Let me answer that first question first. I need one day off each week for my sanity. On school days I am focused and on task all day long. It wears me out! My children benefit from the frequent breaks too. We work really, really hard on our school days. Plus (and really most importantly) Jimmy wants to spend time with us when he is home. The older children sometimes have some reading or a science or math lesson to complete on our off days, but they only do that if Jimmy has a meeting or is on a long run or we are not doing anything in particular that day.
So now the next question: What do you do on your "once a week day off"?
In general these are the kinds of things I do on these off days:
- dental appointments
- long runs (when I can work it out)
- time-consuming household chores
- read to the children
- play games
The children usually enjoy their free day playing outside or spending extra time on their hobbies. Sometimes we take a trip to Memphis, and other days we just stay at home.
Today is an off day for us. It is now about 2:00, and this is what I have accomplished today:
- ran 6 miles with a friend
- took some of the children to the park so they could run. I worked on my school schedule while they ran (more on that later.....I am just now putting down on paper my daily school schedule.)
- with the children's help, cleaned our entire upstairs (dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed the bathrooms)
- made a batch of granola
- baked 4 loaves of homemade bread
- cleaned out my pool (the water was turning green!)
- three loads of laundry--one or two more to do
Today my children have done the following:
- cleaned the upstairs
- played the Wii (Leah and Sam)
- worked in his blacksmith shop (Clay)
- sewed an apron (Julie)
- did school even though we are "off" (Olivia--her two college classes continue even when we are off!)
- prepared a new recipe for our lunch (Julie)
Our school work is more than academic, and having one day off from most of our "book work" each week gives us time to focus on non-traditional lessons.
One more thing--with younger children, I have found that I can do school 4 days a week AND school only August 1-Memorial Day. But with older children (7-8th grades and up), I have found that either they have to do some lessons (not all of them every time) on some of the days that we are off, or we must continue our school year on into the middle of June--for some of our subjects. Having a shorter summer break is well worth the 4 day school weeks for our family.
Coming soon.....our 2012 school day schedule....that I am just now working on and it's our 5th week of school!