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pinkmint

Fitting the laundromat into homeschool family routine

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Long story short, homeownership is wonderful most of the time. Lol. Big, expensive, not-easy-or-cheap-to-fix problem going on with the pipes that connect to the washing machine. 

 

The laundromat is a part of my life right now. Anyone else?

 

How often does a family of 5 need to go to the laundromat? I have it at twice a week right now. Going there is much better and easier during the day (not crowded etc, not having to wait for dh to get home from work so I don't have to take the kids and be there late). But laundromat time ends up taking up prime homeschool time. 

 

 

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I'd plan specific type of work for the laudromat. Are there tables at the laudromat? When I've used a laudromat, I've tried to choose one that was comfortable for waiting. My kids and I will get a booth and have books to work through while I get up and change loads from washer to dryer and fold, etc. It takes some planning, but it's not dead time for homeschool. 

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Can you get help fixing the pipes from Habitat for Humanity or a similar program?

 

Our washer, which is not landlord provided, died at the end of July and I didn’t get around to ordering a new one until the end of September which was delivered in October. So I was at the laundromat for that time for the first time in 15 odd years. We are a household of 7 and I was going once a week for a big mega trip. I found it more cost and time effective to get there early, claim an entire row of giant machines and be done for the entire week.

 

I wasn’t taking the kids with because ours was open weekends and I preferred to go when my husband was off work. The hands on work comes at the end with folding so sometimes my brother or my husband and kids would come then and plow through the folding part with me.

 

My sons would definitely have been too fixated on the machines to get any schoolwork done while waiting. Yes, even the 14 year old.

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I had this experience years ago, when I had kids about the ages of yours.  It was tough. We moved to a new house and the water had a huge rust iron issue.  It turned my clothes nasty orange so I had to depend on a laundromat until we could get the right filtration system installed (and afford the $5,000 for it).  

 

I drove a little farther to one that was a quieter, better set up for schooling, and it was in a better side of town than most of the other laundromats so I felt ok taking my kids with me.  I did it during the day for the same reason as you - nights are just so much busier.  I had to just plan ahead of time.  Each kid would take their little backpack with some pencils and some work that was easier to do in that setting.  It wasn't optimal use of time, but we go something done.  

 

Good luck and hang in there.  Hopefully you will get your pipe issues resolved soon  :grouphug:

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Thanks, ladies. 

 

Going once a week early by myself and doing a massive wash is probably the best compromise considering everything. 

 

 

 

 

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When we moved, we needed to use the laundromat a few times. I drove a bit further to one that had a washer that held 75 pounds. Can you search around a bit to see if there's something bigger?

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What everyone else said. Create a laundromat routine with certain work done at the laundromat.

 

I go to the library once a week while my oldest does an online Chemistry class there. Then we drive to another location for my oldest to take an in-person Spanish class. My youngest and I work together at a table in the library doing certain subjects, and then work in the car during Spanish for the other subjects. I know he’d be too distracted to do math or grammar out of the house, but he can do his puzzle workbook and writing in the library and history in the car.

 

They’ll be distracted at first, but will eventually settle down after being there a few weeks. You just have to figure out what work can be done in a distracting environment.

Edited by Garga
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oh that is a pain. We are a family of 5, and the washer runs non stop everyday that I am home, once a day on out of the house days. I start the load in the morning before I leave and dry it at some point during the day, even if just before bed and start another one. I mean, the laundry is NEVER done. Twice a week would mean so much laundry going back and forth or cutting back on the washing like doing the sheets less often or going to more paper towels for napkins and cleaning to save a bit of laundry. Hope you all get it fixed soon. 

 

How old are your kids? For me, I would be able to leave my teens for a couple of hours during the day maybe once a week or do it during their dance class days (3 hours they have out of the house anyway a couple of times a week.)  For younger kids, I would def. be packing up schooling and doing it there since more than likely you will have the place mostly to yourself anyway. It would be hard for mine to focus on workbooks away from home. It always was. But they could definitely do interactive things with me. 

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*hugs* I'm so sorry pink. Hope you are still enjoying the house anyway! And the one advantage of laundromats is you can get all your laundry done at once...

 

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Don't be shy about turning off the ubiquitous television, if possible. You might want earphones if it isn't possible. Or sit in the car, or choose a laundromat near a library? Or any other building with a quiet, comfortable lobby? Laundry theft is pretty rare, so I've occasionally left loads unattended, particularly in the washer. I try to be back before they finish, just to be polite.

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When I've had to be out and about during school hours (class time for only one student, laundromat, etc), I take the "extras" that we don't get around to day after day.

 

Some things we've done over the years that I remember:

 

  • Hands On Equations or Life of Fred - "fun" math
  • educational games - multiplication or fraction games, science games printed off of Ellen McHenry's site, freebies from pinterest, yahtzee, chess
  • logic workbooks like Mindbenders
  • a coloring book to go along with a unit study - anatomy, SOTW, nature study, etc
  • a bin of LEGOs and some categories of things to build (I found a calendar on Pinterest) - this one sucked in college students in the student union last year!
  • Mad Libs
  • Kumon books for preschool (Let's Cut, etc) or file folder games or those "Activity in a bag" things - I used those for younger siblings everywhere.
  • we've had an old-fashioned spelling bee before; I brought each kids' list of spelling words and they spelled for candy rewards
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We had to do that a few times and with kids of varying ages I spent the time doing things like reading aloud or doing quiz games.  The kids lined up and I asked each a question and if they got it right they took a step forward and took a step backwards if they got it wrong.  It kept them doing something and we got to practice math facts/spelling words/history memorization and such stuff.  I used a small whiteboard to write things on so for a three year old I'd write a number or letter and ask what it is. 

If you bring a sack lunch you can eat there and that kid some time. 

 

But yeah, your idea of getting up early and going alone is probably less stressful. I bet you can go once a week if you plan well and make sure kids are not changing clothes multiple times a day for no reason. (WHY DO KIDS EVEN DO THAT?)

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Thanks, ladies. 

 

Going once a week early by myself and doing a massive wash is probably the best compromise considering everything. 

 

I would choose that over bringing three kids to the laundromat any day! Of course, the laundromats I have experienced were all a bit skanky, none of them had comfortable waiting areas or booths with tables. 

 

Also consider if there are any places your standards can be lowered for a while.

 

One can wear shorts and blue jeans multiple times before washing. Shirts can often be worn at least twice if they don't get all sweaty. Teach the kids to bring their clothes directly to you after changing, or to lay them out in a specific place (rather than balling up and tossing into hamper). 

 

If you have or can make a place outside to hang a few things, that will freshen worn clothes considerably. 

 

Do any of your kids like to wander around the house dressed only in underwear? Now is the time to indulge that habit. 

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If you can find a nice laundromat with a good waiting area and a large capacity, it will be worth a little extra drive. If any of your kids are mature enough to help with folding and/or transferring from the washer to the dryer, consider bringing a helper. Bring the convenient wash pods. If the laundromat has enough capacity to wash everything at once, a wash everything trip could be about 2 hours.

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I loved laundromats as a kid.

 

If your kids are not runners or disturbers of the peace, I'd just take a book for each of them and have quiet reading time at the landromat.  It's fun.

 

If they are, like mine, hooligans, I'd either wait and do it by yourself once a week or do the thing where you drive up, deposit laundry in washers (leaving kids in car if one is old enough to watch them for a few minutes), go back to car, run a short errand, come back, put in the dryers, run another errand, come back, pile quickly into bags, take home.

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My tip is to fold before you leave because no one needs to add “ironing†to their to-do list when already having to use the laundromat.

 

Also, don’t underestimate the cost of the laundromat in deciding the cost benefit on the repairs. I don’t know what it is like for you but here the biggest change at the laundromat in 15 years was the price. A weeks worth of washing was easily $50-65. That means that my brand new huge capacity HE washer cost less than using the washing machines for 3 months. I knew this but I was very busy and wasn’t able to make a decision. I should have just picked one right away, lol. It may be worth it to get a loan to tackle the repairs and then pay the loan with the laundromat money.

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Lol. Yes my kids are more on the hooligan side of the spectrum.

 

Our laundromat options are good for washing but not for much else besides watching telenovelas or weird low budget crime shows on the TV.

 

But thanks for the input, all.

 

It's not ideal for the homeschool family, and late night pee/ puke on the bedding situations etc but yes being able to wash everything at once is the big advantage.

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If you can find a nice laundromat with a good waiting area and a large capacity, it will be worth a little extra drive. If any of your kids are mature enough to help with folding and/or transferring from the washer to the dryer, consider bringing a helper. Bring the convenient wash pods. If the laundromat has enough capacity to wash everything at once, a wash everything trip could be about 2 hours.

Wash pods in the giant commercial washers? Not enough cleaning power for the much larger loads. But also, I noticed at my laundromat that I was always cleaning out undissolved pods. Bleck. I don’t know know what that was about, probably people shoving them into the liquid dispenser rather than placing them in the drum. So if you use pods, use several and be sure to put them in with the clothes. I would load the machines, fill the dispensers with liquid detergent and place a color catcher sheet in the drum and then start them all at once. Edited by LucyStoner

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I don't like pods. It doesn't seem cost effective to me. Plus yes people use way too much laundry detergent at the laundromat. You can sometimes wash your clothes without putting any detergent in at all because of how much residue is usually left. I've tried it and watched the load suds right up from residue only.

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Lol. Yes my kids are more on the hooligan side of the spectrum.

 

Our laundromat options are good for washing but not for much else besides watching telenovelas or weird low budget crime shows on the TV.

 

But thanks for the input, all.

 

It's not ideal for the homeschool family, and late night pee/ puke on the bedding situations etc but yes being able to wash everything at once is the big advantage.

I’ll admit that laundromat meant my younger kid and my nephew went back to sleeping in GoodNites and on those dosposible pads so we wouldn’t have pee sheets sitting around for days.

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For us, it worked best for me to head over quickly in the morning and start our loads, while the kids were home eating breakfast with Dad. I would set a timer and go back to pick up the clean, wet laundry right as it was finishing up. At home, I would hang as much out to dry as would for on the line and then start the rest in the dryer (usually a couple loads). Everyone would fold and put away clean, dry stuff in the evening. For a family of 8, I was doing laundry about every 5 days.

 

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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Laundromat people here too. My washer died AND I have a plumbing issue!

 

 

I go once a week to once every two weeks. Family of 2 plus two bonus kiddos. I load everything in totes, claim a few of the biggest washers {they'll hold a TON - seriously I've filled a 96 gallon trash can as a hamper and fit it ALL into one giant washer. And everything came clean}, and can be in and out in about 1.5-2 hours. Ours is actually pretty cheap - I spend about $12-15 to do two weeks worth. Considering my water bill at home dropped $25 when my washer died? I am sticking to the laundromat. 

 

 

I did change up some of how we did things. I don't use a lot of disposable products like paper towels. They are starting to creep back in some. And we judiciously use rag bag items for cleaning up icky messes, then toss. 

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Some laundry mats will wash, dry and hang for you for a small price. You just drop and schedule a time to pick up and pay. No, it might not be cost effective for a mid-sized family's week's worth of laundry, but it could get you out of a tight spot.  Or be worth it for a smaller, mid-week load. 

Edited by Excelsior! Academy

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​We have a really nice affordable laundry mat in town, and I feel spoiled everytime that I go, as I can forget about all laundry for the week.  My children have 8 outfits, with babies/toddlers having 10 so that I can wash weekly if needed. We have had horrible plumbing issues/ basement flooding issues since we bought out home, and so the laundry mat is our friend.  My kids love to get "chips/soda" as treats while there (don't judge-lol, good family memories), and I line them up at the large folding table to do some of their favorite cheaper workbooks (handwriting/ spelling/ math).  I let them choose what they bring as it is usually on Wednesday our light day.  My husband is home during the day and I leave the littlest ones with him- they watch a movie for their fun time so they don't feel left out.  My children love the laundrymat.  

Brenda

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Can your dh go to the laundromat for you at least once a week, or can you go at a time when he can stay home with the kids?

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​We have a really nice affordable laundry mat in town, and I feel spoiled everytime that I go, as I can forget about all laundry for the week.  My children have 8 outfits, with babies/toddlers having 10 so that I can wash weekly if needed. We have had horrible plumbing issues/ basement flooding issues since we bought out home, and so the laundry mat is our friend.  My kids love to get "chips/soda" as treats while there (don't judge-lol, good family memories), and I line them up at the large folding table to do some of their favorite cheaper workbooks (handwriting/ spelling/ math).  I let them choose what they bring as it is usually on Wednesday our light day.  My husband is home during the day and I leave the littlest ones with him- they watch a movie for their fun time so they don't feel left out.  My children love the laundrymat.  

Brenda

 

that sounds divine!  I too like laundromats

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Could a friend or neighbour help you out? Years ago we had a single friend and he would come over ever other week to play board games, eat dinner, and wash his laundry. He would arrive looking like he was going on vacation with luggage, but it was full of dirty laundry.

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I’d definitely go alone once a week andvyse the downtime to lesson/menu plan or just read a book and not take care of children.

 

Once when our washer died, Dh and I went to the laundromat. We had teens. They didn’t want to come help, so we them it took an hour longer than it really did and went to coffee every time. ðŸ˜

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If your washing machine goes could you just relocate it to somewhere else in the house? I just moved mine to the bathroom and plumbed it in beside the vanity. If like me you have a top loader it would probably be easier to fill it and drain it into a bucket than go to a laundromat where I live.

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If your washing machine goes could you just relocate it to somewhere else in the house? I just moved mine to the bathroom and plumbed it in beside the vanity. If like me you have a top loader it would probably be easier to fill it and drain it into a bucket than go to a laundromat where I live.

 

 

I was thinking the same thing.

 

When we lived in our last house in CA, the washer was in a large bathroom on the 1st floor, and our dryer was in the cellar.  I know, weird, but that is what the previous owners had rigged up and we never changed it.  Now that I think about it, it was a pain, but then I just did it.

 

The house we rented before that had the washer/dryer outside on the back porch.  It wasn't that uncommon in SoCal, and that worked well too.

 

When we moved to NC I used a laundry mat for a little while, with younger kids, and then we hooked up the washer but didn't want to buy a dryer until we bought a house due to not knowing if it would be elect. or gas.  So, for 2-3 months I washed a load a day, and hung it up all over the bathroom/laundry area to dry.  I had to make sure I did it every day or it would pile up and I couldn't get stuff dry in time to need it.

 

HUGS.....laundry issues stink.  It is amazing how much we rely on these wonderful machines.

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My tip is to fold before you leave because no one needs to add “ironing†to their to-do list when already having to use the laundromat.

 

Also, don’t underestimate the cost of the laundromat in deciding the cost benefit on the repairs. I don’t know what it is like for you but here the biggest change at the laundromat in 15 years was the price. A weeks worth of washing was easily $50-65. That means that my brand new huge capacity HE washer cost less than using the washing machines for 3 months. I knew this but I was very busy and wasn’t able to make a decision. I should have just picked one right away, lol. It may be worth it to get a loan to tackle the repairs and then pay the loan with the laundromat money.

Around here it’s actually close to the same price to hire out laundry service by the pound.

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