How Many Hours Are Reasonable?

Question:

“I’m wondering how many hours per day is reasonable for an elementary child. Thanks!”

Answer:

Elementary aged children should get about 10 hours of sleep each night. That leaves 14 hours a day to teach them. No, I’m not suggesting sitting at a table for 14 hours. When my girls were of elementary age, they spent about an hour a day at the table. That’s it. But every waking moment is an opportunity to teach our children, well beyond table time.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 instructs parents that “thou shalt teach them [His commandments] diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

So from the time our children awake in the morning, until they fall asleep each night, we should be teaching them the Word of the Almighty, helping them hide it in their hearts, to use as a source of devotion and obedience to the Lord.

While this teaching could be through Scripture memorization, copywork, or a Bible-based curriculum, the best way parents can teach their children is through setting an example by living a prayerful, Word-filled life.

It is the kind of teaching that we can’t plan or schedule.

It is learned as our children witness our reactions to daily sorrows and joyfulness, struggles and triumphs, losses and gains.

It is learned as we share with our children our prayers for forgiveness and praise.

It is learned while our children watch us willingly being stretched and molded into what He wants us to be.

It is learned as us parents live what we teach. From the time we wake up till the time we go to sleep. Every day, of every month, of every year.

How many hours a day are reasonable? All of them.

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