Heart of Dakota Blog

Heart of Dakota Teaching Tip Blog
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

When you think back to your school days, how long were they?

In public school, my days were close to 8 hours. I also had a couple of hours of homework at night and on the weekends. Of course, the school day at home can and should be shorter! But, what should our expectations be for a homeschool child?

Are your expectations realistic as to how long your school day should be?

Sometimes in our quest for the “shorter day,” we forget that school is meant to be a big part of our child’s day. It is meant to be very important! This means school is not something to “get over with,” so we can get on with our day. Instead, much of our day should be focused upon school.

Is school a priority at your house?

As your child’s teacher, teaching should be a priority and a focal point of your day. It is easy for meals, laundry, cleaning, and caring for little ones to become the focal point of the day. While these are all very important, school needs to be a priority. Molding your day around school takes a different mindset than molding school around your day. Plan for meals, laundry, cleaning, and caring for little ones in a way that doesn’t derail your school day.

How can you make school a priority?

Strive for 30 minute chunks of time to work with individual children. Then, take a brief 5- 10 minute break to move your other needed tasks along. Wait to do grocery shopping, baking, extensive meal preparation, and longer tasks until the afternoon. Strive not to answer the telephone, the doorbell, emails, or texts during school time unless absolutely necessary. Dock your devices and focus on school. Make the time until lunch very productive school-wise. Do your main teaching up until lunch. Then, after lunch finish up whatever remains. Save more independent subjects for students to do after lunch. Don’t drag school out all day. Make it a priority and finish in a timely fashion. Then, move on to your other tasks.

How much time does each guide take?

Little Hands to Heaven = 30 minutes a day (5 days a week)

Little Hearts for His Glory = 90 minutes a day (5 days a week)

Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory = 2 – 2 1/2 hours a day (5 days a week)

Bigger Hearts for His Glory = 3 – 3 1/2 hours a day (5 days a week)

Preparing Hearts for His Glory = 4 hours a day (4 days a week)

Creation to Christ = 4 – 4 1/2 hours a day (4 days a week)

Resurrection to Reformation = 4 – 4 1/2 hours a day (4 days a week)

Revival to Revolution = 4 1/2 hours a day (4 days a week)

Missions to Modern Marvels = 4 1/2 – 5 hours a day (4 days a week)

High School: World Geography = 6 1/2 hours a day (4 days a week)

High School: World History = 7 hours a day (4 days a week)

High School: U.S. History I = 6 1/2 – 7 hours a day (4 days a week)

High School: U.S. History II = 6-7 hours a day (4 days a week)

Note: In the guides from Preparing Hearts on up, an increasing portion of the day is independent. To be effective, work done independently will still need to be monitored and checked.


This Post Has 4 Comments

      1. Edwena Niehaus

        Julie, we are all well thankfully! I just placed my order today for next year’s books. Super excited! Feel free to delete my previous comment about updating it. I just knew you all had put the times out for the other guides when I saw this today. We appreciate all your hard work. Many blessings on you all.

        1. No worries! I was glad to update it! I’m so happy to hear you and your family are doing well. Thank you for your support all of these many years both in prayer and in ordering all you need from Heart of Dakota. We truly depend on both! We pray the Lord richly blesses your upcoming homeschool year with HOD!

          Love in Christ,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



We’re excited you have landed on our blog! We are Carrie and Julie, author and editor of Heart of Dakota homeschool curriculum. Sisters by birth, friends for life, we’ve done most things together for as long as we can remember. Reading, singing, teaching, and raising a house full of boys are just a few of our common interests. So, when it came time to write a curriculum to homeschool our sons, it’s no surprise we worked on it together. These days you’ll find Julie answering your questions at Heart of Dakota, writing the catalog, planning for conventions, blogging, and doing any other creative tasks that need to be done. You’ll find Carrie revising the Heart of Dakota guides, dreaming of new writing projects, and sharing tips with all of you. Our latest venture together is this blog! So, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and join us!




Sign up today to get Carrie’s latest Teaching Tips along with the latest news from Heart of Dakota!