Unlike many other homeschooling parents who stress out a bit over teaching their children math and science, when it comes to homeschooling, I agonized about when I would find time to keep house. I like to have a clean, tidy home, and all my ducks in a row. And I was sure that spending most of my day teaching was going to interfere with that. I’m wired that way right or wrong.
I’m also pretty sure that home was easier to keep up when I wasn’t in it all day. This being home all day was going to mess with my organized home. Just one day of my husband being off from work and my theory is proven. Anybody who thinks that homeschooling families have an easier time of keeping the house tidy because they’re home during the day is greatly mistaken.
Keeping up the home while homeschooling takes just as much forethought and organization as keeping up the home while maintaining a job away from home, if not more.
When the kids are young and still take daily naps it’s easy to slip in a load of laundry here the straightening of a room there to keep up on things. Some may debate that saying that the little ones get into things and make keeping the home clean that much more difficult. But when the children are older, but not old enough to handle homeschool on their own, the homeschool hours are longer, and the activities more, often homeschool moms can find themselves worn out and wondering just how to get it all done.
These past few months I’ve been running a small series on my blog where my homeschooling friends share how they homeschool and how they keep their homes. This has been an inspiring and helpful time for me and for others I’m finding. Getting a peek into how other homeschool mothers plan their days and schedule their time can give you ideas on how to make your days at home more productive instead of frazzled.
I’ve also picked up a few tips I’ll share with you…
1.) Make that Schedule: What time does your homeschool start and what time do you attempt to finish for the day? Set up a set time that everyone does some sort of chore. I have an only child but we work together in taking care of our home. For us the schedule is doing things like making the bed, cleaning up after breakfast, starting a load of laundry before school happens. The rest of cleaning is after school happens. I might do a project during our break time but I try to limit that to only once a week.
2.) Get Everyone Involved: This seemed to be the most important thing for homeschooling families. Get everyone involved in helping to clean up. Even very small children can help with putting things away. Set a timer to make it fun. Give clear instructions. Do it together.
3.) Work in small increments: Some may be able to do this but for others keeping the home clean in small increments makes more sense. Instead of cleaning all the bathrooms on one day at once parcel the workload out during the week. On Monday clean all the mirrors. On Tuesday clean all sinks and tubs. On Wednesday clean all toilets. Etc. Keep it going to keep it up.
4.) Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses: In the age of blogging and Pinterest we can get taken away with tons of lovely pictures of homes and bemoan the fact that our home doesn’t look similar. The cure? Shut off the internet until you can get your bearings. Make YOUR home the best IT can be and don’t compare it to anyone else. Through the years the homes that have made the most impression were not the cookie cutter magazine decorated homes but the ones filled lovingly and with care. Where not everything matched but they were kept clean and tidy.
So have no fear! There will be time for home AND school in your homeschooling family.
Kemi Quinn is a wife, mother, homeschooling mom of 1, church musician, and amateur cook. She loves to read about how women kept home in time’s past (aka Vintage Homemaking). She blogs over at Homemaking Organized