June 2016, Issue 1
I Can’t Homeschool in This Mess!
by Homeschool.com’s Rebecca Kochenderfer
“This place is a wreck!” Have you heard yourself saying something similar lately? Did it make you feel like you couldn’t possibly homeschool until the house was spotless? Many parents feel like clutter around them clutters their mind, rendering them useless as homeschoolers. Here are three things you can do TODAY to tame the clutter and reclaim your homeschooling days!
- Change your expectations. Instead of expecting the house to stay spotless, remember that having children home with you all day means there will be messes at various points. This is normal and okay. It’s a sign you’re having FUN with your children! Realize this, and you’re less likely to become bothered at every little thing that is out of place.
- Implement times for daily “easy cleans” and “quick tidies”. There are lots of different ways to do this. In our house, we call it the “dash and stash.” I set the oven timer for 10 minutes and I explain to the kids that if I had to do this by myself it would take 50 minutes. But because there are five of us, if we work together, we can be done in 10 minutes. We make a game of it. We set the timer and then run around like crazy putting everything back in order. Some families do a 10-minute “easy clean” in the bathrooms each day. Some tidy the kitchen after each meal as a family rule. Some have their children go through the house and pick up anything out of place twice a day. Between the easy cleans, the routine tidy times, and the occasional “dash and stash,” the house stays reasonably clean. My biggest tip for you is to do a quick tidy after supper – even though everyone may be tired. This results in a tidy house in the morning, which reduces stress and allows you to start your homeschooling day easier and faster.
- Keep the messes contained. You may not have a “schoolroom,” but you can have a certain area where you keep the pens, pencils, markers, colored pencils, schoolbooks, binders, etc. Whether it’s the family room, the dining table, or your schoolroom, you may want to keep your homeschooling supplies contained in one area. Your learning probably takes place all over the house, but it’s easier if your supplies are just in one place. You’ll find that it’s easier to tidy up one room after working on a project than it is to tidy up three different rooms.
If your brain is cluttered when the house is messy, start doing these three things and see how untangling your mind will straighten out your homeschool!