Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week

Each and every year something in our homeschool changes. We ebb and flow with our needs (both academic and personal) at the time and based on our previous experiences of what is working and what isn’t. I have used SO many different planning methods and planners as our needs have grown and changed. For this coming year I am Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week schedule for the first time!

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!

Why Plan a 4 Day Homeschool Week?

During the past academic year I planned a lot and took out some of the breaks we had previously taken (like shortening our Christmas break). This turned out to be a not so great idea as it set up a recipe for burn out for both the kids and myself.

Here in NYS the Homeschool Regulations state that we have to “school” 180 days/40 weeks for a total of 900 hours in grades 1-6, and 990 hours in 7th – 12th grades.

In our house we have certain days/hours where we are formally doing written and book work, and other times where we are actively learning or participating in something that would still be considered “school” but is not our formal sit down work. This could include things like community projects, sports, extra curricular activities like chess club or 4H, field trips, book club, movies, hands on projects, times we went off on a tangent, etc. While some of these things we have planned ahead for, others just pop up!

Each year I find that building in “relief” time is SO important. It allows projects to overflow and take on a life of their own, it allows for sick days and pop up field trips, and for a struggling learner to get the extra time and help with something without feeling behind.

How I am Structuring our 4 Day Homeschool Week Plan

My plan begins with clear start and end dates. These work out well for us because we typically have big plans for each of these holidays so starting after Labor Day and ending by Memorial Day makes for great book ends to our formal months of “official”  book work.

Start Date: Right after Labor Day

End Date: Memorial Day Weekend

While I am a planner and thus still need to PLAN SOMETHING, I am trying to make it as flexible as possible! For this reason I printed out a Free Printable Yearly School Calendar and started an overall plan.

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!

  1. First I went through and blocked out all the holidays and extended break days.
  2. Then I blocked out any days I know we are camping and any days my husband has off from work (he has some odd state paid holidays).
  3. Next I counted up the approximate number of days we could fit in each month working only 4 days of each week. This gave me an approximate total number of formal sit down work school days.
  4. The final step will be much more time consuming as that will be the planning out of each subject. Instead of filling in a planner with exact dates I am going to create a plan done in order by generic day numbers. So Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. This means we won’t have to do XYZ on March 3rd. Instead each day that we are doing sit down work will just be the next generic day on the list. So if we have been off for 2 weeks and the last day complete was Day 54, then we will pick up with Day 55.

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!

The planning page in the photo above is for my high school age student. As you can see it includes electives such as Spanish, Music, and Driver’s Ed/Auto Upkeep. You can see more about High School Electives here.

If you like the color coding I mentioned you can see more about that in both the Easy Printable Elementary Planner and the Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner.

I created the document in word so that I could easily copy and paste, make changes, add assignments etc.

I believe switching to this 4 Day Homeschool Week will provide us with more relaxed homeschool weeks by creating a schedule that includes time for educational extras, out of the house activities, breaks, and breathing room for things that pop up!

Other Planning Methods/Resources We Have Used

As I mentioned in the very first paragraph, “I have used SO many different planning methods and planners as our needs have grown and changed.” Throughout the years I have written about many of the planners and methods I have tried. As your homeschool changes, your planning methods may too! So if Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week doesn’t seem quite right for you, check out some of the others ways I have scheduled and organized our homeschool days!

Mega List of Homeschool Planners - Paper/Printable/Digital from Starts At Eight