There are dozens and dozens of varieties of a Joy School schedule. They range anywhere from once a week for two hours, to two or three times a week for five hours. Of course, the schedule will depend on the age of the children and the families’ availability.
The lessons were originally written to provide lessons for Joy School twice a week, 2.5 hours each day, with the same family hosting both lessons for the same week. The new lesson revisions, Joy School 2.0, keep with that framework, but provide enough activities that could fill over 4 hours each day, twice a week, giving the parent teachers the opportunity to choose which activities will work best with their group, or using them all. Realistically, however, it works best to provide 2-2.5 hours of structured Joy School time for children of this age. Many Joy Schools who have children who will attend Kindergarten the following year keep those older kids for an extra half hour at the end of the morning to practice Kindergarten skills. In the end, it is totally up to each group to decide on a schedule.
Here is a personal account from a Joy Schooler:
“With my group this year, we had a group of five four-year-old girls and one four-year-old boy. We had Joy School twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) from 9-1pm. This worked for us because we all lived fairly far from each other, so the moms wanted enough time to run errands or go back home and come back while the kids were at Joy School. We fed them a large lunch instead of a small snack time like the lesson plans suggest. We also had longer free play time and were able to do most of the activities in the lesson plans.
With my other three older children, we always had a 2.5-hour Joy School, twice a week.
My sister’s group had four two-year-old boys, and she enjoyed having Joy School once a week for two hours. She just spread the lessons out so that they only used one semester’s worth of lessons over six months. Joy School was a great success and all of the parents look forward to increasing the frequency this year now that the boys are turning three and longing for longer Joy School time.
Furthermore, most of my groups have had the same parent teach both lessons for the week, but I’ve also done it where it isn’t the same parent both times. I personally prefer teaching both times in the same week so I can have some continuity with the lessons, and so I have longer stretches between when I teach again.”