I haven’t written a whole lot on how our homeschooling is going this year, just little updates in entries here and there. So I thought I would write a post about it.
For those who don’t know this year was a major change for us in our homeschool schedule. My husband started a new job which is in retail, so his schedule changes every week. We get his schedule on Friday or Saturday, and that schedule is just from Sunday through Saturday, 1 week. To say it’s hard to schedule things, is an understatement. But the biggest issue we had last April, when he started the job, was that our ‘weekends’ change every week. It was hard to finish up the school year last year but we pushed through and prayed about what changes needed to be made.
This year we decided to go to a 4 day school week. I wasn’t sure at first with my kids being in Jr. High and High school if a 4 day school day would work. But I talked with a friend who did it, and realized we could do it too. I needed at least one day off every week so I knew when our week ended, regardless of Paul’s schedule. So we picked Sunday as our day off. No matter what Paul’s schedule is, the kids and I have Sundays off, no lessons. That alone brought such peace to the house. We could schedule our work per week, knowing when the week ended. We then decided that whatever days was Paul’s weekends were our weekend too. So there are weeks that the kids do lessons on Saturdays, but that means they had days off during the week. And our weekends would constantly change.
At first none of us knew what to expect. I worked out their lessons for the year with a 4 day week, wrote down a schedule on what I expected done each day and jumped in. Obviously it wasn’t a schedule that said, “Monday do this…”, it says “Day 1, Day 2 etc…” Because sometimes day 1 is on Monday, sometimes Wednesday. Sarah’s schedule isn’t as strict, she just knows what needs to be finished and when. And so last August we started on our first 4 day journey, with ever changing days off.
We are now ending our first year doing this, and I have to say it’s worked out great. At the beginning having to wait until Saturday to know what our days off were for the following week was hard, but now it’s not as bad. We are use to it. It’s kind of a game. The kids always ask, “So what are our days off this week?” And if I say something like, Monday & Tuesday, then they are excited because they have a three day weekend. Or if I say Tuesday & Thursday, they are happy because they get a day off every other day. It truly is all in the perspective.
As far as the curriculum, the only one we’ve had ‘problems’ with is math. We use TT, and getting Sarah’s Algebra to work with a 4 day week has been a bit of a challenge. And she might have to do a week of math after we are done with school at the end of May. Mainly it’s because if she doesn’t understand something, we stop and do practice work. But with math and being in high school, we really want her to finish each year’s curriculum before starting the next one. So that subject is a work in progress, but all the other subjects have worked great. The kids grades have stayed steady or risen this year, so I know they are not getting overloaded. And truthfully, it’s been the most fun year we’ve had. It’s really a different feeling having different days off every week, and truthfully school has not dragged this year like it has in the past. Even these last 6 weeks we have, though we all want to be on summer break, it’s not dragging as it usually is. That is a blessing.
I keep trying to decide if there would be something I would change, and really I can’t think of anything right now. I guess the biggest thing to remember is that we don’t have lots of ‘play’ days. Meaning we can’t easily take days off if something comes up without extending our school year. But I find that the reasons we would take different days off here and there last year wasn’t needed this year. Appointments, things that needed to be done, could get done on our weekends. And there wasn’t as much of a need for a break like we usually felt. I think the changing schedule helped us feel like we had a break more often. Plus with our Sunday’s off, we got lots of 3 day or double weekends, I think that helped a lot.
So that is the update on our new school schedule and how well it’s worked. We plan on continuing this schedule next year too. And this time I’m not going into it wondering how it will work, that will be nice.