What are the pros and cons of a 4-day week?
Have you ever wondered about the pros and cons of a 4-day week? I have!
Over the years I’ve always stuck to a 5-day week. We’re able to cover 5 days worth of material. Weekly assignments are spread out over 5 days. Except it seems every week something happens: a child wakes up sick, Monday’s a holiday, there’s an awesome field trip. Something throws us off stride. Once the week goes by, the kids and I fizzle out.
Advantages to a 4-Day Week
We could catch up on Saturday, it never happens. Saturdays are for socializing, hobbies, errands, and fun events. Despite our best efforts, formal schooling never happens. So I took the plunge. We switched to a 4-day school week.
Friday is a Catch-Up Day
Friday is being used as a discussion and catch-up day. If a history reading is taking a little longer or science was skipped in favor of a fabulous field trip, we’re able to finish the week on Friday.
Monday we’re caught up and ready for the new week!
The kids looked at the new schedule and realized they can have a 3-day weekend every single week. As long as they don’t fall behind. As a result, I’m not hunting down my kids at the beginning of the school day.
They’re cheerfully sitting down, reading the books, and working through Saxon math.
Time for Field Trips
Field trips used to be an interruption to our week. I needed to sit down, determine what should be dropped from our schedule, and make adjustments. No longer! With a 4-day week, we’re able to join that Wednesday field trip.
With Friday as a catch-up day, the time is already planned into the week.
Cons of a 4-Day Week
But a 4-day week isn’t all sunshine and roses. There are also a few disadvantages to homeschooling with a 4-day week.
Subjects Planned for 5-Day Week
Some of our subjects are planned for a 5-day week. That left me with a decision to make. Do I condense the 5 days into a 4-day plan, or do I simply plan away and end up with a ‘Friday’ assignment occurring on a Monday.
Seriously, this drives me batty! Day 1 is a Monday… not Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. In addition, if there are 36 weeks planned, we won’t complete the curriculum by the end of the year.
I decided to condense the 5-day weeks into 4-days.
Enthusiastic Young Kids
The short and cute patrol adores schoolwork. Every morning they set up their books, tip over their crates, put a pillow on the crates, sit down, and shout for Mommy. Heaven help us all if I’m not available immediately!
Trying to convince the short and cute patrol that school is only happening 4 days a week is hard. The kids act like it’s death by torture. Instead, I’m using it as a fun day for alternative studies such as nature studies and Tapestry of Grace.
The short and cute patrol have their school, and my plans are salvaged.
Despite the disadvantages, the 4-day week is working so well for my family, I’m horrified we didn’t start it sooner.