They were hating homeschooling. They needed a balance between schoolwork and exploring their own interests. They were trying to find time for homeschool projects. The solution? Flex Fridays!
Our first year homeschooling I started our local homeschool group. This meant moms to help plan field trips, park playdates and all that socialization that goes along with homeschooling 😉 After we had learned how to homeschool, and had gotten into a rhythm, I realized that all that socialization was cutting into our school time. We weren’t going to finish our curriculum and we HAD to get the books done right?
So… the next year we pushed through all of our work. We didn’t plan anything unless the bookwork got completed. Playdates were nonexistent. We said no to field trips and we were pushing through the work.
BUT we hated homeschooling. I knew we needed to find a balance, but what was it?
For us, it was a 4 day school week and FLEX FRIDAYS!
What is Flex Friday?
The meaning of Flex Friday is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a flex day. On Fridays, our schedule is light (I mentioned this some in our last real life homeschooling post, and promised to elaborate more) with limited “school” scheduled. This means there is a day in our week that is flexible to fit our homeschooling needs. Flex Friday means that if there is a field trip scheduled for Tuesday and we want to go… we go. We make up the work on Friday. If the kids are sick on Wednesday we don’t “miss” school because we make it up on Friday. Flex Friday offers us flexibility and we all need more of that, right?
Does Schoolwork Get Completed?
Yes, Monday through Thursday. Some subjects we double up on, others we don’t. Does this mean we finish all of our curricula in a year? Not always. But, how often did you finish a textbook in school? The answer? Never that I can remember. Why does homeschooling have to be any different? If we finish, great. If not, I don’t worry about it. We pick up where we left off the next year, or we start our new curriculum anyway. Homeschooling is all about flexibility and fitting the needs of our family. A curriculum is a tool. It’s up to us how we use it.
What do You Do on Flex Friday?
Flex Friday is our make up day. Typically we have at least 2 weeks a month a where we have a field trip or co-op scheduled that means we miss a Monday-Thursday school day. On those weeks we do those days work on Flex Friday.
On the weeks we don’t miss a regular school day Flex Friday allows us to do two things. One is all those messy projects we seemed to NEVER have time for. You know the ones I’m talking about. The edible cells, the gumdrop log houses, the art projects we never used to get to. Flex Friday actually allows us to do them without being rushed about finishing the rest of our school work. This means we can do all those homeschool fun Friday ideas and still have time for schoolwork.
The second thing Flex Friday allows the kids to do is to explore their own interests. One of my daughters LOVES Art. Flex Friday allows her time to sketch and draw, and learn more about her passion. She also loves animals, so one Friday a month we plan on volunteering at a local animal rescue center during our normal afternoon school time. My other daughter loves piano and cake decorating. Flex Friday allows her to spend time learning more about those interests. She can spend a whole afternoon decorating a cake or learning a new music piece. Flex Friday allows our kids to explore the things they are passionate about without a time restraint.
Moms, I think that too often times we worry so much about finishing the book, or getting school done that we forget that homeschooling IS flexible. All those things you don’t have time for? You do! Fun homeschool ideas can easily be fit into a flex Friday schedule. Flex Fridays have been a huge lifesaver in our homeschool, and if there are weeks or months where you feel like all you do is school… I encourage you to add in a Flex Friday. Maybe for you, it can’t be every week. Maybe it will be once a month, or once a quarter. Maybe it WILL be once a week. The key is it is FLEXIBLE, so add a Flex Friday into your schedule.
Your kids will thank you for it, and you won’t regret it! Promise 🙂