I think we can all agree that housework is not exactly fun, and it takes up way more of our time than we would like it to. Unfortunately, chores are a part of daily life, especially for a mom and wife. Some days I feel like the housework runs me, rather than me running it. However, for the most part, I have learned how to manage it. This didn’t happen overnight, although I wish it would have. When my husband and I decided that God was certainly calling our family to homeschool, I knew I had to buckle down and figure it out. The mere thought of homeschooling my child and keeping up the house, scared me to death. I didn’t know how I would ever be able to make it all work.
The first step for me was gaining control of my biggest job around the house…laundry. For three people, we have a ton of it! I immediately placed a laundry basket in my daughter’s bathroom. She had just been piling her dirty laundry up on her bathroom floor until mom could pick it up. A simply laundry basket solved a lot of the problems in there. It controlled most of the mess I was constantly falling over, helped create a routine for my daughter, and made it easier to get her dirty laundry to the laundry room (she quickly learned to drag her basket to the washer and unload it). I also got a laundry sorter for the master suite. There is a section for colors, one for whites, and one for towels. Once the dirty laundry had some organization, I decided the actual washing of the laundry needed to be on a schedule too. I went simple with my schedule: Mondays – Colors, Tuesdays – Towels, Wednesday – Whites, Thursday – Colors/Kids Clothing, Fridays – Sheets. I still use this schedule today, and I love it! It provides me with a simple way to get all the laundry done during the week without having to even think about it. Best of all….no laundry duty on the weekend!
What has truly helped me manage homeschooling and housework is teamwork and scheduling. Before our school year began I created a general daily schedule in order to plan out just how I would get it all done. I found that I was able to work in chores throughout the day for myself and my daughter that taught her about responsibility, serving others, and managing her time. Here is an example of what our day looks like:
8:30am Wake/Morning Routine
8:45am Breakfast Prep/Quick Clean Up (Any Messy Area)
9:00am Breakfast/Kitchen Clean-Up (Kids help or start independent work)
9:30am School Time
11:30am Lunch Prep/Chore Time
12:00pm Lunch/Clean Up (Kids help clear table, then free time)
12:30pm Rest Time/Nap Time (Mom gets housework done.)
2:00pm Kids Finish Chores
2:30pm Finish School/Review/Free Manipulative Time
3:00pm Snack Time
3:30pm Outside Time (Chore Catch Up Time for Mom if needed)
4:30pm Dinner Prep/Quick Clean Up (before Dad comes home)
5:30/6pm Dinner Time/Family Time
8:00pm Before Bed Quick Clean Up
8:15pm Nightly Routines & Bedtime
You can see that I’ve worked in lots of time all throughout the day for chores and clean up. Our quick clean up time means straightening up wherever needed, putting away toys or laundry, etc. Designated chore time is for working on our housekeeping chores (i.e. dusting, bathrooms, sweeping, vacuuming, moping, etc.) My daughter has her own dry erase chore chart hanging in the living room. Each day she goes down the list during chore time, completing one task at a time, marking it off as she goes.
To keep things fun, I came up with a chore punch card for my daughter. Anytime that she takes it upon herself to do an extra chore after her daily chores are completed, she gets a punch on her card. Once her card is full, she gets a prize and a new punch card to start.
I’ve learned that keeping a home and homeschooling is meant to be fun, not just work. Both certainly involve a lot of work, but both are also a lot of fun when you are able to find a good balance that works for your family. Homeschooling is certainly the training of a child, but housework is the same thing.