Today on day 3 of the Homeschool 101 hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew, we are tackling Home Management.
Again, this is a topic that has a lot to do with your personality. Some of us are type A moms and some of us not so much. That said, a house has to be maintained. Noone likes to live in a place that is messy and dirty.
When it comes to managing the homeschool home I have six pieces of advice:
Be realistic (unless you can't help it): As homeschoolers, your home is where your kids learn. If you want your kids to be free to learn and explore you cannot be an overchiever when it comes to tidiness. There will be messes, there will be days when the house will be in the shape that you cannot stand. JUST EXPECT IT!
A Place for everything. If you want to keep a house tidy, this is my #1 advice: Make sure everything has a home place and stick to it! It is easier to put things away if they have a home. It is easier to teach your kids to clean after themselves if they know where things go.
Involve the kids: with my first point assumed it does not mean that the house has to stay a mess, when it happens. One thing I found valuable to cleaning and keeping the house in decent order is to involve the kids, as early as you can possibly do it. From a young age, teach them to pick up after themselves. When they become able to wash dishes, have them do it. Have them help with the laundry, and the setting and clearing of the table, taking out the trash, cleaning counters, and any task that you think they can handle. This teaches them responsibility and minimizes stress on you. in our home some of these talk earns them a few cents, some are part of their contribution to the household. If you are the type that loves schedules, set up a routine and schedule for chores. Recently my oldest has ventured into cooking breakfast once a week and this has been a blessing! so teach them how to cook too!
Learn to menu plan: Meal planning saves you time, money and stress. You can do it per week or per month. Set a day aside, make an inventory of what you have in your freezer (I usually do it according to the meat I have in my freezer, since I buy my meat in bulk), and schedule out your meals.
Lean how to use a crockpot (or get one if you do not have one): This has been my life and time saver. I do not use it as much as I could, but the crockpot is still one of my favorite item in the kitchen. It also helps to save money. When we know we will be out for the whole day, I always set something in the crockpot.
Set a date for your paperwork and bill management. I have found easier to to all my banking, budgeting and paper work all in one day so that I do not have to worry about forgetting something and/or finding time to do it over several days.
I do not by no means excel in home management, but using these few tips has helped me keep a livable home with home cooked meals on the table twice a day everyday, a clear sink most days, floors mostly clear and clean.