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YES YES YES!!!! I agree with all of this! As a homeschooler AND as a parent who used to have a child in school. Seriously, I really can't believe people think they can put very very little time and effort into homeschooling and think that's ok. If you think that's all they're getting at public schools, you really have a warped view of what school is. And at public school, that responsibility is split between various teachers. With homeschooling, the primary burden of coordinating and providing academic and art instruction, socialization, and enrichment is up to the parent. That is a huge job. And part of the reason I have to deal with inlaws that think homeschooling is a joke and is going to ruin our son is because as public school teachers, they were faced with tons of children re-entering the school system after sub-par homeschooling where they were literally given an hour or two a day of instruction and then were left to their own devices (or video games.) When in reality, we have a very wonderful homeschooling community in our area, and judging from talking to other parents, at least 5 hours a day of teaching is the norm, on top of the tremendous amount of effort it takes to make sure you provide opportunities for a well-rounded enriching stimulating development.
Some kids pick up on things a lot faster than other kids. It make take one child 10 minutes to grasp a concept that another child takes 2 weeks to get. Some children are more self-motivated than others. Some children are better at working independently than others. All children are different. Plus, some parents are more efficient than others. It's crazy to say that all homeschoolers need to do x minutes of instruction per day. That is school stuff. The whole point of homeschooling is so you can tailor your instruction to your child. If you child gets x math concept in 10 minutes, there is no point on harping on it for 30, just so they get their "30 minutes" of instruction in.
I'm one of those parents who only does 1 to 1 1/2 hours with my K/1 student and she is doing just fine. A year ago she couldn't read, and now she reads rather well. I think that is pretty darn good. I mean, the whole goal of K is to teach reading right, and lots of public schooled kids aren't reading at the starts of 1st grade. Her math skills and knowledge have increased. A year ago, she couldn't write all her letters and now she can. A year ago she couldn't write sentences and spell simple words, and now she can all on her own. So, yes it is definitely possible for a younger child anyway to get everything they need in 1 hour of parent instruction.
My older child does do more school, but i would say 5-6 hours is a "bad" day. A, "good" day (and typical day) would be 4 hours, and her skills have all improved. She is learning. In some subjects she knows more than I do (ie. history, she loves history and spends a lot of time reading history books on her own, she is more knowledgable about that than *I* am). She spends hours a day reading on her own. A year ago she didn't know cursive, or her multiplication tables or what direct object is, or what the word "kinesis" means or that "contemporary" means "with time" or who Booker T Washington is, or who Rembrant was, or the difference between whales and dolphins and now she knows all that (and more). And, I bet a lot of public schooled kids going into 4th grade may not know all that.
Just because YOU can't imagine doing less than 5 hours of school a day, doesn't mean that other parents (with different children) can't do it in less.
I don't struggle and worry about my kids education. I see almost every day that they know more than i thought, that they are learning new things, that they are taking initiative. Every day I see them growing and maturing and improving in their skills. Plus, I like teaching my kids and I see value in them learning something *from their mother and father*. To this day, I remember the things my mothers and father taught me (how to cook, how to sew, how to take care of a car) more than I remember things that a teacher taught me. I think in our society we are so used to outsourcing all instruction of our kids to experts (not just school, but swimming lessons, music lessons, art lessons, etc.) that I think we forget that as parents we are capable of teaching more than we think. Of course, my kids do take lessons from an expert in subjects I am not skilled at (ie. like music/piano)..but other things like swimming, my daughter had becomes a much better instructor from working with me than she ever did during her swimming lessons.