Friday, June 7, 2019

The Secret to Blending Homeschooling and Housework

Being a stay at home mom has truly been my dream job since I was a little girl. Of course in my dream, the kids would be at school and I could do things at my leisure. My house would be neat and clean and I'd have time to sit and read in the afternoons.

Oh the naivete of a young mind. I honestly watched too much "Leave it to Beaver" and "Cosby" when I was young.

In case you didn't sense it from my dream world, I did not plan on homeschooling. It was something that just kind of happened to us. It is something that I truly enjoy. However, the juggling of homeschooling and the daily demands of being a stay at home mom were not something that I had planned for.

God often laughs at me when I make plans. 

Soon after we were all home 24/7 I realized that my dream was a fantasy and wasn't going to happen. It didn't mean that I had to give up my dream of a clean house I just had to look at things differently.

If you're a scroller, you'll have to go all the way
 to the bottom to find the secret.

Require Chores As a Subject
This probably sounds crazy but chores is a subject on our school lesson plans. Everyday my daughter has a chore to do as part of her school day. 

Children do not come with the knowledge of how to complete these tasks so it has to be taught just as a subject would be taught. The final test would be the ability to complete the task without any assistance.

By teaching your children to clean you are helping them to become independent and you are freeing yourself from a task. Will they ever fall in love with it? No, but neither have you, so it's all good.

Suggested Reading:
How to Teach Kids Independence

Enlist Help
I'd love to say hire a maid but for some of us that is not an option. What I mean is lighten your load. Last year I asked my husband to take over paying the bills. It really isn't a hassle to pay them but it meant sitting at the desk and trying to balance the check book and making phone calls sometimes. It wasn't impossible to do, but it was something that was on my list that I could get ride of.

Find a couple of things that you can pass off to your husband or oldest child (if they're able to). It will help to lighten your load and allow you to use this time to plan for your school day with your children.

Let Go
I used to try to do it all myself, because it would be done right. Somewhere along the way, in my 24 years of mothering, I learned that perfection is the enemy of progress. I had to accept that if I wanted to keep my sanity and have the house look like some resemblance of clean I had to let perfection go.

With children at home all day, the sink is pretty much never empty and the floor is really never clear. The bathroom always needs to be wiped down and the floors always needs to be swept. 

Done is good enough sometimes. 

Assess Your Cleaning Need
I have a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning list. Ideally everything gets checked off but let's be realistic, life happens and sometimes monthly and yearly don't get done in a timely fashion.

Once I had my lists made, I looked to see if there was anything I could shift to do a little less often. I reminded myself that it was just a season and I could get back to my routine later.

Xamine Your priorities
When homeschooling an early elementary child, they need you to sit there with them the entire time. There really isn't any independent work that they can do. At times I honestly felt like I was being held hostage. I had a list of 100 things to do and if I had to listen to her sound out the word C-A-T one more get what I mean right?

As soon as I realized that it was going to be impossible to have an actual cleaning day, I had to decide what my priorities were. As important as have a clean house was to me, making sure I didn't skimp on her education was more important. 

It really is almost a daily reminder to follow God's calling to homeschool her and not my need to have a neat house. It's literally a daily surrender of my will. 

Having children at home all day is truly just a season. The time that they need you by their side seems like it will never end but the day does come. I promise, I've lived it. 

Treasure the moments and make the memories. 

Did you figure out the secret? Look at the first letter of each of the words in bold. Yep the secret is to RELAX. The mess will be there tomorrow but the kids need you today.

If you need help with building routines or are just looking for ideas check out my e-course 5 Days of Simple Routines for Busy Moms.

I'm praying for you!