I used to think it was utterly impossible to homeschool AND keep a clean house. I figured I was giving up a clean home when I decided to homeschool because there simply were not enough hours in the day to do both. And I knew plenty of other homeschool moms who would back me up on it.
Yet, I never, ever felt comfortable having a messy home and homeschooling never, ever felt right as long as the house was in disarray.
Deep within me I knew I had to find a way to keep the house tidy while homeschooling.
Before I go any further, I am going to assume you know that I believe the purpose of your home is not to create a place that sacrifices the family on the altar of appearances. If you don’t know that, READ THIS NOW! It is imperative you get your priorities straight before you create any schedule so that you don’t inadvertently schedule your family right out of the picture.
For a long time, I had our weekly chores scheduled for the morning hours right after breakfast and before school. This worked well when the school workload was rather small. However, with a 5th grader and an 8th grader this year, I found that sometimes school suffered if I required the weekly chores to be first on the list. And often by the end of the homeschooling day, the house was a mess AGAIN.
I remember reading a post my friend Kimberly wrote about deciding to do their weekly chores in the afternoon and thinking, “Nope, won’t work for me because I need a clean slate to work from and if the house is messy then I can’t school.” But, as I began to see our weekly chores being pushed aside in favor of starting school hours first thing after breakfast, I realized we were naturally drifting toward that model and I might as well as least give it a try. What harm could it do? As it was the weekly chores were not getting done. Can’t get much worse than that!
Well, one week of putting school before chores was enough to convince me!
Because doing the chores that much later in the day meant the house stayed cleaner and it was easier to pick up in the evening hours before bed. That, in turn, meant we got up in the morning to a relatively tidy home that was aesthetically pleasing “enough” to allow me to school without feeling like there were chores breathing down my neck.
However, this isn’t necessarily the answer for everyone.
I was speaking with a friend of mine this past weekend and I told her she might need to flip-flop my schedule because her husband works the evening shift. Like most men, he enjoys a clean home, so for her family doing the chores first while he is there and schooling while he is gone to work in the later afternoon (along with having a light supper rather the lighter lunch many homeschool moms choose to do) was perhaps a better option.
The bottom line here is no matter how you order the day, you must order the day.
If you want a relatively clean home (not immaculate unlived-in clean), you have to carve out time for cleaning. And if you want to homeschool in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, you must carve out time for that as well.
You are both wife and mother. You are both homeschool mom and homemaker. This is not mission impossible.
If you have to get off the computer, then do it.
If you have to stop a few of the extra-curricular activities, then do it.
If you have to get up earlier or go to bed earlier or unplug the phone or retrain your children or rewrite your schedule, then do it.
It is possible to keep a clean home and homeschool at the same time. Even for someone who struggles with being undisciplined.
Ask God to point out where you are wasting time. Ask God to show you where you are expecting too much or expecting too little. Ask God to show the order you need for your day.
And then listen and do.
It’s not easy. You won’t get it right every single day. But, if your heart is to be a homemaker who glorifies God with her home AND her homeschooling, God will honor your efforts and lead you in that path.
Praise the Lord for mercy and wisdom that speaks to a homeschooling mom…
right where she lives.
Join me tomorrow for a Well-Ordered Days Link Up where several bloggers share scheduling ideas and lend your own to the mix!