Learning time in Online Schools
If you are new to homeschooling, it can be hard to decide just how much time should be spent on teaching and learning. As a guide, the average school day in most primary schools in the UK starts at around 9.00 and finishes at 3.15. In general, a six hours school day is fairly average across most European countries and the USA.
Six hours sounds as if it should be enough to include plenty of lessons and learning time in the day. So should you be aiming at providing a full six hours of lessons via home teaching and online schooling too?
The answer is no! And in truth, if you are considering homeschooling and are concerned about filling the day with a rigid timetable of lessons so that your children do not fall behind in the curriculum, you really don’t have too much to worry about.
So where does all the time go?
It is important to remember that other activities, as well as a fair amount of time-wasting, goes on in school. The results can be shocking when you consider how little of the day is actually spent on lessons and learning time.
Most schools have a morning assembly – a coming together for religious reasons or to pass on information to the whole school. This can be time well spent but it eats away around 20 minutes a day. Then there is the daily drama of calling the register, which takes around 10 minutes and is carried out usually in the morning and again in the afternoon.
You need to factor in the 15 minutes morning break and then an hour for lunch. Already we have lost 1 hour 55 minutes in our already short day but this is not the end of the story.
Depending on the school, you must allow around 5 minutes at least for the children to get to the classroom, settle down, get out their books and stop talking. If there are behavioural issues from any of the many children in the class, and there usually are, further time will be wasted while the teacher attempts to maintain order in the classroom.
In many cases, it may take as long as 20 minutes for the class to get underway. Don’t forget the final 5 minutes of the lesson where the books and equipment must be packed away. The hour-long lesson has already been cut down to just 35 minutes at best of learning time.
This does not include the time in class spent on recapping the subject from the week before, handing in homework, and other activities which are inevitable with teaching a large class full of different abilities. This is probably at least 10 minutes but can stretch to the whole lesson. So at best the daily learning time in most schools is no more than 100 minutes on a good day.
Online schooling does not waste time.
Compare this with an online school with structured learning time and lessons.
If you are using an online school you can be confident that your child will be spending far more time on learning than they ever will in the average school.