Sunday, 2 February 2014

A Look at Free-Day Friday

At the beginning of the year, I made a mistake. I told my kids we wouldn't school on Friday.

Hooray! No school on Fridays!
There was method in my madness -- the year before, Fridays had been Busy Timmy's day to have private swimming lessons, and by the time we all trooped back home, it was about 11, and shortly thereafter, we would all head off to the afternoon youth group I run.

Busy Timmy gets ready to collect
children from the local school
to come to the youth club

Needless to say, that doesn't leave a lot of time for study.

No time for Life of Fred
on a Friday, I'm afraid.
It's true that, over the years, I've come to the conclusion that it's actually a good idea to carve out a day where you can a) have social calls from other home-ed people, b) invite newbies over for a chat, c) schedule workshops without disrupting the other school days, and d) catch up with chores, laundry, and housework.

So, why am I now re-thinking my announcement of a free-day Friday? Because Busy Timmy's swimming lessons got changed to Thursdays, and my lovely plans for afternoon reading with one child at a time got scuppered when I moved my Dreaming Spires classes to meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays ... our long-standing Monday afternoon play-date ... music lessons ... Wednesday afternoon youth-group leaders' meetings ... thus, afternoon school has just disappeared from our schedule entirely, which was never part of my original plan.

The temptation is to renege on my original announcement about Friday, and reinstate it as a normal school day in our home -- that is, chores before 10, then Blocks 1 to 3 until lunch. Yet, I have discovered recently that Friday is not a dead loss after all, and for two reasons:

First, we are actually covering a lot of ground in our studies during the rest of the week, even though we only sit at our school-room table on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings. The two older ones have additional work for the Dreaming Spires classes which they do in their own time, and Thursdays is a Bible study/literature co-op with another family in a town about 14 miles away.

Do we really need to give up our Friday free-day if this is the case?

Oh, no! Say it isn't so!!!

The second reason is that Friday can actually be a really lovely time to spend some low-key one-on-one time with each child. With one of them, I'll read a book (I love reading "Money Mystery" with Phoenix). With another, we'll play a card game like Zeus on the Loose (sneaky way of strengthening maths!). Another one wants to show me his video animation, and the fourth wants to do food technology.

Rocky's taste test:
carton orange juice, or fresh-squeezed?

Meanwhile, they're each having a session of Spanish with the au pair.

Phoenix (aka Ellie Firestone on Amazon)
 gets translation help with her short stories

So Friday is not lost after all. It's just a different route to the same destiny, and that is trying to create an atmosphere of learning in our household a la Charlotte Mason. So we'll keep free-day Friday, and all will be glad!



  1. What a good idea, makes me feel less guilty when we miss days! :-)

  2. As they say, learning comes when you least expect it.


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