In our early years of homeschooling, we tried a few different things in terms of a weekly rhythm. Several years ago, we settled on something which works very well for us and for many other families. We homeschool 4 days a week and take Fridays off.
Normally, during the week, I aim to stop reading/knitting/using the computer by 8am. I wake any remaining sleepers up at this point and everyone starts their morning routine. I try to have breakfast on the table by 8:30am, so that we will be in good shape to start our school work at around 9am. Without having these target times in place, I find that we will just mill around too long and the school work will overflow far into the afternoon.
On Fridays, our routine varies in these ways:
- Children are allowed to sleep in as late as they want (unless we have to be somewhere — see #2).
- Appointments (such as chiropractor, dentist, doctor, naturopath, etc.) and errands are scheduled as much as possible for Fridays.
- Breakfast is a free-for-all-make-your-own.*
- No formal schoolwork is done with the exception of math sometimes for children who need the extra practice.
- We are very leisurely about beginning our morning routine and hang out in our pyjamas knitting/reading/computing/etc for an embarassingly long time.
- We often head over to my parents’ farm in the early afternoon, especially if it is a nice day. (We have pizza night together as families every Friday night.)
What are some of the advantages to taking Fridays off from the normal routine?
- Having this day set aside helps me guard the other four days from becoming overscheduled.
- Knowing there is a ‘break day’ coming where we are free to just hang around doing whatever we like helps us stay on target the other days. It is a simple, but effective principle to work hard during work times and relax during break times.
- Being a normal business day, Friday is an efficient day to do errands and schedule appointments, whereas trying to do these things on the weekends/evenings can be frustrating.
- Taking a break on Fridays makes it easier to do activities and work around the house on Saturdays.
* I don’t want you to be lured into an uninformed decision about the free-for-all breakfast, so please note the following pictures of my kitchen taken this morning. Every week, my admonishment about the state of the kitchen is met with a chorus of, “But I didn’t make the mess!” I don’t allow anyone to do anything else until it is cleaned up, however.
If you are a homeschooler, what is your weekly rhythm? Do you take Fridays or another day off?