What Should Kids Do When They Complete Their Homeschool Day?

By Melissa Batai

Public school kids go to school approximately seven hours a day and then come home and complete one to three hours of homework, depending on their ages and the classes they are taking. School takes up a large portion of their time, and their free time is limited. Homeschoolers, on the other hand, can likely complete all of their school work in three to five hours, depending on their ages. They have a lot of free time. But what should kids do when they complete their homeschool day?

Homeschooling parents have differing opinions about that. You’ll need to decide how to handle free time based on your beliefs and values and whether you work from home and need some time to get your own work done.

Let them Be

On the one hand, some parents embrace the philosophy of letting them be. Once kids complete their homeschool work for the day and do their chores, they are free to decide how to spend their remaining time.

This approach allows the children to explore and partake in activities that interest them. Also, they develop more independence because they choose what to do with the remainder of their day. However, some kids may tend to rely too heavily on electronics during this time.

Structure Their Free Time

On the other hand, some parents don’t see unscheduled free time as a good idea. Instead, they provide their kids with more structure.

Give Them Family Responsibilities

Some parents increase their children’s family responsibilities. While the kids likely have chores to complete, they also get more family responsibilities. For instance, maybe your tween starts making dinner once a week on an assigned day. Maybe your 12-year-old is in charge of maintaining the lawn. These increased responsibilities also help the kids grow in independence.

Brainstorm Things They Could Do

Other parents create a long list of activities their children can do. If the kids complain, “I’m bored!”, their parents direct them to the list. The list might include items such as

  • Walk the dog
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Read a book
  • Go outside and play
  • Play with your sister
  • Complete one craft

The idea is to include both fun activities and chores or other responsibilities the child can do. If you pay your kids an allowance for the work they do around the house, you could include some extra chores so the kids can earn additional money if they choose.

Enroll Them in an Outschool Class

Outschool is an online platform that offers classes for kids of all ages and interests. My kids take a lot of Outschool classes. My daughter is in several book clubs and also takes ballet and musical theater classes. My other daughter takes a singing class as well as several acting classes.

If you don’t have the time or ability to drive your child around town several days a week for extracurriculars, Outschool can be a way to fill those needs and help your child explore her hobbies.

Take Them to the Library

Another good idea is to take your kids to the library once a week or every other week. Some parents have their kids read at least 20 minutes a day before they get electronics. Others might have bookworms who naturally gravitate to books. Either way, the more you encourage your children to read, the stronger their vocabulary, spelling, and knowledge become.

Join Some Outside Activities

If you have time, encourage your kids to join activities outside the house such as a co-op or a sport, or an extracurricular. Your kids will learn new skills and have the chance to interact with other kids.

Limited Electronics

Some parents like to limit their kids’ electronic access. If you have a kid who spends all of his time gaming or just scrolling the Internet, you might want to consider doing this so your child can explore new activities. You could set a schedule when the kids are allowed online, or you could use an app such as Circle that automatically turns off the Internet after a prescheduled amount of time.

Final Thoughts

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that your children have more free time than children who attend public school. Use these tips to find ways to help your children fill their time in worthwhile ways that both entertain and educate them.