Pros and Cons of a 4 Day Week

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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!

Enthusiastic Kids

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.

pros and cons of a 4-day weekEnthusiastic 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.

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    1. No, I’m not extending the school year. While we formally school 4 days a week, the 5th day is for the fun educational activities. It’s free for history projects, field trips, art projects, library trips, free reading days, nature hikes, long discussions, and catching up. Education doesn’t always involve sitting down at a desk working through textbooks. The 4 day week allows us a 5th day for alternative activities. 🙂

        1. Yes, I realized it was confusing. It feels like a 3-day week to the kids, especially when they have extra time for their personal projects. 🙂

  1. We use a 4-day week, but that is because my husband is off on Mondays and no matter how hard I try, the kids would rather hang out with him than do school–plus it is generally a catch up day for home repairs, errands, or cleaning.

    1. That extra day is really useful, isn’t it! And I don’t blame your kids for wanting to hang out with their dad. My kids love to do the same! 🙂

  2. We did 4 days – but Friday was simply different activity. They were still learning. We did library, pool, visit with friends, maybe the grocery shop, maybe cleaning, maybe a video or games. I still counted it as a ‘school’ day, we just didn’t study. I hope you find continued success and your kids start enjoying their Fridays in a different way.

    1. That’s what I’ve found. We’re still learning, but it’s in favor of the extras that are easily skipped…. or the kids spend the day working on their personal projects such as programming, writing novels, and building robotic lizards. 🙂

  3. I do a 5 day week but I do four weeks on and one week off. The four weeks is a perfect amount of time to usually complete a unit or nature study and by the end of 4 weeks, we seem naturally ready for a break.

    If this schedule ever stopped working so well for us, I would definitely consider a 4 day week.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    1. Does this mean that you school year round? I didn’t do the Math, sorry, I thought it easier just to ask as this really interests me!

      1. Hi Chelle! Actually my kids and I enjoy having a summer break. It lets me deep-clean the house and set up the homeschool for the new school year. The older kids have projects they pick up for the summer such as Japanese, guitar, programming, or writing. If you’re wondering about the 180 days, between catching up extra work on Friday and educational projects during the summer, we do school related activities more than 180 days a year. 🙂

  4. We opted for a 4 day week also! We use Sonlight, where the 5th day is always optional. My husband works for the church we attend and has off on Fridays, so this was the best option for our family. We love the 3 day weekend!

  5. We have done a 4 day week from the beginning. This is our 2nd year homeschooling. I run a daycare as well (from home) so I take clients only 4 days a week as well. This way all my aptmts/field trips and errands are all on Fridays and it works amazingly well. Rarely do we do school on Fridays unless we need to catch up. We use Sonlight so we take a 5 day program and cram it into 4 days; very easily so far I might add. We love the schedule. We do ballet every Fri am for my daughter (age 6) so it’s nice to have her in a homeschool class with just a few kids.

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