Recently a new friend that just started homeschooling asked this question-
Ok homeschooling mom's (and other mom's whose advice I value) I need HELP!! How on earth do you homeschool AND keep up with all of the housework?? Throw in trying to help run a business and I'm sinkng fast. Advice, comments, ideas, number to the nearest insane asylum and/or favorite alcoholic drink recipe???
This is such an excellent question and one I am not exactly sure how to answer which is why I have been sitting on it for quite awhile and thinking. We have been homeschooling for 7 years. Currently I get a lot of help from my hubby with things that need to get done but for a good part of that time I had almost no help! (due to his job) I can honestly say now we do things 50/50 although I do most of the formal homeschooling. Also, what works for one family doesn't necessarily work for another. Oh and do not forget to factor in the ages of the children. SO MANY VARIABLES TO CONSIDER!
I'm pretty sure my new friend has children that are at least middle school age like mine. One thing the last couple of years I have really been doing is involving them in helping around the house. For my 11 year old daughter, she is in charge of all of the animal care, and she also does the dishes. (we do not have a dishwasher) Those are things she does daily, but throughout the week she will also help out with cooking, dusting, and folding the laundry. My son who is 13 helps clean the kids bathroom, he does most of the vacuuming, puts his clean clothes away and does a very good job keeping his room neat.
Because a homeschool family spends so much more time at home, (well....some weeks not so much! haha) it is bound to have constant clutter, stuff tracked in, and meal time messes. What I have done is prioritize what is important to me to be neat. After this many years I have come to the peace that my house WON'T be spotless, and if it was that would mean I wasn't spending enough time with the kids. That is only my opinion for our family though as I am challenged in the cleaning department. Of course when company is coming I do a complete house restoration. ;) One particular area I desperately need to work on is our yard. It has so much potential but with me just recovering from an injury and having other pain issues, I have to do it a little bit at a time. Fortunately my kids LOVE to work in the yard. Spring cannot come soon enough!
For me, I try to keep the entryway, livingroom, hallway, kids bathroom, and kitchen neat/clean enough that if someone showed up at my door I wouldn't take the kids and go hide in the closet. ;) Now sometimes I fall short but for the last couple of years it has worked for us. That doesn't mean I do nothing in the rest of the house BUT it isn't on the top of my priority list. I also work from home so that is also another ball to juggle and a high priority. Fortunately, I do my work a few days a week when hubby either takes the kids swimming or to help him at work. If I didn't have that help though I would have to either wake up early and do it, or do it late at night when I currently just relax and enjoy the quiet. *excuse me while I got hug and thank my hubby*
What also works well for our more formal schooling is that in the morning we do all of our work with various online homeschool sites such as an online homeschool writing course that my daughter is about to start. This takes minimal planning and it leaves the afternoon free for homeschool group activities and for the children to pursue the things that interest them. It works for us.
I've only described just a few of the things I juggle but with rest being one I think I will end this and go to bed. Could any other homeschoolers explain how they juggle it all and help this new homeschooler stay afloat?