Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Homeschool 101 - Barely Managing My Home! #5daysofhomeschool101

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Homeschool 101 - Barely Managing My Home! on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Day 3 of #5daysofhomeschool101 blog hop hosted by SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

I'm sure I am not the only homeschool mom that has been frustrated by what seems like a paradox. We're home most days of the week, and supposedly have plenty of time, and yet we can't seem to stay on top of housework. And then there's those people that assume that homeschool moms grow all their own food, sew their own clothes, and are super organized all the time. Some homeschool moms really are like that, and I have tried to learn from them over the years. One thing I've learned is that the natural tendency to keep things orderly, or the ability to grow an amazing garden, comes more from personality and interest than it does from simply choosing to home educate.

I've figured out a few things about managing the home while managing the homeschool though, and maybe I'll actually be truly good at these things on a regular basis by the time I'm finished homeschooling. I've only got a couple years to go, so I'd better get cracking!

On some level, you need to treat homeschooling as your job.
Homeschooling is a big commitment and responsibility, and most of it will fall squarely on mom's shoulders. If you are homeschooling, you are much more than "just" a stay-at-home mom who also happens to be teaching a few letters and numbers along the way. Especially if your kids range widely in age! The comparative value of the jobs an at-home mother does is huge, and if that mom is also writing and procuring curriculum, directing and maintaining educational portfolios for several students, and providing daily instruction in a wide range of academic and elective studies for several grade levels, the value goes up even more! That's why I believe that homeschool moms do need to figure out how to prioritize their tasks and decide what's important. Multi-tasking may be a thing, but it's often a thing that results in few of the tasks receiving undivided attention. 

Depending on the ages and independence level of my kids, the actual time required from me in a teaching role has varied, but I do think that educating has had to be my most important job. That sometimes meant that I didn't do housecleaning chores as often or as diligently as we all would have liked, but I'd rather do a rush job of cleaning the bathroom than neglect working with a kid on their math or reading when they really needed my help. And to be perfectly honest, it made a great excuse for the times when I just plain didn't feel like cleaning! But seriously. As the old saying goes, the dishes and laundry and cobwebs will all still be there tomorrow. That doesn't mean it's okay to leave it undone, but to keep it in perspective.

You've got students - teach them to help around the house!
Because I'm not naturally much of a Suzy Homemaker type, I don't set a great example of keeping our household running like clockwork with a place for everything and everything in its place. I'm lucky to keep the laundry sort of caught up and remember to put a meal of some kind on the table at least once a day. But I'm doing my best to make sure my kids learn the necessary skills to run a household, and maybe they'll be way better at it than I am when they have their own homes and families. And in the meantime, they can do their own laundry so I don't have to!

Homeschool 101 - Barely Managing My Home! on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Day 3 of #5daysofhomeschool101 blog hop hosted by SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

Homeschool 101 - Barely Managing My Home! on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Day 3 of #5daysofhomeschool101 blog hop hosted by SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com


My tools for staying on track:
So I might not be a natural when it comes to home management, but somehow we manage to get it done. I have two strategies that have helped me - as a procrastinator who tends to lose track of time - to at least remember what needs to be done and get to a few of my to-do items each day. I like making lists of things to do, and checking things off as I complete them. Writing down my to-do list relieves me of the pressure of having to remember what needs done, especially if it's something I need to do a week from now. I use the website Remember The Milk to keep my to-do lists. It's free and allows me to categorize tasks (work, school, home, or any custom category), set due dates, set tasks to repeat at regular intervals (like paying a bill that comes due quarterly, or a household chore that I need to do every week or two), and prioritize the tasks as well. I still don't get everything on my list done every day, but I can see what's most important and make sure I accomplish those things. The other tool I use is my alarm clock. When I sit down to write or to check Facebook, for example, I can easily lose track of time and be there for half the day, so I set my alarm for 10 or 20 minutes and then I have to get up and do something else when it goes off (plus I have to walk over to it - I use my bedside alarm or a timer in the kitchen so it's not within reach of wherever I am). On the other hand, if I'm doing a task that isn't at all fun, or is more than can be finished in one session (deep cleaning bathrooms, or clearing out a closet, for example), I set a timer for a reasonable amount of time to work at it, and then let myself take a short break or maybe switch to another task when it goes off. That keeps me from getting discouraged as I work at a job that might seem overwhelming, and usually helps me to work hard at something I don't like doing.

Do you excel or struggle with home management? Do you have any tips or tricks for running your household smoothly while homeschooling? Leave a comment letting me know; then continue hopping through the rest of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thoughts on curriculum in Day 3 of 5 Days of Homeschool 101.




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3 comments:

Edie Carter said...

I am all about having my 2 help around the house. I just added to their daily chores when our school year started. I also think it is really important to look at homeschooling like a job. I would never make it if we didn't set out a specific time each day and hold homeschool as a priority.

At Home where life happens said...

I am a list maker, too. I have been known to write something down after I did it just to get to mark something off and feel some sort of accomplishment. Lists are the way I get things done. But they have to be my list. Someone else's preprinted list just has not cut it in the past. - Lori

Kym Thorpe said...

I am the same about writing something on the list just so I can check it off!

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