How do you find time to clean the house while you homeschool? Keep up on the housework and schoolwork with these routines and systems!
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Choose a time of day to homeschool
This may seem like the wrong place to start when it comes to keeping your house clean, but trust me here. Your homeschooling needs to have a specific place in your day or it won’t get done. If you have committed to educating your children at home, then you need to have a time set aside for that very important job.
Now friends, homeschooling should not take all day, so you need to come to grips with that fact and stop trying to overwhelm your day with teaching. The post below explains how long homeschooling should take by age group, so you can figure out where your school time best fits into your day:
Most homeschoolers begin school in the morning, and many with younger children are done well before noon. Some families (like ours) work partially in the morning hours and partially in the afternoon hours. We begin at 10 am – my little kids are finished by noon and my older ones by 2pm.
There are also families who have found the afternoon to be the best time for homeschooling. These families often have obligations in the morning like farm chores, regular doctor’s appointments, or caregiving or volunteering that must be done in the morning hours.
And there are a few homeschoolers who work entirely in the evening hours. This works well for moms who work inside or outside the home or families who run their own businesses and need to be working during business hours.
There is no rule that says school must begin at 8am and end at 3pm, so throw that nonsense out the window and do what works best for YOUR family!
For more help on setting school hours, take my class Creating a Homeschool Schedule You Love! Not only will you learn how to make a homeschool schedule you can stick to, but you’ll also learn how to fit in all the subjects and enjoy the journey!
Fit housework in the in-between spaces of your day
Once you know when your homeschooling will take place, you can figure out what you can do around those hours to help keep your home clean.
For instance, we don’t start homeschooling until 10am. This gives us time to get the kitchen clean, and tidy up bedrooms before school. After we finish at 2pm, the kids play for a couple of hours and then we do a whole house tidy up. Before bed, we also tidy up.
We don’t homeschool on Fridays, so that is the day we do a whole house deep clean. Everyone has a job, and we are usually finished by noon and can enjoy the rest of our weekend!
Now, it hasn’t always been this way with the Friday cleaning. Once upon a time, my children were not old enough to help me make this happen, so we managed this deep cleaning in other ways.
Read my book, Home Management for the Homeschool Mom for all the different methods we’ve used over the years and to learn how to find a method that works best for you…
Build systems that work
Here comes the hard(er) part! Start by considering what bothers you most about your home OR consider what are the most important things to have clean in your home. This is where you should start with building systems.
Maybe it is dishes. Create a rotating dish washing chart.
Maybe it’s laundry. Set up a laundry schedule.
Perhaps it is toys lying about the house. Have a 15 Minute Tidy Up several times a day.
Don’t try to implement too many systems at once! Give yourself time to see if one works and then give it time to become automatic (or at least as close to automatic as you can get with a bunch of kids!). Once it has become “routine,” add another! And next thing you know, you will have what we are going to talk about in the next section…
Set up routines for cleaning and homeschooling
A routine is simply a collection of systems that become your schedule.
For instance, our family’s schedule looks like this on most days:
(the links will take you to the systems for each of these!)
It might seem pretty simple, but if you’ve ever tried to implement someone else’s schedule, you are well aware how difficult it can be no matter how simple the outline seems to be. You have to build the systems first, then put them together to create a routine.
Our schedule definitely didn’t happen overnight. I can still remember when I started Table Chores for the first time. My oldest was 8, and my two youngest children were still in diapers. It was rough, and it was far from perfect, but it was a start, and here we are 18 years later with Table Chores as an autopilot part of our daily routine.
I also had to realize that our family is unique and someone else’s schedule wasn’t going to work for us. I had to borrow ideas from other moms, try them and adjust them for my unique family, and then do them over and over until they stuck. It was a long (and sometimes maddening) process, but it was absolutely worth the work!
Be ready to adjust as needed
Now, be aware that your routines will not stay static. They will need to grow and change and adjust based on your family’s circumstances over the years.
Don’t let this discourage you. Allow yourself to adjust and rework your routines, and give yourself and your children grace as you do so!
Little by little, you will build a homemaking schedule that works with your life as a homeschooling mom!
Other posts you might like:
- 25 Simple Routines for Homeschool Moms Who Don’t Like Schedules
- Daily Homeschool Schedules for Moms Who Like Structure
- Homeschooling When Your Schedule Keeps Changing
- Homemaking Basics