I knew, before I even started homeschooling, that I would NOT homeschool 5 days a week. It was clear as day to me. All my life I worked a 9-5 job plus a lot of overtime.
Just as much as I knew that I wanted to homeschool my children, is as much as I knew that I had to find a way not to have to homeschool 5 days a week.
I know many of you don’t agree, and that is OK. Don’t you just love the freedom we have with homeschooling? Aside from state requirements, we make the rules. That, at least, is something we can all agree on and root each other on for.
Deciding to homeschool only 4 days a week was easy for me. I do know that decision may not be as simple for others. I just have two kids at home now, so maybe that’s why it was easier for me to decide. My oldest was homeschooled only her last two years of high school, and she was pretty much independent with her courses.
Whatever reason you decide to homeschool, it is feasible for you to take a day off a week. I know many large families who do so, and it does them well. The more chaotic homeschooling gets, the more I feel like one day off during the week is necessary.
The reason I decided to homeschool only four days a week was plain simple. Less stress – I won’t lie. I won’t say that we get everything done I wanted to, I won’t say that our days go exactly as planned. I will, however, tell you why it works for us.
Fridays give us downtime. Our free Fridays are used for several things.
Here is what having one day off per weekday allows us to do:
I mentioned we don’t get everything done during the week we would like to. Sometimes things come up as well, like sick kids, sick mom or dad, or last-minute adventures. Our day off allows us to make-up anything we haven’t finished during the regular week.
If anyone of these life-events happen during the week, my kids automatically know that there WILL be school Friday. They do not question that. They are OK with knowing whatever doesn’t get done will NEED to get done on Fridays.
Motivate and regulate behavior.
My kids DO NOT want to have to do school on Fridays. Their lessons are planned out during the week with our Homeschool Planet online homeschool planner and organizer. They know what chores they need to do and what assignments they need to complete for the day. Whatever they do not get done in the assigned day MUST be completed on Friday.
This means no outside time, no free time until it’s done and done well. Once and a while my kids will test themselves and put something off until the make up day. Guess what? Friday comes, and they HATE not to have free time. This allows them to “self-regulate” that procrastinating behavior.
Extra time for “stuff.”
This may have been somewhat of a selfish decision on my part. I take ownership of that, and I don’t mind confessing it to you.
Chores are part of our homeschool day (myself included). I am also a work-from-home mom and Fridays give me a whole day, mostly, to concentrate on my work fully. I have time to work on other “stuff.”
A day off a week from homeschooling gives me wiggle room. If you have worked a nine-to-five with children, you know that there is NO wiggle room. There is absolutely no reason that I should NOT give myself room to adjust my schedule and have a day to do “stuff” – whatever that stuff may be.
I say “extra time for me,” but I don’t mean extra time to do nothing. I mean extra time to clean up that random “throw-everything-in here-so-visitors-won’t-see-my-mess-closet,” or to cook that nice meal that takes a little longer than typical rush meals, or to work on that long project so I won’t have to do it over the weekend.
I also can do things that I just can’t do with a full homeschool, homemaking, and work-from-home schedule. We can meet daddy for lunch, visit grandma, or yes, I can get a pedicure once in a blue moon if I want to. Friday can sometimes equal FriYAY in my home.
Keep my sanity.
One day off a week really works for us. I will be the first to confess that I really struggle with homeschooling my son since he is soo high energy. Bless his heart. He is the sweetest thing, but man he can’t stay still for a bit. I love it, and I don’t try to change him. I work with him, but it does take a lot of effort on both our parts.
I know my son is behind in Math. However, what good does it do for him to be behind in Math AND be frustrated as well? Even if I have to work with him on a Friday for an hour or so, he still feels less pressure because it isn’t a full day and it’s just me and him.
If you take some time at the beginning of the school year (or at least every quarter) to plan out your schedule and calendar, it can work. Planning is critical to keeping things organized and manageable.
My homeschool days go a little longer than some homeschool families. We do have two breaks because my son cannot sit for long and we break for lunch.
If you feel as if you can’t give a 100% of yourself (or even 100% to some things), then you may want to consider trying one day off during the school week. It doesn’t have to be a Friday. I just do Fridays because it’s awesome to have a three day weekend every weekend. However, maybe Wednesdays or Mondays work best for you.
Really, pray about it and think of the pros and cons. We have been homeschooling four days a week instead of five the whole time we have homeschooled, but we have adjusted other things.
What’s awesome about homeschooling is that you can try it for a while and then change your mind if it doesn’t work out. Whatever works for your family is what is right. Happy homeschooling!
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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