This is a question that a lot of new homeschool parents ask. The real answer is that it depends. That is a frustrating answer to say the least because if you are new to homeschooling you are most likely questioning what is truly expected of you and your children. The best advice you could receive is to relax!!!
Our second word of advice is to check your state requirements. No matter what homeschool method or curriculum you decide to use, you do need to meet your state requirements. Even parents with the best of intentions for their children can find themselves in a lot of trouble if they do not make sure they cover their bases.
Most state homeschool laws require just a few hours a day for elementary school students. This can even be as little as two hours per day of instruction time for kindergarten. However, with the upper grades the time that should be spent instructing is going to go up. For most junior and high school students there will most likely be a requirement of five or six hours of instructional time per day. Most states also require around 180 days of school attendance to be accounted for.
For first time homeschool families this can seem overwhelming. After all, who has time to sit and feed new information to anyone for six hours per day, especially one one one instruction? No one has that kind of time. Do not think that your state has unrealistic expectations. There is not a public or private school teacher that sits with one student for five or six hours and just gives them new information. You are not expected to do more than the average teacher. You do however need to make sure that you do provide your children with the state standards in education.
The bottom line is to make sure you meet the state standards but even more importantly make sure the children are receiving the amount of knowledge that the state would like to see. Most states don’t dictate how you choose to teach the child but they do want to make sure the child is okay. They really have best interests in mind so it never hurts to follow and if you choose to, go beyond the expectations. Your children are the ones who will benefit and the time you spend with them will just strengthen your family relationships.