Friday, January 14, 2011

Thinking of tweaking the plan again...?

Let me know what you think please - am I on the right track? why/why not?

Our home ed not-so-scheduled-schedule is working well. Very well. So there's no reason in that department to change it.

I'd like a more relaxed day, at home, in the week.
Wednesday is pretty relaxed, but I spend it at my sisters - ALL day.

I'm thinking of trashing the current Friday program and putting the Science lesson on to the Thursday. Art would then go to Friday.

Friday would then be a day for catch up - if needed. And otherwise a day for art/crafting. Melinda's latch hook, my sewing, pottering around the garden, baking if desired. More of a 'fun being at home' day. Friday is also the day we go to the market every 2-3 weeks.

I think we can afford to do this, because at the rate the kids are going through their bookwork, they will be done in just 2-3 terms if I do keep Friday as a bookwork day.

I'd like to be able to set up the sewing machine from time to time and just work on one project without packing up mid project, and not be fussed about where bookwork is up to for the day, or if they've spent the day playing Lego inside or a bunch of outside play adventures...

Weekends don't lend themselves to this sort of day for us... for a bunch of reasons... they just don't.

Is this worth pursuing? or might it backfire?



  1. I've never been a homeschooling mum, yet, but I was a homeschooler, and we decided pretty early we do not need bookwork 5 days a week, most schools don't even do bookwork 5 days a week once you consider all day excursions and camps, plus swim classes and assembly and mass and all sorts of other extras. I remember one term when I was at school, I had a day that consisted of assembly, then drama, then swim class, then PE. I didn't even go to the classroom that day (not everyone had this, I lucked out because I attended swim class with a different group, and my PE class was based on a small group rotation, not a class rotation. confusing? yes.) I never went to 'proper school' for highschool but I know more than one student who had arranged their subjects in such a way that they could a. leave at lunchtime once or twice a week or b. skip a day altogether

    Some families did need/want that 5th day for various reasons such as a slower learner, or spending a lot of time on extra curriculars, but if you think you're handling the workload well, then I say go ahead and turn your homeschool week into a 4 day week.

    For us, we took our free day on wednesday to give us a mid-week break, but I know other families who took friday or monday to give them a 3 day weekend each weekend, and another who had a father working strange hours, and managed to work their week so they had the same days off, sunday, monday and thursday I think it might have been for them. Yet another had a father on a 3 weeks on, 1 week off schedule, so they did 6 days a week to ensure they could take the week off when dad was home. What works for your family?

    There is a lot of pressure on homeschoolers to spend as much time on their schoolwork as public schoolers do, 6 hours in class + 2-3 hours on homework. Being in Australia you'll know that the distance education system likes to perpetuate this idea far too much. But consider, at school, how much time is actually spent sitting down doing bookwork? How much of THAT time is interupted or wasted because of a dicipline issue, or waiting for a teacher to direct you, or waiting for the struggling members of the class to finish, or 'reviewing'. Then there is all the time shuffling from place to place, doing extra activities and supplement classes, listening to constant lectures on behaviour, doing political topics like the war or teachers wage protests, etc. I don't know if your children ever went to a public school, or what your most recent experience with them is, but I spent about 5 years total at various public and private day schools, and I honestly believe I got MORE bookwork done in my 3 hours per morning/4 days a week with no interuptions and one-on-one assistance then I did in my day school weeks. I never understood why a productive 12 hour week with plenty of time for life skill learning was considered bad, but wasting 45 hours a week on school and homework was considered dedicated and to be desired.

    Also, as a side note, I'm not sure about yours specifically but many curriculum books only have 32 weeks to their year, which is 4 8-week terms, or a number similar to that. We often found that we either had extended holidays, or we took advantage of those extra weeks through the term, making a 4 day week even more comfortable by having plenty of spare afternoons, as it was particularly common in 'extras' books like music and science. I even had one curriculum once, I think it might have been some obscure math book, which only had 28 weeks to its year!

    Hope that gives you some confidence :)

  2. If you are covering everything you think is core I think it is a great idea. We've tried various things and it has depended how we are travelling how serious our Fridays are. In Summer we do swimming first thing on a Friday morning with our Homeschooling group which lends itself nicely to some "socialisation" afterwards. We have done various arts/ crafts/ library type activities to round out the day or simply met with other homeschoolers for sport etc.
    When days/ weeks/ months come and we need to finish off academics we use Friday to do that.
    Your children are young so I say, yep, keep it as relaxed as you feel comfy with!

  3. Thank you both :o)
    I've just spent a little time rearranging and I think we're good - it will take some pressure off.
    The 4 days are still only about 1.5 hours of individual work, half an hour family bible and half an hour group work, but we're getting plenty done.