One thing I hear a lot from mothers is essentially what to do all day with this child? What can I do to entertain this child – this child is bored. Or, I hear, how do I fit all this household work into the day on top of homeschooling, being a wife, being a mother.
The answer is that children need to see work, real work done with your real hands, from birth onward. And then your children need to work to have a sense of purpose. And then your children need to help you because you cannot do it all.
For homeschooling mothers, I highly suggest you look carefully at such things as house cleaning, laundry, meal planning/cooking/shopping.
House Cleaning – There actually have been quite a few back post on house cleaning on this blog, I am sure if you use the search engine they will come up.
- Step One to house cleaning is getting rid of things and de-cluttering things so every thing you own can have a place of its own.
- Step Two is to not put every thing you own out and to feel okay with that. You may have many children’s books for your child who is under the age of seven, but that child only needs four to six books out per season. Your child only needs ten to fourteen outfits out per season. Pare down and then rotate.
- Step Three is to take tasks and break them down. For example, many of you know I have a little eighteen month old right now. I wanted him to start partaking in work. So, after meals, my middle child clears the plates off the table, my oldest daughter gathers the silverware and then supervises the littlest one dropping each piece of silverware into a bucket of soapy warm water to soak whilst the rest of the dishes are being rinsed or washed. Break it down so your children can be involved and help contribute to the family.
Laundry – Most homeschooling families tell me they do best if they do laundry almost every day: put a load in the morning after breakfast and switch it at a break and fold it before lunch. If days are skipped, families feel as if they are being buried under laundry. Again, involve the children. You can have certain items collected (ie, napkins used at dinner, for example) and hand washed and hung on a line to dry and other items you wash in a more traditional manner. It just depends upon how much time you have.
Also, perhaps think about where your laundry area is located; we have a small house and my school room is in what should be a dining room between the kitchen and laundry room. Where should your school room space be in order for you to effectively be the captain of the ship in your home?
Meal Planning/Cooking/Grocery Shopping – Having a meal plan is exceedingly important; cooking should involve all children prior to meals. Crock pots are exceptionally handy. Many homeschool mothers like to grocery shop alone, but grocery shopping can also be a time of comparison shopping, weighing and estimating and other mathematical treats if you plan it out. So, think about what is right for you, and that may vary each week.
You may be noticing a theme of planning here. I think there is also one other theme so obvious here that it is easy to overlook: one must be home in order for the laundry to be done, the meals cooked, things cleaned. Be careful the number of days you plan out of your house each week! Does your child need to take every lesson, every class, participate in every homeschool sport or event when they are seven, eight, or even nine? If you do everything, what will be left for the teen years? Think ahead and plan!
Next post – homeschooling and parenting with a calm and quiet heart.