How to Make a 4 Day Homeschool Schedule Work For You
We haven’t always used a 4 day homeschool schedule. In fact, we were introduced to the concept when we began using My Father’s World in 1st grade. My Father’s World schedules the 5th day for Nature Walks. (At least in 1st…) I fell in love with having that 5th day off to get some things done around the house, and my children love it too. We are no longer using My Father’s World for our homeschool curriculum, but we have stuck with a 4 day schedule! I really recommend trying it out! So, here’s how to make a 4 day homeschool schedule work for your family.
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Using a 4 day homeschool schedule
Why use a 4-day schedule rather than the traditional 5-day schedule?
Why not? It can be a really good thing for your school week to have a day off. Honestly, it helps me keep my sanity throughout the week! I know that I always have that one day that I can work on any extra projects I have going on, run some errands, or use it to relax. It can be good for the kids, too! They have something to look forward to throughout the week, and I have noticed that it makes them work harder. (No one wants to be using their day off to make up the stuff they didn’t get done that week!)
The extra day you take off can be used for:
I like to use my Fridays off for cleaning my house! I have the kids pitch in and we do all the cleaning that we need to do, and tackle the things that get pushed to the wayside throughout the week. A scheduled cleaning day helps me feel better about the days that I can’t get to the laundry!
If you like to prepare your meals for the week, you could take Monday off to do this!
This is a great idea for busy homeschool moms. I don’t know how many times I have forgotten completely about dinner, and then we end up eating out or ordering a pizza!
Check out our Huge List of Freezer Meals For Busy Moms.
You get the chance to schedule your field trips for weekdays when the crowds are smaller, and beat all those crazy crowds!
Spend the day outdoors, going on hikes, and exploring nature! This is great for Charlotte Mason homeschoolers.
We try to make a habit of going on at least one nature walk or hike every week. When it’s snowing we take the kids to a local park and do some sledding! If it’s raining… we let them play out in it. Unless, of course, it’s storming.
Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.Charlotte Mason
Another great thing about a 4-day schedule is that if you have a sick day throughout the week, you won’t be struggling to make up that day. It gives you a sort of cushion!
You can also use it to catch up on grading or filing papers! I sometimes even use my day off to do some reorganizing. Things tend to get out-of-order throughout the week, so getting it all back in its place helps out a lot.
ANYTHING YOU LIKE
You can really use this day for anything that you can think of.
- a lazy day
- co-op day
- crafting/ handicrafts
- and pretty much anything you’d like! Let your creative juices flow!
What day do I take off?
You can take any day off through the week. We rotate days. Our main day off is Friday, and every other week we take off Thursday to run errands.
I know some moms who take off Wednesday as a middle of the week break.
Finding a Curriculum that Has a 4-Day Option
Finding a curriculum with a 4-day option is a great way to implement a 4-day schedule. My Father’s World, Heart of Dakota, and Sassafras Science Adventures are a few that we have used that go along perfectly with a 4-day schedule. Also, A Gentle Feast and The Good and the Beautiful can be used with 4-day schedules.
I do realize, however, that not everyone wants to switch curriculum, especially if you have found that curriculum that you absolutely love!
Making Your Favorite Curriculum Work
If you are loving your curriculum, and it is set up for a 5-day schedule, you can still make it work! You will just have to do a little adjusting on the scheduling of your work and make sure that it all fits into 4 days without overwhelming your child.
It can be done… I have done it in the past, and it really isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It’s actually, totally worth the extra time to have an extra day a week off.
What about Spelling?
One of the hardest subjects to tweak has been Spelling! I have noticed that pretty much every Spelling curriculum out there is set up with a 5-day schedule.
(We have been through more Spelling curriculums than I’d like to admit to.)
I don’t see any problem with just doing a Spelling test on your day off. After all, it is quick and easy to get through. You could also try to tweak your Spelling program to make it work with a 4-day schedule. Do a pre-test on the 3rd day after your regular lesson, and then the test on the 4th.
All about Spelling could work really well with a 4-day schedule!
Another option is to do a Charlotte Mason style approach to Spelling. Using primarily copywork and dictation. Then you don’t have to worry about tests, and you can easily schedule it to fit your needs!
Will it extend my School Year?
No. The norm for a traditional school year is usually about 36 weeks or 180 days. We range our school years from 34-36 weeks, and we have never gone over that amount of time. Our state does not require a certain number of homeschool days. But I know that some states have requirements for how much time you spend homeschooling.
Sick days and the unexpected may mess up your planned schedule for the school year, but schooling for 4 days will not lengthen your year at all if you plan it right.
Remember that the day that you take off can be counted towards a homeschool day.
Because you are using it for things like nature walk, cleaning and running errands (life skills), and field trips.
Example of a 4 day Homeschool Schedule:
***The above schedule is just an example. You may have more or less subjects scheduled.*** *RLA= Reading/ Language Arts