If you wonder how to fit in the extras, whether extracurriculars, hands-on projects, or outside activities, a 4-day homeschool schedule could be a great choice for you. As the parent, you get to choose whether to do formal academics five days a week, or if you'd prefer to have a fifth day spent on the other things that are important to you.
A 4-day schedule might be right for your family if:
- You're in a homeschool co-op.
- Your children have weekly appointments.
- You like a Friday “fun day,” with tea and poetry, math games, music lessons, art, and occasional field trips.
- You prefer to homeschool at a more relaxed pace.
Let's look at each in greater depth.
1. You're in a Homeschool Co-op
If you're away from home one day a week to learn in a group with others, you don't need to double your work those days by doing Sonlight, too. You school at home for four days, and you school at the co-op on the fifth.
You're still learning 180 days a year . . . you're just sharing the learning between Sonlight and the co-op.
2. Your Children Have Weekly Appointments
An appointment can throw your entire day's schedule out the window. If you have a standing weekly appointment—whether occupational therapy or vision therapy or illness or whatever for your children—the 4-day schedule might work best for you. During any appointments, your children are being stretched in different ways, and to give their brains time to absorb what they're learning . . . it could be that a day off of regular studies is ideal.
Some math programs assume that you won't do math every day of the year. Most spelling books are only about 30 lessons long, again assuming that you won't do spelling every day.
Perhaps you get some audio books of Sonlight sequels to listen to on the way to the appointments. Or you have your children narrate a story, and that counts for creative writing that day.
And now you have a full-year, too.
3. You Like a Friday Fun Day
One benefit of homeschooling is getting to set your own priorities and schedule. Some people spend one day each week at a co-op to cover art and science. Some people spend a Friday doing the more fun subjects at home: a tea party with poetry, games (many of which require counting and math) or art. Some families go on field trips, or on nature hikes, to learn more about local plants and animals.
If this sounds like something you'd like to do, Sonlight's 4-day program is perfect for you. Spend four days on more formal academics, and on the 5th day enjoy creative things that expand your children's perspective on the world. Count it all as school.
And you're at 180 days then, too.
4. You Prefer to Homeschool at a More Relaxed Pace
Some Sonlighters like to take a day a week as a maintenance day. Catch up on housework. Let the children play independently.
If you need to report your hours, keep in mind everything you are doing so you can track what your children are doing without pressure. On their day off, did your children create something artistic? Watch a show about a composer? Help you make brownies? Read some picture books with you?
That's art, music, math (or culinary arts) and language arts.
There are many benefits of shifting to a 4-day schedule instead of doing school five days each week. From family flexibility, to educational enrichment and more. If you choose a specially designed four-day curriculum like Sonlight's newly released 4-Day programs, you can be assured that all your more academic subjects are scheduled, leaving you freedom and flexibility one day a week.