Homeschooling and Rotating Shift Work

Last year I wrote a post about homeschooling while also dealing with a rotating shift work schedule.  It contained links to other posts that touched on this unique situation as well.

You see, if you have a family member that works this type of schedule, you have a unique set of circumstances.  Your week isn’t divided into weekdays and weekends.

I outlined Vince’s schedule in that post, but I’ll explain it again here:

4 days of 12 hour nights
3 days off
3 days of 12 hour days
1 day off
3 days of 12 hour nights
3 days off
4 days of 12 hour days
7 days off

After the 7 days off, you repeat from the top.

This type of schedule can be good for several things, like Daddy being home during the week at times.  If there’s a field trip, appointment, or some other event that necessitates Daddy, we’ve got him.

It also means that if we want to have family time, we can’t do school Monday through Friday, taking off Saturday and Sunday.

I tried to fight it for the longest time; I felt school had to be done Monday through Friday.  Once I let go, things really started falling into place.

I’m a visual learner, so I wanted to revisit how I work this type of schedule into our homeschool.

Once you consider field trips, baking projects, reading, and plenty of other learning opportunities, we’re well over 165 school days for the year.

I’d like to take a moment to touch on something:  we decided to school year-round so that our school days were able to match up nicely to my husband’s work days.  If we tried to do fewer months, we’d need to do more school days per month, meaning we wouldn’t be “off” when my husband was off.

That’s a sacrifice we chose to make.  We also like to take the month of December off.

The month above is a bit different than normal because they have an adjustment for work that needed to be done.

You might need to do more documentable school days?  Is the number of school days each month more than what your family member will be working?

That’s OK!  The focus of this type of homeschool scheduling is not fitting it all together perfectly, but striving to do as much of your schoolwork during their work times as possible.

This way, the family doesn’t feel like they’re giving up family time.  The family member working those hours feels like they can actually be a part of the family during their time off.

I find that by outlining school days in this manner, I know what days are non-negotiable.  I build everything else from this foundation:  field trips, errands, extracurriculars, etc.

It’s not easy, and it takes a bit of playing around with a schedule, but it can be done.  And I promise you, once you’ve made it work for your family, things will start to feel a bit more natural.

How do you deal with “strange” schedules in your homeschool?