Teaching My Baby To Read

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Can 2 hours and 20 minutes a week of meaningful, parent-led instruction lead to 2 extra school years of education by the time your child leaves for college?

Do the math for yourself.

Think about how long your son or daughter is in school each day. Then, subtract lunch, recess, snack, library, PE and school assemblies. What number of instructional hours do you end up with? In our case, this number is about 4 hours a day of solid, prepare-my-child-for-college education. (That’s not to say that recess, snack, lunch, music, and PE aren’t important, because of course they are!)

4 X 180 school days = 720 hours of instructional time in a school year.

720 hours x 2 school years = 1440 hours in two school years

1440 /12 years of Afterschooling = 120 hours a year of Afterschooling you need to do to reach the two extra years of school mark.

Here are some ways to accomplish that:

  • Year-Round Model: 2 hours and 20 minutes a week
  • School Year Only Model: 3 hours a week
  • Summer Heavy Model: 1 hour a day for 50 days of summer + 1 hour and 45 minutes a week while school is in session (This is what our family does.)

What counts as Afterschooling?

Opinions vary on what counts as Afterschooling and you are free to define this for yourself. In my view:

Afterschooling is when parents introduce a core academic pursuit that is in support of, or in addition to, what their child is already learning in school, and when the parents organize this instruction in a meaningful way.

For me, the litmus test of Afterschooling is: Will this activity someday help my child past an AP test in high school? Reading, spelling, handwriting, math, critical thinking, fact gathering, scientific experiments… all of these things would pass that litmus test. Does that mean giving up other things like soccer, music lessons, and playing outside? Heck no! Those important activities are incorporated into our lives, but they just don’t count as Afterschooling.

Where to Start with Afterschooling?

Need More Inspiration?

Here’s an Afterschooling plan for grades 1-4.

Good luck on your Afterschooling journey!


  1. I had to tell you that I love the photo of you and the kids walking. It’s so easy for me take all the photos, so I am hardly in most of them. I love that photo, a snapshot of your everyday 🙂

    I applaud your afterschooling, what a labor of love. We loved Story of the World on audio at our house, we listened to it mostly in the car, too.

    have a great week! ( I found you from the hive boards 🙂 )

  2. Noelle says:

    This is such an inspiring post! After reading it, I realized my daughter probably spends 2.5 hours a day in front of the tv and on the computer. We can definitely fit in 20 minutes of education! I also loved your post about having your kids earn screen time during vacations. I’ll be trying that this summer.

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