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Does anyone manage to successfully homeschool just 3 days/week? This is for 1st and 3rd graders. It would mean reading/phonics, writing, spelling, grammar, math, history for longer sessions 3 days per week. It would be supplemented with reading content related library books, science, art on the two remaining weekdays. Is this doable? Or do they really need the reading and math practice more often to make it work? I’m trying to determine whether it is feasible to continue working two days per week and homeschool full-time as the academics start to become more rigorous.  I find that trying to use one of the weekend days to homeschool isn’t feasible.

Thank you

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This is fairly common for high school and college students (college schedules and university model high school programs). I think that if your supplementation maybe included an online math program and some reading on the off days, it might be doable, but it would depend on your kids and how autodidactic they are.  I will also say that unless you can drop them off with someone else to do science, art, etc those two days a week, those tend to be the subjects that require the MOST parental supervision and would be hard to do while working IME!!

 

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I couldn't have done it with my kids unless I committed to doing school yr round with no long breaks.   If you took 2 complete weeks off, that would equate to 150 school days.  Maybe 150 days for 1st and 3rd, but by the time my kids are in 4th, we are doing way more work daily than in k3 and we need long breaks.   Having to do school every single week, even if only 3 days, would ultimately drive me crazy.  Some families thrive on yr round schooling (I just know I am not one of the teachers that can.)  I need down time and planning time for the following school yr.  150 days also means as they might need to spend longer daily in order to complete standard content material since 180 days is considered fairly standard. 

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Yes, and no.

If both children are fluent readers, then having them do free reading the two other days would work.  If not, a child learning to read does best with at least 4 days a week of instruction and practice.  5 is better.

I would say no with math unless you plan to go through the summer.  Math needs 4-5 days a week.  Longer sessions don't work as they are exhausting.

Spelling depends.  My children struggle is spelling and need at least 4 days a week.

Writing and history three days a week would work okay at that age.

I have seen 4 days with a day for co-op work.  When I taught first and second grade sometimes the specials subject meant some skill was only taught 4 days a week.  Three days would be tough, particularly if the children are learning new skills or are not really quick to pick up on things. 

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I think your question has two parts.
The first: yes, it's doable.  Our language arts has 108 lessons, or 3x/week.  I worked with some kids who would get intensive phonics/writing/math instruction 3 days a week, and then work independently on either a worksheet or being read to or work of their choice on the other 1-2 days.  For example, this week they have a math packet on fractions.  Our time together will be playing games, introducing concepts, and at the end, looking at the worksheets and brainstorming ways to solve them.  Everything will get put away: the manipulatives, the worksheets, the tape...  The next day, at math time, I won't be there.  They'll open the box, remember the games, and start to work on the papers with the fraction tiles as a help.

The second: would I INCREASE the amount of time for lessons on those 3 days to shuffle 2 extra days of work into them?  Nope. A 1st grader should have short lessons.  They don't have the developmental skills to concentrate for long periods, and a 3rd grader still struggles as well.  I think you really have to be intentional in deciding how to use the time you do have so that it leads to the ability to do some things more independently.  Or, take a slower approach in general and go for year round. 

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My kids do well with academics and didn't need much extra practice in elemetary.  We only used our regular 'at home' materials 4 days a week because we had co-op on the 5th day.  This worked for us, but it meant that I had to be diligent about making sure that we didn't take days off from the core subjects (math and language arts especially).  While I don't necessarily let a book or program dictate our schedule, if you try to work at a 'normal' pace of doing one math book or spelling book each year we found that we needed 4 days each week (or 4/5 of 180 days).  Math and sometimes spelling were the main things that we did that had a number of lessons that more-or-less corresponded with the number of days or weeks of school.  In subjects like history, any format would be fine at this age.

I will also add that an alternative schedule might affect your flow, depending on your program.  For instance, with one of my kids we did a spelling program that had 36 weeks of work.  Certain exercises seemed like busywork so I eliminated that part of the work each week and it easily fit into 4 days.  But, that sort of thing would be more challenging on the schedule you propose.  It's something of an artificial construct, but my kids sometimes like for things to be in 1-week units, and at the end of the week you move on to a new vocabulary or spelling list.  Spreading it over 2 weeks to get the 5 days vs cutting enough, or working longer, to fit it into 3...both might be challenging.  But, if you make up your own program or do something with less-defined groupings or shorter exercises it may not matter.  

And, it's not clear if you were planning to do 180 days of the work that you do on the 3-day program or to do your 180 days counting all 5 days, with only some days having traditional work and the other 2 having reading...or whether you are even in a state that requires you to track days.  But, like 8 mentioned, if this plan would cause you to go year-around, that would not have worked for my family.  We strongly prefer a schedule with long breaks rather than frequent short breaks.  That will be family-specific, though. 

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A lot of families are able to do 4 days per week with the 5th day being a co-op, field trips or other activities away from home, but even in the younger years I think three days per week won't be enough.  My kids need more consistency and practice in the younger years, and don't have the attention span necessarily to do longer sessions to "make up" for missed days. We even found 2 days per month away from home on a school day was plenty (so, in a given month, 2 weeks with only 4 days, and the other weeks with five days). If your kids are able to develop independent work skills as they get older, you may find it is easier for you to work 2 days per week even as their work get more difficult, since they will be able to do much more on their own.  My middle school age kids are able to do nearly all their work independently, with spending a short time with me each day to check/discuss math, go over edits on English, talk about progress on their work, etc.  We do still do read-aloud time together because I enjoy reading to them, but if I had to be away from home, they (the 6th and 8th graders) could do that reading on their own.

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We are required to school 180 days a year in Pennsylvania, so it wouldn’t be possible here. 

I try to do two light days a week to work in activities outside the home and errands. 

ETA: I see you plan to have them work the other two days. I think you can do it that way, but it would be beneficial to have math more than three times a week if possible. It could be flash cards or extra practice sheets, but teaching concepts on three days and extra practice the other two can work if needed.

Edited by Mona
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To some extent, it depends on how much feedback your kids need and how independent they are.  To some extent -- kids get more independent as they get older.  This just depends, but it can happen.  

To some extent, it depends on how well your kids read, if they can sit and read or really need reading instruction or really need someone sitting with them and helping them.

To some extent it depends on if they could do a day of math homework independently without feedback or help.  This just depends on kids.

Could you check homework at night and go over things?  Could you find a little time at night, to go over things or spend a bit of 1:1 time, even if not doing an entire curriculum?  I think those things make a big difference.  

I think kids are really different from one another.  

I have 3 kids, and I think one out of three could be fine this way, as long as there was some time and feedback on the alternate evenings.  The other two -- no way.  

It is obvious from me reading these boards -- some people have all kids like my one who would do fine, and some people have all kids like my two who would just  not do well at all.  

So I think it is very individual, and I think it would need feedback every night (or almost every night, missing a night here and there I think would be fine, and over time you would see if it turned out you truly missed a night here and there, or if it turned out you actually missed a lot of nights), but could work.

I think kids will also be different in how ready they are for feedback at night, or if they have other needs (parenting needs), or if they are exhausted or wild at night, etc, at these ages, or if they are going to be calm and ready to go over some work with feedback.  This varies so much by different kids.  

So I think it does just depend.  

It also depends on if you are exhausted or if you have limited time but are not exhausted.  That is a huge, huge difference.  If you are not exhausted and your kids are receptive at the time of day and amount of time they have had with you -- I think it could work.  But I think kids' first needs are always going to be time with a parent and not school feedback.  

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Two of my kids thrived in the morning at this age, while evenings would be a lost cause.  One of my kids would have been fine, I think.  

One of the two would have been much less of a lost cause by 3rd grade, but I don't think it would have been doing a service to him, either.  

But I think it could work for certain kids, yes.  And not work for others.  

Especially if you could find some time on the work evenings.  

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2 hours ago, Eupatobe1 said:

... Does anyone manage to successfully homeschool just 3 days/week? This is for 1st and 3rd graders.
... I’m trying to determine whether it is feasible to continue working two days per week and homeschool full-time as the academics start to become more rigorous...

Most younger aged children actually need SHORTER bursts of concentrated learning. Certainly with grades 1 and 3, I would not try to do longer sessions of Math, Spelling, and Writing. There is only so much you jam into a young child's head at a sitting. 😉 Even if doing it by splitting it into 2 sets of sessions -- i.e., one lesson of math for 30 minutes in the morning, and then a second lesson of math for 30 minutes in the afternoon or evening -- I just don't see this as really being developmentally workable for most young children.

If you are considering this type of scheduling because parent(s) are working full time and homeschooling, I DO think it's possible with young elementary grades to make that happen -- but it means doing core subjects 5x/week, and then your "extras" are just done 3x/week. Unless you have remedial issues or learning delays/disabilities, it's pretty easy to complete core subjects for a 1st grader in just 60-90 min/day and a 3rd grader  in about 2 hours/day:

5 days a week = 2 hours to knock out all of the core subjects for both 1st & 3rd grader
3 days a week = add 1-2 hours to core subject time for content subjects (History, Science, Geography) or extras (Crafts, Art, Logic, etc.)

Where it would start getting tricky is when students are both in the grade 3-7 range, where it takes more hours/day to complete the work, yet still requires a lot of parent oversight / teaching / mentoring / grading. At that point, would it be possible to have another adult involved in the homeschooling? Ideas:
- 2 parents with alternate work schedules which allows for 1 parent to always be able to be the "teaching" parent
- a grandparent, relative, or other adult who would enjoy being involved several days a week
- barter or hire someone to come in several times a week to oversee schoolwork during set times when parent(s) are unavailable
- switch to a university-model school set up, where children go to a school and are taught 3 days a week, and parent just oversees the work sent home on 2 days/week -- in that situation, there is an administration which determines curricula and oversees paperwork, and teachers do all teaching and grading

One last thing to consider is the childcare aspect of homeschooling. Once school is done, young elementary aged children still need a lot of monitoring and care and input from the at-home parent(s), which is why a lot of working parents need a school -- their children are being both educated and cared for over the course of 6 hours/day of school. Even if you can knock out core academics in a short period of time each day, there is still the element of constant interruptions of a parent working at-home because of the needs of younger elementary-aged children.

BEST of luck in finding what is the BEST solution for everyone in the family. Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

@ClemsondanaI read it as core subjects 3x per wk, so math only 3x per wk. Even at 40 wks, I couldnt cover what I want in math in 120 days. I could do it, but that wouldn't  be working up to potential, only minimum standards.

That is short - our co-op meets 32 days, so we still have 148 days to work with.  We rarely had a day without math - even field trip days usually involved doing math and spelling or reading in the car on the way.  And if we had needed to linger over topics then we would have done more.  Even with Singapore, which has less practice, and kids who tended to grasp concepts quickly, we would have struggled to do it in 120 days.  Maybe 140 would have been enough.  

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Can you? Sure. We did a field trip/game day for k-3 each week. And then a short day each week with chores or errands. It has worked for us fine. 

But most field trip and chore days involved some school work for us. We did reading aloud, reading/phonics practice, math practice. 

Teaching independence takes time, and focus from the parent. 

You will want to work on independence. Know what is reasonable, and set small goals. Work towards having your third grader do 15 minutes of work indepently. 

If you could squeeze in 30 minutes phonics/reading and 30 minutes math on the other two days you will see better retention and growth. Focus on those areas first. 

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Memoria press has a cottage school model as well as a homeschool model. (Check their website or call them.) I think the cottage school meets like 2 or 3 days a week then the rest is like supervised homework not new teaching. Could you do the new teaching then someone else follow the detailed plans the other 2 days? 

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I'll add that some previous posters have brought up a good point - will you be working from home and also doing childcare or will you be having a sitter?  You could probably arrange it so that the new material was done with you and the sitter just supervised practice.  Maybe a 4-day model that ran longer than the traditional school year, where you taught 3 days and they did supervised work one day, or they could do supervised work 2 days if you had somebody that you thought would do a good job.  If you are working from home and also doing childcare, could you do new instruction in the morning before work, on your breaks, and over lunch?  This is really kid-dependent.  One of mine could work from a checklist in 3rd grade as long as somebody was around to answer questions.  The other couldn't manage their time, but if somebody was there to say 'now it's time for math' they could usually do it if it was practice and not new material...we learned this during my 2 weeks of jury duty when spouse worked from home.  🙂  

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When my kids were in early elementary, I worked part time two days a week and they stayed with my mother in law.  We did usually do SOME math four days a week, although one time was usually pretty brief, and we did some reading most days, but it was only for a few minutes.  And I read to them at bedtime every day.  We did a full schedule on other days.  It was fine in early elementary for us.  

I wouldn't be comfortable doing no reading or math four days a week, though.  

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9 hours ago, Eupatobe1 said:

Does anyone manage to successfully homeschool just 3 days/week? This is for 1st and 3rd graders. It would mean reading/phonics, writing, spelling, grammar, math, history for longer sessions 3 days per week. It would be supplemented with reading content related library books, science, art on the two remaining weekdays. Is this doable? Or do they really need the reading and math practice more often to make it work? I’m trying to determine whether it is feasible to continue working two days per week and homeschool full-time as the academics start to become more rigorous.  I find that trying to use one of the weekend days to homeschool isn’t feasible.

Thank you

When my children were young--actually, until they were 9 and 12yo--we only did Official School Stuff two days a week (Monday and Tuesday). The other days were library (Wednesdays), field trip (Thursdays), and clean house/monthly park day (Fridays). So yes, absolutely, you could do only two days a week of formal instruction for children those ages.

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17 hours ago, Lori D. said:

the childcare aspect of homeschooling.

Bingo. The caregiver for the work days is going to need to supervise independent work and provide enriched, educational experiences so that in essence the dc *are* getting 5 days a week of work. Bummer is, at that point mom does all the cr*p and sitter does all the fun stuff. Doesn't have to be that way, but it's a dynamic to think through. 

10 hours ago, Terabith said:

I wouldn't be comfortable doing no reading or math four days a week, though.  

Exactly. With my dd we even did work on the weekends. Some people will do that. If you need a flexible situation to fit in work, then you need to flex your expectations on what school is and when it happens. 

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This is pretty much what we've done for elementary. In theory we school 5 days a week, but they attend an enrichment program 1 day a week (all elective classes) and then I'd say most weeks we end up taking one other day off for a field trip, playdate with friends, visits to family, or travel. We do go year-round, with a bit of a longer break in the summer. My kids have done fine academically, above grade level in math and reading. We don't strictly follow the Well Trained Mind method though. We've taken a very relaxed approach to history and science in elementary.

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I just realized that this thread and the one about a child being behind grade level due to lack of instruction, not ability, are by the same poster.  I think it is important to acknowledge our weaknesses as parents when we are assuming the responsibility of educating our kids.  In the OP in this thread it was acknowledged that weekends are not going to be used for school.  That isn't an issue in and of itself, but I think that it means that hard realistic assessment of when actual school work and instruction will be completed needs to be addressed (not here online or in public, just personally on your own.)

My kids have either had disabilities like dyslexia or have been gifted and accelerated.  Homeschooling has been a blessing bc I have been able to personalize their educations to meet their individual needs.  But, it is also a serious commitment and constant dedication.  I think you could do it, but if 3 days a week is the actual instructional and school time, I think it will require yr round.  I don't leave my kids to teach themselves (and am absolutely not an advocate of teaching young kids to be independent learners.  Kids deserve teachers and interaction to challenge their thinking and understanding.   If there is a way for them to have interaction on the other 2 days and consistent math instruction, 3 days with you would work.  But, if those 2 days are really just independent reading/self-supervision, then I would want to clarify with myself our goals and do everything I needed to make sure they were achieved.

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Yeah, I should clarify that while we concentrated our main homeschooling into three days a week (but did smaller amounts of math and reading practice every day and read alouds daily - really about two hours every day of read alouds and included science and history stuff in that, plus almost all screen time was educational and involved science or history), we did also do at least reading and math year round.  I think significant time off of major skill subjects when they are just beginning to be solidified isn't a great idea.  My oldest was also pretty accelerated.  

It's important to think about the future, though.  I wouldn't have been comfortable with a three day a week schedule permanently, and while older kids can do more independently, other subjects become a bit more demanding.  

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22 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

I just realized that this thread and the one about a child being behind grade level due to lack of instruction, not ability, are by the same poster.  I think it is important to acknowledge our weaknesses as parents when we are assuming the responsibility of educating our kids.  In the OP in this thread it was acknowledged that weekends are not going to be used for school.  That isn't an issue in and of itself, but I think that it means that hard realistic assessment of when actual school work and instruction will be completed needs to be addressed (not here online or in public, just personally on your own.)

My kids have either had disabilities like dyslexia or have been gifted and accelerated.  Homeschooling has been a blessing bc I have been able to personalize their educations to meet their individual needs.  But, it is also a serious commitment and constant dedication.  I think you could do it, but if 3 days a week is the actual instructional and school time, I think it will require yr round.  I don't leave my kids to teach themselves (and am absolutely not an advocate of teaching young kids to be independent learners.  Kids deserve teachers and interaction to challenge their thinking and understanding.   If there is a way for them to have interaction on the other 2 days and consistent math instruction, 3 days with you would work.  But, if those 2 days are really just independent reading/self-supervision, then I would want to clarify with myself our goals and do everything I needed to make sure they were achieved.

I think clarification on my part is needed after reading this response! I am a healthcare provider, currently working two days per week (and telemedicine x 1 year due to covid, so physically at home on those two days). My children are with my husband when I'm working those two days. I am the primary homeschooling parent, I find it way too difficult to try to pass the core subjects back and forth between two people- it doesn't work for us and it's not how I want things to go. However, on my workdays they complete a morning basket that contains a literature read aloud, a stack of library books pertaining to the history we are reading, science (this year they did Thornton Burgess bird study, astronomy, and currently earth science), and sometimes I'll add picture books with math related topics. The afternoons are spent with music lessons one day, and outdoor playdate the other. 

The reason I asked this question to the group is that I wanted opinions from seasoned homeschoolers on whether covering the core topics three days a week could be feasible. It does mean longer sessions on the three days, but so far it hasn't been problematic. Last year I did not finish the school year by may, so we went into the summer, probably until late June- then took July/Aug off. As the academic load gets more rigorous, I'm feeling that continuing to work two days a week may not be feasible- and I'm considering leaving my job (a HUGE decision! I have medical licensure to think about, and I've been in the practice many years).  Homeschooling is my passion now, so if it was being compromised I wouldn't think twice about leaving my medical career to pursue it. But, it also requires some serious consideration before walking away from the ideal job set up that I currently have. 

Regarding my other post about my older daughter being behind grade level, that had more to do with poor curriculum choices on my part, which wasn't really apparent to me until now. I tried to teach her reading in a more organic way and using a very basic text, but she ended up needing a much more formal approach which has worked wonders. I was seeking advice on how to bring her up to speed as we move into her third grade year (she's on AAR level 2 currently). I'm also changing math curriculum because the program we were using is not enough, and she may be behind grade level in math, too, despite completion of the grade 2 program we were using. I'm still learning and trying to figure things out, too! But I'm not a homeschool slacker. ☺️

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29 minutes ago, seemesew said:

I do think it is feasible. 3x a week with those guidelines would be fine as long as you are wiling to do it longer than from sept.-may. I know people who have homeschooled successfully with that much or less. It may not be exactly classical education but they are educated and have been fine and doing well in college and some started their own businesses. I am a 2nd generation homeschooler so I've seen it in my own family😉

Thanks for the input. It is a very difficult decision! 

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Your additional information helps a lot.

Agreeing with @seemesew.

Looking for creative alternate ways of getting the schooling done will definitely be needed. Thinking of it as juggling 2 jobs may help you also not be so hard on yourself when you have to make other choices about how to budget your limited resource of time -- such as not having the time to also keep the house and yard "up" to certain standards, or not also having the time to make all meals from scratch. There are only so many hours in a day, and if the priority is to give the lion's share to the job and to homeschooling, there just won't be a lot of time left over for other things, especially as your children move into the older grade levels and require more time for homeschooling.

BEST of luck in finding what works best for all of you. Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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47 minutes ago, Eupatobe1 said:

I am the primary homeschooling parent, I find it way too difficult to try to pass the core subjects back and forth between two people- it doesn't work for us and it's not how I want things to go.

Rather than trying to "pass" the core subjects back and forth, could it perhaps work to make progress on them on the 2 "off" days, but along an entirely different path than on the other 3 days.

For example, "off" days could include a math-y board game...not tied to what they are currently learning, but review nonetheless. Or time playing on Prodigy (a fun, math review adventure computer game). Or decide that all "extra", often more hands on and fun, math topics (measurement, graphing, money, time, etc) will be covered on those two days so that your math time on the other three days can just focus on core subjects.

Other subjects could be similar. There could be special activities that they do with Dad that are strengthening their skills, but are completely independent of what you are doing with them on the other days.

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For math for the third grader, you could have him/her work on khan academy for 20-30 minutes to reinforce whatever they are learning that week in math.  For reading for the first grader, you could have the child read aloud or do something like Reading Eggs.

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10 hours ago, Eupatobe1 said:

Regarding my other post about my older daughter being behind grade level, that had more to do with poor curriculum choices on my part, which wasn't really apparent to me until now. I tried to teach her reading in a more organic way and using a very basic text, but she ended up needing a much more formal approach which has worked wonders. I was seeking advice on how to bring her up to speed as we move into her third grade year (she's on AAR level 2 currently). I'm also changing math curriculum because the program we were using is not enough, and she may be behind grade level in math, too, despite completion of the grade 2 program we were using. I'm still learning and trying to figure things out, too! But I'm not a homeschool slacker. ☺️

I apologize if it sounded like I was suggesting you were a slacker.  I could tell from the other post that you weren't.  But, starting from behind and not being able to do school every single day adds a level of complexity to your discussion. 

I think Wendy's suggestions are sound.  Math instruction every day does not need to be the same math every single day, but it does mean contemplating ideas, using numbers, problem-solving of some sort every day.  Perhaps you could have 2 streams of math going.  One for MWF with you and another with dad on T/H.   Math and reading are the skillsets that I would want to see hit every single day.  Alternatively, I would have everyone get up early and do some work before I had to do my job's work.  We get up and do school around 5:30 or 6 am every day.  My kids want to be done early so they can spend their time doing things that they want.  30 mins of math for young kids before switching gears would be enough to keep making constant progress.

Consistent repetition to mastery requires time.  It doesn't have to be huge amts of time, just time.  To give an idea of how little time, my kids only spend about 1 hr per grade level on academic work through elementary school.  So my 1st graders only spend about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs on academics.  My 3rd graders about 3 to 3 1/2 hrs.    

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So, we have always co-oped, meaning four days of school at home, one at co-op.  Co-op day is usually co-op and extra curriculars only most years, even for my high schooler this year, so even her high school math is only 4 days a week.  In the elemenatary years, we might have a day of a field trip or have a day of games for school only where math is covered in a different curriculum or a game format or review games or whatever, so we might only do 3 days of the regular math curriculum for one or two weeks a month.  To compensate for this we do longer school years.  We start our homeschool a month before co-op starts so that my students can get at least a few weeks of five days of math in and maybe some 4 day weeks before co-op even starts and to make up for those 3 day field trip weeks during the school year.  We also go longer in the spring/early summer.   We do not complete most curriculum (with the exception of like high school online courses of math, where every lesson is completed,) We might skip the last review lessons or first review lessons in a textbook every year, things like that.  Sometimes co-op has a core class that they do there, then do homework each day at home.  Sometimes is just an elective class without a super lot of homework, but some reading or projects during the week, and sometimes it is just pure enhancement and PE. But we have always made a co-op work for us because my kids like them, and I like them. 

In LA, for us, yes, 3 days a week of regular curriculum is enough in 1st and 3rd grade because there is reading and writing and other LA activities going on the other days- if there is a library storytime class with read alouds and activities that is LA for a 1st grader, writing cards to Grandma or Valentine's day cards or copywork and or freewriting into journals are the types of things we do on non curriculum days to cover skills or reinforce skills in different ways. So child isn't only getting lesson 3 days a week, it is just that we don't use a textbook day in and day out as our only curriculum.  We read together every night, including poetry, etc. 

 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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I more or less do.  But my child is advanced academically and ASD so our priorities are different.  On the fourth day he does an hour or so by himself. I don't think I would do it if I didn't have to but it can be done.

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Just a quick note to the OP. I'm also in healthcare and work in a clinic two days a week. If I had the option I would quit in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I need to carry the family insurance. Although my paychecks are low after part-time insurance cost, the benefits make that sacrifice necessary. Since it's the first year of homeschooling all three, it's been a challenge juggling it all: work, kids' school, housework, fatigue. My husband works from home but is in his office all day. At first I left out work for them to complete and came home to very little touched. Then I started working on their co-op day, which I had previously used for personal time.  Finally, in January, I hired a tutor for 2.5 hours on the other day I work. It's made a world of difference. It's not a perfect system, but it is sure better than trying to catch up on the weekends or evenings. I'm still trying to figure out a better plan for next year. As it is, I'm pretty burned out. I'm planning to switch gears at the end of May and do homeschool light over the summer with fieldtrips, gameschooling, and maybe a unit study or two as I feel like we lost so much time the first 6 months of the school year. 

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I did two main days of school each week for a couple of months, then went to three for a couple of months, out of medical necessity.  Was it possible?  Yes, with a caveat—skill subjects of phonics and math had to actually happen five days a week, and my dyslexic girl’s spelling had to be 3-4 days per week.  The other subjects were possible to stack into fewer long, exhausting days of instruction, but it doesn’t work with skill subjects.  My kids were doing online math programs (BA for the youngers and AOPS Prealgebra self-paced for my oldest) so they could proceed largely independently while I was gone, and ask a sibling or the babysitter for help if needed.  We still had lots of issues with them not finishing their math and me having to be the drill sergeant making them finish their work in the evening when we were all tired and none of us wanted to.  My youngest was with me for his medical appointments, so we would try to squeeze in OPG for phonics whenever we could in waiting rooms.  And I would get up early and drag my grumpy dd10 out of bed to do spelling before anyone else got up in the mornings.  This made it possible to do and keep six students on track with their core academics.  But it sucked.  I would never choose it, and am so excited now to be up to four full school days a week.

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Look, I read all the stuff you are doing on your "off" days and who they have caring for them (i.e., their actual other parent - dad himself!!) and I would say, oh my goodness you are doing just fine. What you do on your off day is often more than I do on some of my "on" days with all the littles I'm chasing after. Obviously you know there's some remediation needed and a new curriculum - great. But I would not even consider those days "off" days when they are with dad!! You have young kids and they are using that time doing read alouds, history, science, living math, music lessons, and outdoor play. That sounds beautiful. We school 4 days/week but we can't always fit in phonics or math every single day. We chip away at it, and my kids are all doing great. Math mammoth is good for being written to the student and that anyone can help with it without needing a teacher guide. To me, it's all about screen time -- if the hours they aren't getting school are screen-free or mostly so, then they get spent inventing codes, pretend playing store, trying to cook, getting exercise, taking things apart and building them up, noticing the birds, picking up or practicing instruments, etc etc. And those are all awesome too, as long as you are regularly moving the ball forward with math and reading. After that, as they age, it really will get easier to give them something more academic to do, like watch a latin or spanish DVD with dad and do a worksheet. 

I admire the people here on WTM but they can make you crazy with all the "we even do math on the weekends and all summer" stuff. I think they usually mean that HSing is a lifestyle and you find opportunities to learn everywhere.

 

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35 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

I admire the people here on WTM but they can make you crazy with all the "we even do math on the weekends and all summer" stuff. I think they usually mean that HSing is a lifestyle and you find opportunities to learn everywhere.

 

We don’t do math on weekends, but I’ll admit to doing math lessons during the summer 🙂 .

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