While we haven’t been homeschooling long compared to many families, I still have a lot of friends (and strangers) ask me questions about our routines. The one that came up most recently is, “How do YOU keep up with housework?”
I strongly believe that there is no one “right” solution for any family, but I’m happy to share some of our strategies in the hope that you will be encouraged. Hugs to you!
Do what works.
For most of my life, I ate the same lunch each and every day. I am a true creature of habit. You know the saying… “if it ain’t broke…”
I apply that strategy to housekeeping, too. When I find something that works for us, I stick to it. Living minimally in an apartment reduces the amount of “stuff” we have and takes yardwork off our to-do list. Rotating our toys enhances creative play and helps simplify clean-up time.
Do what you like and delegate the rest.
Maybe it’s not quite that easy, but we ALL have chores that are not as disdainful as others. I’m weird, and I like to do laundry–so I have “claimed” that chore as mine. I do one load of laundry each morning (no, I don’t sort whites from colors), and our 1st grader helps me put it away every afternoon. Doing laundry everyday means that we need fewer things in our drawers, which means that we purchase fewer items, etc.
I’m also the primary bill-payer and vacuum-pusher, while Adam handles all car maintenance and runs/unloads the dishwasher 99% of the time.
Work as a team.
My husband is an incredible partner. We plan our meals and shop for groceries together. He preps meals for us on Sunday evenings–there are always apple-cinnamon waffles and PB&J sandwiches in the freezer for us. All I have to do is grab fresh fruits and veggies, and we’re ready to eat breakfast or lunch in five minutes or less.
Both of our girls have daily chores and help with meals. We call it “home ec.” 🙂
Lower your standards.
I mean this is the nicest way, mamas: you are your own worst critic. Your home is a tool, and it’s okay to use it! Find a level of “tidy” that you can live with, talk it over with your family, and relax with a good book every once in a while. I know that my preschooler is going to be “busy” while I’m doing math with her big sister. I know that the bag of teeny-tiny rubberbands is going to spill all over the carpet at least once a week. I wipe down the bathrooms and sweep the kitchen floor daily, but I rarely notice my baseboards. And I’m okay with that.
Homeschooling is a full-time job. Sure, we have the benefit of “working from home,” but we don’t need to add extra pressure to ourselves to do it all or outdo our neighbors!