The Three Day School Week
How to Homeschool…
Thinking about homeschooling your child, but feeling overwhelmed with the available options? Or maybe you’ve already started, but are stuck with a difficult schedule cycle you just can’t seem to break? Lightening your load by introducing the 3 day school week might just be the perfect fit for your family. Learn how to homeschool only three days a week, with this simple breakdown of what our family considers the perfect homeschool week.
Want to learn more about our schedule and how we fit it all in? Get tips on how to keep your house clean, your errands ran, and get dinner on the table every night while homeschooling by checking out Household Management for the Homeschool Mom & Keeping a Clean Home While Homeschooling to find out how we make it work for us.
Dealing with excess stress as a homeschool mom? Find out why adding a little me time to your daily routine can help you become a better homeschool mom, plus get tips on how to find the time! Check out 10 Ways to De-Stress After a Stressful Day & Mom’s Coffee Break to learn how to homeschool without loosing yourself.
The Ultimate Plan
If you’ve been following our homeschool journey, you are well aware that homeschooling is more than just a schedule for us. Homeschooling is our lifestyle, and we believe that learning happens anywhere and everywhere! With that said, we only do “schedule” 3 days a week. Check out this simple breakdown of a typical homeschool week in our home, for tips on how to homeschool your own kids using an easy 3 day schedule!
The Week Day Plan
Three solid days is really all you need for core lessons each week. Having a hard time believing it? I honestly wasn’t sure it was going to work when I decided to try it a little over 3 months ago either. However, it actually does work and this is hands down the best homeschool schedule we have ever tried!
Our Weekday Plan is Simple…
We have 3 days for learning core subjects because foundational skills are important for functioning and growing! We also allow 1 day for exploring, taking field trips, and doing exciting things specifically geared towards the kids. This is an essential part of our week, as it allows a fun reset. Lastly, I have my day. The only way I can function at my absolute best as a homeschool mom, is if I have some time to plan and catch up on those mundane tasks that seem to pile up in an instant.
Want to know even more? Check out the detailed breakdown of our homeschool week below. Plus, get some unique ideas of how to implement this type of schedule into your own homeschool routine!
3 Days of Core Subjects
Before you decided to overhaul your homeschool and begin the 3 day week, you need to sit down and create a plan. Literally everything productive I do in this life starts with a notebook, pen, and some amazing coffee in hand. Take some time to look over your children’s curriculum. Assess each child’s specific needs and see if anything needs to be cut. I know I have a slight curriculum addiction and tend to get a little in over my head when it comes to the amount of subjects we can actually fit into a single semester.
Cutting unnecessary electives can be super hard, I totally get it you guys!
Once you’ve looked over the subjects you need to cover, then you can begin to add in the extras. Just make sure you don’t go too crazy! You can always add fun extras into summer breaks or future semesters. The point here is to create simplicity, while learning. Make out a list of subjects and the 3 days you want to utilize for teaching them. Next, you will want to spend some time taking note of how many lessons each subject has, as well as how you will break them up.
Want to take core lessons outside of the home from time to time? Check out how we Take it to the Library multiple times a year for some added texture to our homeschool routine.
My 5 year old only has 47 language arts lessons for the current school year, but she has 115 math lessons. Since some of the language lessons are a extremely in depth, I broke them up by page number instead of lesson number on our pacing guide. I looked over each lesson and decided where the breaks needed to be. While yes, this took some extra time and prep on my end, it has also encouraged us to have an extremely smooth first semester. This prep can easily be done over the summer months, or if you homeschool year round, during your largest break in school.
The last thing you absolutely need for a successful 3 day school week is an organized pacing guide! First, figure out when you want to start your new or upcoming semester. Next, figure out a projected end date you would like to shoot for. Then, simply play around with numbers! If child 1 has x amount of math lessons, will they finish by the projected end date if they only do 2-3 lessons a week? Do you need to plan a double math day each week or maybe just extend your school year by 2 weeks? Perhaps schooling year round with multiple breaks could also be a wise go to. Just remember, what ever the plan is… it doesn’t have to be set in stone!
Easing Into it…
We usually ease into our 3 day plan by introducing new curriculum over the summer, doing only 1 -2 half school days a week. This helps cut down on stressful double subject days as well as enables us to have our 3 day school week Aug-May with plenty of downtime around the holidays. If you want to learn even more about how we prep for an upcoming school year or would like a free pacing guide of your very own, you can easily find both by checking out 5 Ways to Prep Your Homeschool Year Successfully.
1 Day for Outside of the Home Learning
Field Trips & Co-Ops…
For us, this day is set aside for weekly trips to our local zoo. My younger children are signed up for a bi-weekly science class anyway and we’ve gotten to know and love the staff. So typically we just head over to the zoo weekly, science class or no science class! These classes only take up our morning time, so the afternoons are usually spent at specialty stores, a local nature center, or just exploring a single section of the zoo. This day also happens to fall right in the middle of our homeschool week, so it’s a welcomed breather.
If you tend to be a social person, co-ops might be right down your alley! Finding a local homeschool co-op group, or starting your own can be a fun new way for your kids to socialize while learning fun new skills! However if you’re a homebody like myself, simple family days or field trips might be more your thing. Either way, the point is this: your kids are learning in a fun, non conventional way outside of the home!
Once a week sound like a little much for you and your family?
Make this weekday a “free range” kinda day instead. Maybe plan bi-weekly co-ops or field trips, while they spend the leftover weeks at home doing electives such as woodworking, art, or foreign language. If you decide to stay home on this day multiple times a month, you can also add in lots of outdoor exploring or hands on play. Just make sure you stay away from strict schedule and core subjects or lessons.
1 Day for Errands and Housework
Want to know the key to most my success as a homeschool mom? This. The no lessons, no teaching, no organized schedule day is it! If I didn’t have this extra day to work on my own things, I would be a frazzled and hopeless mess all the time (instead of just part of the time, haha). With that said, I still have my low days and my off weeks, but this day is seriously golden you guys!
How it works…
It’s incredible! I actually chose to finish my week with this day, simply because there is nothing more refreshing than an easy weekend that comes after a super productive Friday! Plus, this day doubles as a wonderful time for my kids to either catch up on past due work or plan a fun D.E.A.R Day to end their own week.
This day is a free for all for the kids, but if I’m honest… it’s 100% for me!
If I use my time wisely, I can get groceries bought, many loads of laundry washed, a handful of things done for the blog, school prepped for the upcoming week, and possibly even squeeze in a simple Coffee Break for myself. There is no hustle and bustle, schedule, or deadline to meet. No lessons to be taught. This day is all about what I need to accomplish as a mom, so that I can refresh over the weekend and start the next school week on the right foot.
With that said, you can plan your day off for midweek or even Monday if you wish.
It’s ultimately your choice. I like ending the week with it, but that’s just what works for me! Find what helps you function at your absolute best. A must for ever homeschool mom! Play around with different schedules and don’t be afraid to ditch one to try something else. The three day school week can be possible, it just takes a little time to find your perfect fit!
The last thing you need to know when it comes to planning a 3 day school week is the importance of allowing flexibility into your schedule. Life happens. Kids get sick and unexpected events arise. If you wake up with a sick kiddo on a Thursday and you had lessons planned, you may need to swap it for movies snuggles and story time instead. Use your weekends to catch up on off weeks, or simply plan a Catch Up Day when you feel like you’ve gotten too far behind!
Allowing myself to be flexible when it comes to schooling my kids and getting the housework done, has worked wonders on my stress levels! Just a few weeks ago we had a family member visiting from out of town on a normal core lesson day. We simply swapped days around for the week. Tuesday became our field trip day, we did core lessons after zoo class, as well as fit an extra lesson in on the weekend. The kids didn’t feel overwhelmed and I didn’t get the stressed out feeling of being behind. Flexibility is key.
Monday – Core Lessons (full day of schedule and schooling)
Tuesday – Core Lessons (full day of schedule and schooling)
Wednesday – Field Trips (zoo science classes, parks, museums and nature centers)
Thursday – Core Lessons (full day of schedule and schooling)
Friday – Day Off (errands, housework, catch up)
While core lessons don’t happen in our home every day, learning still takes place. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that my kids get to learn through experiences instead of just through technology and textbooks. The 3 day school week is a perfect fit for us, maybe it could be the perfect fit for your family as well! I definitely encourage you to give it a try.
Curious About Our Weekend?
Saturday is set aside for our Family History Lesson, chores, and other family fun. Sunday is always family scripture, relaxing, and school week prep!
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Need more homeschool helps right now? Check out these 5 topics that could help you create an even smoother homeschool routine!
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