Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thirty Things I Don't Count as "Doing School."

A lot of my friends and family who use traditional schools are amazed at how much my girls and I can accomplish in two hours of school a day. (We also go 6 days a week, year round except for brief breaks here and there.)   When I was looking at what we do all day, I realized:  The “two hours” do not include things that most “schools” count as part of the “school day.”

So here is a partial list of the things I don’t count as school.

1. Drinks of Water
2. Snacks
3. Trips to the Restroom
4. Time Spent Disciplining One or More Students.
5. Computer Time (Even if it’s typing, web searching, or educational games!)
6. Videos (Even when they’re educational documentaries. And especially not when they’re Disney.)
7. Oral Quizzes on Reading, Spelling, Math facts or History (Especially if I conduct the quizzes while folding laundry, washing dishes, or driving.)
8. Locating Places on World and US Maps (This is “Recreation” around here.)
9. Silent Reading of Independently Selected Books
10.  Recess
11. Exercise/ Gym
12. Arts and Crafts
13. Music Appreciation
14. Dance
15. Cooperative Play
16. Any Project Done in a Group
17. Discussions of Current Events
18. Lunch
19. Trips to the ‘Nurse’
20. Crosswords, Word Finds, Mazes, Coloring Sheets, Magic Squares, Logic Puzzles or any other ‘Game.’
21. Set up and Clean up
22. Time Spent Looking for Lost Papers
23. Feeding Pets
24. Doodling
25. Sitting at Table While I Work with Siblings
26. Attendance
27. Errands
28. Announcements and Calendar Stuff
29. Lunch Orders
30.  Getting into and out of Coats

It’s not that my kids don’t do all of these things.  In fact, they do most of these on a daily basis.  But we don’t call these things “School.”

School is the time they spend on-task, either receiving one-on-one instruction or completing the work that goes along with what we’ve just covered.  They get 12 hours of this ‘school time’ a week.   How much does your average kid get IN school?   And for how many weeks a year?    That’s how my family accomplishes so much—we may not spend a lot of time every day, but the time we do spend is focused and on task.  (And that’s in spite of the ADHD daughter!)


Blondee said...

Great list!

Laurel said...

fantastic, thank you so much - this really helps relieve my mind that our one hour a day of kindergarten is enough!

MikeSnow said...

If you would be interested in reviewing Oh Holy Night: The Peace of 1914, I would be happy to send the pdf asap.
One review: