Homeschoolers Need Less Time
A common dispute between public school officials and homeschoolers is the amount of time parents spend per week instructing their children. HSLDA, of course, recognizes that the one-to-one instruction by the parents with their child is far more efficient than the time spent in institutional schools. As a result, the average homeschooler only needs to spend, on the average, two to three hours per day receiving formal instruction. Furthermore, unlimited learning can take place beyond formal instruction by spending “time on task” with various projects and “hands-on” experiences.
Recently, Richard Rossmiller of the University of Wisconsin studied elementary and secondary students throughout the country and discovered some interesting facts on how much time is wasted each year in institutional schools. According to his research, the typical student annually spends 367 hours (more than two hours a day) in activities such as lunch, recess, attendance-taking and class changing, and 66 hours in “process activities” during which teachers answer questions, distribute material and discipline students. In addition, the average pupil is absent from the classroom approximately 108 hours annually and loses about 54 hours to inclement weather, employee strikes, and teacher conferences.
This study further documents the differences between the tutorial method (homeschooling) and the institutional school. Homeschools should not be required to fulfill institutional schools’ hourly requirements without taking into account the inefficient use of time in the classroom.