Schedule - Is a 4-day school week possible?

gratitude
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Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:18 am

meljen wrote:Do any of you do shorter school weeks in general? We're doing a solid M-F 5-day week, and some weeks it's a real burn out. But I am worried that doing shorter weeks or taking entire days off is bad for the kids. Any advice?

Mel
We do 4 days a week. When I was doing K & 1st with a 7 & 5 (this past school year/last spring) I would add the exploration days into the 4 days, and I did K 4 days a week and combined days 5 & 6. It worked well for us. I haven't decided yet if I will continue this with ADV & 1st next fall; I would like to. I found that we need a day for appointments, fun, field trips, play at home, clean the house, errands, etc. Your children, and mine, are very young. I think a little really does go a very long ways at these ages. I also find that with 4 days it keeps me from burning out. Every time I try to do 5 days I am running on empty after a week or two. The little ones (4 & 2) need so much! Even if I only had the 7 & 5 though I think I would still find 4 days works better for our family and the way we do things. I want time to take them places, and see things, and do things; for me that is a big part of home schooling. The school work too is very important to us.

No, it hasn't hurt my kids at all. We have always done 4 day weeks, except for rare occasions. My ds7 is reading a few grade levels above his grade. More importantly though I see in my children a lot of growth on many levels: spiritually, academically, emotionally, & character. We have a lot of training left to do though in all of those areas.. for mom too!
Last edited by gratitude on Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

meljen
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by meljen » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:23 am

Thank you so much for re-affirming this for me. As I said, I burn out too. When I get on a new exciting adventure with homeschooling it usually goes about a month and then I want to quit. Not really, but it just get overwhelming. I think we're going to take a day off today. I think I do like the idea of a 4-day week not only because it gives us more time to just relax and 'get things done' (for me anyway, lol) - but it will give us more free-reign with exploration day, and having that shift around to keep things fresh. I think the idea of combining day 5 & 6 for MFW K is ingenious. Day 6 always feels so light to me, since K math takes less than 10 minutes for us on average, and there's no reading activities other than the day 6 book and fun stuff for that.

Anyway thank you so much. :-) This helps a lot!
DD 7, DS 5
Using MFW K & 1st for the first time (2011)

cbollin

Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:26 am

real quick....

plan after one month to intentionally take off for a few days from curriculum.

erikdeb
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by erikdeb » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:57 am

I like schooling year-round for that reason. If I am feeling burnt out, we take a break. If the kids get too long of a break, we have trouble getting back. We don't have any set schedule here, just we do school every day that we can. I was having a hard time with 6mo baby in December....so we took all of December off. Beautiful weather=day off (if the kids have been having good attitude/working hard/etc - I try not to take a day off because they are driving me insane, don't want to reward that behavior!) Often this time of year we will end up doing a half day - if they are doing well, I'll stop mid-way and say "go play outside" - and we finish that day's worth of work the next day. For us, this has been working great (for 4 years) - we're not behind, slightly ahead, I rarely have to push through burn out - we just get a break then. After about 2-3 days of a "break" I'm ready to get us back to work. -- That's just how it works well here.
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jasntas
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by jasntas » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:59 am

Do you have to count days or keep hours? This could affect your taking off one day a week unless you school year round.

We do a light day most every Friday and it really helps. Everyone looks forward to our short day. We only do math and whatever is scheduled in the TM for the light day. If we have other things going on in the week I have found it easier to double up and spread things out over the other days and still keep Fridays light. Or we occasionally skip something if we just can't fit it in. Sometimes I will even schedule most of the Friday activities earlier in the week if I think we will really 'need' a light Friday that week.

BTW, did you know that you can do one subject in a day and call that school for the day? (At least here in CA. I'm not sure about other states. You may want to check on that.) So if we only do math (or LA, or reading, or science, or whatever) on Friday we can still call it a school day. :)

I also like Crystal's idea of scheduling a month of school, then taking a day/week/or whatever off to recoup and regroup.

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davimee
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by davimee » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:18 pm

erikdeb wrote:For us, this has been working great (for 4 years) - we're not behind, slightly ahead, I rarely have to push through burn out - we just get a break then. After about 2-3 days of a "break" I'm ready to get us back to work. -- That's just how it works well here.
Hi Deb, thanks for sharing this! I really like this idea. We started our summer break recently and I'm so anxious to start back to school. I think we'll get started next month! (We won't get our curriculum until the end of this month, and my oldest will be gone for two weeks next month, so we'll have to wait until then she gets back to get started.) Every year I talk about schooling year round so we can take breaks whenever we need them... and every year I'm so anxious to be done in May. :-) So we'll see if this year we can actually stick with it, and just take off days here and there when we need them. :)
Emily - Wife of one wonderful man, Mommy of two terrific girls (11 & 8 )

This is our second year with MFW, using Creation to the Greeks. :)

Lynda Bright
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by Lynda Bright » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:25 pm

Also, I have heard of folks planning their schedule including "Sabbath Week". Six weeks on and take the seventh week off. The idea being it is a picture of creation (in weeks) and Mom can do anything for six weeks if there is a week off in sight, right? If you included one week off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter you would still have a seven week summer break.

lisaha
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by lisaha » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:41 am

We have 4 day weeks if the children get done with 4 days of the three r's and we get through the week MFW grid by Friday. It's motavation for them and I enjoy it more then 5 day weeks!

beaglemamma2008
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by beaglemamma2008 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:36 am

We're another 4-day-a-week family. We currently have co-op three Fridays a month, and we use the other Friday for field trips, to catch up on neglected household chores, or just to hang out in jammies and eat popcorn! :-) This means we have to do math two or three times a week during the summer to stay on track, but I'm fine with that, too, because I don't want their little brains getting cobwebs! :-)
Jennifer, mom to:
Hannah, 8. Finished and loved K, 1st, & Adventures. Currently loving ECC.
Millie, 5. Finished Pre-K and K "lite." Currently playing her way through K "for real."

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1974girl
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by 1974girl » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:34 pm

4 days here too! But we have a Wednesday co-op that runs from 8:30-1:45. So I can't do that and school too. So technically, they are in "school" somewhere for 5 days but I only do MFW for 4. LOVE IT. I also like the break in the middle. Most would like a 3 day weekend but I like the Wed off.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
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Kelly1730
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by Kelly1730 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:53 am

We will be joining a co-op that meets every other Friday this year and the only reason I'm considering it is because of MFW's "light" days on Fridays. I couldn't do school and co-op too, it would be way too much for the boys and me.
Blessings,
Kelly
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Taking days off? Shorter school week?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:59 am

1974girl wrote:4 days here too! But we have a Wednesday co-op that runs from 8:30-1:45. So I can't do that and school too. So technically, they are in "school" somewhere for 5 days but I only do MFW for 4. LOVE IT. I also like the break in the middle. Most would like a 3 day weekend but I like the Wed off.
Funny - we used to have Wed off and I LOVED it, too! Now we have Mon off for home school group, and it's easier to get up-and-at-'em and start the school week on Mon than it is on Tues, and having a mid-week break is nice!

I thought having home school park day and picnic and library and gymnastics all on Monday would be great -- check everything off and focus on school for the rest of the week (AWANA is Sun night), but I'm burned out on Tues mornings! (so glad this year is practically over and all the activities are done already . . . )
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Mom2theteam
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How do you do MFW in 4 days a week?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:25 pm

Schmupsi wrote:I am excited to try MFW in the fall. I will have a dd in 3rd Grade and a dd in K.

We attend a weekly Co-op and I am wondering how people have arranged the material to fit in the 4 days that are left for the week. I am sure there are many others who attend Co-op classes and have found ways that work. I would love to hear your experience.
Tanja in MN
Well...not sure if I should admit this but....we skip "exploration day" or the nature walk day. In K, 1st and Adv the 5th day of every "week" (or Friday if you are good about doing M-F, we aren't) is a light day with just a nature walk and maybe some science and extras. I toss in any "extras" we want to do throughout the week. Then, we skip every 5th day.

For us, we don't actually skip it. We just keep going forward every day that we do school. Because I have so many little kiddos (see siggy), we get derailed and miss school just because it doesn't happen or doesn't get completed a lot. So, we use that 5th day basically as a make up day.

So I moved the activities that were scheduled on Fridays to other days....except the walk, we skip those most of the time. My kids are outside all the time and into all sorts of nature exploration. I don't feel we need that specific nature walk. But, I understand that option might not be for everyone. Also, I haven't used anything above Adv. So, it might not be as easy to do in the other programs.
Heather
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asheslawson
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Re: How do you do MFW in 4 days a week?

Unread post by asheslawson » Wed May 01, 2013 12:53 am

I began MFW with a daughter in K & my son in 4th, doing ECC. We have been doing a weekly co-op every year. It is sometimes a little tough - especially depending on what we have taken on in co-op - but it seems fairly easy to adjust out that extra day. Friday is scheduled as a light day in the curriculums I have used (K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR). K was a little different, but it was always easy to do in such a short amt of time that we were usually able to work it in if we did not want to 'skip' the Friday (I used the older K & 1st). We usually just adjust the other items in the week to leave Friday's material happening on our 4th day (which is Friday since our co-op meets on Thursdays).

We still do our bible material on the day we go to co-op. If there is any reading material for history or notebook sheets - we move it to the material assigned for Thursday & just double-up on that day. Occasionally science projects get bumped to the evening or weekend. And - though I wish it wasn't the case - for us the area we have usually trimmed off our schedule has been in the extra stuff, like art & composer study. We still do them - we just don't do everything assigned all year - I pick & choose for those. Of course - both of my children took art classes in co-op - so it was the easy place for me to decide to take something out since they were getting this in another area.

It was always pretty easy to just move things scheduled for Friday to whatever was scheduled for Thursday & make it work for us.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
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lea_lpz
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Re: How do you do MFW in 4 days a week?

Unread post by lea_lpz » Wed May 01, 2013 2:59 am

I have a few ideas for you...

One, spread out the light Friday activities you choose to do throughout the week and the same with 1st. I just got the 1st grade teacher's manual and it seems pretty doable. It seems like the set up is the same in the family cycle.

Two, school year round so you take shorter breaks over all but school 4 days a week on average. You can then still use your light day to do nature walks and field trips and not just doing co-op. For us, light day is the day we often get to wrap up things during the week that we couldn't get to so ends up like a full day, but since we only do school 3-4 days a week we don't do outside time on the "light day" any how. We always have 1 day a week that's "free" and we go and do a field trip relating to the topic or we go and enjoy the outdoors. For example during our butterfly unit, one day we visited Cal Academy of Sciences and saw huge butterflies in their rain fires simulation, another day we took a trip to a garden center,and located flower that attract butterflies and came home to plant them, and then another day we went to a national park about an hour away for a hike and picnic. We looked out for butterflies and tried to see if we could name them. That left day 6 wide open for a messy craft and baking frosted butterfly sugar cookies ;) . Yum!

Three, is to consider doing school over the weekend or evenings. As homeschoolers, we don't have to conform to a typical m-f, 8:15-3:15 schedule. You could spread one day a week over the course if the week as "homework" or do 1 day of school on say Saturdays regularly. Or maybe light day is covered over the weekend with science being done Saturday and the family spending time together getting in nature or doing a "field trip". Or take the fun activities through out the week and make some of them family evening activities, like the geography games, read alouds, Bible, and your 1st grader reading her Bible reader, etc.

Remember you can break your school day into chunks so you can squeeze in 15-30 minute chunks here and there.

Another favorite tip I got when you have a busy schedule is to take advantage of car time and car school. On Thursdays we have AWANA and it's about a 15 minute drive one way, so those nights we always do Spanish in the car with our cd in the way to church. We also do this on the Fridays I pick my stepson up (every other weekend). It scratches something off our to do list on days I know we have less time. You could probably find audio stories for read alouds, listen to Scripture, listen to foreign language, or music appreciation, etc. you get the idea and can figure out what might be done in the car.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

Julie in MN
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Re: How do you do MFW in 4 days a week?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed May 01, 2013 10:17 am

We belonged to co-ops from 3rd to 6th grades, always using MFW, and it really wasn't a problem. Sometimes the first 2 weeks of school had Friday assignments, but co-op didn't always start right away. Then most of the rest of the year, MFW Fridays were very light. We did 4 days of school on the non-coop days, and we just did any little assignments from the 5th day during the other 4 days, such as doing a cooking project for lunch during the week. Or sometimes we skipped something that was similar to what we did in co-op or whatever.

We didn't use MFW-K with co-op, but MFW-K has fewer days scheduled during the year (I believe it's 166 vs. 170-180 for other years), plus 26 of the kindergarten days are mostly reading books and doing fun activities which could be done at bedtime or on other days.

I don't think you'll have a problem at all,
Julie
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TriciaMR
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4 day schedule for ECC

Unread post by TriciaMR » Tue May 17, 2016 10:59 pm

mommy3 wrote:
Tue May 17, 2016 10:53 pm
I am thinking about doing ECC with my kiddos for the next school year. We do a co-op one day a week so am looking for ideas on how to schedule ECC into 4 days per week.

Would it work to do Bible one day, Geography one day, Science one day, and Art/Music/Cooking one day? Memory verse, math, and language arts would still be done each day as scheduled. Or would the geography and science days be too much? Any other ideas? Thanks!
I think you might miss some of the connections that way. When we did ECC, we did Bible every day (didn't take that long), and then Geography from Monday and Tuesday on the grid on Monday, Science from Monday and Tuesday on the grid on Tuesday; Geography from Wednesday and Thursday on the grid on Wednesday, and then Science from Wednesday and Thursday on the grid on Thursday. Music we often did in the car (again, it doesn't take that long). Cooking stuff was often saved for the weekend. Spread art projects across the week.
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DS4home
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Re: 4 day schedule for ECC

Unread post by DS4home » Wed May 18, 2016 1:32 am

The first two weeks of ECC are full. But once you get past that point most Fridays are very, very light. So in essence it already is a 4 day schedule, with only a couple of things on Fridays. The main things saved for Fridays are vocabulary words and cooking. I didn't have too much trouble moving vocab to a different day when I needed to, and like Tricia said, cooking can be done on the weekends. It should be a pretty simple thing to do ECC on a 4 day schedule.

Dawn
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Julie in MN
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Re: 4 day schedule for ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed May 18, 2016 12:14 pm

Just agreeing with the others that it is totally doable with MFW, especially before 7th grade. We belonged to coops in 3rd-6th grades alongside MFW and it was no problem at all.

If you look at the ECC sample here http://www.mfwbooks.com/downloads/pdfs/ ... manual.pdf and scroll down to the grid on page 7, you will see that ECC is basically a 4-day week (after a couple of busy weeks at the beginning, as Trish mentioned, which we just stretched out into the next week - we were never doing "Monday" on Monday anyways, since we started our year the day after Labor Day, a Tuesday).

For the few assignments on the 5th day, we might do the extra read-aloud chapter at bedtime. At our house, the letter was often a thank-you letter that could be written during afternoons or evenings. The Bible memory verse was tested at the end of the week either way (our coop never seemed to be on Fridays). Etc.

It all worked out fine for us.

By the way, sometimes we eliminated something that was duplicated in our coop, such as skipping an ECC craft, a nature walk, or a writing assignment, if it was already taken care of at coop.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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