If you read the previous post on deciding if a 4 day a week schedule is right for your family, you know there is not 1 perfect way to implement a 4 day a week homeschooling schedule. However, it always helps to hear from someone who has been doing it for a while to see how they do it and what they have changed over the years (and even what they might consider changing in the future).
Visit my Homeschooling Year Round Resource Page for helpful tips and resources to make a smooth transition to homeschooling year round!
First of all, watch the video to give you a quick overview of how you get started implementing a 4 day schedule:
To recap the video:
1. Choose your day to take off. This can be flexible, but if you do that, you may find yourself not being as disciplined as you need to be about your homeschooling.
2. Plan accordingly. If you use a curriculum that has a 5 day schedule in it, you will need to move things around, and possibly take things out.
3. Explain what you are doing to children. A 4 day a week schedule is foreign to everyone, so be sure to explain your methods and motives to your children to help them to know what to expect. However, also let them know that during the “trial” period, there will be bumps and changes, but you will do your best to minimize those.
4. Use your off day wisely. Your 5th day shouldn’t be a free for all. Everyone may think this is a good idea in the beginning, but it will quickly turn into chaos.
Now, let’s talk specifics. Here is a quick run down of how our 4 day schedule works. (By the way, we do Tapestry of Grace, so you can see how that works with our 4 day schedule HERE.)
We do the same things every day. There is no Science on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Literature on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Every subject that is in our regular schedule is done every single day. For us, that means the following subjects are part of our daily routine… (Note: Not every child has every one of these subjects.)
- Sign Language
When I am on my A Game, we also do something called Special School Time. You can read more about that here. We school from about 10 am until 2 or 3 pm with a break for lunch. And yes, we school year round.
Besides these regularly scheduled subjects, we also throw in extras from time to time. For instance, my oldest son finished Economics earlier this year (read about that HERE). During the time frame he was taking that class, he added that it to his daily routine. Any extras that do not require a focused study are done randomly as we have time. An example of this would be Logic. We do not do a focused logic class per se. We will periodically read from The Thinking Toolbox or go over logic puzzles, but these are done as I have time. We do the same thing with Art. (You can read about our art program HERE.)
So, what about that 5th day?
Our 5th day is Friday. As I said in the video, it is NOT a free-for-all day. We get up in the morning and clean all morning via the schedule found HERE. Sometimes we use the afternoon to “catch up” if I feel like we have gotten “behind” in some of our studies (not usual though). We will often use this as a travel day if we are taking a weekend excursion or as fun day if we are staying home station. The kids are allowed to watch movies after 5pm if we are staying home.
Some ideas for YOUR 5th day:
- Field trips
- Going to work with Daddy
- Working together as a family
- Tea Time
- Homeschool Coops
- Inviting friends over to play
- Day Trips
- Unit Celebrations for school
- Hunting or Fishing or other outdoor activities
The list is literally ENDLESS! It really is an exciting prospect to redeem an extra day in there that can be used for so many other things besides seatwork!
I know this has been a rather weighty post full of links and ideas, so take your time with it, Pin it for future reference, and then just jump in! Try it out for a few weeks. It’s not going to hurt anything to try it out and see if it suits your family dynamic.
A few posts that will help you on this journey:
Is Homeschooling 4 Days a Week Right For Your Family?
Sometimes School Doesn’t Look Like School
Why Year Round Homeschooling is Good for My Sanity
This sounds EXACTLY like us, and we LOVE it! We have eight kids, 17 years down to 18 months, and have been doing this schedule happily for years!
Good post, question though. How long per each subject do you allow? For instance 1 whole lesson in math takes 1 child 30 min and the other one an hour. Do you stop the longer child and make them do it later or always do 1/2 lessons? We always get hung up on not finishing a lesson if we need to move on to other subjects. Otherwise we could sit all day doing 1 subject.
I probably ought to do a post to address this! I do not make anyone stop their lesson unless they are frustrated or it has drug on entirely too long. They are not all doing the same subject at the same time. Does that make sense?
Yes that makes sense. I like to have everyone on the same subject at once, it’s easier for me to keep track of. However I run into this issue then. Waiting on someone to be done. The lessons seem way too long in some subjects. A post about this would be great as I have struggled with this since schooling multiple children. 4 in school and a preschooler this year.
Karin owens says
Is your high schooler able to get all their work done in only four days? Perhaps my high schooler does too much, but we sometimes (often) have difficulty getting it all done in only four days. We’ve been attempting the four day week this school year and mostly it’s going well. My high schooler is a highly motivated student with lots of interests. She’s also college bound and really looking at some highly selective ivy leagues. (That’s not where Mama hopes she chooses though. ????) Any help or advice? She and I both really love the idea of making this work for her. Thanks!
Yes, absolutely. What makes the big difference is schooling year round and allowing them to work independently. Both my high schoolers are highly motivated (and both college bound). Neither one has found it difficult to get through their work.