How BookShark's Four-day Week Taught Me to Relax into a Flexible Homeschool Schedule

When we first started homeschooling, we picked a classical curriculum that required five days of school work. Since I had just pulled my son out of a parochial school, I took the the five-day school model as an assumed standard. My son must do five full days of schoolwork to learn just as he had in school.

However, that plan didn’t work for long. I quickly discovered that my son was behind in math and couldn’t keep up with the schedule for the classical homeschool curriculum. Soon we were both frustrated.

When we switched to BookShark a few years later, I was a little bothered that BookShark had lessons planned for only four days a week because I was still clinging to the five-day-a-week brick-and-mortar school standard.

How BookShark's Four-day Week Taught Me to Relax into a Flexible Homeschool Schedule

The Joys of a Four-day Schedule

However, about 10 weeks into our BookShark year, I started savoring this four-day school week. We used the fifth day at first as a catch up day or a day to run errands. Later, we used it as a field trip day. Then, when we joined a co-op, we loved having only four days of scheduled homeschool work so that the fifth day was free for co-op.

I also noticed that on that fifth day (whenever we took it during the week)—those days when formal school wasn’t scheduled—my son spent a lot of his free time reading for enjoyment. He was still learning even on our off days!

Each year I give my son a standardized test to check my progress as a homeschool parent as much as my son’s progress as a student. Each year his score has been well above grade level, but when we switched to BookShark and schooled formally for only four days each week, his score jumped even more.

A Four-day School Week Leads to More Flexibility

BookShark’s four-day curriculum freed my mind to be open to more flexibility. Now, I’m even more flexible than before.  

If I haven’t completed all of my younger girls’ scheduled reading during the day, we finish our read aloud as a bedtime story. Sure, we didn’t fit the work in during traditional school hours, but I’ve finally realized that as homeschoolers, we don’t need to fit all of our work in the traditional school hours.

If my kids need to go outside and do a scavenger hunt for science, I now have my husband do it on the weekend. This is especially helpful when we’ve had a busy week and couldn’t get to some of the hands-on activities.

Homeschooling offers families amazing flexibility. We simply have to be open to embracing that flexibility. For me, BookShark’s four-day schedule was a great way to free myself from the confines of a traditional brick-and-mortar school schedule and find what works for our family.

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About the Author


Melissa is a homeschool mom to three kids. BookShark is her primary curriculum, and she and her kids love it! When she's not homeschooling, she's either shuttling kids from one activity to another or working from home as a freelance writer. You can read more about Melissa's homeschool journey at her blog Moms Plans.