As with most homeschool moms, I know all about the struggle of keeping up with the housework while trying to educate the kids. Some days are certainly more difficult than others. So how do I make it work? Well, first of all, you should know that I’m a big advocate of child labor! I can assure you that I have far better things to do throughout the day than pick up after kids who are quite capable of picking up after themselves.
Ah! You’re catching on…
That pretty much covers the little, everyday messes. But what about the other chores needing to be done? I only have two really big chores that must be done each week: deep cleaning of the bathrooms and the kitchen. For simplicity’s sake, I pick two different days of the week on which one of those chores must be done. I don’t set a schedule, per se, because our schedule changes so much with homeschool group, field trips, play dates, etc. I just start the week knowing that, at some point; those two chores have to be done. If another big chore comes up, like cleaning the walls and baseboards or cleaning out the car (which, for some reason, seems to be immune from the clean-as-you-go rule), I simply pick a different day to get it done. Or I offer the kids money to do it for me.
The smaller chores get done as we go, such as laundry, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and mopping. To molehill the potential mountain of laundry, I maintain one load per day. Take into consideration that I make my kids do their own laundry, so each of them has their own day to do their one load. That leaves open the remaining days to do my husband’s, mine, towels, sheets and anything else that might need washing (honestly – does it ever end?!?). Everything else gets done when it gets done.
After lunch, they get some free time of their own – usually outside, weather permitting (and even then, sometimes…) – and I get more time to finish up some of those chores. Afterward, we take care of any one-on-one assignments that might need my attention.
In all honesty, I’d say we are a well-oiled machine. For the most part, anyway. However, there are always going to be days when my husband comes home from work and I smile at him and say, “I know the house is a mess, but guess what we learned today?”