Jump to content

Menu

Totally Undisciplined, How do we stick to a schedule? (longish)


Recommended Posts

I am sure many, many (many) of us have struggled (and are struggling) with this.

Total lack of discipline, utterly and totally.

We manage to get math, MCT and a couple other things done and that is it.

 

I have tried making schedules and they are not adhered to. Mainly because I can't light a fire under anyone and by the time everyone does get moving I have to work for my 2 hour shift (I work from home).

 

Trying to get house work done is a nightmare. I can't invite anyone over for anything. There are clothes all over the floors (in bedrooms even mine and bathrooms). The kitchen needs to be swept and mopped, dished need to be done, dusting and cobweb removal (gads the spiders are bad this year!) needs to be done. Each and every available surface is piled with stuff. You would be shocked if I took pictures and posted them. And if I don't do most of it, it doesn't get done.

 

We haven't done science or history is a couple months. Well ever since I started working really. Which was back in August so I guess more than a couple months. Forget about Latin or Art. We need to start a writing program too. Huh yea right.

 

I tried writing out a schedule, even have Homeschool Tracker Plus and still can't seem to get anyone to do anything. Well not unless I yell, get totally unglued and say a few words I wish I would slip!

 

Some of it does have to do with me. By the time 3pm or so get here I am done for the day, I am just fed up and want to sit down and do nothing. Mainly because I seem to be the only whirling dervish in the house.

 

I have tried to be the one that does things instead of asking but I can't stand it, I clean something up then someone comes behind me and makes a mess and then I get to clean it up again. Sorry but that doesn't jive with me. If you can make the mess you can clean it up.

 

For instance dh yesterday placed the yogurt seal in a bowl int he pile or dirty dishes instead if walking another 3 feet to place it in the trash can :001_huh: Really? I made him throw it away.

 

I know it doesn't help that we don't have any storage to speak of and pretty much everything is in the house.

 

So how do I do it? How do I manage to get even the basics of subjects done and at least have some semblance of order in the house.

 

No one takes me seriously. I have even garnished allowances for not doing things and it hasn't been effective. They only have one outside activity so taking that away might help some but it bothers me to do that because I have to pay for it.

 

Maybe this is just a rant, but I am just tired of living in an embarrassing home that I am afraid to invite anyone over because I don't want them to see it. I also am tired of feeling behind in schoolwork for the kids because it feels like we don't do hardly anything.

 

Any advise whatsoever? Ideas? Hugs even? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best advice is to set a time frame during which school is done and NOTHING ELSE. We do 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. But you might find a better slot of time for your family. In my experience, breaking it up just doesn't work. We work till we are done, other then small 5 minute breaks. We don't have a subject order, just a list of what has to be done that day. Work in any order, but work till it's done. In addition, no one does anything untill school is done (not even mom). No phone calls, no lunch, no tv, no outside activites, no co-op, no toys, games, no parties, no appointments, nothing. If you didn't finish, you don't go. School has to be the top priority NO. MATTER. WHAT. This is the only way we've been able to accomplish what we need to. (As far as lunch, there should be certain subjects that get finished before lunch if you have to add lunch into the school schedule. You get lunch AFTER writing, math and grammar and spelling for example, or what ever.) My DD has a snack break at 10:00 am so we don't eat lunch until after school is done.

 

Don't worry about the house right now. When you get school going smoothly in a good time slot, then start thinking about when to fit in house work. I would also not try to work from home during the time your kids are doing school. (meaning different hours, not don't work at all.) If your kids aren't working on their own reliably, you just have to be attentive and there. I've got only 1, very compliant DD age 9 and even I don't get much of anything done while school is going on. I may be able to wash a few dishes or fold some clothes, but I have to focus on the task of finishing the day's schooling as much as she does. I am also able to keep everything graded daily this way. School time is school time for both of us. I've tried other ways. This is the only thing that has worked for us and it does work beautifully.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:grouphug:

 

How frustrating for you!

 

I would address the housekeeping first while continuing to do the MCT and math.

 

Can you and your older kids spend some time working together every morning to declutter and organize? A good rule of thumb is that if there isn't a place for it to sell or donate it.

 

Do your kids work independently at all? If not, I would start with the 15 year old, subject by subject, until you get where you want to be.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure many, many (many) of us have struggled (and are struggling) with this.

Total lack of discipline, utterly and totally.

We manage to get math, MCT and a couple other things done and that is it.

 

That's something to be happy about. Take joy in it.

 

I have tried making schedules and they are not adhered to. Mainly because I can't light a fire under anyone and by the time everyone does get moving I have to work for my 2 hour shift (I work from home).

 

I light fires by dangling a carrot. (i.e. if you get your school done, you can play your video game)

 

Trying to get house work done is a nightmare. I can't invite anyone over for anything. There are clothes all over the floors (in bedrooms even mine and bathrooms). The kitchen needs to be swept and mopped, dished need to be done, dusting and cobweb removal (gads the spiders are bad this year!) needs to be done. Each and every available surface is piled with stuff. You would be shocked if I took pictures and posted them. And if I don't do most of it, it doesn't get done.

 

One thing at a time. Write down what needs to be done and prioritize. No one wlll die if the floor isn't mopped but y'all will probably need clean underwear soon. List the jobs, then put numbers next to each one to tell you what order to do them in. Delegate. Sometimes it helps me just to clear off a few tables or get one load of wash going. I often holler out as we are all working, "Work fast, work hard, get it done!" Put some upbeat fun music on to cheer up the atmosphere while you work. Set aside one hour and just see how much you can get done. Reward everyone with something cozy, like sitting down with hot chocolate and watching a short movie.

 

We haven't done science or history is a couple months. Well ever since I started working really. Which was back in August so I guess more than a couple months. Forget about Latin or Art. We need to start a writing program too. Huh yea right.

 

Try block scheduling. Do math everyday, but rotate everything else. That way if history doesn't get done on Monday, it'll get done on Tuesday.

 

I tried writing out a schedule, even have Homeschool Tracker Plus and still can't seem to get anyone to do anything. Well not unless I yell, get totally unglued and say a few words I wish I would slip!

 

Make a schedule but leave out specified times. Just do the next thing on the schedule.

 

Some of it does have to do with me. By the time 3pm or so get here I am done for the day, I am just fed up and want to sit down and do nothing. Mainly because I seem to be the only whirling dervish in the house.

 

This is pretty common for us moms. You really must take some time to decide which jobs your children can do and then insist they do them. Withhold privileges or reward a job well done or both. Don't back down. You may even have to resort to "If you don't work, you don't eat." Stick to your guns.

 

I have tried to be the one that does things instead of asking but I can't stand it, I clean something up then someone comes behind me and makes a mess and then I get to clean it up again. Sorry but that doesn't jive with me. If you can make the mess you can clean it up.

 

Call them back and say, "Clean this up." Then stand there until they do.

 

For instance dh yesterday placed the yogurt seal in a bowl int he pile or dirty dishes instead if walking another 3 feet to place it in the trash can :001_huh: Really? I made him throw it away.

 

That's the spirit!

 

I know it doesn't help that we don't have any storage to speak of and pretty much everything is in the house.

 

There are six of us living in 1000sf with no basement. We are squished so I know how frustrating it is not to have storage space. You've probably already done this, but try to think of all the nooks and crannies you can hide stuff in. Since you can go "out," go "up" and "down" - under the bed boxes, shelves up the walls, racks to hang things on, over the door towel racks, etc.

 

So how do I do it? How do I manage to get even the basics of subjects done and at least have some semblance of order in the house.

 

You may need to take a week off from school and make some chore lists, housekeeping lists, and do some serious decluttering. Sounds like you may have more stuff than you need. (check out these websites for lists: www.flylady.com, www.homemaking911.com, www.moneysavingmom.com)

 

No one takes me seriously. I have even garnished allowances for not doing things and it hasn't been effective. They only have one outside activity so taking that away might help some but it bothers me to do that because I have to pay for it.

 

No work, no eat. Sounds harsh, but it's real life - better to learn it at home than in the real world.

 

Maybe this is just a rant, but I am just tired of living in an embarrassing home that I am afraid to invite anyone over because I don't want them to see it. I also am tired of feeling behind in schoolwork for the kids because it feels like we don't do hardly anything.

 

Any advise whatsoever? Ideas? Hugs even? :)

 

Oh, and :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading that made me feel for you! My first thought, which is not very WTW-ish, is to take time off from school stuff and get the house in order.

 

We moved from over 2000 sq feet, to about 1300 (although with much more land), and it was a much harder transition than I thought it wold be. We are not packrats, but a family of 6 has things. Add in hsing and being home much of the time, and it becomes a challege to keep things in order enough to enjoy home.

 

I would start with the living room, then to each child's room. Give each child 3 boxes. Treasures (Keep) /Donate /Trash. I would do each room with the children. Hold up toys and clothing and ask them Keep/Donate/Trash? Then put it in the boxes. When the Donate boxes are full, put them in the car. Don't leave them in the house! You can do your room and the kitchen with dh, maybe?

 

If the children leave trash in the kitchen, call them back. Ask them to take care of it. Have a family meeting at dinner to get everyone one board, encourage you're a team, and need to work together and help each other. It's too stressful for person to do everything.

 

I think once the place has some order, it will be easier to get homeschooling the way you want back on track.

Edited by LibraryLover
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Rachel. The first thing that MUST CHANGE is that your kids MUST help you clean the house. This is not YOUR house, this is EVERYONE'S house. YOU are not making the mess, EVERYONE is making the mess. YOU ARE CLEANING FOR EVERYONE.

 

I absolutely would call a family meeting and get EVERYONE on board. I'd have EVERYONE help you whip the house into shape and then work out a DAILY schedule where EVERYONE pitches in. You can assign one child laundry, another dishes, another vacuuming/scrubbing the bathroom. What ever works for you. But at the ages of your kids, all but the youngest should be able to cook AND clean. They should be able to fully run the house on their own, should something happen to you. (When I suffered a head injury almost 5 years ago, my oldest cooked salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and a veggie, they all cleaned up, and oldest put all kids to bed then waited for us to get home in the wee morning hours. It was SO wonderful knowing he could run the show, should an emergency arise.)

 

When my boys were younger, I'd get all of our school done and out of the way before we did ANYTHING else. No talking, (aside from school or a quick comment/joke - it took effort on my part to keep my boys focused!) no cleaning, no NOTHING until all school was done. Often times we'd do all but history, then have lunch and go for a walk, then do history reading in the afternoon, many times around a campfire. I was so disciplined then but have never reached that level of discipline for my girls. So many life altering things happened while trying to school them. It really has quieted down now and about my discipline - I am really trying to change that. I've never been able to devote 100% of my time to them alone until this year, and I'm making progress. I bought oldest dd a milk crate (youngest does a lot of online school - another story) and we put ALL her books in there, including her silent reading and our read alouds. I intend to put everything on hold until every last book has been pulled from her milk crate. Once ALL our schooling is done, only THEN will we get on with the rest of our day. Sure, while she's working on a math or English lesson I'll throw in a load of laundry or something QUICK, but the KEY to doing this is to only allow QUICK interruptions.

 

You can also get the kids involved with the corrections. I used to have my oldest correct his younger brother's math, and then I'd have my younger ds correct his sister's phonics and so on. Oldest dd now loves to do phonics with youngest dd, and it's wonderful practice for her as she's a struggling speller. I think the review is good for her.

 

When I schooled the boys, dad would get home at 5:30. The rule I worked on was that EVERYONE pitched in and picked up the house. One thing I STRESSED was that it didn't matter WHO'S item it was, put it in it's proper place. I didn't want to hear, "That's yours, YOU put it away," or "You were the one that used it!" It wasn't allowed. EVERYONE picked up, EVERYONE put away. I didn't want to wake up to a mess so everyone pitched in.

 

One other thing I did was NOT nice, but it was SO HARD training my kids to pick up after themselves. I had warned them that from now on, EVERYTHING left out (my boys were in school at this time so if they left something out, it would stay there ALL DAY for me to look at!) would be tossed onto the deck. The VERY FIRST TIME I did this, a HUGE swarm of flying ants took up residence on their stuff. :svengo: Boy were THEY MAD. I felt really bad but didn't let them see it At All. I simply told them to shake off EVERYTHING and inspect it to make sure that all the ants were gone before they brought their stuff back inside. It was a TON of work for them but you know what? They've never been the same again and my house is not littered with their items anymore. :001_smile: Now if I see something out, I put it on the landing in the garage. They come in through the garage and pick up their items on their way in.

 

I'm going to be honest here. It's going to take a LOT of work to incorporate change into the family. It's going to take a TON of effort on your part to hold your kids accountable to their chores. It will all be on you. It will be EXHAUSTING. It may seem easier to do it all yourself. I've seen women who do this, and even one friend seemed MAD that my family helped me! Well, again, OUR house, not MY house; OUR mess, not MY mess. She said it was easier to do it herself. You will have your work cut out for you but I STRONGLY encourage you to keep at it so that your kids will always learn to see a mess and tackle it on their own.

 

Thursdays are our relaxing day as Wednesdays we usually leave around 12:45 and don't get home until 9:00. Sometimes we leave in the morning and get home at 9:00. So not being home all night, sometimes there's more of a mess because dh takes over barn chores for me, (MY animals, yes!) and cooks dinner, mostly cleans up afterwards. So I don't expect him to do more than that but Thursday mornings there can be a little more clean-up. I now tell oldest dd (youngest is basically attached to my hip so she's not much of a help) to clean up. I don't tell her what, I just tell her to clean. We had an extra mess yesterday, most of which dh cleaned up, because we made treats for a party we went to. I finished up clearing out the sink, got the dishwasher going, did light sweeping. Dd picked up random things and put away, folded dog blankets, let out animals and fed them. It's just a pattern now.

 

Bottom line. I would take the next four days to get the house back into order, assigning each child a section to clean up on their own. Have them put everything in it's proper place, bringing everyone's items to their rooms, etc. Get everything put away, then wash and dust. Monday, start with a clean slate and do NOTHING until ALL school work has been finished. It will become a pattern. After all work is done, EVERYONE does their assigned chores and then you're done for the day. Life will be far less chaotic and you'll feel better because you won't have to live in all that clutter.

 

And yes, I would most definitely take away a paid for activity, making it something they earn back next year ONLY if they are doing all their chores on their own. If they can't manage their work in the home, maybe it's time to cut outside activities.

Edited by Denisemomof4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure many, many (many) of us have struggled (and are struggling) with this.

Total lack of discipline, utterly and totally.

We manage to get math, MCT and a couple other things done and that is it.

 

This is something to build on!

 

I have tried making schedules and they are not adhered to. Mainly because I can't light a fire under anyone and by the time everyone does get moving I have to work for my 2 hour shift (I work from home).

 

What time do you need to work? Instead of lighting a fire under anyone. Try to determine what motivates them. What are they doing when they aren't doing what you ask? Watch Tv? Video Games? There is SOMETHING that they would rather do.

 

 

Trying to get house work done is a nightmare. I can't invite anyone over for anything. There are clothes all over the floors (in bedrooms even mine and bathrooms). The kitchen needs to be swept and mopped, dished need to be done, dusting and cobweb removal (gads the spiders are bad this year!) needs to be done. Each and every available surface is piled with stuff. You would be shocked if I took pictures and posted them. And if I don't do most of it, it doesn't get done.

 

The one thing that I have found to help me stay on top of housework is Motivated Moms. It is a daily list and it is simple enough that anyone in the house knows exactly what needs to be done today.

 

I tried Fly lady but it really didn't work for us ( and it was a lot of work for me!) One aspect of Fly Lady that I did enjoy of the 21 thing toss ( or soemthing like that) Each day you toss xx number of items until you get your house under control. The other comment that I liked from Fly Lady was " you house didn't get in this condition over night and it isn't going get perfect over night ( or something like that)

 

We haven't done science or history is a couple months. Well ever since I started working really. Which was back in August so I guess more than a couple months. Forget about Latin or Art. We need to start a writing program too. Huh yea right.

 

I'd start thinking about which subjects are priorities and plan on adding them back in January. 1 subject per week starting with your highest priority. This month, I'd focus on attitudes about school and housework.

 

I tried writing out a schedule, even have Homeschool Tracker Plus and still can't seem to get anyone to do anything. Well not unless I yell, get totally unglued and say

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

 

Instead of writing a schedule, I'd set a time for school right after breakfast. If the kids do not complete their work in the allotted time then they do not get to participate in their favorite activities. period. No need to yell. Be very matter of fact about it. At this point you are doing Math, MCT and a few other things. Give them 2 hours ( or whatever amount of time you think they should be complete) and if they aren't done. Put the work away. BUT do not let them do whatever it is they would rather do. They will not want to miss their favorite activities.

 

Some of it does have to do with me. By the time 3pm or so get here I am done for the day, I am just fed up and want to sit down and do nothing. Mainly because I seem to be the only whirling dervish in the house.

 

You should be able to be "done" at some part of your day!

 

I have tried to be the one that does things instead of asking but I can't stand it, I clean something up then someone comes behind me and makes a mess and then I get to clean it up again. Sorry but that doesn't jive with me. If you can make the mess you can clean it up.

 

Absolutely!

 

For instance dh yesterday placed the yogurt seal in a bowl int he pile or dirty dishes instead if walking another 3 feet to place it in the trash can :001_huh: Really? I made him throw it away.

 

:hurray:

 

I know it doesn't help that we don't have any storage to speak of and pretty much everything is in the house.

 

Declutter, declutter. It is the only thing that makes me sane. When I started decluttering I got a few crates and anything the kids did not pick up, I put in the crate. THey had to do extra chores to get them back. If it stayed in the crate for a month it was donated.

 

So how do I do it? How do I manage to get even the basics of subjects done and at least have some semblance of order in the house.

 

No one takes me seriously. I have even garnished allowances for not doing things and it hasn't been effective. They only have one outside activity so taking that away might help some but it bothers me to do that because I have to pay for it.

 

IF the activity is worth more to you than it is to them then you can not use it as punishment. YOU have to be willing for them to miss it and be willing to drop this activity if they miss it more than once. I don't pay for activities that they are willing to miss! Once the kids know that you are serious then they will take you seriously.

 

 

Maybe this is just a rant, but I am just tired of living in an embarrassing home that I am afraid to invite anyone over because I don't want them to see it. I also am tired of feeling behind in schoolwork for the kids because it feels like we don't do hardly anything.

 

Any advise whatsoever? Ideas? Hugs even? :)

 

My oldest son's motivator was TV/Video games. If he had attitude I was known to remove the TV/ Video games from the house. Unplugged and gone. My oldest dd motivator was her outside activity. SHe only had to miss once before her attitude changed.

 

I'd spend this month working on attitude and the house. Your 12 yo is old enough to do her ( or his??) own laundry. THe 12yo and 8yo should both be able to help around the house, do a chore ( you may have to spend a bit of time teaching them ) and picking up. Everyone should be able to help pick up.

 

Call a family meeting. Put everything in writing. I would even get the older kids to sign a contract! Having the signed contract was a big help with my older son....he would negotiate until he was blue in the face and wear me down. Once I started putting things in writing it was easier for me to stick to it!

 

You can do this, mama!

 

Best of luck!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The rule in my house is that my daughter gets absolutely no electronics (no phone, no computer, no tv, no iPod) until all her schoolwork is done, she has spent an additional half hour reading a book of her choice, and her chores are done. This is absolutely non-negotiable. No exceptions. Ever. Period. And it works. I don't take away outside activities like Taekwondo because I have paid for it, and Girl Scouts because I am the troop leader and that would impact the other girls. You have to find what works for your kids, but electronics is what works for my daughter. How are they spending their free time? Whatever it is they are doing all day when they are NOT doing school and chores, they don't get to do that any more until all the schoolwork and chores are done!

 

I make the school schedule, and I imposed a rule on myself that anything that was on the schedule that week that did not get done would have to be done on the weekend. We schooled on the weekend once and after that dd and I both made darn sure it got done, because we don't like doing school on the weekends! But my schedule is realistic. It's not overly ambitious, but it is complete.

 

I also have a chore chart for my dd. There are some chores she does daily and some she does weekly, and all she has to do is look at the chart to know what she's supposed to do that day. (I have a chart for myself too.) But charts only work if there are consequences. You have to have consequences for your children and for yourself! At least, that's what works for me.

 

I would also recommend that you kick off your new habits with a major DECLUTTERING. If you've got a house crammed full of stuff, it is so much harder to keep that stuff organized. Go through every room. Have three big boxes or bins: one for trash, one for charity, and one for stuff you're going to keep and reorganize. Throw out the trash. Take the charity stuff to Goodwill. Reorganize what's left. And move on to the next room. Take a week off from school entirely to do this if you need to. It's worth it for the peace it creates. And then you can start fresh.

 

Haven't read the other responses but I'm off to do so now. It has been a long time since I've done a major decluttering, and I'm in major need of one. This is getting me motivated too!!!

 

Good luck! :grouphug:

Edited by GretaLynne
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice only:

 

-Take off Dec totally except a morning math lesson or fact practice sheet.

-Get the house in order. You have 23 days before Christmas, make this a gift to yourself.

-Start school at 8 am end at 12 period. Then allow the afternoon to be chore and free reading time.

-Do not allow them to bully you, whine. or throw tantrums. It's my way or the highway.

 

I don't know if your kids have ever been to school, but I tell my 7 yr old when she starts to fuss that it is either she complies with my requirements or has to go to school. Now, I've never said anything bad about school, but she knows it requires her to be away from us and work all day. Now I've never said school would be harder, since I believe it wouldn't be, but it's the being gone all day from us she doesn't want!

 

My 2 oldest are supposed to be cleaning their playroom rght now and I suspect I will have t be on top of them as soon as I finish the dishes.

 

My 7 yr old-unloads the dishwasher, dust, sweeps our huge kitchen at least once a day. Helps fold laundry and put it away and helps clean up. She also makes their bunkbeds.

 

My 4 yr old puts his toys away- half of the time, and does shoe duty along with putting away his clothes. He also likes to dust and do windows. He is learning to sweep.

 

My 2 yr old is already helping to put things away with direction.

 

I look at it this way: we all work and then we can have fun! Speaking of which....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the thing that helped us above all else was flylady. not that i followed her religiously, but i started thinking in fifteen minute bits and using a timer, and what a difference that made.

 

i really did start with "baby steps".

i worked on what i did first thing in the morning.

 

i started with putting a load of laundry in the machine first thing (get up, pick up laundry, walk to the machine).

then, when it finished i hung it up.

 

then i added in unloading the dishwasher while the coffee brewed.

 

then i added in making my bed.

 

what that meant was that by the end of the first week, the laundry was under control and mostly the dishes, too.

 

then i worked on morning rituals for the kids.

we added in me reading aloud at the breakfast table while they ate, then they would do 15 minutes tidying in their rooms while i loaded the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher and got ready to start school.

 

then, everyone got a 15 minute break to do what they needed to do (get dressed, etc). i turned off the phone and the computers.

 

then we started school. i ditched homeschool tracker and a lot of things, and just started off with one of them practicing the violin while i taught the other one math, then they switched.

 

by the end of the second week, laundry, dishes and bedrooms were under control, and we were doing at least math and music everyday.

 

then we added in me doing spelling with one while the other did singapore grammar on their own, then we switched.

 

we added in 1 hour of individual reading in their bedrooms after lunch each day. this gave me an hour to do what i needed to do, whatever it was that day.

 

at the end of a month, it was almost civilized (except, of course, for the moments/days when it wasn't).

 

but working the day in little packages that we ritualized meant that i was working with bite-size, manageable bits until we got them working well.... and it also meant that i only needed to get them going for the first thing in the package, and the rest just followed. it was easier on all of us.

 

you can do this!

:grouphug:

ann

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to be honest here. It's going to take a LOT of work to incorporate change into the family. It's going to take a TON of effort on your part to hold your kids accountable to their chores. It will all be on you. It will be EXHAUSTING. It may seem easier to do it all yourself. I've seen women who do this, and even one friend seemed MAD that my family helped me! Well, again, OUR house, not MY house; OUR mess, not MY mess. She said it was easier to do it herself. You will have your work cut out for you but I STRONGLY encourage you to keep at it so that your kids will always learn to see a mess and tackle it on their own.

 

I remember at one of the part-time jobs I had to help pay my way through college, one day my boss asked me why some of my usual tasks, which I was always so consistent about doing, had not gotten done. I explained to her that since she had asked me to train the new girl, I hadn't had time to complete everything, and I had been previously instructed not to stay late and log more time. It does take more time and effort to train people to do things than to simply do them yourself!!! That's just the way it works. But in the long run, it is better for them and for you if you are firm in this. What is so hard in the beginning that you will think about giving up, will be so very worth it in the long run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I know it doesn't help that we don't have any storage to speak of and pretty much everything is in the house.

 

So how do I do it? How do I manage to get even the basics of subjects done and at least have some semblance of order in the house.

 

No one takes me seriously. I have even garnished allowances for not doing things and it hasn't been effective. They only have one outside activity so taking that away might help some but it bothers me to do that because I have to pay for it.

 

Maybe this is just a rant, but I am just tired of living in an embarrassing home that I am afraid to invite anyone over because I don't want them to see it. I also am tired of feeling behind in schoolwork for the kids because it feels like we don't do hardly anything.

 

Any advise whatsoever? Ideas? Hugs even? :)

 

 

I know that when my kids get overwhelmed, they have a hard time even knowing where to begin. It sounds like you are all at that point.

 

I would have a hard time even thinking about school when the house is so messy. I would just feel like it is all looming over me. So...

 

1. It sounds like you all may just have too many clothes. If you are wearing some and there are still that many on the floors, they can't all be actually getting worn because they are sort of out of sight, out of mind, KWIM? So I'd get a big garbage bag and I'd tell the older kids to pick out a weeks worth of clothes that are their favorites, one dressy outfit and special stuff like sports/swimming, etc. Put that bag on the bed and then bag up ALL the rest and shove them in the car and take them to Good Will. If you can't bear to donate yet, put them in big bags and pack them in a closet and label them with the date. Whatever hasn't been used in six months, toss.

 

2. Get rid of stuff ruthlessly. We have a get one/give one rule with most toys. For you toddler, get rid of the toys that have crap that gets all over the place, like toy kitchens and plastic food. (Plastic food is a pet peeve of mine.)

 

3. Once You have some of the clutter gone, then maybe start giving the kids a list of schoolwork that they can do on their own. Have them sit down and not get up for a break until X is done, or tell them that when it is done, they can have a snack or something to give them a goal.

 

Good Luck, whatever you decide to do. You can do it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you know it is not necessary to take outside activities away to get people going. Your kids must be doing something to fill their hours.

 

So the remote disappears for a few days ,as do the power cords for computers, televisions etc. You say....nobody....including mom does anything else till stuff gets done.

 

School is from 8-12. If you want to sit and stare at the wall for that time period...Fine. You will still be sitting at the table where every one else is so mom can keep an eye on you. Lunch is when your math, english, etc. is done. My kids get warnings (this is for dawdling...I never do this if I am not COMPLETELY sure that they can do the work in the allotted time) "in 10 minutes if your X is done you'll get lunch. Otherwise you get it when you are done" You will feel like the meanest mom in the world. They will call your bluff on it. Expect screaming, wailing, gnashing of teeth, guilt, drama, they may even throw themselves on the floor. Expect it and brace yourself for it.

 

For the first week school is the priority. If you get school done every day, pat yourself on the back. Way to go. (I found that I had unreasonable expectations of my schooling abilities. I love the Charlotte mason method of learning, especially for history and science...but you know what? It never got done. I eventually figured out that I had to have something all laid out and ready to go, like a textbook or some kind of open and go curriculum or it didn't happen consistently. This is where my idealism had to meet the real world. This is something you may need to consider..just a thought...)

 

After school becomes more of a habit, then you work out your household routines. Nobody gets to watch TV, etc. till certain chores are completed. Everyone is responsible for their own dishes. Everyone even toddlers can help with the laundry. When the whole family pitches in and works together you will be stunned at how quickly your house gets clean. Work on one room at a time, and delegate. One person vacuums, one person cleans the couch, one person declutters the coffee table, one person wipes baseboards..etc. You might want to write it on the markerboard and the tasks get erased as they are done. Do one or two rooms a day. Rooms like the kitchen get done every day, but shouldn't take as long since you do them daily. IF you all pitch in, then it shouldn't take that long.

 

You don't have to scream and yell. You just calmly inform them of what is expected and what will happen if they don't follow through. Then you do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of good advice so far. I would add that both of your kids should be doing some independent work which would free up some time to keep up with the house. Like GretaLynne, I like using weekly schedules so that if it's not done by Friday, there is no free weekend. No kid wants to be doing schoolwork on the weekend when s/he knows her/his friends are off. Yes, you will be the bad guy, but it will save your sanity.

 

I agree that you should take at least a few days off, get everyone involved and get your home in order. You'll then be able to concentrate on school and getting into a workable routine.

Edited by Mejane
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggest getting a copy of Love & Logic for Teachers. The charts for dealing with children are exceptional. I hope this doesn't come across as unkind, but if you don't do something and show responsibility with schooling, your children will see no reason to be responsible when it comes to schooling and possibly other things in life. You HAVE to stick to a schedule and decide to stop finding reasons why you can't. You don't really have a choice. (I hate to say this, but if you are finding your plate to full, maybe you should consider PS for the time being). I would suggest starting to do the FlyLady Schedule. It's incredible and keeps you on top of your house. It's just baby steps to build habit. It seems that one thing is piling on top of another for you and it's become overwhelming. You can do this! And it will help you feel more in control of your life. It will build your self confidence and you will succeed.

 

I have been there done that, so please don't' think I am speaking from the throne:001_smile:

 

:grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I have a couple (ideas, that is) ;)

 

1. You could start FlyLady. I hear it works and is wonderful. For the 30 days you are learning Baby Steps, cut yourself some slack. Here's what I would do if I went with that option though... I would have the kids do it!! See #2 for an idea of what I am talking about...

 

2. Now here is what we do here. I don't really do any housework except laundry for myself and the littles (which the eldest daughter assists with and so do the youngers), and cleaning my room/schoolroom. Now, I know I have more kids then you do, but I still think it could work. Each child is responsible for their room, or 1/2 if they share, and 1 area in the house. Erik has the only other bathroom besides mine, because he works outside of the house too and he needs t have a "job" around here that isn't totally an eyesore if he hasn't gotten to it yet. Kathy has kitchen, it is the ONLY paid chore in my house, because I have too many problems with quality sucking no matter how I arranged it. Sean has livingroom, which at the moment needs a kick in the behind. David has diningroom. The little ones help clean up the toy area, make their beds, put their clothes away. With a household my size I have found it is easier to be the manager. I used to be the one to do a good majority of the work, but like you found I would be working on one room, while they were carelessly and thoughtlessly thrashing the room I just spent a lot of time working on. So, I decided if they didn't care about the work I did, they were going to learn what it was like to have to do the work, maybe they'd appreciate it better in taking care of it and picking it up.

 

The way it works, is the kids get up and have breakfast. Now if they did their quick clean up before bed, they won't need to check their chore and straighten their area, if they didn't this is the time to check their chore before they start school. The older ones sometimes get up before the younger ones and myself, so *hopefully* they have done this before I have gotten up and are already on school, if not I stop them and make them do it before returning back to work. At 1 we break for lunch... most of them are done by this time (with school work). After lunch, we have "lunch clean up". Everyone turns off their devices, stops what they are doing and checks their chore real quick. In theory this means anything out of place, finds it's home... any sweeping or vacuuming gets done as well, etc... just a quick pick up. They are free till dinner. Dinner is something we rotate. I started teaching the kids to cook around 10 or 12. Most of them by 15 and 17 are pretty proficient in the kitchen. Every child from 13 on up has 1 night a week they cook dinner. One night is a left over night, and the other two either someone else picks up if they want to, or hubby or I do it. Afterward is dinner clean up, this means the kitchen gets returned to sparkly and new, ready to serve it's next meal. This is also te time of day it is swiffered. The same thing with the diningroom- table completely scrubbed/wiped down, table cloth put in the wash if necessary, swept and swiffered. The rest of the house can be checked and cleaned up before bed, but most of the wait till right before bed... as long as it gets done, I don't really complain about when. At this point they are all on their own, till bed time. The littles get their bath, brush their teeth, get PJ's on, and pick up any toys in the livingroom. They pick up the play area during the day when their siblings are doing their chores. Then before bed the bathroom, and livingroom are given the "once over" to make sure it is clean and straightened. Then lights-out.

 

Now on Saturday, is "Saturday Chore Day". Everyone in my house knows what that means. Basically it's like a mini-Spring clean, or a deep clean. My eldests gf thinks that is the meanest thing in the world... LOL Cleaning their own room at this stage in their ages is totally up to them. I only complain if we might have someone over that might be in there. So while everyone is in the chore, I am in my room/schoolroom and bathroom. We spot clean the walls, wipe down the baseboards, switches, doors, and outlets. We vacuum, dust, sweep and real mopping. We clean out couches, move furniture and clean under them. We scrub everything in the kitchen and bathrooms, including inside and out. And yes, that means the fridge too. The pantry shelves, and cabinets get cleaned off, wiped down, and put back in order. The same thing with drawers. House laundry (towels, bedding, etc..) get done. And windows and sills get washed and wiped down. The diningroom table and benches get completely scrubbed- legs and all. The little ones help me with our room, because they live in here too. They help pick up the floor, clean under the toddler bed, and Jamie takes care of his toys and stuff in my closet. They also double check the toy area to make sure all the toys are in the proper bins, boxes, etc... Then they go out back and pick up any garbage in our very small yard and make sure they outside toys are where they are supposed to be, and any toys that don't belong outside find their home inside. Also, every couple of weeks or so I have to assign someone to go in the garage with dad and straighten it back up.

 

I know it sounds like a lot, but really it's not. Saturday chores may take a couple of hours. And for some of them, that may only be if your slow. Kitchen probably takes a little more, but it's pretty streamlined if you've been doing it and staying up on your Saturday chore. Plus that's why it's a paid for chore. We do this in part, to give the house a complete once over, so that hopefully it's more minimal during the week, and the more involved chores don't get piled up. Plus when your doing it on a regular basis, no need it dread it or complain it's just there. One of the biggest benefits though, is that I feel ok taking the Sabbath off :)

 

Now laundry... every person has a day. They get the washer from 4 on, that way they are done with school, and if we have something that has to be thrown in we can during the day. My day is shared with at least one of my smaller ones. We do the same thing on Saturday, or house laundry day, and Sunday which is my husband's day. That way everyone gets accounted for. The little ones help sort their clothes. They all have their own hampers, but they divide up the colors and help take it to the wash. Jamie likes putting in the soap and stuff. And they help move it over, and then match up outfits and hang it up, with the exception of the littlest. I started this years ago because I noticed while they would sort their colors/loads,I would wash them, but then they never put them away, I'd find clothes all over the floor. It really started to tick me off because it took time and hard work to laundry for that many people. So around 10, I started having them do everything but the actual wash. As they got older I taught them how to use it, and they became responsible for their own clothes.

 

Now some people think I am mean, or strict, or hard. trust me I've heard it all over the years. But after being married to someone who couldn't iron, or cook and egg... I *refused* to bring up my boys to be a burden to their wives. Plus at some point they have to go out on their own before they get married, I wanted them to be able to take care of themselves. Now I say that, not because girls are any different. One day they will have their own families to be responsible for. However, in society much more is seen that women are knowledgeable in these areas while boys are not taught or made to do these things.

 

In my own upbringing, my grandmother did EVERYTHING for me. I wasn't even allowed to touch her washer and dryer, or cook in her kitchen. But for a time I was in foster care after I went to go live with my mother. And things were much more methodical there. We were taught to take care of ourselves, right down to budgeting and balancing a checkbook. These were skills I am glad *someone* took the time to teach me. And I grateful for the experience because now I have that information to pass down to my children but in a much more loving and familial enviroment, and that helps :)

 

Now I am not going to lie, and say I don't have to ride them from time to time. But having a system, and everyone knowing what they are/were supposed to do helps... a lot! But their "free time" is contingent on school work being done and chores being checked. You have to be cleared, and okayed for computer/TV/video game use. While school is going on, or after lunch clean up... nothing is on, and no one gets the "ok" until everyone has completed and done their part. The rest of the day is more relaxed about when and how things are done. BUT if I catch them on a device, and their stuff is not done, they forfeit the rest of the day from that particular item. If it's really bad, then it may be from everything, or extend until the next day. For kitchen, it is paid daily, so she will get docked her pay for the day, or 1/2'd or whatever I feel is fair. I never have a problem with kitchen anymore, but there are always some that I can rely and trust more to do what they are supposed to. I think that's that way in every family though... they are always 1 or 2 that are lazier, and don't "toe the line" as well. But what I teach them is a family is a unit, much like a team. And if we all don't do our parts, then we will fail, and lose as a team. Our success or failure depends upon everyone doing their part.

 

Sorry for the novel... If you not sure what to do or where to start, assign everyone a room. Then get together and start doing FlyLady. It would be their job or responsibility though to do their daily, and their Zone when it comes up on the roster.

Edited by missesd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, I had to declutter a lot in order to get my house more under control. And it's still messy, but it's about 1-2 hours away from clean. If the stuff isn't in the house it can't be spread around to make a mess. We got rid of about 50% of our stuff over the last year. For part of it we hired a local college student to help out by watching the kids, taking stuff to donation drop-offs, etc.

 

We didn't get much school done during those times but the rest of the time we had became increasingly efficient.

 

We have a 2-story house and I instituted a rule that we don't go upstairs during the day except quiet time. Upstairs has nothing of interest, just beds, furniture, and clothes. No books, no entertainment, no toys, nada. In the morning we (sometimes) make our beds, get dressed, brush out teeth and hair, and then head down. We come back up for the toddler's naptime and my son has quiet time while I get her down (30 minutes). After that we go back down. So in this way 50% of the house is completely unused during the day, and there's nothing of interest at all up there. It really helps keep it clean.

 

As for our downstairs, it's messy, but 1-2 hours of work will fix that. I clean Sunday mornings, some Wednesday mornings, and every Friday afternoon. Other than those times I only do dishes (actually usually DH), cook, and run a few loads of laundry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so very very much all! :)

 

I feel now like I can tackle the mess.

 

While I can't totally take off school (we will still do, at the very least, math) we are certainly not going to stress it until after the new year.

 

For now we are going to take the next week and de-clutter. I am hoping to get rid of a few large boxes! :hurray:

 

 

I am also going to implement several of the suggestions here and make the kiddos toe the line and get things done!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've gotten some great advice :grouphug:.

 

I will echo the posters who said stop everything and get the house in order. You can get this done before Christmas, and what a wonderful gift! If something doesn't have a home, then donate it. Flylady helped me a lot several years ago when I was where you are.

 

Over Christmas break, sit down and look at your schedule. I would spend the $9 and buy Tell Your Time (it's a quick read, but packs a powerful punch). Create a routine/flow to your days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add to my suggestions...

 

Getting rid of clothing really helps. We live in a moderate climate so we don't have the same needs as those who live in colder places but DH, DS and I have about 4 pairs of pants and 6 shirts (3 short sleeve, 3 long) each. We each have 2 sweaters and a coat. 6 pairs of socks and 7 pairs of underwear for each of us. We also each have one nice outfit for occasions. DD is potty training and is a messy toddler so she has more clothing than the rest of us. All our clothing (minus DH's suit and the coats) could be washed in 3 loads.

 

It cuts way down on Mt. Washmore and on clutter around the house and especially in the bedrooms. Try thinking about what clothes the family actually needs, rather than what you have. And if you buy a new thing, choose one of the old versions to be donated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were you, I would focus on getting the house in order first. That would make me feel so much better in general. Clutter in my environment makes me feel mentally overwhelmed and cluttered. Have the kids help. Choose one room at a time and work together. Give a reward at the end. (Go for a soda or something simple.) My boys recently busted their rear ends cleaning their room spotlessly, including the closet, because I promised a small Sonic drink if they did.

 

Be merciless in tossing out clutter or giving it away. You will feel so much better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the Flylady idea. flylady.net

Flylady will give you the right attitude, heal your heart and stop your beating yourself up, and teach the tools to move forward from where you are right now, one step at a time. It will help you feel that you can do it, and help you with your feeling of overwhelm.

I would never have been able to homeschool if I hadnt found Flylady beforehand. I spent 6 months on Flylady...then I found homeschooling. Without the foundation of routines to keep my housework under control (and I am no clean freak, but things are in relative order)I would not have had the discipline to homeschool.

Some people are extremely organised and structured...then others of us have to train ourselves. Order and structure make kids feel secure, and helps things to get done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's times when I could definitely write your post, word for word. I'd just swap the "no storage space" for "we live in a 800 sq ft rabbit hutch" instead. I too would be particularly embarrassed if anyone stopped by.

 

I've actually never seem to get to the stage of having a completely tidy house - one or two rooms maybe, but the rest are a state. It seems like there's always a load of mess that just gets moved around from one place to another, according to where I'm trying to tidy up, and where there's a "temporary" space to move it to.

 

You've got a lot of good suggestions, and I'm glad of threads like this because it helps me too! Two things definitely help me: one is to get the kids on board and not feel bad about having them help out, and the other is to get tough and unsentimental and just chuck stuff. IMO it is not worth the stress of a messy house, to keep things. I'm a bit of dinosaur when it comes to technology, but digital memories are really great at times like these!

 

Re: schoolwork.. I'm torn between saying, just leave it and sort the house out (that's what I'd prefer to do, but it hasn't worked for me in the past); and saying, spend 2hrs in the morning on schoolwork of whatever kind, and then some time tidying and cleaning until your afternoon crash point. I totally agree with whoever said, to get the kids on board. Then, when it gets to 3pm or whatever, you can all sit down with some hot chocolate or similar and watch and movie/play a board game/just chill because you will all totally deserve it!

 

:grouphug: to you. Don't give up! Even if it's never perfect, keep trying, 'cause it will get better as you go on. :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been having the same issue with schooling, for me it comes down to me needing more discipline.

 

We have a tidy up time each evening when the children have to tidy their own stuff, tidy a room and do a small job like empty the rubbish, clean a basin or similar, totally depending on what needs to be done at the time. The house is generally not further than 30 mins from clean and tidy.

 

Our childrens rooms must be tidied on a Sunday, until they are they are not allowed screen time. This usually means their rooms are clean by midday Sunday. Unfortunately (or furtunately??!!) DD seems to not be bothered with no screen time and her room has been disgusting for weeks, I'm going to have to come up with a new strategy for her.

 

We have also had the same issue with the kitchen and general food mess spreading through the house.

We instigated Kitchen Duty. Here are the details as posted on our kitchen wall:

 

The person on Kitchen duty is responsible for

 

Sweeping the floor

Cooks dishes

Wiping down the bench occasionally

Turning on the dishwasher

Emptying the dishwasher and reloading with waiting dishes

 

Everyone else is responsible for

 

Cleaning up after themselves

Putting their dishes in the dishwasher

Putting away tools, utensils and ingredients they have used

Wiping messes off the benches

Putting apple cores etc in the compost

Not leaving their cups and plates lying around the house

 

Anyone who does not fulfil their responsibility will immediately be on kitchen duty.

Before kitchen duty can be passed on to another person, the person on kitchen duty must have completed the things that they are responsible for

Maximum time on kitchen duty is 3 days, after which time it will be handed to the person listed as next in line for scheduled duty.

 

 

This has been in place for 4 days, our kitchen has gone from constantly disgusting to constantly spotless. It was ridiculously easy. Best of all, it's been fun because it's like a competition to not be on kitchen duty. I'm on duty right now because I didn't put my breakfast plate in the dishwasher right away.

 

There are a few areas in our home that also need the kitchen duty treatment, but we figure that we will deal with one area at a time and once good habits are installed there, we will move on to the next spot.

Edited by keptwoman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've gotten so much good advice mine is sort of a repeat so :grouphug:

 

Whatever you decide it needs to be non-negotiable. It will be very hard for you the first couple months. They will whine and cry and disappear and generally drive you batty. Do Not Give In. My dh says they are like wild animals and will sense any weakness :tongue_smilie:

At my house it is as many have said

Chores

School

then

Electronics/Friends

I don't really 'do' CM but I love her ideas on habit training.

How about more :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found that having a LOOSE schedule worked much better for us. 7-9am, breakfast, switch laundry loads, morning chores (get dressed, straighten bed, brush hair and teeth)

 

9-10 Math and handwriting

10-11 History and science

11 - 11:30 finish morning work while Mom gets some lunch ready

11:30-12 Lunch, kids clean up after lunch since I made it

12-1 Play time, outside usually

1-2 grammar and reading, usually mostly on their own so I do some cleaning during this time

2-3 Latin, piano, art,etc. plus finishing other unfinished work.

 

3-5 free time for kids, I usually did some laundry and sewed or read a book

 

5Dinner prep and night chores. General tidy of the house, putting away laundry, taking out trash, etc.

6 dinner

then dinner clean up, family reading or Bible time,and a little TV if there was time left.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love all the replies here. I'm in my third (?) month of homeschooling now, and its been VERY difficult to keep to a schedule. I started out with a workbox system first, and meeting in the school room the same time every day until the boxes are all finished...but that often lead to really late lunches, a frustrated mom, and a trashed house.

 

I took last week totally off and we all cleaned the house and got caught up on projects that had been needing to be done. That was nice.:)

 

Now that we've started back up, the house got trashed over the weekend again - and its hard to maintain my focus on homeschooling. I find myself in a MUCH better mood and more eager to homeschool on schedule if my house is in order.

 

Part of my problem is that out of my five kids, my oldest is only 11. He helps a LOT, but he can't do it all. My second oldest is 8...he is the LEAST helpful of all my kids. grrr My 6 yr old is helpful, but he's...six. Then there is my 3 yr old and almost 1 yr old. Not helpful at all, although I'm working on my 3 yr old.

 

So I'm wondering, not to thread-jack here, but those moms who posted lots of great ideas with kids helping - what do you do if one or a couple of your kids refuse to work? Taking away privileges is the obvious answer, but what if that doesn't work? What if they'd rather sit on their bed and not watch TV, or play the computer or do anything "fun" than clean the house? That's the daily battle I have with my 8 yr old...who then draws in his 6 yr old brother. Then I'm left with myself and my 11 yr old trying to pick up after the other five people in this family! lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

So I'm wondering, not to thread-jack here, but those moms who posted lots of great ideas with kids helping - what do you do if one or a couple of your kids refuse to work? Taking away privileges is the obvious answer, but what if that doesn't work? What if they'd rather sit on their bed and not watch TV, or play the computer or do anything "fun" than clean the house? That's the daily battle I have with my 8 yr old...who then draws in his 6 yr old brother. Then I'm left with myself and my 11 yr old trying to pick up after the other five people in this family! lol

 

fwiw, one of the things that i say is

 

"you can do it now or you can do it after you have lost everything".

 

so the first thing they lose is media - videos, then computer, then anything that can be used to play anything. they do not get sent to their rooms. i stand there and repeat the request. if they say no, they lose the next thing. then i add in "the next thing is that you will lose dance class for tonight". that is usually, but not always, the clincher. if i see them hesitate rather than start the chore, before they can say anything i add "and then after that it will be the soccer game this saturday, and then x, y, z". only one of our four went as far as to begin to lose furnishings. and only once. we also have a chicken coop that needs perpetual cleaning, and that is the ultimate consequence.

 

depending on the day, i switch off and also add in the "pick up five things" immediate consequence. so if you do not respond pleasantly, you pick up five things in, say, the playroom, while i watch. then i repeat the request. then you get to pick up another five things. then i tease you and beg you to keep refusing to take out the garbage, because at this rate the playroom will be picked up in no time.

 

but sitting in your room doing nothing is not an option above age 4 or so. i have several who would choose that everytime. the nice thing is that after you do this for a while, you don't need to do it very often at all.

 

alternating this with the "carrot" (ice cream or a field trip or a board game or ???) as in "let's see how much we can get done in 15 minutes. if we make good progress, then we can play "sleeping queens")

 

fwiw,

ann

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love all the replies here. I'm in my third (?) month of homeschooling now, and its been VERY difficult to keep to a schedule. I started out with a workbox system first, and meeting in the school room the same time every day until the boxes are all finished...but that often lead to really late lunches, a frustrated mom, and a trashed house.

 

I took last week totally off and we all cleaned the house and got caught up on projects that had been needing to be done. That was nice.:)

 

Now that we've started back up, the house got trashed over the weekend again - and its hard to maintain my focus on homeschooling. I find myself in a MUCH better mood and more eager to homeschool on schedule if my house is in order.

 

Part of my problem is that out of my five kids, my oldest is only 11. He helps a LOT, but he can't do it all. My second oldest is 8...he is the LEAST helpful of all my kids. grrr My 6 yr old is helpful, but he's...six. Then there is my 3 yr old and almost 1 yr old. Not helpful at all, although I'm working on my 3 yr old.

 

So I'm wondering, not to thread-jack here, but those moms who posted lots of great ideas with kids helping - what do you do if one or a couple of your kids refuse to work? Taking away privileges is the obvious answer, but what if that doesn't work? What if they'd rather sit on their bed and not watch TV, or play the computer or do anything "fun" than clean the house? That's the daily battle I have with my 8 yr old...who then draws in his 6 yr old brother. Then I'm left with myself and my 11 yr old trying to pick up after the other five people in this family! lol

 

First, I'd put up any toys or anything at all that your 8yo likes to play with. This would be to eliminate him making a mess with his stuff. If he wants to play with something he would need to ask you to get it for him and you'd definitely have the option of saying no.

 

I would not let him in his room to just sit. I would make him run in place or do jumping jacks while everyone else worked. Then, when all the work was done, I'd pass out cookies or doughnuts or whatever fun food there is in the house to all those who contributed to getting the house clean and I'd give the 8yo a glass of water. I'd make sure he sat there at the table and watched everyone else enjoying the treat. I would do this with absolutely no emotion involved - just plain and straightforward. Does that sound harsh? Well, making everyone else do your work is harsh so I think it fits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of our favorite clean up games is to set the timer for 15 minutes and see if we can "beat it". The kids think this is great fun. I also do the "pick up 20 things and put them away in their correct place". It is amazing what can be accomplished in a short time. The number one key, in my experience, to keeping things manageable, is to declutter. Less stuff means less stuff to get out and clean up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just found this topic, but I am loving this thread...Thanks to everyone for the great advice, even if I didn't ask the question :)

 

I just had a "Family Meeting" with the boys and told them what our days are going to look like...They are happy to have the structure :thumbup:...My oldest actually said he thinks things will be better from now on, knowing what will happen...They are upstairs cleaning out the shelves in their room now...

 

Thanks so much again...I love this forum :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so very very much all! :)

 

I feel now like I can tackle the mess.

 

While I can't totally take off school (we will still do, at the very least, math) we are certainly not going to stress it until after the new year.

 

For now we are going to take the next week and de-clutter. I am hoping to get rid of a few large boxes! :hurray:

 

 

I am also going to implement several of the suggestions here and make the kiddos toe the line and get things done!

 

 

Awesome! :grouphug::grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, this could be considered "cheating". When we started hsing my boys tended to take all day to do their work, fussing about the workload, and being generally difficult. So I went the other way. I focused on fun plans (going to the movies or park or going out for ice cream) every afternoon, told the boys what I had planned, and told them we could go when their work was done. Once I started doing that it came to light that they needed to know everything that had to get done upfront. I began using a simple grid filled out with the weeks assignment for each boy. They pick the order in which to do the work and tell me when they need me for lessons. This way I am not bugging them to keep moving all day and I can get my work done. We only had to do the "fun plans" for a week or two to get them in the groove. No electronics/TV for either boy until both boys are done with the day's list. A little peer pressure there. ;) School is not done until all the books and supplies are put away but, then they are free for the afternoon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with a lot of the suggestions- I would consider this month to mostly be free, but I would start on making a routine.

 

So, say at 8 or 9 or whatever time- drop everything and do school- ie Math and whatever else is working.

 

I would start having set times for meals as well and make sure you have at least an hr of quiet time in the afternoon. You need a break and so do they.

 

I would have a family meeting and divy up responsibilities.

 

Ruthlessly declutter, I would be on my own butt as well as theirs and keep off the computer(or whatever else is your distraction) unless it is free time in the afternoon. What things do you really enjoy/treasure and what are the real needs- nothing else should stay.

 

My rule with the kids and myself is if we cannot keep it clean there is too much stuff.

 

Laundry gets done daily that way not too much builds at a time. We all do it together and the kids put up their own. Working all together doing a load at a time it really doesn't take that long. I organized the kid's clothes in a way that is easy to put up- divided between- church clothes, play clothes, underclothes and 'town' clothes.

 

Having to and sticking to a routine really helps as well. I could often spend the day doing this or that but know we start school at a certain time and that is that really helps. Before school we straighten rooms and it doesn't take but a few minutes as it is done a couple of times a day. We have 2 hrs in the afternoon of quiet time and I take that time and usually do nothing much(well other than nurse the baby).

 

Find small steps that you can make. I like to do a deep clean one room at a time, first going through and getting out all the trash, then making a pile to get rid of, then I can put things that are being kept in the appropriate place, lastly the cleaning is done- dusting, sweeping and mopping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if I seen it mentioned or not but I would try to cut back on some of the basics while getting things back in order:

- paper plates for now

- meals that are as simple as possible- so you are not spending time cooking or cleaning up the mess from cooking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the thing that helped us above all else was flylady. not that i followed her religiously, but i started thinking in fifteen minute bits and using a timer, and what a difference that made.

 

i really did start with "baby steps".

i worked on what i did first thing in the morning.

 

i started with putting a load of laundry in the machine first thing (get up, pick up laundry, walk to the machine).

then, when it finished i hung it up.

 

then i added in unloading the dishwasher while the coffee brewed.

 

:grouphug:

ann

 

:iagree: IME, one huge clean up doesn't keep the house straight for the year. I also work on training people. Really, hubby could stand and watch water boil. No, load the dishwasher while you wait!

 

"A room a day". I'm quoting my mother.

 

Declutter. "Halve it all", it is lovely.

 

Motivations I use for help from kiddo: no play until tidy

if you won't work with me on this, you'll have to go to ps (used once in a blue moon when we sit down and have a serious talk)

If you want me to (make muffins, take you to the park, etc) you'll have to do X so I have the time

Anything still on the floor in half an hour is going in the trash ("the third warning")

no vids AT ALL until all work done for the day

 

It sounds horrid, but if you keep the expectations up, these motivators are a weekly, not daily, crutch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

  • Set aside school work for now until your home is in reasonable shape. Having a clean home makes it much easier to focus on the other stuff.
  • Get the kids involved with cleaning. Tell everyone that you all will be devoting two hours to house cleaning this morning and give them all jobs.
  • If you haven't already, turn off all the screens until you feel live you've got control of your schedule.
  • Once your home is reasonably cleaned, set a specific "school time" when you doing nothing but school: no cleaning, no answering the phone, no working, NO SCREENS.
  • Create a written schedule that includes both a school schedule and a chore chart.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...