Schooling 4 days a week

I realize there was a post on schedules:) but, I’d like to hear from moms who specifically use a 4 day schedule, Monday–Thursday. I’m considering this schedule for next school year. I was thinking of having Friday be a “light” day, only doing reading and math, and maybe a science/history project:) since we take a shorter summer break vs the couple months the public school takes, we can still finish the books before the next year would start (does that make sense?)
Any pros/cons or suggestions from anyone that has used this type of schedule? THANK YOU


I was looking into doing this too! I will definitely be following!


@melissa228 I’m thinking of doing science/history each 2days a week. Maybe science Monday and Wednesday, and history Tuesday and Thursday. Then if there’s a hands on project/experiment, maybe doing that on Friday. What are your thoughts on that’s?


I also wish to do a 4-day week but i don’t think I will be able to every week. Maybe a light day on even weeks and a 4-day week on odds would work. Once I get the rest of our curriculum settled I can plan. Subbing to get ideas :blush:

@michelletown Can you expand in any reasons you may force that this schedule may be tough? I’m trying to get it on paper as I write this, and I’m finding it difficult:( it seems to be making Monday–Thursday REALLY PACKED!

My first thought is just as you said - making Mon-Thurs too long. My son doesn’t yet handle a long school day with ease. My second concern is that many curricula are scheduled for 160-180 school days - which means we would be doing more school weeks or skipping parts of the curriculum. While I am not opposed to skipping parts he doesn’t need, it does add more to my day to have to seek out what to skip! We also like to do things like take the day off when my husband is off work or has vacation time. If we are doing a 4-day week, our schedule may not be flexible enough to allow that occasional joy. I love the idea and want to make it work so I am going to map it out once I know how many school days we need. For now I’ve sketched a very loose schedule to allow lots of life interruptions. New babies like to give those freely!

@michelletown You have given me some things to think about…hmmmmm…

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I just scheduled out next year’s plan and the curriculum we’re going to use will allow for a4 day schedule. Worth Fridays just reading and field trips. We’ll have a 2nd grade and kindergartener. I’m sure the older the grades the harder this will be, but for now it works. I love having a third day to our weekend. We can get out and do so much more or just relax more. I think I’ll try to keep this schedule for as long as I can.

@bttrflynthesky so for your 4 days, will you do every subject every day? Or just the basics, with science and histroy only a few times a week?

@Luvmyboys most of my subjects will be every day. History and science will just be twice a week. (every other day). Math, writing, grammar, spelling will be once a day Mon-Thurs. Math will be once a week. And five in a row will be every day including Friday, but we’ll just read the book without any activities. Maybe we’ll do a fun dinner that Friday night that ties into the book. But our Fridays will be just reading, games, and field trips.

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@bttrflynthesky That was basically the exact schedule I was just writing down! I’m working out the kinks:) I printed off some blank weekly templates and I’m trying the schedule different ways.

For us, the 4 day schedule would be too packed if we didn’t also school year round. Going all year works well for us because they never get that long break where information has time to leak out of their heads :wink: We use our 5th day for hands-on projects and for reading library books that correspond with what we are learning. The reading takes at least half the time the the other 4 days does. It is a great way for us to get in those hands-on projects, since they would otherwise fall on the wayside.

When the school year starts, we do math, grammar, and writing all 5 days. This is because sometimes I extend things like writing to work on the finer aspects of it. Also, between our normal math curriculum I put some different (life of fred), ‘funner’ math books, which does extend the over-all year. I also add various things throughout the year that helps extend it even more. We really do have a full year even though our ‘official’ school is only done on 4 of the days.

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@jeremmy That definatley sounds like you have a great plan! What grades do you have? My son will be second, I think a 4 day week would be a good solution for him ( he does NOT like to school;), but I worry then it will cause our 4 day week to be INTENSE! Our school day is typically 4 hours.
I was planning on reading and math 5 days week. Science/history doing 2 days a week each. Any hands on projects/experiments scheduling for Friday for those subjects:) spelling, journal/composition, grammar, phonics Monday --Thursday…
whew…I hope you understand that, it makes sense in my head;)

Pre-S and 3rd/4th. We don’t do a lot of the extraneous LA’s like spelling and vocab since we do a literature based curriculum (Sonlight). We do the core (reading/history/science/Bible), then we have state’s study (roadtrip usa), writing, grammar, math,and hands-on misc stuff inc science projects.

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@Luvmyboys We will be doing a four day schedule next week…sort of. We are joining a co-op that meets on Tuesdays. We will be schooling at home on Monday (full day), Wednesday (1/2 day, because of speech, piano, etc), Thursday (full day) and Friday (light day - tests only and any make up work). Only a few of our subjects will be impacted because they are 5 lessons per week, but some of it can be combined.

I’ve been talking to a friend who does a block schedule - one month she focuses on history and the next on science. So they get very intensive during that month, but then take a month off. I am not sure how well that would work in our house, because my daughter needs the repetition to help learn, but it may be an option for you.

@KathiJohnson Since you know a lil about my son, I’m happy you responded:) he does not like to do school. So a 4 day a week would give him a longer break:) typically he doesn’t need to much review, but he does need to read daily.
I thought this weekly schedule:
5 days–reading, math
4 days-- phonics, spelling, grammar, journal
3 days–write shop
2days–science and history, alternating
1 day–health (just for 1 semester)
Once a month–art

It looks like a lot, but some things (journal, explode the code, take 5-10 mins only). It’s about a 4 hour day. Then Friday’s are left open for errands, library, park days, etc… Still figuring it all out:)


We do school year-round, pretty much. Which means we do not schedule the 180 days 5 days per week for 36 weeks. Instead, we schedule school days 4 days per week, which makes for a longer year. Our schedule still looks the same for everyday than if we did it 5 days per week, except that on Fridays we can count it as a weekend day, or we use it for those experiments we didn’t get around to, or lapbooks we didn’t finish, unit studies for my littlest ones, notebooking I want them to work on, etc. I actually think of Fridays as a school day but in which we are only doing the fun stuff. It makes schooling so much more pleasant.
Yes, the year of schooling becomes a longer one if you look at it in the number of weeks, but the benefits are great. At least it has been for us, since we always found ourselves having to catch up on school papers because there was a day that week someone had to do this, or go there, or was sick, or whatever! Plus, they don’t easily forget what they’ve learned due to such a prolonged break for summer.
During harder months or years, when time for schooling might be hard to find due to illnesses or lots of babied, etc., I have done a week of 3 school dsyd, a week of 4 the next, and rotated it all year long, but didn’t feel obligated to follow that schedule if things were easier the next month, then we just did school more often like 4 days a week every week, or even 5.
For a year of 3 and 4 school days per week, every other week, you will have scheduled your 180 days over 52 weeks.
For a year of 4 school days per week, every week, you will have scheduled your 180 days of school days over 45 weeks.
If you do some weeks with 5 days of school you can speed uo your school year, and if you don’t or can’t you will not feel like you have fallen behind. But don’t fall behind with those 4 days a week, or you won’t have much time to catch up.

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We currently have a 4 day a week schedule and it is great! I’m able to fit everything in and my kids don’t mind the extra work (if needed) because they know they have Friday’s off. I’m able to do any errands that are needed or work in appts. If we have to take a day other than Friday it’s easy to just flip flop it. I have a 3rd and 6th grader. We also run a small farm so the extra day to work on things around the farm is nice.


I’m glad you are getting so many good suggestions. :slight_smile:

@Luvmyboys my son will be in kindergarten and my daughter will be starting preschool so a 4 day week is going to be fairly easy for us. I’m sure as they get older and we add more subjects it’ll get harder. I’ve really liked the idea of sabbath schooling (6 weeks on 1 week off) and doing it year round with 4 day weeks. Maybe that’ll help it not seem so intense. if a 4 day week doesn’t work out then you can always change it! That’s the beauty of homeschool!!