Welcome!  
I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why and How to Implement a 4-Day Homeschool Schedule {Part 2}

Why & How to Implement a 4-Day Homeschool Week {Part 2}-The Unlikely Homeschool


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!



19 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. After reading last Monday's post I couldn't wait to hear how you implement a 4 day week as this is something I do as well. I feel reassured that were along the same lines and I'm not doing myself or my children a disservice.

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    1. You're the momma! You know your kids. You'd be the first to know if they were behind or suffering in their learning. Keep on keeping on!

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  2. My daughter is only 7 but we do a 4 day week. A lot of times we end up having one or two things to do on the off day but its so short and usually something fun. My husband works a weird work week so we always take one of his off days as our off day. I love the 4 day week and for sure plan to make it work. I'm also totally ok with carrying curriculum over to the next year. I go off on rabbit trails when a topic or theme interests her so that sometimes throws a curriculum schedule off a bit. She's so young though that I find its easy to catch up.

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    1. We're definitely rabbit trailers too. That's why I like pre-planning my year. When I veer off course, all I have to do is look at my planner and get right back on it.

      I think your reasoning behind taking one day off is EXACTLY why you should. If my hubs had a weird work week, I'd definitely adjust to his schedule. Kuddos to you!

      Thanks for reading!

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  3. I'm enjoying your video series and know that going to a four day week would be very beneficial for our family, but what do you suggest for those who homeschool in a state that requires a full 180 days of attendance each school year? How do you document that?

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    1. Technically, we DO homeschool for 180 days, those fifth days just look less traditional. So, technically I CAN count those as school days. Traditional school kids do crafts, have social time, learn home ec. skills, go to the library. In addition, our co-op is always on those days and that is completely "traditional" learning.

      That being said, I don't live in a state that keeps such nitty-gritty tabs. So if I were you, I'd definitely speak to someone from your state homeschool organization to clarify.

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  4. Enjoy all you share with us. You have been a blessing in our homeschool!! We need to report 180 days in our state but I too like to have a "flex-day" or more of a down day on Fridays. We keep the lessons light and just live life on Fridays, errands, playdates,home-ec, etc and still count that as a "school-day" on Friday, life is learning and once I was able to let go of so much control, our homeschool became so much better. We also change to a sabbath routine this year and LOVE it, we are all happier. Thanks for all you share

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  5. Timely, friend, as we are looking at adding an enrichment day to our homeschool week next year. Only 1 of their 6 classes will replace what they do at home. Praying about our decision. :)

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  6. I love the point about getting rid of the guilt! That is something that I need to hear often.

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  7. My kids are only in K & Pre-K, but we've naturally fallen into the rhythem of 4 day "work" weeks as well as year round homeschooling. And since my DH works every other Saturday, sometimes the kids end up asking to do school on Saturdays, too.

    I really appreciate how down to earth & "real" you are with your writings & vlogs. Keep up the good work :) and thanks for sharing!

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  8. So..... We've just always had a 4 day a week schedule because of whatever's been going on in life, so it never even occurred to me that was difficult to implement.

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    1. I think it is easy for many moms to feel the need to check everything off their 5-day list. While that is an admirable goal, I think there are a few ways to do so without loosing your mind.

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  9. This is a great article. I think home schooling is always a great option for kids who are having trouble learning in a classroom atmosphere. This 4 hour schedule is a great Idea though, I would not even think about splitting it up like this. My wife and I decided to home school our son when he was in middle school and it really worked for him. As he got older we decided to get him some tutoring to help him study for exams. After a lot of visits, tutoring in Chicago is a great option for kids because they offer in-home tutoring services. Our son loved this because it made him feel a lot more comfortable learning at home.

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  10. I've had this pinned on my Homeschool Planning board for MONTHS and never bothered to read it until today. Wow. What an awesome post! We have to implement a 4-day a week school since our homeschool group meets every Friday and now (since it's really hot this time of year) we meet in the mornings. I really needed to hear the "get rid of the guilt" because I'm a "box checker".

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    1. "Box Checker" right here!! (hand way up in the air) I can relate to that guilty feeling. But, in the end, our four day schedule allows me to check off boxes in other areas of our lives.

      BTW...Thanks for pinning!

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  11. We've done a four day schedule for years.. my oldest daughter is graduating in 2015.. she will have forty seven college credits.. is a member of the honor society for two year colleges... we didn't even cram everything into four days.. we read a lot.. did math.. some unschooling, some unit studies, etc..

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  12. I have a 4 day week, Friday is fieldtrip day we get to go out and do things my daughter can learn for life lessons.

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  13. Still there are more of the respective piece elements given quite in detail and we would almost be feeling more concern in the near future.

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