Probably the #1 thing homeschooling moms of many get asked is,
“How do you do it?”
The real question behind this question is,
“How do you find the time to take care of all the children, do housework, and school everyone all in 24 hours?”
Frankly, there are days when the answer to this question is,
But, let’s just pretend that I *do* get it all done in 24 hours…what does that look like???
Well, here ya go…a quick, bare-bones run-down of my day:
(note there are no times attached because we are more of a routine family rather than a scheduled family. To read more about how this concept applies to you, CLICK HERE.
Weekly Chores (more on that below)
15 min. Tidy
Rest Time or Free Time
Now, for things a little more spelled out:
These consist of different things for different children, but basically they are :
Get dressed, Brush teeth, Brush hair, Make bed, Tidy room, Take care of pets, Laundry In/Out, and Read Bible
The only item on this list that probably needs some explaining is Laundry In/Out. I do laundry every day (even with a Big Laundry Day), so there is usually a full laundry basket somewhere that needs to be emptied so I can refill it. The girls have a laundry basket, the boys have a laundry basket, and Ty and I have a laundry basket.
So, Laundry In means they get those baskets from downstairs and put their clothes away. They are allowed to just throw their baskets down the stairs when they are finished. There is something very rewarding about throwing an empty laundry basket down the stairs! lol
Laundry Out means they take the dirty laundry from their rooms to the main laundry basket (a nice heavy-duty basket located in my bedroom). Usually from there, my oldest son takes the heaping basket downstairs for me (have I ever told you how much I LOVE having an 11 year old?!)
These are based off the Large Family Logistics site. (which is now a BOOK!)
Our weekly break-down looks like this:
Monday ~ Laundry/Dust
Tuesday ~ Floors
Wednesday ~ Bed/Bath
Thursday ~ Basement
Friday ~ Van/Outside
(Click here for a more in-depth look at our Weekly Chore List)
I used to write down each person’s chores on a dry erase board each morning, but recently I decided to try making the list static and have assigned chores for each day that do not change. For instance, on Monday, Blake will always dust the dining room and living and Megan will always dust the bedrooms. I’m hoping this will eliminate some of my workload and keep children from arguing over who gets what chore. (and as of 2011, I’ve gone back to writing on a dry erase board because it works the best for our family–it really is OKAY to change you mind!)
Here I’ll interject a bit about Breakfast & Lunch. I know many people have a rotating list, but I’m not one of those people (yet ;o) ). I keep a list on my refrigerator of potential meals and grab from there. Lunch tends to be fairly simple and something I can throw together quickly since we school both before and after lunch.
We also do Table Chores after every meal. Each child is assigned an age appropriate chore. (This is a typically a 4 year old and up event.)
15 minute Tidy
This is just what it sounds like. I set a timer and we race around the house cleaning as much as we can in 15 minutes. You would be amazed just how clean a house can get when you have 5 people cleaning (well, 3 good cleaners and 2 who are good for about 5 minutes). I also do impromptu 15 minute Tidies whenever the house feels too messy to continue our regularly scheduled lives.
Around 2 pm every day, we have Rest Time for about and hour. Everyone is expected to stay in their beds with a book or paper and a pencil or a small toy. They are to be quiet and “restful.” Often, I have the toddler or the baby with me on the couch or in Daddy’s big chair. And yes, I do go to sleep! On the days when I can’t squeeze in Rest Time, we have…
This includes everything from playing outside to reading to computer time to whatever each individual person likes to do. School work has to be complete. This is my free time as well and the place where piano lessons fit in.
This is the reward for a long, hard day. Sometimes ice cream, sometimes a walk in the park, sometimes a campfire or a family movie. Whatever it is, we’re together enjoying the end of the day. (On bath nights, baths fall into this time slot either before or after the activity depending on whether it is an indoor or outdoor activity.)
Same concept as Morning Chores. Things like brush teeth, tidy room, get a drink, go potty, and say prayers are part of this list. From there, it’s off to bed…
Some nights, the children are sent straight to bed, but as often as I can, I let them have Rest Time before their actual Bedtime. A friend introduced me to the idea of a time of unwinding with a soft light on and a book or pen and paper in bed for each child. It gives them a chance to slow their pace and calm down. If we’ve had a particularly hectic day, I also give them some Chamomile Calm. After 15 minutes or so, lights go out and the day ends.
So, there you have it…a glimpse at my day!