This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Time 4 Learning.
Being a fan of a 4-day homeschool week, it’s hard for me to come up with many disadvantages for this schedule. I imagine it might not work for everyone, but in our case, there were just too many good reasons for reducing our homeschooling from 5 days to 4.
The first reason is that we could! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all my years’ homeschooling, it’s that we have the flexibility and freedom to switch things up, be different and do things that make sense for us. Maybe that sounds selfish, but the reason I homeschool is that I want my children to be the focus. And as I focused on them and their needs, I found that a 4-day school week made perfect sense. Here’s why.
Let’s face it, unexpected things happen during the week. You may have sick kids, your job needs you, or everyone wakes up in a bad mood and things don’t really get done. When that’s the case, and I found it was for us, you always have an extra day to catch-up and get a few things done in a relaxed manner.
Also, one of your kids may have difficulty with a certain subject, the catch-up day could be used for additional study. My oldest son has problems with math, so when he’s struggling he uses some of this free time on Friday to review the lessons and activities that supplement that particular topic. He likes doing the extra work in the morning, then he has the rest of the day for whatever we may have planned.
I don’t know about you, but my house gets messy with two kids doing school work, activities, projects, and more. Once a week we crank up the tunes and do a thorough cleaning. This takes the house cleaning pressure off me and it teaches my kids good habits, such as doing the laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, and dusting. We also wash and brush the dog once a week, which helps with her excessive shedding. My kids take turns but they both usually join in because it’s fun and the dog surprisingly loves the water, but mostly enjoys the attention!
More Family Time
One less day doing lessons means one more day of spending time with family and friends. We play games, go on field trips, read out loud to each other, watch movies, cook meals together, and just have a generally nice time. Of course, it doesn’t always run as smooth as I would like, kids get in moods, they bicker, and honestly, sometimes I need a little break. But the extra day gives us time to sort through these things.
Some people may think that always having a three-day weekend would make their children lazy or hard to motivate once the school week starts. I don’t have this problem — my kids are refreshed and ready for school once we begin. Of course, there are times when I have to motivate them more, but that was more of an issue when we followed a 5-day week schedule.
With the three day weekend, we have more time to finish educational projects, too. For instance, my daughter spends her weekends drawing; she loves art and is getting quite good at drawing outdoor scenes. When we go to the local dog park, my son plays with all the dogs and she draws the dogs as they race around in the field. I count this as an elective and she earns credit hours as she hones her art skills – its a win, win!
Longer School Days
When I first started thinking about a 4-day week, I knew that I would have to fit our old 5-day curriculum plan into 4 days. It’s not very difficult though. I simply looked over our schedule and found that Wednesday was a pretty light day, so I took the lessons on Wednesday and tacked them on the other days in a balanced manner. Some days are a bit longer but if my kids are having problems keeping up, they always have the extra catch-up day, though that doesn’t happen too often, as they really love their “Free Friday”!
You Bought a 5-Day Curriculum Program3):
Many parents have curriculum programs that operate on the standard 5-day school week. Depending on the curriculum, you may be able to manipulate the lessons so they fit into a 4-day week. Time4Learning has an amazing activity planner that does all the heavy lifting for you. I have the planner set up for a 4-day school week and the lessons spread out accordingly. Yes, we still get the same amount of work done without suffering from burnout because of the longer school days. When I say “longer”, we still only homeschool for around four to four and a half hours a day. It’s not like we’re doing lessons for six hours a day or longer; I don’t want you to get the wrong impression.
I know that choosing a schedule depends upon your family dynamic. There are good reasons for 4-day schedules and 5-day schedules, it all depends on what works best for your family. We can get all our work done in four days by concentrating on the core subjects (language arts, math, science, and social studies) each day and alternating the other subjects on a weekly basis. For example, we’ll do a week’s work of history followed by a week of geography. In the end, it works for us. If you think a 4-day schedule will improve your homeschooling experience, give it a try! If it doesn’t seem to work, you can always go back.