Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dear Homeschooler, my house is a wreck!

My kids building the "great wall" during morning devotional

As so many people have been thrown into the arena of homeschooling, the questions are coming in. Keep them coming friends! This lifestyle has a huge learning curve and we can all help each other.

Dear Homeschooler,
Having a clean home is important to me. It helps me to feel peace. I really struggle with the chaos of mess. Since having my kids home, my home is never clean. They walk around and leave a trail of mess wherever they go. I am use to this to some degree during summer break and vacations, but we can't just focus on just chores right now, they have to get their schooling done. What can I do?
Living in a tornado

Dear Living in a tornado,
Boy can I relate! This is probably one of the hardest things for me about having my kids at home full time also! There have been so many times that I was so close to putting my kids in school, even just for the day, just so I can clean my house without turning around and having it messed up. Yesterday we were cleaning the basement and I went into the boy's room after cleaning the family room, and while I was helping the boys, the girls seized the opportunity of a perfectly clean family room and got out things to play with. AHHHH!!

One time some friends were talking about teacher gifts, and I mentioned that they shouldn't forget the lunch ladies and the janitor, because that is what I wished I had at my house. They looked at me like a crazy lady!

I have two pieces of advice for this one.
1. You are going to need to lower your expectations. This is going to be tough. We have learned to feel peace by our surroundings. You will need to pray to feel peace in chaos. Things will never be the same while your kids are home. Some of you are going to challenge me on this. I hope you do figure it out, please share your wisdom if you do. Remember though, what works for one family might not work for all. We all have a different mix of personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.

2. Make cleaning a part of the routine. Your kids are making the mess, they need to clean it up. If you leave it for the end of the day, it will be overwhelming. We stop drop and pick up many times a day. And if you have ever stopped by my house, you still may walk into a disaster, but it could have been clean moments before. The size of your house will probably make a difference on how messy it feels. We have a small house, so it can get out of control quickly. But if you stop drop and pick up and then clean each area once a day, it will be better and more manageable.

Okay, I lied, I have another piece of advice.

3. I split my home up into "stewardships" for each of my kids. Although we stop drop and pick up together, they are responsible for the daily cleaning (vacuuming, wiping down, and picking up if needed) I also have weekly tasks for each area and monthly tasks. This has been great for us. I still have a lot to clean, but it helps out a lot. Some of my kids are great at keeping their stewardships tidy, while some have a lot of work still to do to develop that talent.

And just one more...

This will be a huge adjustment. Chocolate has been a huge help to get me through on occasion ;) Don't worry if you have to put yourself in time out. You also may need to carve out a sanctuary (your room or somewhere else on your property) where your kids are not allowed to be without permission. Setting sanity boundaries is perfectly okay! May the force be with you!
Much love,

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