A difficult part of homeschooling (or just being a stay at home parent) is the kids. I’ve mentioned before that I foolishly thought that being a stay at home mom meant that my house would be clean more often. Feel free to laugh. Seriously though, the hardest part somedays is trying to keep a semi-clean home (which translates to a semi-calm mind) is the fact that we’re in the house all day sometimes.
As with most problems though, there is always some type of solution! For us, a huge helper has been having a cleaning schedule that we strive to keep up with as much as possible! We’re nowhere near perfect, but there’s a vast difference between the weeks that we keep up with our schedule and the weeks that we don’t. Number one is momma keeps her cool better in a calm home! There are a few other tips I like to use to help keep the home while homeschooling:
Homeschool In A Disaster-Free Zone
- Follow a schedule! Make and follow some type of schedule that will help you stay on track. You don’t need to go overboard with this (though you probably already guessed that somewhere around here I have a detailed cleaning list for the entire year… haha!) But come up with some type of schedule that works for you and your family. Or go through and make a schedule for the areas of the home that you just cannot keep up with, or that you forget. You could pick just the areas and rooms that guests will see or the areas your family spends the most time in. Don’t be afraid to change this schedule up and tweak it until it works easily for you. I like to break the cleaning up by each room and I only clean one room/ day. I tidy all the rooms each day, but for dusting and actually cleaning I only do one room a day.
- Have the kids help! Find some tasks that are age-appropriate for your kid and have them help you. They live in the home too, and they helped make the mess. Setting some expectations early on helps them learn the tasks needed to keep a home, and helps you not feel like every single task in the house has to fall on your shoulders. Set a timer, sing a song, make up some type of game, whatever you feel like doing, but even toddlers can help pick up their toys and put them in a basket.
- Clean as you cook! It doesn’t matter what meal of the day I’m making, or even if I’m baking goodies, any downtime I have while cooking I’m cleaning up the kitchen. Loading the dishwasher, hand washing a couple pans, wiping down the fridge, I do most of these things while I’m cooking to keep the mess at bay, and to get most of the job done before we even eat! Then after the meal, all we have left are a couple dishes.
- Have a down moment during school time? Pick a quick chore! I only have two kids in our school, and I usually do school with my youngest (kindergartener) first, and then my oldest (third grade). The youngest needs my full attention, but he only does about 15-20 minutes of concentrated school work, and my oldest does school for at least two hours but is doing more and more work independently every day. So I find that some days I have a few minutes here and there where I’m not needed. I pick a quick chore that either really needs my attention or is something that I don’t often get to do and I do that. I try to stay within earshot in case I am needed because school comes first, but I like to take advantage of any downtime I have. Today, for instance, I wiped down the trim around the doors in the dining room. If I’m working on a DIY project I’ll bring that to the table too so that I can work on it as I have a moment here and there during the school morning.
- Weekend reset. Pick a weekend day to reset after the week and prepare for the coming week. I have been doing this type of thing all summer. I try to make time each Sunday to help me get ready for the coming week. This started with sitting down with coffee on Sunday mornings to plan out the week and it feels really great to start Monday knowing I’m already ahead of the game instead of feeling like I’m seriously behind. When you are already ahead of the game you can take more time to relax here and there through the week or you can take time to do things that are always last on your list.
This is all great, but…
It is important to remember that a clean house isn’t everything. But it does make us feel better when we live in a somewhat calm and clear environment! With these tips, I’ve gone from overwhelmed with feeling like everything had to be clean all the time or, living in a super messy house where I couldn’t clear my mind and be comfortable. It’s all about balance, and my cleaning schedule works wonders in helping me achieve that!
Until next time friends!