Ask Donna Vail: Should I expect my 8 year old to do 5 hours of reading, writing and math?

This Week’s Question Answered:
Q: Should I expect my 8 year old to do 5 hours of reading, writing and math? I know my 10 year old can do that and think my 8 year old could probably but I don’t want to expect too much and burn him out.

A: It is quite possible that your 8 year old could do that many hours of work however you don’t want it to exasperate your son if he’s not ready. Boys especially need plenty of time to run around, explore, take things apart and put things together. I highly recommend that you create a love for learning. This is best nurtured with an inspiring learning environment, the basics and lot’s of space for curiosity and experience. The most important skill to strengthen during these early years is reading, from which he will work all other subjects from. Actual study times for a child this age can vary from 30 minutes to approximately 2 hours. This is for the core and the rest of the day is used for life skills, relating, exploration, making things, community involvement, field trip/outside exploration, etc, through which he learns a multitude of subjects.

At this stage your son is learning how to self-educate with tools you provide that are conducive to self-education, your guidance and modeling; empowering him to be very responsible between now and age 10 and beyond. Remember to provide, guide and step aside so he can realize his full potential.

Love more, live more and learn more.


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