5 Days of Homeschool 101 -Day 3
I love my family though. And I love having a clean clutter free house. But I’ve learned I can’t have a happy family and a spotless house. Things just don’t work that way when you have a small house and lots of people, plus two dogs and three cats. We’re animal lovers here. Add in living on a farm and all that brings with it and you’ve got a recipe for a dirty house.
So, how do you manage the home and the homeschool? In our house it’s by making the two one. All the kids have chores and one of the first things we do every morning is clean the house. This might just be making beds and sweeping floors or it might be more indepth and mopping and deep cleaning. Either way, the house gets clean before breakfast. It’s a way I’ve managed to contain the mess and make myself motivated to get our school day started.
In the same sense, one of the last things we do every day is clean up. It’s the pick up time. Pick up the toys and put them away. Clean up the rooms so you’re not tripping on things in the dark and you wake up to a semi clean house. Who wants to wake up to a kitchen full of dishes? Trust me, I have, it’s not a nice site and it tends to set the wrong tone for my whole day.
Talk of cleaning brings about a key point in home management when you have a large family. Chores. All of my kids have chores. Whether they’re simple like making sure your dirty clothes get in the hamper, brushing your teeth, and taking care of your dirty dishes or more complex like doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom. Everyone in my home has chores to do.
I’ve been through some dark times while learning home to manage home and homeschool and I’d love to share my solution with you. Part of it is above with keeping the house clean. This means everyone pitches in. There may be grumbling, but it saves my sanity. I just can’t wrap my head around sitting down to devote time to schooling my children with a pile of dirty dishes in my sink and dog hair all over the floor. I’m distracted. And if I’m distracted my kids are too.
Planning. Planning is another huge part of keeping a happy home and homeschool. Home management should be a priority. You can read about my homeschool planning but I’m also talking home planning as well. Have a plan for your days. For me, one of the first things I do is wash laundry and my cloth diapers. This way I’m not rushing around at the end of the day trying to get caught up on laundry. And because I want to get the laundry out of the way, my kids get one of their chores of taking the dirty clothes to the laundry area done as well.
Some other things to plan are any appointments or things that are going to take you out of the home. If you have young children you want to plan those around naptime. You also want to make sure and schedule your homeschool day around them or them around your homeschool routine. Choosing curriculum is a vital part of home management and homeschool planning.
Routines are really important for some of my children. I have to keep a structured day for them. Which means we keep to a similar schedule every week. Two of my children require going to therapy once a week. We do this on the same day every week and at the same time so that everyone knows on this day we do this. It’s part of our routine, our schedule, and because of this our homeschool.
Likewise, I set aside Monday as our busy day. If we need to schedule a checkup or a dentist appt I’m going to be doing that on a Monday. My monthly grocery coop is on a Monday. Our dance is on a Monday. That is our running around day. If we’re going to have a playdate or go to one of our homeschool groups that meets at a park we do that on a Friday. But because I don’t like to do a ton of running around we don’t ever do that in the same week that we are gone on the Monday.
Which brings another important note for us in our family. We stay home for the majority of our homeschool. When you have ten children it’s not easy to travel. It requires planning and packing even if it’s just for grocery shopping. And it can be stressful for me as the mom making sure I’ve got all my children especially with all the recent news of kidnappings and child trafficking. A parent’s worst nightmare.
So the key to keeping a happy home and happy homeschool in our house is home management. Managing our home can be tricky and sometimes we do have to break from our routine, but in the end life is so much better when we all know what our jobs are and when/how to do them. There have been days when we didn’t get any school done due to the house being a mess. I’m not proud of those days. But I’m so glad that I finally figured out what works for our family and our home.
What is your day like? How have you worked out home management and homeschooling? Any tips and tricks to share? Make sure to check out the other TOS Crew blogs linked below and the Main TOS Crew Blog.