Is it really possible to homeschool AND have a clean home?
Whenever I think it isn’t I simply remind myself that God, is a God of order. And nothing is impossible with God 🙂
There is only so much time in a day. I stress to my children (and myself often) the importance of being a good steward of the time which we have been given. So there needs to be order in our home and in our day.
For us home and school are really one and the same. Life is all about learning. I cannot separate the two and my children need to know that there is always time for learning. If you don’t know what i mean, here is an example for you: while I am preparing a meal one of my children is reciting their memorization work or reading out loud to me. Perhaps while my daughter is doing her needlepoint, my boys are working on their handwriting and I am writing or organizing a shelf or workbox. Whatever those things are that need to be done, learning can happen at the same time, it really can (Laundry helps us with fractions)
There are also times that we will put on an audio book while we work too. My kids love a good audio drama (G.A Henty anyone?) and it certainly make cleaning floors and dusting the house lots more enjoyable too.
Because I tend to be rather scatter brained at times, it helps to have something like this to keep track. It also ensures that I do not get in over my head because some days, there is just SO much to do (when is a homeschoolers house ever really clean??) and when I feel a bit overwhelmed with all that I need to do I can take a breath seeing it all laid out in a nice organized fashion here. This is from Organizing Home Life and her series on building your Home Management Binder. I need to complete this one soon! It really makes everything so simple. And I think that is the key, for me anyway, with my four kiddos. Now some days of course I still don’t really make it to everything on my list; some things I just don’t need to do as often and some things just may not relate right now (I admit it, I am not a coupon clipper). But this really is a great way to have goals that are reasonable and as I tell my kids, its about setting ourselves up for success. We need the challenge, but often we need little steps to get us there.
My kids 11 months old, 4, 6 and 10 years old. And its so true kids love to play. With all the gadgets we have in our house my kids love screen time too. I however, having been raise in a simpler and more basic time, keep their use of these to a bare minimum. (I have been told I should live in an Amish village once or twice!?!?) Anyway, as they get older I feel it more important for them to learn and embrace responsibility. Ownership. For their things and their rooms and their work. For their place in the family. Suffice to say, there is no “privilege”in this house. There is a time to work and a time to play and both can be balanced out if both are done in the right spirit. But we need to work together. Its our home, its our yard, its our family ~ As they get older I want them to be sure of their place in the family and as children of the Lord. We encourage sharing, but stress that your belongings are your own; no one will be forced to give their things to another but it can be a great blessing to be willing to joyfully share with another all that you have. 🙂 What do we love more? I do not want my children valuing things more than relationships but I also want them to have the right heart in all that they do. The point of all of this? We need to have clear expectations and boundaries. If they want to play on the iPad they must first complete their work for the day (and in a way that is approved of).
- My younger son mops and vacuums the floors upstairs and down
- My older son sweeps the floors
- My daughter wipes tables/counters
- Load/Unload dishwasher
- Put away laundry
- Feed dogs
It’s important for our kids to see that there are things that need to be done each day. And although we may not always feel like doing them, they simply must be done. These are things that I fear we forget need to be taught, at times, as we get busy in daily life. But when we are at the grocery store why not have them help us find items and then compare prices on various brands? How about allowing them to crack eggs, mix the dough, flatten the cookies, stir up the oatmeal? There are so many ways to help show our kids the value of hard work while also encouraging them by spending time together intentionally.
Can i just add this really helps us mommas out when we are just having one of those days? I hurt my back recently and if it wasn’t such a blessing to see my kiddos happily vacuuming floors and mopping; cleaning up toys strewn about the floor? They were working together and having fun doing it too! As they picked up the blocks they counted how many each of them could hold at once, how high they could stack them. They raced those toy cars from one side of the room to the bucket we store them in using their stopwatches to time them too!
In some cases I have them recite their scripture verses we are working on for Bible quizzing while we do these things too! Its a great way to spend some time in the Word of God while also working about the house. An example of how we ought to “do all things as for the Lord.”
This can be a nice way to encourage chores for children. Especially for my younger son, who is very particular, he likes to see all the options for the good work he can do. And my others I hope are inspired to try to help out in the many ways listed as they are able!
Minimize. And mentor. These are two words I read not long ago that are taking on a whole new meaning for me in our home. I do believe when these are both used properly they can make a huge difference in how we are able to keep our home. For example, there is this awesome program we are using with my 6 year old son to help him in reading, spelling and typing. HIs little sister desperately wants to learn these things herself so it made such perfect sense to me to put them together on this program. They can learn together, and it builds confidence in my struggling reader being able to help his little sister learn how to read. I do believe this is a great way to build relationships between siblings too – my oldest teaches the little ones how to draw and helps them with Bible verses we are learning. He is currently training our juggle dog, Barkly, and its so fun seeing the younger ones imitate him on their own time. Our doggie gets tons of loving thats for sure, And did I mention, this is a great way to strengthen those communication and leadership skills in our kids too.
Ultimately we just need routines. I absolutely believe that there is a time and place for everything. And everything ought to be in its place. Whether its keeping cleaning wipes handy for those quick spills and a bathroom used by boys or whether its little buckets and boxes for legos and art supplies and book about the house…Its important that we do what we can as we go along. My kids know that in order to play any games they need to have neat and tidy spaces. Before we turn in each night dishes in the sink are wiped down and placed in the dishwasher. Going upstairs? Take those things with you that go to your rooms. Don’t wait to put them up but make it a part of the routine in your home. And if those thins just don’t have a place? Perhaps its time they said farewell (we have a box of puzzles and coloring books that are about to do just that!).
To keep the house tidy; its a seemingly endless job. But it doesn’t have to be something we do with a grudging heart.
Count your blessings as you go along; lots of dishes to clean means you have plenty to eat; all that laundry is another reminder of God’s provision.
The toys and fingerprints all over are signs of happily playing, curious children who are learning!
We need to be wise with and care for these things that the Lord has blessed us with. But we also need to remember that there is only so much we can do each day when we are keeping and training these little ones. Is it not the greatest goal, to ensure that our children grow in the Lord? Does it matter how well educated they are and how perfect our home is if they end up lost? If we end up lost? It’s the joy of the Lord that is our strength. We need to show that in everything that we do so that our kids see and have no doubt of all that can be done with the Lord o your side. ❤