Sunday, April 15, 2012

Decisions Part I: 4 or 5 Day School Week?

I'm getting deep into planning for next school year, and it is my first time planning a whole year.  This year we started homeschooling very suddenly three weeks into the 2nd semester of 4th grade.  A lot of decisions were already made for me, like schedule, subjects & some curriculum. 

Now that we can make all our own decisions, there are two major schedule decisions that I'm really considering but I'm not sure of the logistics or how it will really work out.  This is going to be a two part post, so bear with me.

First, I'm thinking about using a 4 day school week for the majority of subjects.  This means the everyday subjects of Reading, English, Math, Science and Social Studies would happen only 4 days a week. Religion, while an everyday subject, would still happen on the 5th day.

The 5th day would be used for catch-up and special subjects.  There are so many days that we get busy and our once a week subjects just don't happen.  This would set aside a time for art history and art, creative writing, book discussion and piano lesson.  Ah.. piano lesson. So many times that happens on the weekends now.

Latin and Spelling would also be on the 5th day. They are not daily, but they occur more than once a week and would have to be scheduled during the main 4 day school week too. I'm still on the fence as to if we need formal handwriting class.  Amber has excellent and very neat handwriting when she wants.  When she doesn't want to take the effort it is still acceptable handwriting.

I really don't see a huge down side to scheduling this way, except that she doesn't get as much of the core subjects in a week.  This means it will take more weeks to finish school. My original projections were that we would finish school fairly early in the Spring, so I don't think this is a problem.

My only other issue is what happens when we don't have school on Friday?  Do we just entirely lose the special subjects for that week, or do I take it on a case by case basis and perhaps spread them out across the week in advance?

To me, this sounds like a better plan than what we have been doing with the 5 day week.  There have already, in our 3 months of homeschooling, been so many times that we had to re-arrange our schedule because appointments or other interruptions caused us to miss subjects.  It would be nice to have the built-in backup plan that didn't revolve around just pushing subjects back through the whole semester.

Any thoughts on this at all?


  1. I never plan anything specific for the 5th day, because something always seems to get thrown off course. I'd spread your subjects through the 4 days and assume that you'll probably play catch-up with one or two on day 5. Much less stressful that way.

  2. Thanks for the comment. At this point I tend to agree with you. 2 appointments this week (1 for each of us) and we are a little behind now. It doesn't help that when her grandparents watch her (during my appointments) they tend to want to stay longer, go out to lunch, etc. Which is all fine, except we were already behind because of the appointment the day before. Still, I have trouble saying "no" because they did me a favor and it's not my parents.

    I think we are definitely going to start next year with the 4 day week and see how it goes.