How to Homeschool and Manage a Household
I have come to the conclusion that I can have a clean house or I can educate our children, but most days I can not do both.
I know for a fact that there are some pretty awesome homeschooling moms that secretly wear their superwoman capes under their clothes and have this figured out. But I am not one of them. I am part of the “good enough” crowd and have managed to survive thus far.
If you’re okay being “good enough” too, and are looking for a little extra help, here are the not-so secret ways I manage our home and still get school done most days.
I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time getting school done when my house is a mess. Recently I watched a YouTube video of this woman’s cleaning routine. I was utterly enamored as she took me through each room of her house while she did her routine cleaning, I watched in envy as each room was left meticulously clean. Then I realized this woman has one teenage child and she does not homeschool. I laughed at myself and came to terms with the fact that her life was not comparable to mine and then I moved on. My time was not wasted though because it did give me some ideas on my own cleaning routine. These are a few of the things that work for us right now.
Create a routine
Are you going to do your chores in the morning? Afternoon? What days of the week will you do certain chores? Create a routine for when you plan to get things done and then try and stick to it. I like most of our chores to be done right after lunch. It doesn’t interrupt our school day and we can all work at the same time getting them done.
Get the kids involved
-Have a list of chores for each of your children to do. They can change daily, weekly, or be permanent duties, but your children should have a hand in keeping your home in order. Make sure you have properly taught them what you want them to do and that your expectations are clear. Our children have a set of chores they are each responsible for, and they take turns with the dishes every night. Print out this easy family Zone chart.
Do a load of laundry a day.
– A load a day keeps the chaos away. I hate doing laundry, but when it is in manageable amounts I don’t dread it so much. Larger families will probably have to do more than one load a day. The point is that you don’t make this chore an even bigger chore by trying to complete it all at once.
A friend recently recommended the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Now, I can’t actually endorse all the ideas in this new age-ish book, but if you are looking for a way to quickly declutter and organize your life it might be a good one to skim through. I can save you the read though and tell you- start by gathering things in categories (all your books for instance) and sort through them. Donate, trash or give away every item that you don’t actually love.
I began doing this, this summer and have found an enormous sense of relief. Especially when I cleaned out my closet. The idea is that once you have truly decluttered, then cleaning is a breeze. This is a work in progress for me but I have found it to be true.
Don’t leave anything for the Morning
There is nothing worse than waking up to a sink full of dishes, or piles of laundry sitting on your couch. Have everyone chip in before bed to ensure a good morning for all.
Do you have some sort of calendar to keep track of your household happenings? Write everything down. Plan appointments and commitments for the afternoons or on days that tend to be lighter school days for your children.
When I don’t plan for these things I always end up setting aside school time to take care of them, then we rush to catch up and nobody ends up happy.
Feeding your family
-Most of us grocery shop for the same items every time we shop. If you haven’t already created a master grocery list, take some time to sit down and type one up. A friend of mine does this and includes the price that she usually pays. This way she always knows what her average bill will be. Having a list could save you lots of time.
-Don’t reinvent the wheel. I’m sure your family has favorite meals they like to eat. Make a simple meal calendar where the same meals are repeated every week or monthly. I always pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner from Sam’s club while I shop on Wednesday, we have pizza night on Fridays. You know your family culture, use your calendar to help you plan easy meals for your life and then rotate those meals.
-We only have so many hours in our week. I have been introduced to the most amazing thing since sliced bread, Wal-Mart Grocery pick up and Instacart. If it’s available in your area, try it. There is no shame in getting a little extra help.
-Begin dinner prep at lunch. I try to always start dinner while I finish up the kids lunch. If I wait until late afternoon or evening to start, I’m usually exhausted, and more likely to not put much effort into it.
I often have a hard time setting aside housework to get school work done, because I can’t work in a messy house, if you struggle with this to, remember that 1. It’s okay on occasion to take a day to get caught up on house cleaning- in fact go ahead and schedule one into your calendar. But 2. Remember that schooling is your job. If you need some extra help with this one then check out this post.
If you have anything you do that helps in managing your household in the midst of schooling I would love to hear it. Drop me a comment below.