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Homeschooling is such a blessing for our family – I really believe it has created a family bond that we would not have had if we’d chosen another educational route for our daughter. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult!
One of the biggest issues I’ve found is learning to keep up with all the housekeeping chores while we’re homeschooling. Over the years, we’ve discovered a few tips and tricks that help us keep up with those daily chores.
Here are my three tips for balancing homeschooling and housekeeping.
Homeschooling & Housekeeping
When you add homeschooling to the daily schedule, it isn’t long before the books, maps, white boards, and other miscellaneous school supplies start to take over. It’s difficult enough keeping the house clean without all that stuff – what’s a busy homeschool mom to do?
Create systems and a simple schedule to manage those tasks.
I don’t mean some huge planner that looks all pretty and color-coded and then never gets used (that’s never happened here… ahem). Simple checklists and an easy routine that incorporates daily chores into the schedule are so much easier to manage – at least for me. If that pretty planner works for you – great! But if you’re like me and just want a simple method to keep up with it all, this is what I’ve learned:
Create a few simple systems
Pick one thing you want to work on and find a simple (easy, no need to think about) routine that fits your day. A few ideas:
- Laundry: either one load a day at the same time every day or choose one day to do all the laundry
- Meal planning: keep a list of easy meal ideas (and the ingredients to make them) on hand at all times
- Daily chores: type them all out on one piece of paper, print it out and slip it into an erasable holder. Everyday EVERYONE picks a chore, does it, and checks it off the list – the same time every day. When all the chores have been checked off, erase the list and repeat.
- End of day cleanup: this one is a must for us. At the end of the school day, everyone helps to get the house back in order – piles are cleared up, school supplies are put away – you could even include setting the table for dinner in that list.
- Daily bathroom cleaning: Instead of having to scrub the bathroom once a week, do a quick wipe down of the sink and toilet, scrub the toilet bowl (I keep the toilet brush immersed in a cleaning fluid and water mixture in a small container by the toilet just for that reason), and keep a Magic Eraser in the shower for quick and easy cleaning. If you have more than one bathroom get the kids cleaning too!
Choose your own simple system, work on it with the family until it becomes a daily habit, then introduce another system. After awhile, the daily housekeeping and chores will be second nature.
Get everyone involved
When homeschooling is added to your day you have basically added another part-time or full-time job to your day. You can’t expect to keep the same schedule you had pre-homeschooling. It has to change. Mom just can’t do it all. And that’s okay.
It’s important that your kids (and husband) get involved with taking care of the home. After all, everyone lives in the house so they should learn to take care of it!
For us, that means a simple daily chore checklist – everyone picks the chore they want to do and does it. Everyone helps with after school clean up and cleans up their own piles (I have a husband and daughter who leave piles of stuff everywhere!). I’ve also added a 10 minute room cleanup to that list – my daughter’s bedroom is the one area of the house that I find hardest to get under control. Any tips for me?
Follow a basic routine or schedule
The best way to stay on-track with all the chores, housekeeping, meal planning, and homeschooling is to stick to a basic routine or schedule.
There’s no need to schedule every moment of your day down to the minute, but a basic routine will help you stay on–track. Do meal planning and budgeting on specific days, laundry on another day, deep cleaning on another – create a routine and use it.
Getting back on track
Life happens and routines go out the window. That’s life. But, when you can, get back to that routine as quickly as possible. Your family and your home will thank you for it.
Have a tip for managing housekeeping while homeschooling? Leave me a comment!
More encouraging homeschooling posts:
- Homeschooling When You Want to Quit
- Simple Tools for Homeschooling
- To the Homeschool Mom with the Middle Schooler