Topic | Anyone else have to keep yearly hours? We do short lessons and I'm coming up short:( Help ple

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Tristan 4 years, 7 months ago.

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  • amama5

    I had a detailed record of our yearly hours (1000 required), but then remembered I have to separate core hours(need 600) from non-core hours, so I went back and did that and I am WAY short.  We do 36 weeks of school, 3-12 week terms, and we basically do it year round with 3 week breaks (where we still do math).  The children I homeschool right now are 8 and under, and I’m not sure where to make up the hours without making them hate school!  Math is 30 minutes a day, they do copywork/handwriting/dictation ect. for 10 minutes 4x/week, we do science 2x a week for about 20 minutes, we have history/geography together for 30 minutes each day, and we have language arts together and individually about 60 minutes a day.  That’s not including our picture studies/nature studies, Bible, spanish, PE, etc. 

    Am I not doing enough school?  I feel very discouraged and wondering if I need to maybe buy a boxed curriculum that would help me get more hours in but I don’t want to, I like SCM:(  Anyone have thoughts?  Thank you!


    what about adding in some audio books or read alouds for literature/language arts/history/science?


    So how many hours are you short?  I would look for things you do throughout the day that can fall into those categories:. Family game night (many board games involve math skills, mad libs are great for LA) bedtime read aloud, baking involves measuring and reading to follow a recipe.  Audio books and videos can help, too.  Studying pioneers, watch the Little House series.  I don’t know which time period you are studying but I’m sure someone here can help you find something appropriate for your age group. Same for science.  I think you are doing plenty, especially for the age group.  adding hours will probably be easier than you realize.


    What is included in ‘core’ hours?  I would include picture study and nature study if your children are narrating, which would be language arts – oral composition skills.  Do your children read independently at all?  More language arts. (Many classes have 15 – 20 minutes of ‘silent reading’ time).  Do you have a poetry tea time?  And why not count Bible? That involves reading and narrating!  Is P.E. not core?  It sure should be!  Do you do memorization work?  That’s language practice.

    Don’t forget about field trips.  Comparing prices at the grocery store is math.  For that matter, helping to meal plan and write out a grocery list could be copywork or math (If everyone eats 1 apple per day, how many apples do we need for a week?)  Do you go to the library?  Language arts! Museum? Science center? Historical village?

    Be creative and think about what you do all day and what skills it involves.  Also, don’t forget that in school, there is a lot of extra time involved.  If the kids do a science experiment, they also do clean-up, which is all part of ‘science’ time, for example. Count that time!



    I agree with 4my boys. I would put a tape on in the car when you are going anywhere. You would be surprised how much that adds up. Are you counting your History, Science ect… as reading time also??? Two for the price of one.  How about breaking up the Handwriting, copywork, and dictation. Are you counting seperate time for those? I consider Handwriting and spelling two different core subjects. IMA that is. tehe he

      What about videos? If you watched educational videos that counts.  What about computer time? Lots of great computer games out there to practice those skills when they are not busy.  Even U-tube videos on things they are interested in.  My son right now is interested in frogs. He was on the computer looking up everything under the sun on what kind of frogs he would like to own someday in the near future. 🙂  Research papers printed out do count towards the lesson. 🙂  Gardening skills if you had one last year count towards Science. Measuring cups and teaspoons while cooking/baking are science also. Some things double.  Like outdoor time. Not only nature study but what about the time they spent on their bike? that is PE and that is what is expected in a school.  You may think about the times you went to the beach or on a road trip somewhere. Did you count that?  There are so many things that can double in both subjects or are learning experiances.  The school systems count going to a zoo or on a feild trip as learning. So can you.

      I am sure you will find your hours you put in.  It isn’t that hard to make them up if behind or find the lost ones. 🙂


    sorry posted same time as Joanne. 🙂


    Also don’t forget about life skills and home economics. Any time your children are in the kitchen with you, even if they’re just stirring a pot, I would count it as home ec. I would count any chores as school hours because they are learning: responsibility, hard work, work ethic, dependability.

    Trips to the library is reading time and a field trip. Public school kids get to count library time as school time, why shouldn’t you?

    Time at church is reading, music, and social studies because they are doing all of those things. If they go to kids’ church and come home with an art project, there’s 30 minutes of art right there! I would also consider any Bible reading, in or out of church, to be history.

    Any time playing outside is P.E.

    Digging in the dirt, catching bugs, even burning ants with a magnifying glass! are all science. Do you have a garden? If they help you plant it and you talk about seeds and water and sunshine, there’s science too!

    You can turn anything into a math lesson. When they’re folding socks, talk about what a pair is and counting by twos. During snack time, use the apples or raisins or whatever as manipulatives. Sorting, counting, color recognition, shapes, all are math for the very young ones. Sort laundry into colors, sort silverware, sort colors. Count by twos, threes, fives, etc. Put magnet letters on the fridge and call it spelling!

    Do you listen to music while you cook or clean? Have the kids help you in the kitchen and use that as music appreciation time.

    Any time spent in free coloring, painting, play doh, stamping, etc. is art. If your children play with puppets or dress up and put on plays or even make believe games, call that theater or fine arts!

    Our states are so dumb to think that homeschool children don’t get in enough academics just because they’re not sitting in a classroom. I would doubt very seriously if an 8yo public schooled child get 1000 hours of actual schooling time in a year.

    And now I will step off my soapbox. Wink



    Have you seen these?  She has the same laws we do! 😉 Maybe something in here can help you with this.


    Keep in mind, you don’t have to keep hours for anyone who is under the age of 7 on the first day that marks the beginning of your school “year.”

    Taken from the HSLDA site:

    A child is not subject to compulsory attendance unless he is age 7 at the beginning of his school term. If a parent determines their school term will begin September 1, and the child turns 7 on September 15, the child will not be of compulsory age until the following year. Parents have no legal duty to offer 1000 hours of instruction or keep any records until a child is age 7 at the beginning of his school term.

    Hours are a pain.  I round up or down, and usually keep it at quarter hours.  And I try to keep it the same throughout the week.  I almost always count .3 for grammar for instance, even though we do 2 lessons sometimes.  Other times it might take a little less time if we do one short lesson, but if I keep it always at .3, it’s easy to remember and it all averages out right.  

    Hope this helps!  



    Feeling much better now after talking with hubby and all of you:)  So some of you are in my state!  Those links were very helpful sheraz, thank you.  I went to a session at the library and the spokeswoman made it very clear that you can only count exact minutes, not credit hours.  So I will be reading those links again.

    Core hours are reading/math/science/language arts/social studies and 400 of those have to be at home.  I have plenty of non-core hours, but I had forgotten about so much stuff that we do until you all mentioned them.  I hadn’t added our morning/evening bible and memory into anything, and yes, we always listen to books in the car (although it’s hard to keep cassette tapes supplied, they aren’t carrying much anymore:).  I hadn’t thought of the narrating counting, library trips, or as counting my son’s history as reading (even though he is reading it!).  We have watched so many educational videos this year too, I’m just wishing I had written down everything. 

    Speaking of that, so how do you all do that?  I’m not sure my brain can keep up with recording all those little things each day for each child (I have 6, 4 schooling right now).  I know many of you use the organizer, I’m not sure I can.  I have a main spreadsheet with things we do every single week the same, and the hours are added together for me.  Do you just write down little extras (for example my son read a life of fred book of his sister’s for fun) as they happen each day and then add them into your master record?  Thank you again, I have a lot of work to do going back and adding the actual things we’ve done last year and this one. 


    I use a spreadsheet to record hours and I also use the organizer.  When I print out the checklists, I write extra stuff on them if/when we do it and then record it accordingly when I bring the checklists in to record hours and upate the organizer.  Before I used the organizer, I wrote them down on paper, under a subject heading and then recorded them.


    A few things that help me fill-in what hasn’t been recorded:

    •Take a lot of pictures of anything our kids do. Inevitably I’ll see things like a newspaper they’d “published” or a play they took part in that I’d not otherwise recorded.

    •There is a trip itinerary at the front of my weekly planner. There I record any field trips we’ve taken. Many are impromptu, such as a farmer friend having us come over to help press apple cider.

    •Keep (or ask the librarian to print) the list of books we’ve checked out for the year.

    Hope that might be of some help as I don’t know the particulars of your state’s requirements.



    We’re supposed to do 900 hours but don’t have to track what is in each subject. (I’m in Ohio). We school year round and always have over 200 days. Figuring on 200 days that’s 4.5 hours a day. We listen to audio books for 2.5 hours a day (1.5 at quiet time and an hour at bedtime). So that leaves me 2 hours to fill and that’s easy enough.

    Plus – we have audio books, scripture study, PE/outdoor activities, cooking, etc on non school days too, which adds up. About cooking – it’s something we count when my kids take time to help. My 11yo now cooks dinner a few nights a week and the 8yo boy has been baking cakes this month and learning to decorate them in preparation for a Cub Scouts activity. OH! And that reminds me that Cub Scouts and Youth group activities count often as learning activities.

    We have field trips to the zoo, science center, nature center, history museum, etc. These are usually 2-4 hours long and we do at least 1 a month, more in the summer, so that adds up too. My oldest three get the opportunity to take turns coming on Mason’s medical appointments and so they visit hospitals, doctors, therapists and we have had some of the best health/science lessons this way. Imagine being able to ask a specialist how the bladder works and what is different when a child’s nerves don’t work well there (neurogenic bladder). He took my 11 year old through the entire system plus potential treatments and even drew diagrams on the paper of the exam table that we tore off to bring home. (She then narrated it to her daddy!)

    I think the hardest thing is simply noticing the things in a homeschool family’s everyday life that are educational. It truly becomes a lifestyle and integrated into living. My 11 yo was the grocery shopper this week with me, she had to do the price comparisons, ad checking, and more. I was her assistant. When I take one of the younger ones we talk through simpler math like how many containers of yogurt can we get with $7.00? How much money will be left over if we just get one? These things become habit and you don’t notice you’re doing them, but they all work towards our children’s learning.

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