Balancing Homeschool and Housework
5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents -Day 2
I don’t know about your homeschool, but mine is very time-consuming. I have nine children. I’m pregnant due in June. We homeschool year round. I have a tiny house. My housework can pile up and my home quickly become unlivable if I don’t keep up with it.
It seems like all I’m ever doing is balancing homeschool and housework, or really just trying to. It’s hard. I won’t lie. I have to do both at the same time and that means multi tasking. It also means I must have a schedule. A schedule set for when and how we do school and for when and how I do housework.
Balancing homeschool and housework is more than just making sure dirty dishes go in the dishwasher as soon as they’re done being used. It’s more than making sure dirty laundry gets to the dirty hampers. For me, it’s bigger things. It’s keeping my house company ready(well good friend company at least). It’s making sure my floors are swept at least twice a day. It’s having a schedule for when I’m going to mop the floors. But more than that! It’s working in fixing meals and keeping a routine so my special needs kids aren’t floating in the breeze.
Balancing homeschool and housework isn’t just about the schooling and the cleaning. It’s about me having time to do the things my kids love and I love. It’s taken me several years to get to a place where I know I’m doing what I need to around the house without shirking on school and I know I’m getting done what needs to be done with school without shirking on housework. And within that delicate mix I’m also getting to spend quality time with my husband and kids.
What did I do?
Well, for starters I realized that I couldn’t do as much of the homeschool planning as I had been doing. I needed to make that easier on myself. I couldn’t take a full day every week just to plan what I was going to do with my children for school. Again, that was taking away from housework and then I’d need a full day to catch up on my housework! It just wasn’t working.
We changed up our homeschool. We still do school in the mornings but we don’t start until 9am. That gives me time to get some morning chores like sweeping/vacuuming/mopping out-of-the-way and gives the kids time to get their own household chores done as well as eat breakfast. I also do laundry daily. This makes sure it’s not piling up on me. My kids all have chores. This has really helped me! And I’ve learned to delegate more chores to my older children who can manage them. Due to learning disabilities and delays children the same age may not be able to do the same chores, but everyone has chores they are capable of doing and they get a sense of accomplishment from doing them.
When moms ask me how I do it all, I tell them I don’t. And it’s true. I don’t do it all. My kids help me a lot. They know that school time is for school and we have to get school done or we don’t get to go outside and play. If school doesn’t get done we don’t go on nature walks, we don’t get to ride horses, etc. Those are some powerful motivators! I encourage other moms to take the time to teach their young children chores and responsibility.
When I was in the worst of it(for me) was when I had 8 children ages 5 and under. I was starting the older half on kindergarten or preschool but I was also trying to keep toddlers and newborns busy. I was struggling to do anything with the house. My house was a huge mess. My house is so small that being a huge mess makes me depressed. I quickly learned that I had to teach these little ones that they could help me. Because they could. Did you know a 5-year-old loves to help fold clothes? That they can learn colors by helping to sort laundry?
Balancing homeschool and housework is tough guys. I won’t lie. But if you can get a plan in place you can do it. That plan for me is one room a day. I divide the rooms up so that I only have one room per day to deep clean. That means every room gets fully cleaned once a week. For example, on Monday I deep clean and scrub my bathroom. It’s not neglected the rest of the week but merely surface cleaned. One of my older girls is in charge of sweeping and picking up the bathroom daily. On Wednesdays my kitchen gets deep cleaned. It’s one of the few rooms that the kids don’t help with too much. They sweep when I ask them but that’s about all. I do a pick up of that room daily though.
Saturdays are our school free day. That’s the day that I work on any and all housework that has gotten behind during the week. I do bulk baking on this day. Sunday is our day of rest and we do all kinds of fun things as a family.
I hope you’re enjoying this blog series and remembering to check out the Main TOS Blog to see all the other blogs who are participating. I’m listing a few below that you can check out too. Plus don’t forget to check out my other days in the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop.
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jennifer @ Faithful Homestead
Joelle @ homeschooling for His Glory
Joesette @ Learning Curve
Kari @ Random Acts of Boyhood
Katie @ Katie’s Daily Life
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom