Friday, September 18, 2009

Fried by Friday Morning

A realization about this fall's new homeschool and family schedule hit me today.

Both of my kids are fried by Friday morning.

This fall my kids are at night appointments three nights a week. One keeps them out until 10:30 pm at an academic class for homeschoolers.

Then they spend six hours on a weekday doing hiking and being outdoors (in all weather, hot, rain, cold or whatever) for an experiential class they take with homeschoolers.

Those first four days of the week are filled also with homeschool lessons at home, doctor's appointments that can only be done on weekdays during the day and other random errands done on an urgent basis (non-urgent stuff can wait for a weekend).

To be blunt, by Friday morning my kids are shot.

It is not panning out well to have a full day of homeschool lessons at home on Fridays. I don't know where to go with this issue.

Weekends are then busy with errand shopping, seeing extended relatives, or are spend traveling. Other weekend activities include church attendance with large classroom religious education (which can be chaotic and noisy). Also Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts camping trips with time outdoors in all weather, sometimes uncomfortable sleeping arrangements and sub-par food can be rough on the body. The days when we're home are often filled with my kids seeing their schooled friends who are too busy during the school week to see them socially.

I'm not sure how to address this. Before I had spread the kid's homeschooling lessons over the four days that they are home. I'm thinking now to make the load heavier on the subjects they do daily and then to leave Friday for something special.  Friday could be our art day, our history read aloud as a family day, our day to do a science experiment or anything else that is more "once weekly" or "twice monthly".

One thing I want to avoid is having Friday be a day to sleep late, watch TV all day, and play video games all day.

My thinking cap is on. If you have ideas please share! Thanks!


A Mountain Mom said...

I was wore out just reading your blog! You know, when I first pulled my kids out to homeschool I called our school district a few times with frantic questions about hours and subjects. I got the nicest woman each time who kept telling me.... Don't Worry!! One of the joys of homeschooling is that your kids are learning all the time... not just when you designate subjects or book work or coops.

I guess what I would do in your situation, is make Friday a "down" day. NO T.V. or videos. Encourage reading, game playing (those fun board games that they are actually really "learning" at without knowing it!) and, like you said, those once a week/once a month things that are more "fun" than writing papers and working math problems. Art and science are usually relaxing subjects and something to look forward to each Friday :-)

I hope this helps and I hope you find some peace in your busy schedule!

dstb said...


I hear you.

I don't think my kids have quite as busy a schedule as yours, but it is enough for us.

Mondays the boys are doing an all day nature class (Two Coyotes). The only thing I require of them that day is instrument practice. They both have soccer practice that night. This is the day I try to get all my errands done.

Tuesdays my older one has band at a local private school in the morning and they both have lessons in the afternoon.

Wednesday is band in the morning again, but we're home by 9 and can get going pretty well. We are home the rest of the day.

Thursday they are taking a one hour writing class that is 1/2 hour away. Not something I would normally do, but we needed a jumpstart with that. This class lasts only 6 weeks, although things are going pretty well, so maybe we'll sign up for another session. Soccer practice for one son at night.

Friday....a stay at home day (except for soccer practice in the evening). Initially I was going to reserve this day for fun - nature walks, science experiments, art. However, with Monday spent at nature class (which let's face it, is all day fun), much of Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning out of the house, I have revised my thinking.

Now, on Friday mornings they still have to do their math and history lessons, practice and maybe spelling or Spanish. The afternoon is for our wrap-up for science. It is the day we do experiments or activities that related to the reading they did during the week. (Today we went letterboxing instead because the weather was nice. Monday there is no nature class, so we'll do our science experiments then).

Ideally, I'd like us to finish work each day earlier than we do and then have some time for some projects. We have a list of things we've been meaning to do, and we have made some progress on working through them, but our school work still seems to be taking too long (my younger one has a hard time staying focused on the task at hand).

One of the changes I have tried to make this year is to be more available to them in the afternoon for projects. Usually, by the end of the school day, I have had enough and want some down time. Instead, I have tried to make a concerted effort to work with one of them on something they are interested in. One day it was printing off and helping cut out tanks for a simulation of the Battle of Kursk. My son was thrilled to be able to set this up and has spent hours since playing with it on our dining room table. Another time it was helping my other son get his aquasaur kit set up. This does not happen every afternoon, but I am trying to make a concerted effort to do something that they consider fun once or twice a week.

I guess my thought is that I fit these things in where we can and if Friday isn't the fun day I originally had in my plans, that's okay.

I am also thinking of perhaps doing some kind of "Jan Plan" in January. Perhaps taking the Lego NXT and really learning how to program it and work though some of the projects in a book I bought. Or we'll focus on doing some cool art projects. I don't know, but just taking a break from all the usual stuff.

Sorry this is so long. I'm interested to see if other people have some ideas, because I know our schedule is far from perfect.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Karen said...

Reading, audiobooks and movies with discussions may fit. You're doing Bravewriter, right? Look to that for some inspiration on this front.

Shakespeare is especially good as it was written to be seen, not read.

Exploring music together could be good as well.

atara said...

It sounds like your are on the right track. Something school related on Friday, but not demanding.