Time Wasted In School Part 2: Homeschooling At School?

Continuing on from part 1, we have homerooms and study halls at public school. Homerooms are where students check in and get their attendance marked off. They also receive any important announcements here—such as schedule changes.
Homerooms are roughly 15 minutes long. No educational learning takes place.
Also, everyone usually has at least one study hall in their schedule, and many have two. Now, as the name indicates, a study hall is supposed to be a time where—instead of having another class—you spend the entire period studying, or working on homework.
This is not what happens, typically.
From personal observation, what takes place in study hall in order of frequency is as follows:
  1. Chatting with peers
  2. Playing free online computer games (in my day “Crush the Castle” and “Run ‘N Gun” were all the rage)
  3. Texting and/or doing whatever it is people do on their smart phones
  4. Flirting
  5. Homework
So depending on what kind of student you are, what your priorities are, and whether or not you even have any homework to work on…study hall can be either completely unproductive, or a helpful way to get your homework out of the way.
However, since I’m only counting the time spent being instructed, study hall doesn’t count. Any learning that does take place during study hall is accomplished by the student and by the student alone. They are reading the text book and figuring the problems out on their own. Study hall becomes homeschooling at that point, since the student is not being instructed by a teacher in a classroom, but by a book and their own mind—homeschooling.
Like I said earlier, pretty much everyone had at least one study hall, many had two. For the sake of this illustration, I’ll subtract only one study hall period. Since periods at my school were roughly 45 minutes long, I’ll subtract 45 minutes. This subtraction combined with homeroom leaves us short another full hour, bringing our 6 hour total at the end of part 1 now down to 5.
Still, 5 solid hours of education? That’s pretty darn good, right? Well, we’re not finished.

Click here for part 3!


  1. Insightful post!
    As I have never stepped foot in a public school, I have always wondered what it was like inside the building.
    These posts have really opened my eyes.
    Thanks for posting!
    I look forward to reading the rest of them. 🙂

  2. Wow. I always felt kind of bad that I spent less time “in school” than other people, especially public schooled students. It seems like whenever I talked to them about homeschooling, the point always came up about how much time we each spent in school, and that somehow whomever spent more time in school was automatically smarter.

    Of course I knew that wasn’t the case, but these posts only help to hammer the point home more. Thanks for posting; I can’t wait for the next one!

  3. Exactly. Being locked up in a building 8 hours a day does NOT mean you are learning for 8 hours, far from it.

    I’m glad these posts can help arm you in the public vs. home schooling debate!

    There is definitely much more time wasted in public school than I have gone over thus far, so definitely keep reading!

  4. I’m glad these posts are enlightening. 🙂

  5. They are quite! 🙂

  6. My sons just wrapped up the school year at a public school. This school is the highest-rated one in our town and most people think highly of it. The kindergartener must have told me at least ten times in the last two months that he “watched a movie” that day. Now many of these, though not all, were educational (Super Why – for example, a show that airs on PBS to help kids learn reading. The show itself is ok, but wastes about half the time with repetitive songs and such. Also it is too easy for my son now since he started school knowing how to read due to my home instruction). But does that really count as real teaching? The kindergarten also had a “diploma” ceremony during that last week that took more than two hours. The last three days were shortened by an hour, something that also took place monthly throughout the school year for teacher planning.
    Now my sixth grader also had a similar report of watching movies almost daily for the last month. In addition to that there were two weeks allotted for state tests. The tests took about three to four hours total (out of the two weeks!). But the ENTIRE rest of the time was designated for independent reading for the rest of the afternoons so that the school would be quiet for testing (even though all testing was over in the morning). While I am ok with an end of year celebration, his class had nothing but movie watching and parties the last three days of school. There are many more examples I could give you, but my gist is that no homeschool family that is putting in a few hours a day on the most important academics should feel they aren’t putting it the equivalent of public schools, because you’ve probably already passed their actual teaching time.
    If you’re wondering why they attend public school at this point, it’s because my husband has mind set that they are going to be missing out socially (HA!) and aren’t going to get enough education unless they are in the typical school setting. He has been ok with doing pre-school at home for the younger two children. My older son was accepted to a special advanced middle school. It was something I was not expecting and it is probably a blessing under the situation where my husband is set on public school, as it is smaller and they do not put up with bad behavior/refusal to do schoolwork, etc. Still if anyone reading my post feels compelled, please pray for continued guidance for my husband and I in choosing and assisting the childrens’ educations.

  7. I agree with your husband in a sense, the social aspect. I left school for a year, before high school, it was a good year but socially speaking, it was quite horrible, it truly was, after going back to high school I now have learnt to appreciate school, the educational and social aspect of it, though at the same time there are definitely a lot of down sides to public schooling, and depending on the kid, there may be more down sides that good sides…

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