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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Major

Why learning doesn't need to be a 7 hour day

Learning can happen in a school, in a home, or in a million other places. You can go the traditional route or you can try a different route. But if you don't feel that the traditional public school model is for your family, you aren't limited to that only option. ♡

Have you ever thought that you don't have any other options because there's no possible way you could fit a school day on top of all your other responsibilities? What if I told you that learning could happen in 20 minutes? Or that learning could happen while you're doing your daily chores? And that it changes over time and kids don't start off by needing to learn calculus (sometimes they might not ever need that ツ).


Still not convinced? Let me give you a sneak peak into what a day in the life of traditional public school looks like because it can be pretty comical and give you a more realistic idea of the time spent on learning, lol.


For starters, do you know how long it takes for 27 kids to get out a book and turn to a certain page when they don't even know which number is which? Approximately 30 minutes (sometimes longer). Like I''m not even joking. Most of my day as a first grade teacher was spent helping kids transition from different activities, mediating through classmate arguments, and finding a pencil because the 79 we started the day with were magically gone.ツ Any learning that actually took place occurred over very short spurts of time.


And a lot of my time was spent with the students that needed the most help. I remember looking at the clock one day and realizing I had spent 25 minutes with 2 students during a whole math lesson because they weren't understanding it. Before I knew it, it was time for recess and we had to move on. I had 25 other kids that I didn't get a chance to even talk to about their math besides the couple minutes we spent discussing it as a whole class, and that unfortunately is common. We can't possibly help each student, there's only one of us and many of them. If you take the amount of time that kids are in a classroom (actual learning time) and divide that by the amount of kids there are (for me that was 27), that is about 9 minutes per student. Which makes me really sad. Yes, every classroom looks different. Yes, every teacher can have different things in place. But, ultimately, this is a huge issue about large classrooms. Being at home or in other settings with smaller class sizes can be a huge benefit, even if much less time is spent on learning, it's going to be way more valuable.


Every grade and every year might look different, but you don't need hours upon hours in the day. You might not even need one hour. Learning can look so different for each family and for each child. And the thought that always calms me when I start to worry is, "How much do I actually remember from school?" It's not much, lol. Schools often have a lot of lecturing and memorizing, and we don't learn well from those methods anyways. Any lectures I had, I would memorize for a test, and then forget it 2 weeks later. That's not learning. That's learning how to be a good student, which I was really good at.


So what do you need?

+ Small chunks of time for focused schoolwork (5,10, 15 minutes.....this will vary). And each day might look different.

+ Look for opportunities for kids to learn in real life. Making a recipe? Have them help you and learn about fractions or how to double a recipe. Going to the store? Have them count out the money needed to pay for the groceries. Need to hang a picture? Have them measure how big the space is. Learning will become so fun and more impactful for them.

+ Ask for help. There might be times where you feel like you're in over your head. Find others that you can go to for help. Ask someone else to teach a topic you're unsure about. Look for Facebook groups for people you can connect with and look to for advice.

+ Be open to options. Your options aren't public school or homeschool. There are so many options, and many options have a mixture of models. Look around. Ask questions. See what's out there and be okay with trying different things.


I hope this helps calm those doubts when it comes to time. I know how hard it is to fit everything in a day, and it's helpful to know that a traditional school setting is not what the day has to look like for you and your family. You can try different things, you can be flexible, and you can know that learning is fluent and happens in many different shapes and forms.


There really is no one right way and you certainly don't need 7 hours.


Much love,

Brittany

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