A question for those of you who are currently or have recently homeschooled early elementary-aged kids: how much time a day did you find you had to devote to it? I've heard some people say that homeschooling only takes two or three hours to learn the same amount as traditional schools teach because you can work at your student's fastest pace, but I could also see how a high school student would require a lot less "sit with them and make them pay attention" time than a first-grader would.
I think it can depend somewhat on the kids' personalities and what you are teaching them, and what program you use. For instance, one math program basically has the kids watch a lesson on DVD and then do a worksheet. So not a lot of parental involvement necessary. Another program is entirely parent-driven and can take up to 45 minutes. So what curriculum you choose makes a *huge* difference. And also how many subjects you teach. Some parents focus on reading, writing, math, and science for those first few years. They don't really bother with handwriting, creative expression, art or music, a foreign language, typing, spelling, etc., until their kids are older, wanting to give their kids more time to explore and experiment by playing. Some parents really want to cover a lot of ground even with young kids.
It can also vary day to day. I'd say that for us, it takes about 2-4 hours a day, depending on exactly what we do. My oldest spends some time doing seatwork that she's fairly independent at, although I do need to check it and go over it with her. If she were my only child, I wouldn't need to do any schooling during that time. However, my second daughter is now old enough to do school and needs considerable "working with Mommy" time because she's only 4, so I spend the time when the oldest is working independently to work with my second child. I have several subjects that I really try to make sure we hit every day, and others that I get to if we can. If we do a craft, science experiment, art lesson, music lesson, or anything of that sort, it definitely adds to the day. I think one of the things that makes it difficult is defining exactly what counts as school--like crafts, educational DVDs, learning to type, etc. She probably spends about half an hour working independently, half an hour working with me, half an hour being read to by me, half an hour reading, and sometimes some additional time doing a project.
My homeschool curriculum estimates 1-2 hours of parental involvement for K-2 grades (2-3 hours for the kid), 2-3 hours for 3-4 grades (3.5-5 for the kid), and 2-3.5 hours for 5-6 grades (4-6 hours for the kid). That's for history/geography, Bible, literature, science, math, and language arts (which includes handwriting and spelling), so that's fairly complete unless you add in foreign language or art/music.
Oh, and I should mention, another thing that can make a difference is whether you can combine kids (teach multiple kids the same thing). If you have more than one kid, it can make a big difference. A lot of parents combine their kids in subjects that aren't so much skills-based as knowledge-based, like science, history, and geography. An 8-year-old might remember a lot more about ancient Rome than a 6-year-old will, but you can read to them both from the same book, do the same projects, etc. Many parents like to keep their kids together (sometimes, say, adding an extra reader about Rome to challenge the older child, or choosing an easier book to read to the younger) so that they can focus on one time period or country at a time and not get confused, and also to save time during the day. Other parents would rather have each kid work on something separate, so that each kid can work at his ideal level, and if a kid is sick or misses a day because of an activity, the other kids can continue at their own pace. Usually you need to teach language arts and math at the kids' level, though, so you can't combine everything.