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Keeping Up With Housework in the Midst of Homeschooling

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Okay, I'm just going to come right on out and admit that I am not the best person to write about this. If you know me in real life, quit laughing!

The truth of it is if your kids are home all day, your house is going to constantly be in a state of needing to be picked up, straightened up,  and shaped up. Because let's face it. Little kids think it's fun taking every last piece of clothing out of their dressers and throwing them up in the air to see if the ceiling fan will spin them around. (At least, this is what I'm guessing the point of the exercise was.)

Babies delight in removing all 49 trash bags from the newly opened box and leaving them for you to find on the kitchen floor.

Big kids enjoy baking and making smoothies, but don't always remember to clean up their messes until they are found dried and hardened later.

And if Mom is homeschooling, that means she isn't available to follow children around every moment to clean up their messes, or even to make sure they are cleaning up their own messes.

Ideally, if you schedule chores into your day, there will be appointed times when the children pick up their designated areas. You will see from that video that I have certain children assigned to living room, dining room, kitchen counters, kitchen floors, etc.

That is the ideal. The aim. The goal.

Because, and you may already know this, if you don't check to make sure each of the kids is doing the chores up to your standard, trust me, they aren't.

And if you are busy changing a "scatter poop" diaper when you should be checking chores and then it's time to give a spelling test and then the dog throws up on the carpet right after the neighbor drops by and by then it's time to start dinner, well... the house may still need major straightening up even though the chores have technically been done.

What I'm trying to get at here is that I am "relaxed" in the housekeeping department. If I freak out every time there are socks on the stairs or a trail of toilet paper coming out of the bathroom, there would be a lot of freaking out around here.

We do chores every single day, but our house isn't always tidy. And I am okay with that. We have a lot of people accomplishing a lot of important things and sometimes those things are more important than picking up socks on the stairs.

If, however, you feel like your house is out of control and you need help getting it in order I recommend my friend, Nony's blog,  A Slob Comes Clean for daily inspiration and Large Family Logistics for step by step guidance in tackling daily chores.

Now, hop on over to the rest of The 4 Moms to see how they keep up with housework while homeschooling!

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  1. Glad I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I think that keeping up with housework is a major downside of home education. Not as important as the postives but still a problem and irritation.
    Having visitors helps as it concentrates everyone’s mind for a few minutes!

  2. Thank you! This is my family to a T! Now I don’t feel like such a slacker. :)

  3. I am struggling right now. I am “thinking” and researching on pulling my oldest son out of public school and homeschooling. I wish I had that calling and feeling like I hear so many of my friends and others have that says they knew that GOD wanted them to homeschool but I don’t. I have so many worries about it. LIKE IT KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT.
    I envy all of you. Housework as bad as it seams is also 1 of them like I have a hard enough time keeping up with it now. How will I keep up with it when/if I home school.
    I just need a sign from GOD. If this is the right thing to do. Or maybe I have gotten my sign and I need to open my eyes more…

  4. I think our houses must look a lot like. :) It would be completely different if the kids left the house for school for 7-8 hrs every day, but when you have a big crew of kids in the house constantly, well, you learn to be relaxed.

    We continually work on “Put things where they belong” and if everyone does that a large portion of the problem is tackled. It’s a habit for both mom and kids to work on – we also have morning and afternoon jobs.

    I do know moms that are completely obsessed with trying to keep their houses spotless and are driving their families nuts in the meantime. I’m raising a family, not trying to go for “Housekeeper of the Year”.

    That nomination seems unlikely anyway. :)

    Thanks for your encouragement.

  5. Amy Clark says:

    Okay, I’m actually rolling on the floor laughing, as they say. I have a five year old who throws all his clothes up at the ceiling fan! I was wondering last night, as I took a pair of pants off the rafters, if we were normal. I guess so! At least we’re not alone! :)

    Thanks, that was helpful!

  6. Lisa Beth W. says:

    To me, keeping up with the housework while homeschooling means that the people in my house are getting fed good food, they have clean clothing on (unless it’s after supper time :) ), and the toilets are not growing things. Beyond that, it’s great if all the toys are actually picked up at once or there aren’t piles of books on every ledge and table or couch, but all eight of us do live here 24/7 except for Sundays. And most of the children are still learning responsibility and to enjoy work and so on. We have not arrived.

    To me, a joyful spirit is far better to dress my house up with than for it to be spick and span b/c of my putting a lot of pressure on everyone to be constantly cleaning/picking up or spending inordinate amounts of time doing it myself. I am in the “relaxed” category with Connie.

    I am not implying that I don’t care about a sloppy/dirty house, just that I don’t expect it to be always uncluttered and perfectly clean. We do know how to buckled down and get ‘er done when it’s time to clean. :)

    And I do enjoy visiting a home that looks lived in and not like my kids can’t touch anything. :)

  7. Thanks … it is the constant battle of the homeschooling mom and I am learning. As my kids get older and more capable/helpful, it gets easier, too which is a huge blessing.

  8. AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I was “recommended” by Smockity!!!!

    This is totally going on my resume. (That’s the noun, not the verb. I don’t know how to do the little mark.)

  9. Dear Smockity,

    I love your pluck and your honesty. You make me giggle!


  10. Well said. So glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

  11. When my daughter was little, maybe 4 or 5, she loved it when I set the timer for 5 minutes and we would race around tidying up, trying to beat the clock. There was a children’s show on at the time that had a “10 second tidy” built into the show. The character, Molly always preceded it with “WHO MADE THIS GREAT BIG MESS????” I think that segment of the show helped my daughter buy into the concept of the quick tidy. She’s 16 now, not so tidy anymore… :(

  12. Heather Mason says:

    I homeschool my 9, and am always trying to tidy up. Yet the house is always a wreck anyway. Thanks for the good laugh, Connie!


  13. My kids do a great job of picking up their rooms. All the clean clothes get stuffed in the laundry basket under the wet towels, and all the dirty clothes get put back in the dressers. How they do such a great job of distinguishing between the two is one of life’s mysteries.