Managing home and homeschool is a stressful job. As a homeschooling mom you are not only the teacher but also the mother of the home, meaning the duties of home management falls on your shoulder. The meals, the laundry (oh I hate laundry) and the cleaning unfortunately need to be done in order to facilitate life. This is a post mostly for myself because I want to organize a routine and put together some tips to help myself and you achieve chore bliss. So lets tackle things one monster at a time:
Meal plan! Every Sunday (pick your own day) plan out your meals. As in write out your main meal for the whole week and get the appropriate ingredients. In my household breakfast tends to be standard. We all do eggs and milk in some form, my husband and youngest do boiled eggs and My oldest does oatmeal every single day. We might vary it up a bit occasionally but not enough that it can disturb the routine. Lunch is usually sandwiches of some form and a smoothie. Dinner is usually the main meal and requires preparation ahead of time. Here are some ideas and tips to make dinner prep easier:
- Thaw out your meat in the early morning.
- Employ your crock pot or instant pot. (If you don’t have one, slow cooking on the stove works just as well)
- Start it all at lunch time, while the kids do lunch.
- Finish it up, Reheat or add garnish right before dinner, so it still has that right out of the oven heat.
- Use prepped ingredients multiple times. For example, If you prepped carrots for a meal this week, prep extra so you can use it next week for another meal (just don’t forget to use them).
- Keep meals one pot dishes. Casseroles, Stews, Soups and Curries are popular in our home, mostly because they require less out of me, are wholesome and filling for the family and are quick and easy.
- Keep complicated meals that require lots of prep time and multiple steps for your days off of homeschooling, this could be a special weekend meal for the family to enjoy.
I am not sure if I am qualified to talk about laundry because there is a huge pile sitting right in front of me as I type this; but here are some tips that I plan on using to reduce this tediousness.
- Minimize your clothing. Go through the closet and take out all the clothes that you wore this month. Look through the rest of the clothes, if there are clothes you wear in a different season such as a sweater, jacket, raincoat etc, take them out as well. The rest of the clothing are clothes that you are just hanging on to and you don’t wear. Donate them, some one else will cherish them.
- Wash often and fold Immediately. Folding is the bane of my existence, I find it wasteful to spend so much time folding clothes when most likely 20 minutes from now my youngest will rummage through her drawer, toss out half of the clothes in it to find her favorite dress. So, lets wash our clothes every Wednesday and Sunday. Put on a good audiobook or movie and fold those evil little bounce smelling clothes. If your kids are old enough to help or take responsibility let them. Get them into it too, which brings me to my next tip.
- Outsource. If the family member is older than 7-8 yrs old, then they can do their own laundry and fold it. Trust me if they know how to use an ipad they can use the washing machine. Allow it to be a fun experience.
- Best time for this is after lunch, or after they finish their morning schooling.
As a homeschooling mom, you have to get used to the idea that your home will not always be clean. Your home will not be the place where people can just visit at the drop of the hat because your home is where life and learning happens; and you know what, learning is messy. If you have visitors that embrace the mess, kudos to them. If not, its best to keep visiting hours to the weekend or a day when school is off. Either way, here are some ideas I plan on using to keep my home clean.
- Minimize your surfaces. Sure you can keep the beautiful side table you adore and that china cabinet you inherited from your grandmother, but the more surfaces you have the more dust will collect and the more dusting you have to do. Use a microfiber cloth and employ your youngest child who always complains that he or she is not allowed to anything. We use Thieves Household Cleaner, so its safe for the kids to wipe down the counters too.
- Sweep/Vacuum everyday at the end of the day. Outsource to an older kid or the husband if you can!
- Put things away right away after you use them. When we put things away immediately after use, it reduces the clutter; and later on when you are looking for that screw driver… Guess what? Its exactly where it should be.
- If you have younger kids, beckon the power of the Clean up, Pick up, Put away song and other songs before every transition or until your kids learn to put away their toys after use.
- Load the dishwasher every night before bed and empty every morning as your coffee brews.
- Never leave pots in the sink. They will live there and smell and clutter your sink. Wash them immediately after use. If they really need to soak, add a little bit of Bar Keepers Bleach or Comet and let it heat up on the stove, the grease and grime comes right off.
- Once a month organize your drawers, or you can do it immediately as soon as you see that they are messy.
Those are some of the things I will be doing this new homeschool year. Hopefully it will help make my homeschool year smoother and make my home easier to manage. What are some things that you use to manage your home and your routine, I would love to hear from you!