School hours

Hi there. I,m just wondering if anyone can tell me if I would have to stick to the normal school hours (9-3), if I was to change my sons schooling to home education?. Would it really matter, as long as they have the 6 hours a day?.


I moved this to its own thread as it was in danger of getting lost.

There is no need to keep to school hours, follow a rigid timetable or set curriculum if you opt for home education. These things are all constructs of the mass schooling system in which crowd control is the major challenge.

This article may give you a flavour of what's possible when you throw off the school shackles.

:welcome: to the forums, by the way.

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
Welcome Christine , enjoy the freedom children, never stop learning when given the freedom to follow their own interests.


Home educators often say that they educate 24/7. There are no set times and there are no set rules to home education. A real education can be happening when you are talking to your children, watching t.v., dvds, doing chores, cooking, cleaning, sorting out the finances... anything. As they become more used to working on their own, your children will set their own times and schedules.

Some people do 'school' type of home ed, and others (like us) don't. We follow whatever the child wants to do (it's called autonomous learning). There is nothing like seeing the enthusiasm of a youngster who is doing something he or she likes and is interested in. Magic!

Regarding school hours, if you remove time taken for crowd control, moving from classroom to classroom, getting ready for a class and lunch break/playtimes, it's nowhere near 6 hours of learning time. Then subtract the time spent not being up to speed, slightly confused as to what is required, staring out the window through boredom, distraction etc. and it becomes even less ;) and if you're counting actual, personal, teacher contact time it's more like a few minutes a week :der:


If you look at how much time is spent on any subject in a lesson it is plane to see, i saw a resent report about p.e. sayiny that in a 45min lesson the children only spent 8 mins each in physical activity, if you roll that out over the rest of the day, children get about 30-40 mins a day.
I saw a report once that reckoned that school was about 25% efficient, so out of five hours of lessons, that's a mere one hour, 15 minutes of useful learning. Take into account the requirement for schools to be open for 380 half-days (190 days), that's 237.5 hours of learning a year. So if, like many home educators, you are educating every day of the year, 40 minutes of useful education a day is good enough.