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How do you do it "all"- homeschool, clean, cook, be mom, wife and stay sane!


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The post title says it all. I just want to see how everyone manages their time to get it done. It seems like when one area is going well another suffers. I have finally mastered meal planning and cut out last minute dinner panics but we did not get as much school done as I would have wanted.

 

If I have a clean house and caught up on laundry, then I am wiped out and we probably didn't get much playtime. If I read to my kids for an hour or two aloud (they love and are addicted to the Magic Treehouse series and Little House books) then something else gets waysided.

 

It is not a big deal now because I only have a Kinder, prek and one year old. But we plan on adding number four soon and then next year is first grade. So I am trying to figure this out. Thankful for any tips or how-tos.

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I don't. It's very difficult to get everything done. School is my priority and everything else follows. No, my house is not the cleanest, but the schoolwork gets done.  I try to get my housework done on weekends and try to prioritize - bathrooms, kitchen get done first, everything else follows. The kitchen stays pretty clean since we use it constantly and I'm always cleaning up anyway. Laundry is kind of ongoing, I do a couple of loads pretty much every day. I totally understand your frustration. Even though I try to keep up, my house never looks just as I would like it to. I would be quite embarrassed if a friend showed up at my door without calling - lol.

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I don't actually know what I'm talking about, but I've collected wisdom from others over the years.

 

Once a month cooking

Audio books

Delegation (I love The Everyday Family Chore Chart)

I don't have a lot of "stuff" to clean. I'm sort of a minimalist.

Block scheduling

Early to bed, early to rise

 

Good luck in finding answers. I'll be visiting this thread again.  ;)

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HA!  I sure don't "get it all done"...never have.  I work FT, that comes first; then school; then anything else that I have the energy to do.  Now, my husband has always been the Stay-at-Home-Parent, so that makes things a lot easier. Also, as my kids got older, they had/have responsibilities around the house.  My 18 year old is a WORKHORSE and will make someone an excellent wife some day, lol.  He hates clutter, he hates dirty dishes, he hates things "undone" -- so....he does them.  He's amazing!  My 13 year is less of a workhorse and needs persuasion (aka:  no workie, no eatie). We are a family and we all do family service work to keep our house running; it's never perfect, but it's livable.

 

So it seems like the answer to your question so far is:  WE DON'T get it "all" done -- we do the best that we can, and "let it go" if we have to.  :)

 

~coffee~

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I am sorry you are overwhelmed.  Lower your expectations especially for a clean house.  I know that can be hard, but it will help keep you sane.  Your children are also very young so don't require too much in the way of school.  The tendency for most people early on in their homeschool career is to do to much school. 

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Not very well, but I'm working on it. Other than keeping up with laundry (I try to do one load per day) and dishes and just trying to get everyone to keep their own clutter picked up, all the other chores get done on the weekend. It actually has ended up being very similar to how I had to handle things when I was working full time. Luckily, dh pitches in with the chores I hate (I.e. vacuuming).

 

Right now I'm trying to focus on doing some self care for me. I made a list of thingsgs I could do to make life easier for me and I'm going to try to get them in place during the rest of January. Doing things for myself is always at the bottom of the list. I started with getting out the full spectrum light and sitting in front of it for 10 minutes at breakfast, taking a vitamin D pill, and today I'm going to try to add in a little exercise. I think it will help my attitude and ability to get more done.

 

Well except with the added fact everyone is home all day and making a mess. 

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I don't. It's very difficult to get everything done. School is my priority and everything else follows. No, my house is not the cleanest, but the schoolwork gets done. I try to get my housework done on weekends and try to prioritize - bathrooms, kitchen get done first, everything else follows. The kitchen stays pretty clean since we use it constantly and I'm always cleaning up anyway. Laundry is kind of ongoing, I do a couple of loads pretty much every day. I totally understand your frustration. Even though I try to keep up, my house never looks just as I would like it to. I would be quite embarrassed if a friend showed up at my door without calling - lol.

Same here. Ironically, it's clean clothes on the floor in the laundry room. :) It actually is useful there because my toddler generally have to be changed at least once a day. :) At least that's what I'm telling myself.

 

Sorry no help. Just that you are not alone.

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School is top priority. Assign yourself and the kids a bit of cleaning everyday. Keep refining your cooking plan for ease. Pay attention to what bothers you "most" for a week or month and then address that with a long-term plan, and repeat the process.

 

This all looks very black-and-white on the computer screen. In real life, of course, it is messier.

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First off, my kids are older and I can get more done.  But my schedule has been pretty similar for years.  I have a simple morning routine:  start laundry, put away dishes, wipe down bathroom, finish laundry.  And a simple evening routine:  do dishes, wipe stove and kitchen counters, sweep & swiffer kitchen, 10 minute pick up. Then on the 2 days I have off from work (Wed & Thu) I pick one room per day and spend an hour or so doing 10 things (I wrote out the 10 things for each room because I like having a checklist). The 10 things are different for each room but include things like: attacking clutter piles, organizing shelves and drawers, dusting, sweeping, and mopping. I try and maintain the clean throughout the day - picking up clutter, washing dishes, and making sure the kids keep up with their rooms.

 

Formal subjects with ds take less than 2 hours a day and we go out somewhere at least once a week (parkour class, field trip, homeschool class, restaurant adventure, etc). I work evenings from 4:30pm to 9:30pm about 15 minutes away from home.

 
Oh, and I don't cook dinner, dh does.  :)
 
And working is what keeps me sane, lol.  
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I don't.  I work full time and my DH works part time.  We divide school work between us.  DH takes care of cooking, dishes and laundry.  I take care of cleaning, scheduling, and planning. The kids help with chores.  Our house is a mess but it should get a little better as my little ones get older.  

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I think those would be unreasonable expectations with so many small people around all day.

 

It gets easier as they get older and more independent, but it sounds like you are a long way off from that. I would prioritize the most important tasks for this season of your life and fill in the gaps when possible.

 

I clean, do laundry and sometimes cook while DS does schoolwork. He's pretty independent now and we "do school" in the middle of the house so it's easy for me to keep busy getting things done but still be on hand for him. When he's finished with schoolwork I can run errands either with or without him. If anything, I'm searching for something like a part time job I can do from home to fill in the extra time. But that's with one preteen kid, not a house full of babes.

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I agree that your house does not need to be perfect, and your meals don't always have to be awesome either.  But it is best if you maintain a routine with school.  Maybe keep some easy-for-you options available for times when you're too exhausted to really teach.

 

Just a suggestion though - I'd start getting your KG and Pre-K children used to the idea of doing some "work" independently.  If they can be gently eased into the idea of productive independent seatwork before 1st grade, I suspect things will be a bit easier for you once the quantity of school work becomes substantial.  Another idea is to have the older child begin to "teach" some of what she's learned to the next younger.  This is a great review technique (for both parties) and can free you up for some other things.

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It's hard, and right now, you only have littles. There is only so much school they need, but on the flip side, there's only so much they can to be truly helpful. My older kids have more schoolwork, but they also can do a lot that is really helpful around the house (as opposed to "helpful," like when the toddler "helps" at cleaning up, which is good in its own right, but we all know that it does make things take longer; my big kids are actually able to save me work and time). It will be very different in a couple of years.

 

It's still hard, though. There is not enough of me to go around. I have five kids, three of whom are six or under, a DH who helps when he can but who is gone twelve hours a day during the week, no family around or close friends who can swap help with me, no disposable income to pay for help, and a high maintenance house/yard (large yard to mow or garden to maintain, no dishwasher, country living so dirt gets tracked in, and a furnace that has to be fed with wood once or twice a day in the winter, plus the assorted things that kids get out, a toddler who is learning to self-feed, all of that), and we live twenty minutes from any stores, so all trips out are lengthy and require pre-planning. And I use a lot of teacher intensive teaching materials because the ones that happen to work for my kids are that way. It takes a lot of physical and mental effort to keep us all going. I sympathize with you!

 

My four big kids (including the 3yo, but he needs some guidance) each get an area of the house to tidy daily, including vacuuming most days (although I take care of the toddler's food area), so the main part of the house stays at least presentable. I fold laundry and give them stacks to put away. If I get behind, I will pay them in extra screen time or something so that they'll do a bunch for me.

 

I have a three week rotating menu plan that I am trying out this year. So far, it's working, although the sample size is small. Meals are fairly simple, but nutritious and generally fairly tasty. I'm also setting aside one evening a week when DH can be in charge of everything, so that I can use the time to pay bills, catch up on paperwork, etc.

 

I hear getting rid of stuff helps too, but we aren't very good at that. :). (We all have creative-type hobbies with supplies and whatnot, and after four boys, we have an impressive toy vehicle collection.)

 

I say: pick two -- schooling kids, clean house, home cooked meals. And if you have a toddler, pick one. And if you have multiple very little ones, all bets are off on any of it!

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I don't. School is priority everyday, with meals a close second. I usually plan meals and shop over the weekend-- lots of easy and crock pot meals.

 

Cleaning. Yeah. I have had to lower my own expectations a lot. Dh used to help a lot more, but now he is in a phd program so while he still helps where he can, he doesn't have much time. I try to do at least 1-2 loads of laundry a day. Dh folds when he gets to it,

 

I clean mostly on Friday and Saturday. The kids help. I focus on upstairs or downstairs each week to deal clean which means whichever I don't do that week, I have the kids wipe and dust. Dh vacuums.

 

Daily we keep everything picked up using "10 minute pickups" throughout the day, everyone picks up all that they can with a timer set. Usually 2-3 times a day. The kids do table chores after meals and I clean the kitchen.

 

We are definitely not thriving in the housekeeping dept. but we manage. As they get older they are more helpful. ;)

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It doesn't all get done. School is a priority, so that does get done. House.... I clean the bathrooms once a week on Wednesdays. My kids are older than yours, and are assigned zones in the common living space. They are not allowed screen time unless their zone is picked up and they get five extra minutes if their zone is perfect without me having to point things out. Laundry.... I am fortunate that my mil comes on Mondays to spend time with us in the mornings since fil is volunteering and she has a hard time getting around, but she can fold laundry and read to my little girls, so that's what she does. Although during the rest of the week, we pull clean clothes out of laundry baskets. Meals... I make good use of my crock pot and dutch oven.

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We all make trade-offs.  You might change your custom, researched curriculum out for a box curriculum with schedules or videos, so you regain that time you spend researching.  You're not going to have it all and you'll have to decide what is most important to you.  

 

Definitely you could clone yourself on those read alouds and get audiobooks.  That's absurd to spend time reading aloud things the dc will read for themselves in a year or could listen to on high quality audiobooks.  The Little House books especially have amazing audiobook versions with professional readers and music.  I wouldn't read aloud MTH at all.

 

Someone mentioned dirt coming in.  We had a thread on this a while back and one of the best suggestions was to apply throw rugs at your entrances.  In our house we have a doormat before the door, a rug in the mudroom, and a 3rd rug in the doorway of the mudroom leading into the kitchen.  You need to think about ways like this to cut down on work.  If you're dusting a lot, streamline.  If your pictures on your camera take too much time, make a better plan.  If you spend time hunting down library books, get baskets.  If toys are hard to put away, get rid of some.  I do it less now, but I found in those early years I needed to sit down once a week (ish) and just THINK about my house and what I could do better to be more efficient and problem solve.

 

But I agree, you're at the age of entropy.  Enjoy it.  :)

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The post title says it all. I just want to see how everyone manages their time to get it done. It seems like when one area is going well another suffers. I have finally mastered meal planning and cut out last minute dinner panics but we did not get as much school done as I would have wanted.

 

If I have a clean house and caught up on laundry, then I am wiped out and we probably didn't get much playtime. If I read to my kids for an hour or two aloud (they love and are addicted to the Magic Treehouse series and Little House books) then something else gets waysided.

 

It is not a big deal now because I only have a Kinder, prek and one year old. But we plan on adding number four soon and then next year is first grade. So I am trying to figure this out. Thankful for any tips or how-tos.

 

I did major cleaning and laundry one day a week, on Fridays. Otherwise, daily, the kitchen was always clean (I don't believe in children free-ranging in the kitchen between meals), beds were made, and there was no major clutter.

 

I don't play with children. They have each other. So on cleaning days, if they were not doing their own chores, they were playing with each other. There was no "we" in that playtime. :-)

 

I don't read aloud to children for an hour or two. I read aloud to them right after lunch, one chapter a day from a good book. Or possibly one picture book that is about the length of a chapter in a juvenile novel. I don't read to them at bedtime, either, because I want all of us to be awake while I'm reading, lol.

 

Your oldest child is only 5ish. I don't know how much school you need to be doing at this point. o_0

 

I think it's possible to have a tidy home, children who are clean and decently dressed, and be personally clean and decently dressed. I do.  I don't think we have to settle for a home that looks like hoarders live there, or a kitchen without a clean spot on any of the counters. I think we have to be more purposeful in what we do instead of letting things gang up on us (e.g., clean the kitchen as you go along, and immediately after finishing a meal; make beds as soon as you get out of them; notice that the children left piles in their wakes and require them to come back and clean up; fold and put away the clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer).

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It is not a big deal now because I only have a Kinder, prek and one year old. But we plan on adding number four soon and then next year is first grade. So I am trying to figure this out. Thankful for any tips or how-tos.

 

This age range was the hardest for me.  At those ages kids still need a lot of help with stuff.  Everything is a production.  They make big messes, but can't do a very good job at helping to clean it up.  And they aren't always good at entertaining themselves. 

 

As my kids are getting older it is getting easier. 

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School comes first.  I used to try to get everything done and nothing was done well.  If you are keeping up with the meals, you are doing fine.  Have your dh pitch in.  Your job should be looked at like it's a full time job- just like his.  Anything that happens after both of you finish your work days should be done by BOTH of you.

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I make my children do more and more of the cleaning. That wasn't an option when they were little. I let there be some mess. I don't take care of the yard beyond letting dh mow it. The house doesn't have to be perfect. I use my slow cooker a good bit and don't worry if I cheat with convenience foods like precut stuff or canned beans or rotisserie chicken.

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Thanks everyone! At least I am not alone. I used to rise very early and that helped. But when the little one came that was out the window. He has been sleeping well for a few months now really I need to get back to it!

 

Then again getting enough sleep is important.  Way more important than being perfect in all areas of your life.

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I have throw rugs at the entrances! They're only so helpful. They're not helpful for big clunky boots that need a chair so the wearer can take them off, when there is nowhere for the chair to go next to the door, so the wearer has to walk across the floor to get to a chair, this dropping bits of dirt off of the boots. Trust me on this one; other people may have a solution for this one, but in my house, there really isn't. So I vacuum a lot.

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- minimize outside commitments to what we really truly cannot do at home

- take time for myself- this recharges me

- have morning and evening routines for everyone in the home including Mom. (Reminds me to defrost meat etc)

- try to budget extra for some convenience. For example sometimes I pay a little more shop at the more expenaive grocery store because I can go there during piano lessons.

- realize there are days (at least once a week) where the whole house will be a disaster and you just can't do it all and catch up little by little when the moment strikes.

- lower your standards. We deep clean only every other week now and just vacuum, spray and straighten up in between. I just don't have time evey week anymore.

- eat healthy. This will give you a better mood and good energy level.

- go to sleep. Staying up half the night cleaning or grading papers will NOT catch you up. It'll spiral down because you will be less productive the following day.

- the kids should have chores and be held accountable to do them.

- teach independent homeschooling as early as possible (starting in about 3rd grade) and use curriculum that lends itself to that. Then, check their work and help them fix errors. Always meet wigha and check over their work every day. Do NOT sit with them all day long. (for more on this I recommend taking ideaa from Managers of their Schools...although I do not agree with all of their beliefs and you don't have to do it all exactly like her she really has a good system for independent learning that can get you started on ideas)

 

These are the things that work for me. I hope a few of them help.

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Nope. house isn't perfect, not even close.  But now that the kids are older it is much easier for them to help out.  

 

You might look into seeing if there is a homeschooled teen available to come over once a week and either read to the kids or play with them while you clean or have down time or maybe they clean or cook dinner or something.   Burn out can be awful and affect the whole family.  

 

Maybe there is a homeschooled teen wanting to be a teacher.  Perhaps she could help with teaching a few lessons to gain some experience or something.  

 

Having someone you already know and trust might be a huge help if you run into an emergency and need someone to watch the kids or even teach the kids while you are sick or whatever...and in the meantime it might help you get some down time and help you maintain more control of the things that are bothering you.

 

Best wishes and good luck!

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Someone above mentioned not going out unless you really, really need to.  However, I was thinking that for some people, getting out of the house (with the kids) is helpful.  It is for me.  It breaks up the monotony, provides another source of stimulation (besides mom), and the kids aren't messing up the house during that time.  :)  One thing I liked to do with my kids when they were 4/5 was take them to the natural history museum, which has a lot of kid-friendly stuff (that surely counts as school).  Perhaps there are several options like this where you live.

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For me, it goes in seasons.  Now that my youngest is 3 and sleeps through the night.  I am not so exhausted, low-energy.  Also, the kids help do chores.  In the beginning, it created more work for me but it is paying off now.  They still need help and guidance, but most of it they can do on their own.  Well, the 3yo still needs a lot of help, but the 5yo and almost 8yo can do most of their chores on their own.  Laundry - washing, drying and folding, cleaning the main floor bathroom (just a mirror, sink, and toilet), picking up toys and such, unloading the dishwasher, and dusting.  DH is also very involved when he is home whether it is with household responsibilities or the kids.

 

However, my house is not spotless.  I may get the regular cleaning done, but deep cleaning goes to the wayside.  Meals are prepared, but I've left a lot of my kitchen creativity to the wayside.  The thing that probably lags the most is time for DH and myself.  It's a combination of having a babysitter, and DH just wanting to be home and spend time with the kids after being gone all day.  While we could do something at home, it is hard to have focused time with the kids running around.  By the time all the kiddos are in bed, I'm tired and want to go to bed too.

 

I think it's hard to do it all, and in order to be a successful woman, I don't think you have to do it all.  

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Meal planning

Chore rotation/training

36 week file folder system

 

If your oldest is only in K, then there's no need to do formal academics at all right now.  Your child needs you to read aloud fantastic, high quality picture books and playtime. Honey for a Child's Heart is a good book to have on hand if you want a guide for selecting great children's books. 

If you have one of those kids that begs to learn to read and takes to it like a duck to water, then do some phonics every day.  If you have a kid that eats, sleeps and breathes numbers then some math is in order. If you've got a kid itching to lean to write and can handle consistent handwriting instruction (same movements every time in the same order to build muscle memory) then do a bit of that. If not, there's really no reason to begin formal academics now.

 

Decide if you want to do history rotations, how many and how often.  Many require you to start in 1st grade so they can be completed by 12th without cramming or skipping anything.

 

Your 5 year old needs to be in training for chores because neurotypical children are capable of doing most chores on their own by age 6 if they've been trained at 4-5 by mom.  As close as your kids are and as many of them as you have, it's going to be critical to train them in the preschool years.  Remember it will always get done faster in the short term if you do it yourself, but if you go that route you'll always be the one doing it and the work load will get bigger and bigger as they age.  Resist that temptation and instead have your children, starting around 4, come work beside you on all the household chores, helping you and doing it under your supervision so you can off load chores to them by age 6. I'm talking about real chores by 6: vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry and putting it away (putting away laundry should start at about age 3.) There are lots of chore threads you can read.

 

I've found that if I insist on daily chores every day in addition to  a different weekly chore every day, I rarely fall behind and can enjoy weekends more. It's part of a regular routine at the same times of day most of the time.  School first, then chores, then free time.  You're in the most intensive part of your life right now, so no matter what you do, you're going to be exhausted at the end of the day.

 

If there are dishes in your sink while the dishwasher is full and running, use disposable plates, cups and utensils. I always use disposables for lunch but if I'm behind on dishes I use them for all meals until I'm caught up.  Dishwashers are designed for people who don't eat and cook 3 meals a day at home.  If they were, they'd have faster cycles and far more space. So, not using dishes that need washing helps.

Cut outside activities to the essentials.  For a lot of homeschoolers that's weekly meeting at a place of worship and a park day with friends.

Easy prep and cook meals should be the rule, not the exception. Keep an eye out for meals that freeze well and follow the "cook double, freeze half" rule so you have dinner that just needs heating up on really challenging days (assuming you have freezer space for it.)

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Someone above mentioned not going out unless you really, really need to. However, I was thinking that for some people, getting out of the house (with the kids) is helpful. It is for me. It breaks up the monotony, provides another source of stimulation (besides mom), and the kids aren't messing up the house during that time. :) One thing I liked to do with my kids when they were 4/5 was take them to the natural history museum, which has a lot of kid-friendly stuff (that surely counts as school). Perhaps there are several options like this where you live.

Yes I was the one who said that. And I agree with this quote! I should clarify that I meant out of the house regular commitments / or too much busy-ness because that disrupts the routine too much. But it's true that if you are pretty much caught up and everyone js getting antsy then it's a great idea to visit Parks, museums, field trips etc.

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I don't play with children. They have each other. So on cleaning days, if they were not doing their own chores, they were playing with each other. There was no "we" in that playtime. :-)

 

I don't read aloud to children for an hour or two. I read aloud to them right after lunch, one chapter a day from a good book. Or possibly one picture book that is about the length of a chapter in a juvenile novel. I don't read to them at bedtime, either, because I want all of us to be awake while I'm reading, lol.

 

Your oldest child is only 5ish. I don't know how much school you need to be doing at this point. o_0

 

I agree with the third point. 5 year olds need very little academics.

 

On the first and second points, it takes all kinds but that is not how I or most of the people with young kids I know want to live. I really like to take time to do the things that interest my kids, be that play with Legos with them or make a character for D&D. If we eat leftovers or the bathroom is a bit overdue for a scrub down, so be it. We have books we read aloud during the day and books we read aloud at night. Between me and my husband that is usually more than 2 hours a day. Maybe it's because my sons are 5.5 years apart and are at very different stages but I really value that playtime and reading time that I have with them. It is the most important time in my day and week. Or maybe it is generational- I think I am about your daughters' ages.

 

And I never make any beds. Like pretty much ever. We sleep just as well.

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Meal planning

Chore rotation/training

36 week file folder system

 

If your oldest is only in K, then there's no need to do formal academics at all right now. Your child needs you to read aloud fantastic, high quality picture books and playtime. Honey for a Child's Heart is a good book to have on hand if you want a guide for selecting great children's books.

 

If you have one of those kids that begs to learn to read and takes to it like a duck to water, then do some phonics every day. If you have a kid that eats, sleeps and breathes numbers then some math is in order. If you've got a kid itching to lean to write and can handle consistent handwriting instruction (same movements every time in the same order to build muscle memory) then do a bit of that. If not, there's really no reason to begin formal academics now.

 

Decide if you want to do history rotations, how many and how often. Many require you to start in 1st grade so they can be completed by 12th without cramming or skipping anything.

 

Your 5 year old needs to be in training for chores because neurotypical children are capable of doing most chores on their own by age 6 if they've been trained at 4-5 by mom. As close as your kids are and as many of them as you have, it's going to be critical to train them in the preschool years. Remember it will always get done faster in the short term if you do it yourself, but if you go that route you'll always be the one doing it and the work load will get bigger and bigger as they age. Resist that temptation and instead have your children, starting around 4, come work beside you on all the household chores, helping you and doing it under your supervision so you can off load chores to them by age 6. I'm talking about real chores by 6: vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry and putting it away (putting away laundry should start at about age 3.) There are lots of chore threads you can read.

 

I've found that if I insist on daily chores every day in addition to a different weekly chore every day, I rarely fall behind and can enjoy weekends more. It's part of a regular routine at the same times of day most of the time. School first, then chores, then free time. You're in the most intensive part of your life right now, so no matter what you do, you're going to be exhausted at the end of the day.

 

If there are dishes in your sink while the dishwasher is full and running, use disposable plates, cups and utensils. I always use disposables for lunch but if I'm behind on dishes I use them for all meals until I'm caught up. Dishwashers are designed for people who don't eat and cook 3 meals a day at home. If they were, they'd have faster cycles and far more space. So, not using dishes that need washing helps.

 

Cut outside activities to the essentials. For a lot of homeschoolers that's weekly meeting at a place of worship and a park day with friends.

 

Easy prep and cook meals should be the rule, not the exception. Keep an eye out for meals that freeze well and follow the "cook double, freeze half" rule so you have dinner that just needs heating up on really challenging days (assuming you have freezer space for it.)

 

 

All great advice! I have begun training my 3/5 yr old but I think they can do more and yes not just do it all because it is quicker. I will be referring to this!

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This year I told my hubby that I cannot keep up. Between running the older kids to work, everyone to activities, doing school, making meals, cleaning the house, dealing with the pets, etc, it's just too much. I informed him that I can reliably do 2 things well, but there are 3 categories that need to be done on a daily basis. 1 is school, 2 is meals, 3 is cleaning...I will happily do any 2 that he chooses, but the 3rd one will need to be farmed out for someone else to handle. He told me to hire a girl to clean the house, so every other Friday, I leave for co-op with a messy, sticky-floored, dusty, dog-hair covered house and 5 hours later I come home to a clean, dusted, vacuumed, shiny-floored, bleach-smelling house. Those Fridays are my favorite days of the month and worth EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR it costs me. In fact, the kids love it so much that when we took a break over Christmas, I didn't have her come. They have all offered to chip in some of their money so she can come back lol. We are all much more relaxed when Mom isn't freaking out about the condition of the house. 

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Yeah but that is very much a generational tnings that does actually take a lot of time in the day! I could be wrong but what Ellie is addressing here is the kids who think mom should play with them.

 

Getting excited and building a fort or taking ten minutes to build a Lego character or just tapping that inner child here and there is one thing.

 

But there are those occasional moms who actually think it's healthy for their kids to rely k them as playmates and guess what? Then the kids rely on them to entertain

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I think it was the comment in the OP that when some things get too heavy, playtime does not happen.  I was not sure what she meant by that.  If it means the kids are actively helping with the chores, then that is fine, as long as it isn't all day, every day.  If it means the kids sit around with nothing to do because Mom is scrubbing the bathroom, then I agree that the kids should be able to entertain themselves, especially since there are two of them close in age.  What are the kids doing when Mom is buried in housework or cooking?  They must be doing something ....

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I call it hitting the trifecta when I manage a full day of school, a clean house and an in-home cooked meal. It's doable, but not every day. It's not my intention to do it every day, and that helps a great deal. 

I have a routine for every day of the week and for the week. It's quite flexible because I do a lot that requires daylight hours. Additionally, summers are very hot here, so I am able to change that routine to allow for outdoor things to be done at a better time of day for temperature. It's a routine that works for me, not one that I have to work for.

The boys also help out. I've been teaching a few things as their ability and patience develops. They do quite a bit now, but only because they've gotten to that point with patience and teaching.

So far, this has worked for me. I've been doing variations on the same routine for almost three years now? I think I started with it around second grade or so.

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Yeah but that is very much a generational tnings that does actually take a lot of time in the day! I could be wrong but what Ellie is addressing here is the kids who think mom should play with them.

 

Getting excited and building a fort or taking ten minutes to build a Lego character or just tapping that inner child here and there is one thing.

 

But there are those occasional moms who actually think it's healthy for their kids to rely k them as playmates and guess what? Then the kids rely on them to entertain

I don't think playing with your kids for more than 10 minutes or reading to them more than a chapter a day means that kids can't self entertain or play with each other. My sons can (and do) certainly find things to do on their own. But hands on time with my kids, especially when they are as little as the OPs kids, is more important to me than a perfectly clean house (and I say this as someone who used to be compulsive about housecleaning).

 

For me it has to do with my objective function. I'm home to educate my kids and be with my kids. That's why I left working FT and that's why we forgo my salary. That makes homeschooling more expensive than the priciest schools here. I am not home *for* my home, I'm home for my people. That time is more important than anything else that needs to be done. At the end of the day, I trust my kids will remember that my husband and I were there to take a genuine interest in what they were doing more than they will remember how often the kitchen was spotless or the beds were made.

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I don't really "do it all". 

Schooling and time with the kids comes as first priority during the day, no doubt about that. Sure they spend a lot of time playing together, or doing their own things, but when they need me they get me and I would never put dusting or making beds ahead of that. 

 

But, maybe its because our place isn't super huge, but tidying up at the end of each day doesn't take that long and still leaves me plenty of time to have a cup of tea or something before starting dinner. We do school from after breakfast cleanup until maybe 2:30-3pm with a nice long break in there for lunch and lunch cleanup. When we're done for the day, I just whip through and pick up whatever odds and ends need picking up, I may do a quick whip with the vacuum or dust a room. But it maybe takes 45 mins - 1 hr. Then I have a tea and read or watch a tv show and then I start getting dinner on the go. We do the Big Deep Clean on the weekends, when my partner is home. So during the week is just maintaining some semblance of "tidy" and the deeper cleaning happens when there's another set of hands. 

 

We use our slow cooker a LOT, but I am still able to whip up a pretty decent dinner after a full day. I definitely don't feel like I 'do it all', but it really depends on what 'all' looks like for each person. I also feel like there's an element of being busy for busy's sake too. I look at some "Home Organizer" books and printables and such, and things on Pinterest, and I'm like "Who really pays bills for an hour every day? You wash your baseboards every day? dust every corner?" I dunno, sometimes I feel like I've either got it figured out, or am seriously missing some things on my to-do list lol. 

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I have a housekeeper who cleans every other week. My husband grocery shops & cooks about 3 times per week. Without those two factors, I couldn't get it all done. I do laundry, make beds, daily housework (trash/recycling, clutter control, etc), breakfast/lunch/snacks, etc around my homeschooling and kid transportation.

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I also think having a laid back or understanding partner is really helpful on this front. 

My fella knows if he comes in and sees I've got the Crazy Eyes or if I text him that it's been a long day - he just picks up some takeout on the way home, or he'll make dinner when he gets home. He hasn't got any Stepford expectations of me, and knows that I chose to leave my full time job in order to homeschool the kids and be with them, so he'd never make me feel bad for not being Superwifey. We just aren't that kind of couple. I asked him once if he'd rather me handle more of the home stuff and he just gave me a weird look and said "well I'm not company, I live here too, I don't mind doing what needs doing". He also reminds me when I get to stressing about not doing enough, that he and I BOTH have jobs during the day - mine just happens to be at home. With two little tornadoes who eat like horses and keep me running most of the day. So he really doesn't expect me to do everything, and that helps me a lot. 

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Me time is before the kids get up (I get up at 520 6 days a week). Although I do put laundry in when I wake up, I need to get 2-3 loads done per day.

 

Mornings are devoted to kids (6am to 1pm anyhow)

 

afternoons are for paper work/planning/cooking/cleaning. Kids play outside for an hour or two on their own, followed by an hour or two of quiet time in their own spaces with crafts or toys saved JUST for quiet time. Sometimes we have a crafting hour in the afternoon where we can all work on creating something, other days we're in town for lessons, errands and activities (we keep it to two afternoons max). If I'm really on the ball I'll get outside for a half hour of excercise myself, but that's where my plan suffers.

 

They get an hour at 5pm for screens so I can cook dinner in peace with the grumpy toddler. After dinner, they bathe and prep for bed while I clean the kitchen. They go to bed early, even if they read for in bed, they are in bed by 7pm. I'm off duty by 730, so they're out of luck! That's when I can be a wife and spend time being an adult with other adults lol. but I need to be asleep by 10-1030 so I can get up and do it all over again.

 

And Sundays, I try and be lazy as possible so I feel like I've had a day "off" and can go back to work on Monday.

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I get school done. I have a cleanish house.  It isn't gross, but there is always something on the counters, always something on the floor, I need to dust more often.  I make meals because that is important to my family.  Eating Ramen noodles is a no go for my husband. :)  I do not exercise.  I don't have time. 

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I like to think that I am always progressing towards ‘doing it all.’ 

 

I am *not* doing it all…or I am not doing it all *well*…the former more often than the latter…but I am improving.

 

I tell dh (when he politely refrains from comment, but lets his eye rove suggestively over the pile of laundry that has been sitting on the bedroom floor for three-or-is-it-four-now days *again*) that he may not be able to see it (in fact, I am certain he cannot see it) but *I* know that I am making progress…

 

Week by week, I get faster at making those ultra-simplistic-yet-family-favorite meals that help *so* much when I’m in a pinch.

 

Week by week, the kids learn new chores & become more independent in their chores. (Ds6 can wash the dishes, and vacuum the living room rug, and open cans…dd5 sweeps the floor and puts away dishes and cleans the glass on the front door…they fold & put away their own laundry…)

 

Week by week, the toddler progresses in potty training, ds6 moves closer to independence in some of his schoolwork, the baby stops teething, etc.

Of course, with littles there are (week by week) new ways that I now need to improve and setbacks in previous improvements…

 

I *refuse* to consider myself defeated or become depressed because I didn’t get it all done this week. Next week, I’ll do better. And the next week. And the next. And some day…(am I kidding myself?) we’ll get it all done. ïŠ

 

(I personally don’t believe it’s OK if I never do get it all done… I think my kids need a clean house almost as much as they need a good education. I think a clean house contributes to their personal character & the standards they set for their own lives…but if they’re going to have a clean house, they’re going to have to help to keep it that way…and it takes time to train them how…)

 

(P.S. If I had it *my* way, I would spend the entire day playing with/reading to/doing school with the kids…)

 

(P.P.S. Whoever invents a fun/fast way to iron collared shirts will be my hero.)

 

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Lets see, I try to stay home as much as possible. That would drive some people batty, but it is the only way I can manage. School is important to me, but so is the environment they learn in. Saturday morning is cleaning time/ finishing up laundry, bathrooms etc.. I just "pick up" during the week. Honestly, it was really hard when my girls were 5 and 3. Now they are 12 and 10 and are such a huge help.

Try to just enjoy this time, because they do grow up so fast. :)

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