One question I hear quite frequently is, "How do you do it all?" The short answer is, "I don't!" The other short answer is, "Not well." Phew, now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's see what we can come up with to help us all juggle homeschool work and housework with all of the other things we have going on in our lives.
My number one tip is to use schedules. I covered several types of homeschool schedules last week, so if you missed those posts, you can read them here and here. I also use schedules for my household cleaning chores. If you really want to go crazy with that, or to get some more specific ideas, check out The FlyLady.
She's got great ideas, but it's all a little much for me, so this is what I do: I schedule what laundry I do on specific days and I always do it. For example, I do colors and whites on Monday, colors again on Thursday, and sheets and towels on Friday. My youngest daughter does her laundry on Tuesday, while my oldest does hers on Wednesday.
I do have a menu, but only for dinners. It's not listed out by day, but rather a list of all the dinners for which I have ingredients (so I make the menu at the same time I make my grocery list) and what I plan to make in about 2 weeks' time. In the morning, I look at my list, look at my calendar to see if I'll have time to make dinner later in the day or if I need to put something in the crock pot, then take the meat out to defrost.
My second big tip for juggling homeschool and housework is to have chores for every family member. Yes, we are supermoms, but there's no need for us to actually do everything ourselves. Part of what we are doing in our homes is training our children with life skills; cooking and cleaning are life skills! There are many sites online that detail what chores a child should be capable of handling at each age. There are also many sites from which you can print out chore charts and/or lists. The most important thing is to make sure that your divisions are fair and that you're consistent. We usually do our chore jobs on Saturday, although if our weekend is too busy, we'll do them Friday afternoon. Find what works for your family and stick to it.
My third tip is to limit your outside activities. For those of you who know me, this is where we get into trouble! There's a very fine line between not having enough socialization and volunteering time to having too much. I tend to swing back and forth across that line instead of finding it and sitting on it. This year I'm on the "too busy" side. Be sure to take time to think and pray about each new commitment that you want (or someone else wants!) to add to your schedule. The point here is that homeschooling and homemaking both require us to be AT HOME to do them. We need to make sure that we're there enough.
My last tip is to be careful of the time wasters that tend to fill up our day. Ok, I'm even more guilty of this than of filling my day with outside activities! You know what I mean, though. It's best to have set times to read blogs, check & answer emails, be on Facebook, etc.
Mum, don't even bother sending me an email lecture about this last point (or the third point), I know already! It's not always knowing what to do; sometimes it's just doing it. So for the rest of y'all, I'm struggling right there with you in the juggling act. But, sometimes it helps to see a few pointers in writing from someone else, so I hope this post helps some of y'all keep a few more of your juggling balls in the air.
Giveaway? Did I just see a giveaway? Yes, you did! I'm giving away 1 FREE ticket for My Heart of the Matter's upcoming Winter Conference. Get a big dose of encouragement February 21-23 from such speakers as Carol Barnier, Amanda Bennett, Kim Kautzer, and more. The best part is that you can attend in your jammies! This is an online conference. If you can't attend all of the sessions live, you'll be able to listen to the Mp3s later.
Giveaway rules: Everyone who comments at least once on my blog during the 10 Days of Organization (not on Facebook, Twitter, or email) will be entered to win the ticket. You may comment every day (but only once per day) for more chances to win. I will announce the winner on Feb. 18, the last day of the blog hop. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment (or another way for me to contact you). This contest is open to anyone living anywhere in the world since it is a virtual conference.
We have partnered with 16 of the most inspiring, lovely, and just plain awesome bloggers in the homeschool community to bring you 10 days, 160 posts full of resources for those starting out, burned out or need new ideas.
The idea for this blog hop was modified (aka stolen) from Darcy's 31 Days to a Better Photo, but that is ok because Amy is her cousin and families are allowed to do such things. Using this idea we hope that many people in the homeschooling cyber-world feel encouraged, inspired and recharged in their own homes.
Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do, too.
10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori | Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool | Delightful Learning
Brought to you by Heart of the Matter Online.