Activities that you may not know count as homeschooling

Most parents know that homeschooling requirements vary by state and age. But did you know that many things you may already be doing with your kids count towards education requirements? If you're considering homeschool, here are a few ideas!

By Kristen Winiarski

Family Fun



When you look up the number of hours you need to complete for homeschool, the number may seem overwhelming.

For Wisconsin, the total number of hours is 875. The great thing about homeschooling is that so many different things can count toward this overall number.

Create a schedule for homeschooling and notice the activities you can count toward your overall number. As I get into first grade with my oldest, I’m learning more about all the things we can use as learning time.

Figuring out your schedule

Decide on a start date and an end date.

You can decide to run homeschool all year long if you want, but if not, you can pick your start and end dates. You could start early like my daughter wanted so that we can end earlier, or you can start later. It’s really up to you and your family when you want to end summer officially. You can then decide how far into the summer you want to go for the end of the school year.

Factor in holidays

When looking at the school year, I made sure to factor in days off like holidays or other days my husband has off work. The flexibility that homeschool offers so we can do this is a great perk. We can all take these days off together.

Math it out

Once you have figured out how many days you’ll be having school, you can take the number of hours divided by the number of days to figure out how many hours you need each day to hit your hour requirement.

From there, you can decide if you want to add or subtract days, depending on your kids and how long you want to do school each day. I figured out it will be about four hours per day for us.

The subjects to focus on

This list will change depending on how old your kids are. Since mine are pretty young yet, we’re focusing primarily on reading, writing, math, science, nature, PE, art, and music. These subjects lend themselves well to both my 6-year-old and my 3-year-old.

Once they get older, we’ll have to focus more on history and social studies. My homeschooling plan combines a purchased curriculum, fun workbooks, and ABC Mouse. Using different mediums helps keep my kids interested.

Ideas for Activities You can Count

The activities you can count as school time are pretty broad. It is still important to have a routine to keep you on task. I’ve found that getting more done in the morning is helpful because my kids will still sometimes nap in the afternoons. It is also less stressful because you’re not trying to fit in a bunch before the end of the day. In addition to the curriculum, workbooks, and computer programs, here are some things you can count as school time that maybe you haven’t realized.


Kids love to draw, paint, color, and create, so they are probably doing these things in their day already. Call it art class and log it.


Getting my kids up and moving has always been a priority. I let them pick out workouts on YouTube, or we have a dance party, and I call it PE.

Reading to siblings

This point is my favorite one so far. My 6-year-old can read a good amount now. This skill means she can read to her younger brother. Not only can I count this as school, but I can also get something done while they are both occupied.


Measuring ingredients is an excellent way to teach math and fractions. You can explain why specific measurements are portions of others. It is a good way to help your child visualize it.


If you or the kids are feeling a bit stir crazy, you can get outside and go for a walk. Not only are they moving around, but you can also notice things about nature. Walks can count as both PE and science classes!


Field trips are a thing in public schools. Why not homeschool? Go to the park, the zoo, or the ice skating rink. You can count outings as school time.

Time on hobbies

Your kids will have other interests, so encouraging them in these can also count as school. Maybe they like putting on shows with their Legos or dolls. Working on their hobbies is a fun thing to count.

Building something

Speaking of Legos, building things takes thinking and problem-solving, so creating something with blocks or Legos can count too.

Educational videos

Turning the TV on can be a slippery slope, but you can add some educational videos to supplement your homeschooling. Be sure to stick to shows that will teach something.

This list is by no means all-inclusive.

Look around your home and you’re sure to find more things you can count as school time.

Kids are pretty much learning all of the time, so take notice and encourage stuff they are interested in in addition to the main subjects, and homeschooling will not just be more effective, it will also be more fun.


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