In addition to playing the part of "THE MOM", "THE COOK", "THE WIFE", and "THE TAXI DRIVER" in this live-action comedic drama...I've also volunteered for the roll of "THE TEACHER." Unlike most teachers, however, I don't just teach one grade level and call it a day. Nope! I teach four grades all while toting a tot on my hip. But wait, it gets better...I do all of this WHILE attempting to cram all of the chaos of five busy school days into four...and still stay sane!
No, I'm not a glutton for punishment and I'm certainly not super woman. I'm just one mom who has found some balance in this three-ring circus act of life by granting myself one CATCH-UP day per week.
If you missed Part 1 of this series where I discussed WHY I find a 4-Day week ESSENTIAL to my homeschool schedule, be sure to check that out.
Today, I'm only chattin' about the HOWs.
Is it possible to cram five day's worth of material into four days? You bet!
Remember, one of the benefits of homeschooling is that learning is tailor-made....BY YOU...for YOUR KIDS! Don't ever feel handcuffed to a pre-scripted plan written by some else for the "average" child. Use it as a guide?...YES! But, give yourself the freedom to SKIP, SUBTRACT, or ADD to a lesson with the struggles and successes of your individual child in mind.
I was obviously only able to scratch the surface of 4-day planning in my brief video.
That being said, here are a few other things to consider...
I am not a huge advocate for the MASTERY approach of education. (Here's why.) I lean more towards a cyclical/spiral review method in my eclectic curriculum choices, with the exception of spelling. For this reason, our All About Spelling curriculum is the only curriculum that I have ever carried a grade-level over from one school year to the next. (My daughter began the 2013 school year finishing up AAS3 that she did not finish last year and is now in AAS4.) If your curriculum leans towards the mastery approach, the rule of "thirds" that I mentioned in the video would not apply.
When doubling up on a lesson from curriculum that is workbook-based, apply the same principles of "doubling up" that I mentioned in the video when speaking about doubling up lesson plans. Instruct your child to complete any "new material" sections from both lessons and a reasonable amount of review sections from one or the other worksheet. SKIP THE REST. (In keeping with my view of workbooks in an eclectic homeschool, I've even skipped complete pages of worksheets! GASP!)
I pre-plan my entire school year during the summer months.
By laying out a skeletal plan of my whole year well in advance, I can visually see how I need to tweak each 5-day curriculum to fit into my 4-day plan.
Lastly, keep in mind that by smooshing five days into four, your four school days might have to be a teensy bit longer than the average school day. BUT, an extra half hour or so each day is a small price to pay when you reap the benefit of an ENTIRE day off later in the week. (Curious to know what our "typical" day looks like? You're more than welcome to take a peek.)
Do you homeschool with a 4-Day schedule? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!