I am a fan of a four day homeschooling week. Why? Well, several reasons. All of them good, naturally.
I believe that working diligently four days in all your subjects covers plenty of material. I admit that I tweak our Tapestry of Grace planned weekly lessons to fit in four days and I did the same with Sonlight when we used it (I used the 5 day program and condensed it into 4 days… I just couldn’t pass up books. It’s a problem, I know.) Seventeen states allow four day school weeks, if that means anything to you.
I think it’s good to have a day set aside for errands and home tasks. After over thirteen years of homeschooling, I’ve seen what “quick errands” can do to a school day. When schooling early elementary only, that’s not really a problem, but once you break the middle school barrier more time is needed in a day. If I was schooling only one or two middle schoolers, we could probably be done by lunchtime or soon after, but with all I need to do with three elementary students AND those past the barrier, it’s not good to try to run errands on a school day and many can not be done on the weekend.
I believe having a day for special events encourages productivity. Field trips and other special activities are important and add to the homeschooling life in important ways. Since going to a four day schedule, the special events do not interfere with the other academics, they enhance, which is the reason for doing them. I’ve seen that having a four day school week encourages field trips and special events because we work hard for the “school days” and feel we’ve earned the “school activity” day.
I look forward to a day for teacher prep. I admit, I just thought of this. My new plan is to use an hour on Friday mornings to write lesson plans for the next week and look over necessary material (check some work, organize myself, restructure if necessary). We have participated in a co-op in the past, taking a day our of our week. Co-op did not leave time for prep during the week (or special events, for a schooler like myself, anyway), but I’m very excited about not doing lesson plans on Sundays. Teachers have a prep hour, homeschooling moms need them too, even if we can’t guarantee uninterrupted time. The trade off is that I can do my work in my pajamas.
All of these reasons combine to make one less day. Just like a homeschooler to add to subtract. 😉