Homemaking While Homeschooling: Getting it All Done
Mother, wife, teacher, cook, housekeeper: there are often many roles a homeschooling mom needs to play. And sometimes it seems as if there is no way to maintain a house, feed your family nutritious meals, and teach our children each day.
Occasionally the problem is that we’ve set the standard too high, and we need to step back and think of what we can realistically accomplish. But sometimes the way we plan and how we carry out the plan can help us to homeschool and still be the homemakers we need to be.
Have a cleaning plan. Cleaning the house is much easier when it’s done a little at a time. Before I had children, I could easily save up all my cleaning until Saturday and then knock it out in an hour or so. But once I had kids to care for and then teaching to do, I never seemed to have a long enough time to get it all done.
I schedule one main chore area a day- mopping/cleaning the kitchen on Monday, bathrooms on Tuesday, kids bedrooms on Wednesday, dusting and vacuuming on Thursday, and catch up day on Friday. If I do thirty minutes or so each of those days, I end up with a relatively clean house all the time.
Make a menu plan.
Like cleaning, cooking seems to happen more smoothly when there is a plan. The plan can be very specific with meals written out for each day or it can be more flexible with a list of meals for the week (not assigned to a day). You can adapt meal planning for what works for you. (Note from MaryEllen: Build a Menu is what I use and love!)
Another style of meal planning that I’ve used successfully is the rotating schedule. I made three schedules, along with grocery lists and recipes. Each plan had five meals listed (because we eat at church one day and usually do leftovers one day of the weekend.) I put the meal plans in a binder. Each week I pulled out a new plan, rotating through them over and over.
Teach kids to help out. Assigning chores has many benefits in the family. It helps to break down the work load to share. It teaches kids how to do valuable housekeeping tasks. And it helps to establish family unity when everyone is working together.
You can assign chores in different ways. Some families like to have set chores for each child for each day or week. Other families have better success rotating chores through family members. We have a set schedule for chores in our family. But the kids also know that they can be asked to do “extras” any time. I think one thing that can help kids approach chores with a positive attitude is tackling chores together. When they see you working alongside them, they are often more willing to work.
It is possible to keep the house, cook the meals, and homeschool the kids. It isn’t always easy, but these tips can help it to happen more successfully.
Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. She was a school teacher in her former life and now loves homeschooling her children. Recently she began the adventure of homeschooling a high schooler. She loves reading and reviewing and blogging about life and homeschooling. You can visit her at As We Walk Along the Road.