Welcome to my third installment for the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! Last time I shared how I give AJ independent work each day. When you read the post, it was obvious that we school 4 days a week. We live in a easy state when it comes to homeschooling, we are required to keep attendance but we don’t have to log a specific number of hours or days.
We don’t have a co-op or any outside class that causes us to school 4 days a week. Honestly, we don’t use Friday’s as a free learning day like I have seen others talk about. We do book work 4 days a week, unless AJ doesn’t finish something, and that is it. Here are our top 3 reasons for having a 4 day school week!
- It allows for flexibility. – With doctors appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and blood work, I can be out of the house a lot. AJ can get her independent work done on some of those days, but not all. There are some subjects that you need to concentrate on, and it isn’t exactly quiet in the waiting rooms. Only schooling 4 days a week gives us a buffer. If I know we have appointments on Tuesday then we just work Friday that week instead.
- We can work on a subject longer. We do history and science each twice a week (unless we are reviewing something and then it is three times a week) but we are able to complete more than a days worth at a time. It is great to work on science and history for long periods of time. It lets us dive deeper and explore topics more. I know she isn’t going to burn out because it is only twice a week.
- We Learn Every Day. We do book work 4 days a week, but she learns every day. She learns how to cook, clean, do laundry, garden, and how to be a care giver. She learns lessons that are not able to be taught from workbooks. She learns life skills, that unfortunately too many kids are lacking. The extra “day off” lets her explore her own interests and ensures we have time to learn those other skills.
Having a 4 day week is wonderful, but there are 2 main challenges.
- Most curriculum is written for a 5 day schedule. While some homeschoolers school 4 days a week, the majority still follow a five day schedule. Because of that, most subjects are scheduled 5 days a week, 3 days a week, or twice a week. That doesn’t really work when you have a 4 day school week.
- It can make for long days. Since I have 5 days of school to spread among 4 days, some days are longer than others. We average about 2 hours of independent work and 3 and a half hours with me. Of course on days when attitude or lack of motivation are involved, those times can easily double.
For some subjects I combine days. She may do Thursday’s and Friday’s work on Thursday. Other subjects I just schedule longer for the book or program to be completed. Spelling You See is the perfect example! There are 5 lessons a week, I could easily skip one day of dictation, but instead she just works on it every day that we do school. She may do day 5 on a Tuesday and start the next week’s lesson on Wednesday. It seems to work well. We may be using the book a little longer, but she is still practicing the same skills.
For our family a 4 day school week is the perfect fit!
How many days a week do you school?
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