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S/O 'homeschool is just too hard' --clean houses, schedules & homeschooling


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Same here. My job is homeschooling and our days improved significantly when I learned to mentally "leave the house" and "go to work" every day. These days, I don't do housework of any kind during school hours. I used to, and I think I was actually pretty good at weaving it in. But with three kids getting older, the days getting longer, and the material getting meatier, it became counterproductive. I just felt like I was never completely focusing on any one thing. So during school hours, I am the teacher and I am at school. I do a round of chores in the morning and another round after school each day. With all chores scheduled and the kids pitching in, this is enough to keep the house in order.

 

There are times during school when the kids are busy working and don't need me, periods I could do this, that, or the other. But I don't leave school. I use that time to plan, read, or study ahead (or putz around here). Those things have to be done anyway and if I do them during school then I do not have to do them outside of school. So chores are not bleeding into school and school is not bleeding (quite so much) into my off-time. It's been a win-win here.

Thank you!  You get what I'm saying.  That is the biggest problem here--my focus.  We'll just have to get done what we can in the morning and whenever we are able to fit in evening.  On nights or mornings when we have classes or meetings, we'll just have to be off from cleaning.  Or, I might be able to get us all working for a short time when we get back.  

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I haven't read all the posts, just some of them.  I'm not sure if there's anything useful in here or not.

My situation is different than yours.  My kids are 7, 4, and 2.  The biggest problem we usually have is not picking up after ourselves.  Several weeks ago, my friend suggested that I lock all the toys away so Digby could only get 1 thing at a time.  He's my most difficult child.  He'd dump out two boxes of toys, then go limp noodle when I try to make him clean.  He still has plenty to keep him occupied, but the biggest possible disaster he can create has been minimized.

Two weeks ago, I forced the kids to clean the entire living room.  Now, our apartment is very small, only about 850 sqft total, so know that the living room isn't *that* big.  It took them four hours to clean. Granted, that's mostly because I told them each and every single thing to do and had to count down to actually get them to do it.  If I had done it on my own, it probably would have taken about 1 hour.  Now every single day, I've had them pick it up right before school, right before lunch and right before dinner.  It takes them about 5 minutes each time.  Our living room has stayed presentable for two whole weeks with very little time spent, very little energy, very little fuss from them. 

I've also scrubbed the bathroom clean and had Pigby do the daily maintenance of it as part of his chores.  He had to clear the floor and counter of any trash or clothing.  Put away any items that were out on the counters.  Take the trash out and put a new bag in.  Wipe the counters and toilet with vinegar spray and give the inside of the toilet a quick scrub.  Took him less than 10 minutes a day and it stayed fairly presentable as well.  Then once a week, I could come in and do the deeper scrubbing w/o it taking so long. 

Their bedroom has always been a disaster area too.  I culled their books way, way, way back so they would fit on the bookshelf.  Only allowed a few toys that could stay in a bucket, organized all their clothing.  The day we cleaned, it took them 2 1/2 hours to clean it completely.  Now it takes about five minutes a day to pick up.

I think the things that have helped the most are that everything needs its own place.  If you don't have a place, you need to create a place w/ organizational supplies.  If you still don't have enough space, you need to get rid of some stuff.  Then watch them like hawks to make sure they form habits of picking up after themselves.  Small amounts of daily effort take very little time when all hands are pitching in.  I make sure the laundry stays sorted.  I taught the four year old all the different hampers we have and now when I need to do laundry, he can go up and toss me down a load.  Then it takes even less than 5 minutes to get it started.  Folding right after it comes out keeps Mt. Washmore from getting crazy.  Kids put away their own laundry, even the two year old.  DH washes a load of dishes when he comes home from work.

 

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I've tried this type of schedule and we ended up spending more than 30 minutes.  I'm contemplating going back to this anyway but being more realistic about what we can do in 30 minutes.  So what types of chores are on your lists?

 

What I do is a I have a short morning, afternoon and evening routine that involves a combination of a to-do list and using a timer.  In the morning for instance I:

 

make my bed

put a load of laundry in

unload the dishwasher

clean up after breakfast

 

The kids also have a chore each for one of the 'hotspots' in the house:  Son has to straighten the shoe area/entryway, and daughter has to straighten the area where people throw dirty clothes and make sure all of the clothes are in the hamper.

 

Then I spend 15 minutes in each of 4 different rooms.  So it might be: kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom.  I choose whichever 4 rooms are the worst.  If I'm running late I do less than 4.

 

Then that's it and I start school.

 

I am at the opposite end of the spectrum though...I do this to make sure that I clean at all....not to limit the amount of cleaning I do :)

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I have 5 kids and ADHD. Housework concerns do sidetrack me during "school" time. We do we nightly clean up for 15 minutes set to music before bed. I do big cleaning on weekends and whenever my mom comes to get the kids. It might not be as clean as I would like it to be, but I have limited time and energy to spend on it. If you check out my blog you will see we don't live in complete squalor. The kids do all have chores but except for feeding and walking the pets, they are all after school time.

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I have 5 kids and ADHD. Housework concerns do sidetrack me during "school" time. We do we nightly clean up for 15 minutes set to music before bed. I do big cleaning on weekends and whenever my mom comes to get the kids. It might not be as clean as I would like it to be, but I have limited time and energy to spend on it. If you check out my blog you will see we don't live in complete squalor. The kids do all have chores but except for feeding and walking the pets, they are all after school time.

Well, I feel better after reading this.  My approach to the bigger cleaning projects has been similar.  Weekends don't always work so well if we have plans.

 

The idea mentioned by a couple people of having the house 'company ready' has been nagging at me.  I really don't want to live like that, trying to guess what is good enough for other people.  Company ready can mean quite a few different things.  It all depends on who the company is.  We were ready for the company we had last week and I didn't worry that we hadn't gotten to quite a few things.   I wasn't embarrassed, and my friend wasn't horrified, but I do know quite a few people who would have been extremely put off at the fact that the kitchen floor hadn't been mopped and the corners hadn't been vacuumed.  I would prefer not to set my standards by what is acceptable to other people.  And, there are plenty of days when other things take priority and the house does not get done.  We would not be company ready on those days by any stretch of the imagination.  

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Seriously.

 

Now, don't come to my house. You'd cry.

Hugs to you! You have a lot of small people! I have super high standards for my home. I have had friends worry that their houses are too messy for me (after visiting mine). I always tell them that their mess doesn't bother me, it is my mess that bothers me. I really wish I could allow myself as much grace when it comes to housecleaning and I allow others, my life would be so much easier. One of my problems is that I think my house should be "PERFECT" because my youngest is 11. I allowed myself so much more leeway when my children were young.

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May I just say how horrid it has been since my dishwasher quit working in November??????

 

Words cannot even begin to express how horrible it is......

 

(and yes, I realize that a lot of people do not have them and survive, this is the first time in my whole 44 years I have been without.... I even had one during my college years! :p )

I got my first one last year at 43. It is very nice I must admit. I have a very small house, no pets and low standards. I just don't have time or enthusiasm to have a spotless house.

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The idea mentioned by a couple people of having the house 'company ready' has been nagging at me.  I really don't want to live like that, trying to guess what is good enough for other people.  Company ready can mean quite a few different things.  It all depends on who the company is.  We were ready for the company we had last week and I didn't worry that we hadn't gotten to quite a few things.   I wasn't embarrassed, and my friend wasn't horrified, but I do know quite a few people who would have been extremely put off at the fact that the kitchen floor hadn't been mopped and the corners hadn't been vacuumed.  I would prefer not to set my standards by what is acceptable to other people.

 

Are you sure your guests would REALLY notice whether the kitchen floor was mopped or the corners vacuumed?

I know mine don't. They see a welcoming smile, great food and drink, good company and conversation. My house is by no means spotless, we live in it, but of all our friends and colleagues we are the ones who host the most gatherings. People like to come, so I guess our cleaning standards suffice. (And with 15 people standing and eating in my kitchen, I have learned to mop the kitchen after the party.)

When I am invited somewhere, I do not inspect their housekeeping, I am grateful they open their home. Of course I would notice if the house was truly yucky and disgusting, but dust and a few crumbs or some dishes in the sink? Those would not even show up on the radar.

Are you absolutely sure you are not judging yourself more harshly than any of your visitors would?

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I have to admit that I still will not allow anyone to visit my house when my dog is blowing his coat....unless they have dogs. A 100lbs.(lean) dog can drop a lot of fur, and the state of my floors during that time is not pretty!

 

I had to laugh at this!  I understand.  We had a dog a few years ago who blew his coat like that.  My in laws showed up unannounced once right when he was in the middle of it and before I had a chance to vacuum.  I know my MIL was completely disgusted!  We were not 'company ready' that day!

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Are you sure your guests would REALLY notice whether the kitchen floor was mopped or the corners vacuumed?

I know mine don't. They see a welcoming smile, great food and drink, good company and conversation. My house is by no means spotless, we live in it, but of all our friends and colleagues we are the ones who host the most gatherings. People like to come, so I guess our cleaning standards suffice. (And with 15 people standing and eating in my kitchen, I have learned to mop the kitchen after the party.)

When I am invited somewhere, I do not inspect their housekeeping, I am grateful they open their home. Of course I would notice if the house was truly yucky and disgusting, but dust and a few crumbs or some dishes in the sink? Those would not even show up on the radar.

Are you absolutely sure you are not judging yourself more harshly than any of your visitors would?  

 

No, I can't be entirely sure.  I'm sure as far as MIL goes b/c I've heard her talk about others.  I only suspect it in the case of people I know who are very similar to MIL.

 

When I made mention of being 'company ready'  I was thinking of unannounced company.  I know there are times when I wouldn't want unannounced company showing up (especially certain people).  Like last week when I ignored the house for quite a few days b/c Dc and I were working outside in the yard.

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I'm not sure if I have great advice, but just to say I hear you that 2.5 hours would not get my house fully clean either.  I chock a lot of it up to one of the big drawbacks of being in an old house.  Old houses that haven't been fully redone just get dustier and dirtier than new houses.  They take longer to sweep, mop, dust and generally scrub.

 

I am never sure what's the best way to get the work done. :(  My house is usually presentable, but it's not super clean.  I find it's useful to be able to go to others' houses and see that many are worse - much more cluttered, more strewn mess, more dusty in the corners than mine.  Maybe that's horrible, but it helps me feel content that I'm closer to the middle of the pack.

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 (And with 15 people standing and eating in my kitchen, I have learned to mop the kitchen after the party.)

 

Yes!  I can't believe how long it took me to come to that conclusion!

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When I made mention of being 'company ready'  I was thinking of unannounced company.

 

I understand that.

I guess then I am fortunate that I don't know people like your MIL. I only know people who, if they drop by unannounced, think nothing of finding a house in which people live instead of a home&garden photo shoot and seem quite happy about being offered food and drink. (Of course I may be delusional and they do talk about me behind my back.)

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One of my biggest problems is that if I have the mindset of accomplishing housework during school, my brain is cluttered with a list of household chores and I am not able to switch gears into academics very easily b/c I'm thinking about the next chore I need to attend to.

 

Anyone else have this experience?  I realize not everyone is going to need time to pay careful attention to school, especially if you have independent students, but I teach many subjects, and I have one Dc who has some ADD tendencies and she needs guidance.

 

If you don't do housework during school hours, when & how do you get it done? 

 

I haven't read any other responses, so this may be a repeat, but I could have written your post. I have just figured out myself that once school starts, I need to ignore everything else until it's done. I, too, get very distracted by housework - which is NEVER finished - and I just don't know how to turn that off, except to compartmentalize it. Even though I'd rather clean one area per day to divide it up over the week, I've accepted that it doesn't work for me - even if I try to do it in the afternoon when school is finished. I just don't want to think about cleaning every day and be constantly confronted with areas that need attention. So last Friday I decided that I was going to clean my house all at once on Saturday, and then clean as needed the rest of the week (de-clutter, kitchen and bathroom up-keep, toddler messes, etc). This new way, if I know I cleaned everything last Saturday, it doesn't need to be cleaned again until the next Saturday, and it's out of my head. And by "clean" I mean just the basics, and deep cleaning certain areas once in a great while. Finances and paperwork are done generally once a week (unless something urgent comes up that can't wait), and I usually do that in the evening when kids aren't running around, since that needs more mental exertion.

 

One exception: I do laundry every day. I usually do two loads per day, and start one of them first thing in the morning, before breakfast and school. One thing I can't cope with is a massive pile of laundry to have to do all at once. Besides, laundry washes and dries itself once I get it into the machines, and it's no big deal to take a couple of minutes here and there to switch the loads or fold. It also helps that my washer and dryer are in my kitchen, adjacent to where we do school, and where I cook, etc. Not sure that would work very well if the laundry were upstairs or something - I'd probably have to save it for the afternoon or evening.

 

Now, if I could only get a handle on food prep. We've got multiple food allergies in our family, and I cook mostly from scratch, so it's easy to get overwhelmed. I'm starting to figure out a better plan, but at the very least bi-weekly meal planning is essential to my sanity. The thing I need to add is a system for preparing food ahead of time - especially lunches - so I'm not actually cooking from scratch 2-3 times a day. It's wearing me out. I do enjoy cooking as a hobby, but in the midst of the daily grind with little ones it's mainly just a "task" at this stage of my life, and I need to find a way to be content with that, and maybe save my relaxing, fun cooking for an at-home date night or something.

 

I've also come to the conclusion that unless I hire someone to do a really thorough cleaning once in a while (which I might do once we have more money), I'm just not going to have as clean a house as I would if I weren't homeschooling. I've made my choice, and homeschooling gets priority. My DH is the same as yours - the house doesn't bother him like it does me, and he'd rather have me spend my time with the kids. I'm learning to embrace "good enough" as my standard for clean. And, I've figured out that clutter is what really drives me crazy (even more than dirt, up to a point!) and I manage to stay on top of clutter by having less stuff, and keeping the stuff we do have pretty organized.

 

I look forward to reading the other responses another time. I'm sure there's a lot of great input on this!!

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My cleaning system is similar to the Like Mother, Like Daughter blog. We have 30 minutes of chore time in the morning before school, a quick tidy at noon, and 30 minutes of chores in the evening after dinner. Since I deep clean the house during the summer, I'm able to keep on maintenance mode during the school year. It's not terribly involved, but it works.

 

This is how I do it (I had that one figured out before Auntie Leila taught me, so it was more of a YES! I'm doin it right! )>

 

With all my children, that little time gets a lot of stuff done. And I do a deep clean in Advent and Lent and a school prep/season crossover in the fall. 

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Thank you!  You get what I'm saying.  That is the biggest problem here--my focus.  We'll just have to get done what we can in the morning and whenever we are able to fit in evening.  On nights or mornings when we have classes or meetings, we'll just have to be off from cleaning.  Or, I might be able to get us all working for a short time when we get back.  

 

OK, so, look at it like this, your FIRST priority is the schooling. So, just like any other household change, you will figure this out. For two weeks, do schoolwork ONLY in school time. (You might find it gets done MUCH faster) and then figure out your cleaning. After two weeks you'll have a good idea at how the day will flow/what needs to be done and work from there. 

 

I'm a person that can't school in a disaster. Another Auntie Leila Maxim, ORDER produces wonder. I need a certain amount of order, so I'm not saying that the house isn't important, and for SOME people, it's the thing they have to get under control before they can even think about prioritizing school--but for us, we get it all done, but they help. 

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So, I wanted to reply to this by quoting something I wrote on here a few weeks ago and found out it wasn't here. ;)

 

 This is regarding a question on the other board about "scheduling" (routine) when you have both little people and older people, homeschooling, and cleaning....

 

QUOTE:It seems like the chaos is mostly in the AM, yes?
Simplify breakfast as much as possible for this season.  (Oats in a rice cooker, middle child preparing meal while you direct and manage - I don't make breakfast anymore.  On weekends or special occasions, yes, but breakfast is no longer mine.)

Try not to do chores or cleaning up in the AM.
I know that sounds crazy... But what I was finding out was that trying to do these chores, clean up the house, start school, do Bible, etc., etc., was too much STUFFED into a small amount of time.  

Everyone up at the same time (or big kids earlier) little kids stay in bed 'til the alarm goes off.

Breakfast is at the same time for everyone.
School starts at the same time for everyone.

Naptime is untouchable at our house.
It is my hill to die on.  Oh, I'll sacrifice a little here or there for the good of phonics, or to an emergency clean-up for company, or if an oldest child desperately needs something taught, but naptime is my recovery time.

If children aren't quiet and reading, they sleep or lie in bed silently.  This is 1-2 hours in the afternoon.  Nothing touches it.  If my children are living at home at 32, naptime will still exist.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

ETA:  I do vaguely remember some less than great nappers.  I napped with them in my bed.  It solved the no napping and I got a nap too.  Consider it.
 

 

END QUOTE

 

 

THEN IN RESPONSE TO SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT NOT DOING CHORES & HOW WE DO NAPS:

We aim for 1:00 naptime. Sometimes it's a bit earlier, usually it's a bit later. Our rule of thumb is that they ought to be awake before 4:00 and then we don't have any problems with them going to sleep at night.

 

It's a Read or Sleep rule. I read it in The Well Trained Mind long ago that Jessie Wise had the children have naptime until they were motivated to learn to read. I admit it really DOES do a lot for motivation. Children beg for phonics, lol. Then I let them stay up for a little phonics lesson for the first part of naptime and once they can read simple words they are allowed to stay quietly in their bed looking at books. (I have one I allow to listen to books on CD as well.) However, if you choose not to read quietly, then you choose to have book removed and take a nap. They have no problems going to bed at night, but I admit my kids do spend a lot of time outside playing and maybe that helps them wear out?

 

Chores... Okay, it may not be that we do nothing, but one thing I've noticed is that "one thing" turns very quickly into two and then three and then four. I was reading a book by Michael Farris' wife (HSLDA) this last year and there was one thing that really struck me - he asked his wife to keep school to school and not clean. I don't think he meant let the house get out of control. I suspect she is like me and would get off on a tangent - clean one thing, see two more that need to be done. I often will put away clean dishes in the AM when I get up with DH. I'm usually up for about an hour and a half before the majority of the children. The little girls are getting much better about sleeping longer. They used to be up around 4:30-5:00, whenever DH got up. I'm grateful to say they are sleeping more. It took time, a plan, and time to work the plan, but it did eventually lengthen out and I'm getting a little more sleep.

 

Oops! Back to chores... So it isn't that there is a hard rule that no one does chores. However, my personality is such that if we get started, I could let "chores" turn into a three hour cleaning spree. We might load the dishwasher and start it before Bible time but that takes all of 10 minutes. 10 minutes isn't disrupting your routine... It's the loading the dishwasher, then wiping the counters, then oh! Sweep the floor, then.... Do you see? I'd love to keep my house spotless at all times. But I'm starting to see there is a toll for attempting it. I sweep the floor at least 2-3 times a day. Really, couldn't I skip that morning sweep? Expecting the kids to get out of bed and make their beds is fine, but don't get sidetracked by cleaning their rooms spit spot. Started a load of laundry is fine, but don't get sidetracked by sorting it all, then folding, etc. Let the morning go to school.

 

There are a few things I *try* (and don't always succeed) at getting moving in the morning.

 

I try to empty the dishwasher and start a load of laundry before the kids get up. I usually don't make the bed 'til DH is on his way home, lol. He likes a clean room and I try to get it that way before he comes home, but generally there is a baby sleeping in it in the early AM and weighing a nicely made bed or another hour of baby sleep, I choose baby sleep. smile

 

Oh, and so when do I do those dishes?

So, the day loosely looks like this:

Wake with DH, make coffee, and empty the dishwasher.

If all the dishes weren't done, I might fill it, otherwise it's fine to stay empty. DH goes to work.

Have coffee, do reading, devotions, or check email, forum, etc. I'll toss in a load of laundry.

Kids are up. If it's early they play or read around me until it's time for everyone to be up. Ana and CJ will generally have gotten up on their own and be showering and dressing. We usually wake up Liz, she's not my morning girl. smile Usually when Ana comes up from getting dressed she'll switch laundry, but no folding yet.

One will usually ask if they can make breakfast simply because whomever makes breakfast PICKS breakfast. I'm fine with that. We dress while breakfast is being made.

Breakfast

Clear Table - we can load the dishwasher, but usually not. Usually it is putting them on a counter at this point.

Bible

School

Outside for Littles - this is a good time for me to peek at them out the window and load the dishwasher or work at the table with an older kiddo. Sometimes we do school outside.

Lunch

We tuck in the little ones and then I often do phonics with the 5-8 crowd. We have three right now. This is a time when the big kids might clean up the kitchen as well for me. Liz (11)lies down with Ella (3) and reads. Olivia goes to sleep in the crib. Abbie (6) reads in bed. Sarah(5) reads in bed.

Tim (8) can listen to book on CD but must read for part of the time. Rebecca (9) reads. So, often the first hour of naptime can be taken up by clean-up or by phonics, but the second hour isn't. If I need to work one on one with the big kids, I can do that here. Or it's free. Or you can nap! smile

When everyone wakes up, THIS is a good time for us to do a pick-up. It's a good time for laundry. Then they can go outside for a bit. The high schoolers are often working through this time.

Plan dinner in the morning.

 

I hope this helps.

 

The Farris book I read was both very encouraging and discouraging. First, the encouraging, she survived nine (ten?) kids remarkably sane and functional.

Discouraging: She had a lot of help from what I could gather in the form of cleaning or a mama's helper, then later her oldest daughter.I think it's great, don't get me wrong.  But, unfortunately a cleaning service and nanny isn't in our immediate future or budget, lol.  So, I admit, I was hoping for more tips than that.

 

The one thing I really did gather was that their priority was schooling and they needed their time spent to reflect it.  It wasn't.  Their time spent was saying, "Keeping my house is my first priority."

 

I think we need to be mindful of our first priority and be intentional about our time reflecting that priority.

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Well, I feel better after reading this.  My approach to the bigger cleaning projects has been similar.  Weekends don't always work so well if we have plans.

 

The idea mentioned by a couple people of having the house 'company ready' has been nagging at me.  I really don't want to live like that, trying to guess what is good enough for other people.  Company ready can mean quite a few different things.  It all depends on who the company is.  We were ready for the company we had last week and I didn't worry that we hadn't gotten to quite a few things.   I wasn't embarrassed, and my friend wasn't horrified, but I do know quite a few people who would have been extremely put off at the fact that the kitchen floor hadn't been mopped and the corners hadn't been vacuumed.  I would prefer not to set my standards by what is acceptable to other people.  And, there are plenty of days when other things take priority and the house does not get done.  We would not be company ready on those days by any stretch of the imagination.  

You can invite me over.  I promise I don't care.  I remember once hearing a friend complain about needing to clean and saying it wasn't like she had any spider webs on her ceiling or anything. Well...I had never even checked for them before that moment.  lol  I am a pretty obsessive cleaner, too.  It just had never hit me as something to worry about.  Needless to say, I was wary of inviting them over after that.  If they care that much about cobwebs, it would just make the visit really nerve wracking for me.  This coming from the lady who uses toothbrushes (specifically for the job, don't worry) to clean the baseboards properly sometimes.  :lol:   I don't even notice messes at other peoples' houses, though, unless there's obviously like laundry keeping the couches from being used (and then, I don't judge-mine looks like that on laundry day!) or feces all over the place.  It would take a lot for me to care at all and I would *never* say anything unless it was life threatening.

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 The idea mentioned by a couple people of having the house 'company ready' has been nagging at me.  I really don't want to live like that, trying to guess what is good enough for other people.  

  

 

This. We've had people 'stop by' when we were in the middle of school and the house is a tornado zone. But I figure, if they don't give me any warning then they get to see my house the way it is. :). I have better things to do.

 

 

Unless the chickens are living in your house, you're probably doing much much better than you think. Your kids are still so little. Hang in there! :-)

:). Thanks for making me laugh! Who minds a few chickens, anyway? Joking. The chickens do not come in the house. But I'm surprised DD5 hasn't smuggled one in yet to sleep with her. The hens are her special buddies, lol.

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I've read pieces of this thread.

 

I really struggle with keeping the house picked up.  It isn't about keeping it company ready, although I would like that.  It's about keeping it picked up enough to function in and not stress me out.  *sigh*  I have 6 kids all 7 and under, including a 7 year old, twin 5 year olds, twin 3 year olds and a 9 month old.  My husband works 6 days a week most days and is gone from 7am to 6-7pm.  I homeschool my oldest for 2nd and my twin 5 years for K.  It's a struggle.  I am working on it and I am getting better.

 

One of my biggest problems is that when my house gets too messy, I shut down.  I get overwhelmed and I don't know where to start and I just shut down.  That can include school too.  I can't work because it's too messy and I can't clean because I don't know where to start.  I'm working on that too.

 

I have learned the importance of teaching your children to help.  Even 2 and 3 year olds can do it.  You just have to put in the effort it takes to teach them...and it takes a LOT of effort for some kids.  Most days, I have the kids each pick up a room.  We have 3 areas on the main level and each of the olders do one.  My 3 year olds help out with what I ask them to do.  The room that doesn't get included in this is the playroom, which is often the worst.  But, the older 3 don't play in there much, if at all.  It's the 3 year olds' mess.  Unfortunately, I don't have time to help them do it.  So, it gets gradually worse and worse until it is so bad it can't be played in and then the house follows suite because the toys are out of control.  (Yes, I need to get rid of some toys.  That is a problem for me too....6 kids, 5 boys, generous grandparents = we have a LOT, too many, toys.  I'm gradually making trips to GoodWill. :)

 

Anyway, assigning each child a room and having them all help me with the picking up and basic jobs is helpful.  If we did this 2x's a day, it would make a huge difference.  But, it's still a lot of effort on my part to make them do it...so we are lucky to do it just once a day.

 

To those who said, your house is probably better than you think if you worry about it, mine isn't.  It's a crazy mess most of the time. :(

 

And, to the person who said they don't notice dust in other people's corners or unmopped/vacuumed floors...I do. :blushing:  I just notice these details.  Maybe that is why when people come to my house, I clean my guest bathroom, sweep and mop my kitchen floor and vacuum my lower level just before they arrive....like literally, even if it was done the day before, I do it again within 2 hrs of them arriving.  Crazy, I know! :o Honestly though, even though I notice, I seriously don't judge people who have a little dust in the corners or haven't mopped the floor.  For me, other people's dust and unvacuumed family room makes me feel better about my own house.  I've been known to pull my husband aside and point it out to him because he often thinks our house is dirty, which it is not.  It's messy, not dirty.  Lived in houses aren't perfect even if they are more picked up than ours.  I like him to know that since he feels the need to compare. :tongue_smilie:

 

I do have a question for some of you:

 

For those that swish and wipe your bathrooms daily, what actual cleaning tools do you use?  When I clean my bathrooms, I use a rag, even for my toilet.  (I don't use that rag to clean anything else afterward ;)) That way, I can toss it in the washing machine. I wouldn't really want to do that daily.  Do you use some type of scrub brush that sits next to the toilet in one of those holders? I would LOVE to clean our bathrooms daily...at least a basic wipe down...I have 5 boys, 4 potty trained or training...my bathrooms get stinky fast and I struggle to find time to clean their upstairs bathroom. 
 

ETA - Oops!...that is super long...I'll have to edit it down later....time to make school the priority for the day.  ;)

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One of my biggest problems is that when my house gets too messy, I shut down.  I get overwhelmed and I don't know where to start and I just shut down.  That can include school too.  I can't work because it's too messy and I can't clean because I don't know where to start.  I'm working on that too.  I am much better than I used to be about picking a place and just starting...usually my kitchen island or table. 

 

I can get that way too.  For me, it mostly happens in the summer, or after a break from school when we are out of routine.  Those are the times I get most sidetracked by housework b/c I just can't function in a messy house.

 

I have learned the importance of teaching your children to help.  Even 2 and 3 year olds can do it.  You just have to put in the effort it takes to teach them...and it takes a LOT of effort for some kids.  Most days, not everyday *hide*, I have the kids each pick up a room.  We have 3 areas on the main level, the kitchen, family room and hardwood (hardwood includes the main walkway through the house, foyer, and dinning room and the floor of my office when it gets bad.  It seems unfair, but it is always the least messy and usually that person is done first.)  They each clean up their room including sweeping or vacuuming.  My 3 year olds help out with what I ask them to do...so, I'll say, "please pick up those animals."  The room that doesn't get included in this is the playroom, which is often the worst.  But, the older 3 don't play in there much, if at all.  It's the 3 year olds' mess.  Unfortunately, I don't have time to help them do it.  So, it get gradually worse and worse until it is so bad it can't be played in and then the house follows suite because the toys are out of control.  (Yes, I need to get rid of some toys.  That is a problem for me too....6 kids, 5 boys, generous grandparents = we have a LOT, too many, toys.  I'm gradually making trips to GoodWill. :)

 

Eventually, they outgrow toys and develop other interests, so you won't have to deal with the toy issue forever.  Just be careful their 'interests' don't include dogs & dog training!  :001_rolleyes: I got fed up with the 'generosity' of grandparents a long time ago.  We stopped trying to get my ILs to contribute to practical gifts and just resold the excess at our yearly homeschool sale, or donated it to the local thrift shop.  Dh warned them we would do it.  We didn't tell them, but we did it to keep our sanity.  Even the kids realized it was just too much.  Now that they are older we have an easier time getting ILs to buy more useful gifts.

 

And, to the person who said they don't notice dust in other people's corners or unmopped/vacuumed floors...I do. :blushing:  I just notice these details.  Maybe that is why when people come to my house, I clean my guest bathroom, sweep and mop my kitchen floor and vacuum my lower level just before they arrive....like literally, even if it was done the day before, I do it again within 2 hrs of them arriving.  Crazy, I know! :o Honestly though, even though I notice, I seriously don't judge people who have a little dust in the corners or haven't mopped the floor.  If the house is disgusting, I might say something later to my husband, but it's not common I come across that.  For me, other people's dust and unvacuumed family room makes me feel better about my own house.  I've been known to pull my husband aside and point it out to him because he often thinks our house is dirty, which it is not.  It's messy, not dirty.  Lived in houses aren't perfect even if they are more picked up than ours.  I like him to know that since he feels the need to compare. :tongue_smilie:

 

Okay, I notice details too, and, like you, I don't judge on it.  But, it is a problem for me b/c I do notice them in my own home too.  That's why I think I can't clean during school hours.  I'll end up on a cleaning tangent!  I can just find an endless list of things to do.  Decluttering does help.  If I clean out that horrible plastic container cupboard this summer I won't be tempted to stop putting away dishes to organize the cabinet and people will stop leaving the containers on the counter b/c they are afraid to put them away.  AND we'll be able to find the lids. 

 

I do have a question for some of you:

 

For those that swish and wipe your bathrooms daily, what actual cleaning tools do you use?  When I clean my bathrooms, I use a rag, even for my toilet.  (I don't use that rag to clean anything else afterward ;)) That way, I can toss it in the washing machine. I wouldn't really want to do that daily.  Do you use some type of scrub brush that sits next to the toilet in one of those holders? I would LOVE to clean our bathrooms daily...at least a basic wipe down...I have 5 boys, 4 potty trained or training...my bathrooms get stinky fast and I struggle to find time to clean their upstairs bathroom. 

 

ETA - Oops!...that is super long...I'll have to edit it down later....time to make school the priority for the day.  ;)

On the bathroom cleaning.  It is Ds's job and sometimes Dd's.  One of them does the toilet with a brush that is kept behind the toilet, wipes the sink with a wipe, and checks to make sure that the towels are changed, windexes the mirror and sink fixtures, and sweeps or cleans the floor.  Like someone else mentioned I do a deep cleaning once a month or so.

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Thanks to all for the tips and commiseration, and for verifying that some people really can't do housework during school hours!  I think I've got some options to consider now so that I can focus on school.    

 

If you've been reading this thread and want more ideas check out Katie's thread on the Chat board.

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I don't think anyone has asked this, but what are your kids doing?

In my estimation you have at least 3 people available to clean the house. 

We are schooling from 9-3, M-TR. We have activities almost everyday. DD 1 is in charge of breakfast while Ds and I begin chores. DD 2 is our bedmaker and does shoe duty (mudroom) and helps Ds with dishes. DD 1 also sweeps the kitchen. I start and fold laundry with Dd2's help. I also wipe down bathroom, empty trash, etc. Get dinner or lunch started. Once a week we dust and vacuum and mop.

 

An hr a day with 3 people is all you would need, IMO. 

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I start laundry in the morning and do dinner prep while the kids have breakfast.

 

After that I don't do any housework until school is done, except maybe cooking tasks or switching out the laundry when the kids have a break. It bugs me to leave a pot in the sink from lunch or breakfast, I'll admit, but unless I have extra time (never! ) I have to just leave it there until later, or scrubbing one pot will lead to cleaning the entire kitchen and mopping the floor. :)

 

But I've also had a baby or toddler the entire time we've been homeschooling, and of course there are inevitable messes and interruptions because of that.

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I've read pieces of this thread.

 

I really struggle with keeping the house picked up.  It isn't about keeping it company ready, although I would like that.  It's about keeping it picked up enough to function in and not stress me out.  *sigh*  I have 6 kids all 7 and under, including a 7 year old, twin 5 year olds, twin 3 year olds and a 9 month old.  My husband works 6 days a week most days and is gone from 7am to 6-7pm.  I homeschool my oldest for 2nd and my twin 5 years for K.  It's a struggle.  I am working on it and I am getting better.

 

 

Nothing in this thread applies to you. 

 

BTDT. Look at my siggy. Look, in those days, you are on the front lines. And, thankfully, most of those don't need schooling. And, if you proceed with a Charlotte Mason approach, you'll be helping them all. K isn't needed--just a healthy learning environment.. 2nd grade is, all can listen to the books and follow in big sibling's steps in learning how this school thing goes. 

 

Do yourself a favor and get Charlotte's OWN books, and read them. Take all of August and read Volume 1. It will help you tremendously. 

 

Keep them fed, keep them clean, keep the chaos at bay and begin to form lifelong habits. Read to them. Math/reading with the older. That's it. 

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I don't think anyone has asked this, but what are your kids doing?

In my estimation you have at least 3 people available to clean the house. 

We are schooling from 9-3, M-TR. We have activities almost everyday. DD 1 is in charge of breakfast while Ds and I begin chores. DD 2 is our bedmaker and does shoe duty (mudroom) and helps Ds with dishes. DD 1 also sweeps the kitchen. I start and fold laundry with Dd2's help. I also wipe down bathroom, empty trash, etc. Get dinner or lunch started. Once a week we dust and vacuum and mop.

 

An hr a day with 3 people is all you would need, IMO. 

 

This makes me giggle.  If I go one day without mopping my kitchen, it literally looks like I haven't mopped in weeks...literally, I'm not exaggerating.  Before I had all these kids, it would have taken at least 3 months to get as bad as it does in one day now. I have 6 kids all 7 and under.  The floor gets bad very quickly! Same with vacuuming the main living areas (family room basically).

 

My kids do help me, but it definitely takes a LOT more than an hour at my house. And, it is often faster and less stressful without help. LOL!  Although, I know you are addressing OP. 

 

Different families, different needs. 

 

Very good point about having OP's children pitch in!

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This makes me giggle.  If I go one day without mopping my kitchen, it literally looks like I haven't mopped in weeks...literally, I'm not exaggerating.  Before I had all these kids, it would have taken at least 3 months to get as bad as it does in one day now. I have 6 kids all 7 and under.  The floor gets bad very quickly! Same with vacuuming the main living areas (family room basically).

 

My kids do help me, but it definitely takes a LOT more than an hour at my house. And, it often faster and less stressful without help. LOL!  Although, I know you are addressing OP. 

 

Different families, different needs. 

 

Very good point about having OP's children pitch in!

LOL, i had the same thought!

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I don't think anyone has asked this, but what are your kids doing?

 

Answered this already in several posts.  It's not about what my kids are doing or not doing, really.  It's about *me* and my mindset and being able to focus on school.

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I'm a HIGHLY distractable person, so I understand. I also have all that plus a business to run-- so it is easy to try to do 100 things at once.

 

I say, if you feel you're trying to do too much during school hours, why not pick a few things you can do while seated to stay in the room/at the table? I have to send out files (I run an online party business) every day, so I often try to do that during school. I TRY not to respond to questions, because that makes me irritable. (People can be quite rude, ya know?)

 

Why not-- between subjects-- get up and start the laundry and then fold during a different subject. If you're taking a break to eat lunch, it only makes sense to do the dishes right then and there, otherwise it will pile up and you're teaching the kids bad habits, anyway.

 

I personally find not putting things off and picking up what has to be done at that moment works best for me. 

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This makes me giggle.  If I go one day without mopping my kitchen, it literally looks like I haven't mopped in weeks...literally, I'm not exaggerating.  Before I had all these kids, it would have taken at least 3 months to get as bad as it does in one day now. I have 6 kids all 7 and under.  The floor gets bad very quickly! Same with vacuuming the main living areas (family room basically).

 

My kids do help me, but it definitely takes a LOT more than an hour at my house. And, it often faster and less stressful without help. LOL!  Although, I know you are addressing OP. 

 

Different families, different needs. 

 

Very good point about having OP's children pitch in!

:iagree: with the bold above.  My kids do pitch in, but Dd needs supervision b/c she will get sidetracked.

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I am not sure where the idea that my kids don't do chores came from, but they do.  The problem is NOT that I need help knowing how to delegate or that my kids haven't been taught how to clean.  I have already posted that they dust, vacuum, help with the wash, clean the bathroom, load the dishes, unload the dishes, help me with dog grooming, clean up the yard, mow the lawn etc.  BUT they are doing schoolwork, practicing the piano, or practicing with their dogs, or working on 4H organization (Ds is president of his club and runs the website and Dd is VP of another club) or projects for most of the day.  Ds is working too.  I cannot give them the lion's share of the housework.  They are busy.  The days of us spending uninterrupted time together cleaning are gone.  We did that when they were younger and they enjoyed it.  

 

I'll also add that I am including silly little things like ordering & picking up prescriptions in my definition of housework.  

 

The problem now, which a few people have mentioned, is that I have not found a way to deal with the housework at a TIME that works for us.  I am now thoroughly convinced that I cannot incorporate it into the school day.   I've gotten some good advice and examples here and I'll just have to experiment with options to see what works best.

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I understand what you are saying...sorry if I got off topic.

 

I can't clean or do anything during school time other than school.  The house has to wait.  If I get distracted...which I do easily, like right now :glare:...anyway, if I get distracted, the kids do too and we get nothing done.  So, I have to focus.  I try to pick up before we start and after and then after the kids go to bed, but much of the time, it's just a mess. :lol:  and :crying: and :cursing: 

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I just want to add, as I previously responded while half asleep.

 

Honestly? You've already fought half the battle. You realize that #1 something isn't working. You've also figured out that you tend to "keep going" when it comes to work. That means, you know how YOU work, and honestly, so many adults can't even figure that out about themselves. They just keep asking why why why without looking to their own behaviors/thoughts/needs.

 

Anytime I need something to change, I spend a lot of time mulling things over...turning them over and over in my head until I can figure it out. Give yourself a couple of scenarios. Even a couple of trial runs. I think something will click.

 

Try paper plates for lunch for a week. Try only wearing sandals (no socks!) to cut down on laundry. ;) Just keep trying and thinking...you'll get it under control!

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I had to laugh at this!  I understand.  We had a dog a few years ago who blew his coat like that.  My in laws showed up unannounced once right when he was in the middle of it and before I had a chance to vacuum.  I know my MIL was completely disgusted!  We were not 'company ready' that day!

 

OooOoo! Ours is doing this right now and the cat has hairballs. I won't even post a picture of what my floors look like right now :lol: The place is a wreck between the dog blowing his coat, the cat, and my decluttering. I need to get the vaccuum out once I can get rid of this headache.

 

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I can do chores and school at the same time. I would define a chore as something that can be done in fifteen minutes or less.

I can't do housekeeping and school at the same time. I decided on two hours a day that I would devote to the housekeeping, four to five days a week. I can shift those two hours if I like, but I don't usually break them up because I kind of get on a roll and it's best to just keep on going for two hours straight. I can usually get a few rooms done in two hours to my satisfaction, and then I stop.

 

Bigger chore times (morning and evening) are scheduled to take one hour twice a day, and thirty minutes at lunch and before bed.

Bigger chores would take 30 minutes each. Some of my bigger chores are watering the garden and walking all four of my dogs four times a day. That just takes longer than 15 minutes, so I don't do those chores at the same time I'm trying to do school.

My boys also have some chores that are theirs: picking up (15 to 30 minute chore depending on the mess), making sure the chickens are put up at night, (15 minute), making their own beds in the morning (15 minute), taking the trash to the road on trash day (30 min--should take 15, but they play bumper-cans on the way down!)

 

Most weeks the house stays picked up and reasonably clean. But I don't have impossible standards. Four dogs, seven cats, 14 chickens and two boys just generate a lot of mess. I've learned to clean, and not to resent entropy. I think more than half the battle is accepting that 1) you are human, and not Supermom, 2) Life happens and 3) The house tends to disorder, and you cannot hope to do more than straighten it up only to watch it fall apart again, and 4) Number three is not the end of the world. Houses are not meant to stay clean. They are meant to facilitate living.

At least that's my philosophy for what it's worth.

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Hi Shan, I know somebody mentioned mats, but I'll up the ante and suggest actually washing their feet and brushing your walking dust bins before they're allowed back in.  Seems like a lot of your daily dirt is doggie.  We wiped our dog's feet when we had one, sniff.

 

Two, from talking with my SIL, who has been through this stage before, I really think it's just a crazy time of life.  I don't think there IS a way to slow it down satisfactorily and still accomplish your goals.  It's also a very *short* stage, just a few more years.  So I suggest serious blinders, embracing the chaos, and fastening the seatbelt.  :)

 

Three, I agree that some people are pokier than others.  My dh cleans faster than me, so for some things he gets the job.  :D  

 

Four, I don't seem to have your problem of preferring housework to school work.  Maybe you need to find some school work you like better or start your morning with that thing so you won't be so drawn to toilets and can focus?   :)

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This makes me giggle.  If I go one day without mopping my kitchen, it literally looks like I haven't mopped in weeks...literally, I'm not exaggerating.  Before I had all these kids, it would have taken at least 3 months to get as bad as it does in one day now. I have 6 kids all 7 and under.  The floor gets bad very quickly! Same with vacuuming the main living areas (family room basically).

 

My kids do help me, but it definitely takes a LOT more than an hour at my house. And, it is often faster and less stressful without help. LOL!  Although, I know you are addressing OP. 

 

Different families, different needs. 

 

Very good point about having OP's children pitch in!

 

Yup, until they were older, I vacuumed and mopped Every Day. 

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Right now what is working is for us to make having the house cleaned and grocery shopping done over the weekend. The whole family cleans the house together, even the kids, and so we do a good cleaning in about an hour, kitchen, bathrooms, dusting, vacuum, mop, trash taken out, walls and surfaces wiped down and all. If we do a deep cleaning, then that will usually take a couple hours, but it helps.

 

As far as the weekly shopping trip, I try to clean out my fridge, and see what I have in my freezer and pantry. Then based on what I have make a dinner menu for the week and make sure we have the ingredients to make our typical breakfasts, lunches and snacks. DH either takes care of the kids while I shop or we all go together. Lately I have been doing this Sunday afternoons or Saturday mornings after cleaning. If we need a whole day free then we plan for it and do the cleaning and grocery shopping on one day.

 

I used to like to do this during the week so we'd have the weekend completely free, but with homeschooling, the kids now having activities Andy own school, it's much to stressful so I had to talk to DH about it and now he's on board with it.

I feel a lot better prepared to start our week if I know my home is clean and our fridge and pantry is full. Knowing what'll I will be making for dinner is also a stress relief.

 

As far as daily stuff, the kids get up at 7 am and they must be dressed and have their chores done before breakfast. School starts at 8 am, so if they dawdled on chores, they skip breakfast and don't eat until our first morning break. If they still haven't finished chores by then, the do them during their break. I find this is good motivator. That gives me an hour to make breakfast, toss a load of laundry in the wash and switch over the wet clothes into the dryer or out to hang in summer, make my bed, and pack dh a lunch. I get up at 6 so I can have coffee and devotions and then take a shower and get dressed before my kids are up.

 

We do school for about 45 minutes to an hour and then take a 15 minute break. I set a timer so my kids know it's only a quick break. I try to challenge myself to see how much I can do in 15 minutes. Our first break I usually can do morning dishes and make some iced tea going. My 2nd break I can usually fold some laundry and my 3rd break I can usually prep for any art or science project or craft, cooking, etc., we might be doing.

 

I don't do this during school. The kids aren't at an age they dough independently. I might do some light reading of my own, put away school stuff and straiten up the school cupboard, but that is about it. That's another priority: keeping it neat by daily pick up and every week making sure I have easy access to what we'll need that week.

 

We have lunch at 12 and after I finish eating I do dishes from lunch, and the kids clear their own plates, wipe down the table and sweep under the table area.

 

Then I read to them for 15 minutesand then everyone naps from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

 

They straiten up their beds and and put away Amy toys they played with. Then can play quietly if I can not hear them and they do not disturb my preschooler from napping. My dd will usually color and listen to stories on cd and follow along and my dss will read what he's into. Right now that is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

 

At 3:30 they have snack and they have free time at that point. The can play with toys, play outside or watch movies. Right now we have swim lessons m-th at 5:25 and so we will often head to the pool early so they can play. But basically the afternoons are when I can do chores, prep dinner, do paperwork or schedule appointments or do my own homework. During the school year they have activities 2 afternoons a week. I try to not go over that so I don't get too stressed out. But anyway I find that provides me with enough time to do what I need.

 

I try to make M-Th days we don't leave the house until after 4 pm, and have no errands we have to do. This helpful because it makes us accountable to completing 4 days of school a week and getting the house kept up on.

 

Once a week we have a light day were we do hands on science, math and reading games,and then do a field trip, related to what we study. This could be a day at the park, a hike at local park, or a trip to zoo or one of the places we have passed to (Aquarium, Gilroy Gardens, Children's Duscovery Museum, etc.).

 

In the evenings, dh does chores while I make dinner. Lately, he has bern showering and dressing the kids, putting away a basket of laundry and watering the outside plants while i cook. Everone helps clean up after dinner, kids included. If the floor needs to be mopped that day dh usually does it while I do dishes.

 

I don't have a dishwasher.

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I have never been able to do housework (with a couple of small exceptions) during the time the kids are doing school work.  I had always hoped that maybe as they got older it would get easier, but the fact of the matter is that with one who is 4, that'll be awhile. ;)

My solution starting in October?  Looking into hiring someone to come clean for me.  Nope, not kidding.

DH thinks it's sort of crazy, since I'm at home and all... but I hate to clean the house anyway, and it's made even more of a difficult thing for me with homeschooling thrown in.

The only things I can do pretty easily would be dishes/loading the dishwasher and laundry, because those are all shorter tasks.  

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We have morning chores and after school chores.

I want the kitchen cleaned before school starts.

I want one load of laundry put in the washer before school starts.

I want the animals cared for before school.

 

At 10:30 break time, I throw the wash in the dryer.

 

Immediately after lunch, we clean the kitchen.

 

General cleaning is done after school is over.

 

Otherwise, I am too scattered.

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ummm...I see all the chores that your kids are doing. You are right. They are helping a lot.

 

So which chores are you struggling with putting aside to school?

 

Your kids are plenty old enough to be doing their own laundry. I know you said they are busy. But so ARE YOU! It is not fair for everyone in the house except mom to be able to sit down in the evening or afternoon for some relaxation. (that's how I often live my life) The extracurriculars are good, but MOM SHOULD HAVE A CHANCE TO HAVE AN EXTRA CURRICULAR TOO, even if its just sitting on the couch reading a book for 30 minutes a day.

 

Cleaning a bathroom or kitchen or whatever...

 

Keep in mind the difference between cleaning and organizing. I can clean my bathroom in less than 10 minutes. Yes, the cupboards are disorganized and the towels are messy in the closet, but it is CLEAN. Perhaps you need one day per week where you concentrate on organizing a space, but just cover basic cleaning in all the rest of the rooms that week.

 

By the way, my kids' rooms are atrocious most days. I make them pick up every evening, but we only dust and vacuum and organize maybe once a week. I focus on the common areas of the house and let the rest go.

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Yup, until they were older, I vacuumed and mopped Every Day. 

 

When did you find the time for this? :blushing:  Seriously, my floors have been vacuumed in the last week...but they haven't been mopped since...sometime.

 

I guess I'm just not very concerned. After the kids go to bed, if my dishes are done and my sink is shiny (thanks, Flylady), I'm done. Time for Netflix and ice cream. There will be time for deep cleaning every nook and cranny when my kids are old enough to help.

 

And Mom2theTeam: you are definitely exempt from 99% of housework for the forseeable future :P  You are officially my hero! I can't keep up with 3 under 6, let alone 6 under 7! Way to go! You are definitely on the front lines and giving yourself some credit is all you should worry about! :thumbup:

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OooOoo! Ours is doing this right now and the cat has hairballs. I won't even post a picture of what my floors look like right now :lol: The place is a wreck between the dog blowing his coat, the cat, and my decluttering. I need to get the vaccuum out once I can get rid of this headache.

We have a Siberian Husky and a German Shepherd. It amazes me when people say they can do their whole house with a swiffer pad. I do about a 5' x 5' area and it's covered in a thick layer of hair. This happened TODAY and I spent 2+ hours vacuuming and mopping all the (hard) floors yesterday. People are always a bit shocked because the floor often looks mostly clean. It's light colored soft fuzz on a light colored floor. I can even walk around barefoot and not really notice it.

 

Unless someone is blowing coat and you DO notice the guard hairs on the floor. Makes me itchy just to look at it--so we live with a vacuum cleaner. Oh well. At least these kind of dogs generally don't stink.

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I deep clean my house once a year before my parents come visit. Lol My kids have chore lists every weekday which includes their bedrooms and bathroom, cat boxes, sweeping the foyer, dishes, trash, and miscellaneous things like wiping out the microwave. As they get older, they will get bigger jobs, but I keep their chores to between 30 min and 1 hr depending on age. I, like someone else posted, have zones. One day I will concentrate on floors, another on bathrooms, another on kitchen, etc... Every zone gets attention once a week but not everyday. A load of laundry is switched every morning before work and every night before bed. Sunday is my laundry catch up day and the girls help (sort of).

 

*doing dishes includes wiping down counters, table, and stove top.

 

Cleaning house is pretty far down on my priority list, though. Work and homeschool take up at least 12 hours of my day then throw in exercise, Girl Scouts, and the kids extracurriculars... Housework can wait.

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