.
So all together it adds up to over 6 hours of focused time spent that day. If you add to that all the other things homeschooling related it isn’t hard to get to 8 hours a day. There are different ways to homeschool and different curricula that would be less time-intensive for the parent. I could go that route. But I love the individualization that putting together your own curriculum provides.
So yes, homeschooling is a full-time job. It isn’t an easy job, but I think it is the best job in the world.