Living the Homeschool Lifestyle
If you’ve been following our homeschool journey, you are well aware that homeschooling is more than just a schedule for our family.
We consider homeschooling to be a way of life and believe that learning can happen anywhere and everywhere!
With that said, we only follow a schedule 3 days per week.
If you are considering homeschooling for your own child, but find yourself feeling overwhelmed with a 5 day homeschool schedule, the 3-day homeschool week might just be your perfect fit.
Check out how I lightened my load by creating a simple 3 day school week for my own kiddos!
How to Homeschool 3 Days a Week
Three solid days are really all you need for core homeschool lessons each week.
Have a hard time believing it? I honestly wasn’t sure it was going to work when I decided to try it a little over 3 months ago either.
However, it actually does work and this is hands down the best homeschool schedule we have ever tried!
Creating a Simpler Homeschool Week
The idea of creating a 3 day homeschool week came to me during a time of complete overwhelm. I was struggling with the number of responsibilities on my plate and I needed a new way to manage them.
Honestly, I knew I wanted to try this, but I didn’t think it would actually work.
If you are in this very place and something needs to give, I encourage you to take a deep breath and keep pushing forward. While homeschooling isn’t always easy, it also doesn’t have to be overwhelming all the time.
Ready to dive in and see how I found our perfect fit? Check out my full breakdown of our 3 day homeschool week below!
The 3-day Homeschool Week
I plan 3 days for learning core subjects because foundational skills are important for functioning and growing!
Then, I set aside 1 day for exploring, taking field trips, and doing exciting things specifically geared towards the kids. This is an essential part of our week! It simply allows my kiddos to take a much-needed break while getting outdoors or spending time with friends.
Lastly, I have my day. The only way I can function at my absolute best as a homeschool mom is if I have some time to plan and catch up on those mundane tasks that pile up as the week drags on.
While this may sound simple, creating a 3 day homeschool week actually takes some effort to pull off successfully.
If you are ready to implement this type of schedule into your own homeschool routine I encourage you to check out my detailed breakdown of our 3 day homeschool week below!
Homeschool 3 Days a Week Breakdown
Before you decided to overhaul your homeschool and begin a 3 day week, you need to sit down and create a detailed plan.
Nearly every productive thing I’ve accomplished in this life started with a notebook, pen, and some amazing coffee in hand.
3 Days for Core Subjects
Take some time to look over your children’s curriculum.
Assess each child’s specific needs and see if anything needs to be cut. I know I have a slight curriculum addiction and tend to get a little in over my head when it comes to the number of subjects we can actually fit into a single semester.
Cutting unnecessary electives can be super hard, you guys — but it’s so important!
Once you’ve looked over the subjects you need to cover, then you can begin to add in some extras — just make sure you don’t go too crazy! You can always add fun extras into summer breaks or future semesters.
The point here is to create simplicity, while still encouraging lots of learning.
Next, make a quick list of subjects and the 3 days you want to utilize for teaching them.
Then, spend some time taking note of how many lessons each subject has, as well as how you plan to break them up over the next year.
My 5-year-old only has 47 language arts lessons for the current school year, but she has 115 math lessons.
Since some of the language lessons are extremely in-depth, I broke them up by page number instead of lesson number on our pacing guide. Then, I looked over each lesson and decided where her breaks needed to be.
While yes, this took some extra time and prep on my end, it has also encouraged us to have an extremely smooth first semester.
This prep can easily be tackled over the summer months, or if you homeschool year-round, during your largest school break.
I use a simple pacing guide when preparing for our new homeschool year. This simply helps me outline our 3 day school week by creating daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
Not sure how to utilize a pacing guide? Check out these simple tips!
First, figure out when you want to start your new or upcoming semester.
Next, figure out a projected end date you would like to shoot for.
Then, simply play around with numbers!
Yes, getting started really is that easy!
If child 1 has x amount of math lessons, will they finish by the projected end date if they only do 2-3 lessons a week?
Do you need to plan a double math day each week or maybe just extend your school year by 2 weeks?
Perhaps schooling year-round with multiple breaks could also be a wise go-to option. Just remember, whatever the plan is, it doesn’t have to be set in stone! Make it, tweak it, then tweak it again till you finally create a doable plan!
Easing Into Schedule…
We usually ease into our 3-day plan by introducing most new curricula over the summer months, doing only 1 -2 half school days a week.
This simply helps cut down on stressful double subject days as well as enables us to have our 3-day school week Aug-May with plenty of downtime around the holidays.
1 Day for Out of the Box Learning
For us, this day is set aside for weekly trips to our local zoo.
My younger children are signed up for bi-weekly science classes anyway and we’ve gotten to know and love the staff there. So, we typically hit the zoo on a weekly basis — science class or no science class!
With that said, these classes only take up the morning hours, so the afternoons are usually spent at specialty stores, local nature centers, or exploring a single section of the zoo.
Something amazing? This day happens to fall right in the middle of our homeschool week, making it a welcomed breather.
Not sure how to gear up for an out-of-the-box learning day? This day can be anything you want! Set it aside for field trips, experiments, digital learning, fun electives (such as art or foreign language), DEAR days, park days, whatever!
If you are more on the social side (unlike me, the huge introvert), co-ops might be right down your alley.
Finding a local homeschool co-op group, or starting your own can be a fun new way for your kids to socialize while learning fun new skills! However, if you’re a homebody like me, simple family days or field trips might be more your thing.
Either way, the point is that your kids are learning in a fun, nonconventional way!
1 Day for Errands & Housework
Want to know the key to most of my success as a homeschool mom? 100% THIS!
The no lessons, no teaching, no schedule day.
If I didn’t have this extra day to work on my own things, I would be a frazzled and hopeless mess all the time (instead of just part of the time, haha).
With that said, I still have my low days and my off weeks, but this day is seriously golden you guys!
How I make it work…
Are you ready for this? It’s pretty incredible, you guys!
I actually chose to finish my week with this day, simply because there is nothing more refreshing than an easy weekend that comes after a super productive Friday!
Plus, this day doubles as a wonderful time for my kids to either catch up on past due work or have a completely free-range day.
While I like to say this free for all day is for my kiddos, if I’m being honest, it’s totally for me.
If I use my time wisely, I can get groceries bought, multiple loads of laundry washed, a handful of work items accomplished, school prepped for the upcoming week, and possibly even squeeze in a little mom self-care.
There is no hustle and bustle, no schedule, and no deadlines to meet or lessons to be taught. This day is all about what I need to accomplish as a mom so that I can refresh over the weekend and start the next school week on the right foot.
With that said, you can plan your day off for midweek or even Monday if you wish. It’s ultimately your choice.
I like ending the week with it, but that’s just what works for me!
Find what helps you function at your absolute best. Play around with different schedules and don’t be afraid to ditch one to try something totally different. The three-day school week can be possible, it just takes a little time to find your perfect fit!
Flexibility and the 3-Day Homeschool Week
The last thing you need to know when it comes to planning a 3 day school week is the importance of allowing flexibility into your schedule.
Life happens. Kids get sick and unexpected events arise.
If you wake up with sick kiddos on a Thursday and you had lessons planned, you may need to swap it for movies, snuggles, and story time instead. Then, simply utilize your weekends to catch up on off weeks. Or, if life hits hard and you get too far behind, plan a simple catch-up day instead!
Allowing myself to be flexible when it comes to schooling my kids and getting the housework done, has worked wonders on my stress levels!
Just a few weeks ago we had a family member visiting from out of town on a normal core lesson day. We simply swapped days around for the week. Tuesday became our field trip day, we did core lessons after zoo class, as well as fit an extra lesson in on the weekend.
The kids didn’t feel overwhelmed and I didn’t get that stressed-out feeling of being behind schedule.
Flexibility is key.
How We Homeschool 3 Days a Week
Ready for a final glance at our homeschool week? Check it out!
Monday – Core Lessons (full day of schedule and schooling)
Tuesday – Core Lessons (full day of schedule and schooling)
Wednesday – Field Trips (zoo science classes, parks, museums, and nature centers)
Thursday – Core Lessons (full day of schedule and schooling)
Friday – Day Off (errands, housework, catch-up)
While core lessons don’t happen every day in our home, learning still takes place.
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that my kids get to learn through experiences instead of just through technology and textbooks. The 3 day school week is a perfect fit for us! Who knows, maybe it will end up being the perfect fit for your family as well!
I definitely encourage you to give it a try.
Love this article? Take a moment to share it on social media with other homeschool parents!