Okay–not exactly. But there is truth to the fact that, in homeschooling, our homes house all of those! Mom is not only in charge of teaching subjects and directing learning, but also meals and homekeeping.
It is just a LOT to keep up with. And I’ll freely admit that it is easier for me to teach subjects, rather than to teach how to do home chores! And over the years (8 years of 1st-8th grade, plus preschool and kindergarten) we have accumulated lots and lots of curricula, games, and educational tools. As a matter of fact, we’d gotten, by this last spring, to the point that we felt like we were bursting out of our space!
This is the year that we’re seriously working together as a family to declutter, organize, and simplify. And because I could have used these tips years ago, I’m sharing them with you today as our Crew Blog Hop “5 Days of Homeschool 101” turns to home management!
1. Set a daily family routine
Or, start back on it when you’ve missed a few! Here, I’m liking the perspectives of sisters Serene and Pearl of Trim Healthy Mama: “You’re just a few hours away from your next healthy meal.” Applied to homekeeping, if you miss a day or some chores, just start back on the list where you can, or where you’d start the next morning!
We’re working from a weekly list at the moment. There are chores we split up every day and a particular area focused on once weekly. Our daily list (it’s understood that brushing & flossing are included!):
- Make beds
- Unload dishwasher
- Do one load of laundry
- Wipe out bathroom sinks
- Clean counters
- Declutter for 5 minutes
- Load dishwasher
We don’t do all of that in one fell swoop; rather, we split the tasks up and do some in the morning, some after lunch, some in the afternoon.
And the weekly list? We’re focusing on one area of the house each weekday. (Saturdays, for us, are for grocery shopping, catchups, writing, and fun.) For example:
- Monday: Sweep, mop, vacuum, dust
- Tuesday: Clean bathrooms/wash towels
- Wednesday: Declutter, empty bathroom/bedroom trash
- Thursday: Gather library books, wipe down cabinets
- Friday: Gather 1 bag of trash and one bag of donations, dust
Would you like help creating a homekeeping list? Flylady is renowned for helping folks make their homes neat, clean and orderly. Step by step!
2. And try an overall schedule for everything else!
What about all those other things, though, that keep a home orderly and neat? Things you may not do every week but that still need to be done. Like vacuuming the baseboards, cleaning out the pantry or refrigerator, organizing the linen closet, decluttering the bathroom cabinets. I can get so busy with regular life that I forget about these things.
For help with this, I turn to my friend Kemi from Homemaking Organized. Kemi is a homemaking wonder! I am a subscriber to her site, and she provides the most amazing freebies and printables to help mamas along with homemaking. Kemi creates a calendar for each month with daily home chores that you can receive via subscription to her site. Check out her free printables section as well, where you’ll find forms for 36 Weeks of Clean, pages for caring for your home and garden, and time management helps. Currently, my favorites of Kemi’s are her monthly cleaning calendars (they are even editable!) which she sends to subscribers, and her Household Bucket List, for home projects.
I am just someone who really benefits from a meal plan; and specifically, from freezer cooking. What’s freezer cooking? It’s preparing a number of meals (5-8) in ziploc or slow cooker bags and popping them into the freezer. All you have to do for dinner then, on any given day, is to pull out the freezer bags, adding a little liquid so that your slow cooker liner doesn’t get cracked, and turning on the cooker. 6-8 hours later you have dinner! You might need to prepare a veggie, salad, or grain that evening, but the heavy lifting is already done.
I LOVE this. Because honestly, my energy level at night is lower than it is in the morning/midday. So having my family’s meals planned and cooking makes all the difference in the world for all of us getting a healthy meal.
There are books you can get at Amazon or the library on freezer cooking. But you can also find amazing recipes and lists of recipes on Pinterest. Really, you can take any slow cooker main dish recipe (almost) and turn it into a freezer meal. Just keep back 1/4-1/2 C liquid to prevent that freezer shock to your crockpot, and add it with the frozen ingredients that morning!
There are so many awesome kid cookbooks out there. Some of our favorites are the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, both Eat Your Math Homework and Eat Your Science Homework. We’re also fans of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. Just select your family’s favorite cookbook and a fun recipe, and work step-by-step through the instructions with your child, assigning them age-appropriate tasks.
Did you grow up learning to clean alongside your parents? What a great gift to give our kiddos! Of course we can all learn to care for our homes and cook meals. But if homekeeping is already a part of our children’s lives, that’s one life skill they won’t have to learn on their own.
There are lots of ways to teach kids how to clean. Just doing chores with them until they know how to complete them on their own is an incredible start. Lots of bloggers and authors are making kid chore charts (again, check Pinterest for some ideas). Today, I have a special giveaway opportunity! I have copies of Times Tales’ Zone Cleaning for Kids and Bedroom Cleaning for Kids to bless one reader with. This series makes homekeeping so easy for kiddos. With this system, kids complete a task on a page, check it off with the dry erase marker, and flip the page over for the next day. Simple, easy-to-understand, and fun to use.
Just enter via the Giveaway Tools form below! And don’t forget to click through the links below to see what other Crew bloggers have to share. They’re full of amazing tips and ideas this week!