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Ausmumof3

Getting back on top of things!

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Feeling a bit frustrated with the lack of flow/functionality around here at the moment.  Fly lady kinda used to work for us to some degree but at the moment feels like the work is outgrowing my capacity.

Things that are problems

- no one has finished a full math curriculum this year 

ds has struggled the last couple of years with Singapore and did not transition well to AOPS we’ve ended up with Saxon which is apparently working but we’re only half way 
dd was taking up to two hours per lesson.  So now I’ve set a time limit and the result has been she’s got through half a years work in a year. 

We haven’t finished history and have only managed about half a science curriculum.  

school is one of the things.  The other is the mess with kids rooms, dishwasher washing etc.  feels like the dishwasher runs literally all day and still there’s more, likewise the washing right now.  This is not totally related to the schoolwork but kind of is as well because trying to keep up/catch-up with housework and school seems to see saw constantly.

anyway

i know this is like the never ending question with homeschool but asking again to see if anyone has found a system or something fly lady like but that works better for crazy family/homeschooling life.   

 

Edited by Ausmumof3
To shorten it a bit

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Honestly, I think this is a battle that never gets "won" until the kids move out of the home.  But this year I got myself a checklist and I've divided the main area of the home into 5 groups (excluding the kitchen).  Each group pops up in my app once a week.  I spend 15 minutes cleaning /decluttering something in that group and then I'm just done.  15 minutes doesn't get it perfectly clean but that short time frame means that I have no excuses for not fitting it in and for me cleaning consistently in an area 15 minutes each week still results in better long term results that sporadic "full" clean does. I have lots of other little items on my lists but none take more than 10-15 minutes.  Seems I do better with tasks broken into really small pieces, it seems less overwhelming on how will I get all this work done and it's easy to slip a 10 minute task in between other things whereas if it were an hour task, I'd be like not enough time, I'll do it later but you know later never comes.

Your math story is similar to mine.  Started with Singapore, really strong math kid tried AOPS and hated it and we went in a different direction.  Less strong math kids went from Singapore to Saxon and then we ended up with Math U See.  I'm actually thinking of ditching Singapore (which makes me sad because I love the emphasis on mental math) for one of my youngers and go straight to Math U See.  It's ok to switch things up if the current system isn't working.  I know it takes time and energy to figure out the what next but trying to focus on improving one area at a time.

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How old are your kids?

 

Can you use paper plates for a couple weeks while you try to get on track with stuff?

What does your daily routine currently look like?

Off the top of my head:

Dishes:

Cup deposit--for awhile to break that "I can't find my cup, therefore I will get a clean one." habit, I had the kids give me a quarter per cup. If their cup made it into the sink at the end of the day, they got the quarter back. Otherwise, I got to keep all the quarters if they couldn't keep track of it.

Also, I use differently colored rubber bands on cups to keep straight whose cup is whose. 

I run the dishwasher once a day, but only put cups, bowls, silverware and plates in it. Pots, mixing bowls and other large objects are hand washed. I'd rather wash one pot than 6 plates. 

Daily routine:

If you're trying to clean, do laundry, etc, during school time, stop. Some kids need mom right there saying "Do the next problem" or they drag it out For. ev. er. 

Have a designated school start time: 8 a.m or whatever. Morning chores and tidying happens before that. WE take a 20 minute break at 10:30 when I switch laundry over and the kids have snack. School through lunch time. Nothing gets planned for these times. Field trips and fun times are carefully considered. When you have lots of kids and older kids, you just CAN'T take a morning off very often like you can when you have 2 little kids.

Grading--I do ok marking papers, except for Math. My kids would call out the answers to me as they did them and I'd check them off. This had the added bonus of catching errors right away. If I had to grade a stack of papers each day, I WOULD get behind. I check each lesson as it's done for other things--English, spelling, history, etc.

We have "days" to keep us on track. Library day, grocery day, lesson day....Also, if you can do errands by yourself on a Saturday morning when your dh has the kids, that's better than squeezing it in on school day.

Sunday evening, we tidy and catch up on laundry so we can start the week fresh. 

 

I did much better when I considered myself as a working mom who was homeschooling. School teachers don't stop their class to fold laundry. They do their errands in the evenings and weekends. Once my brain went into that mode, I found that school (my "job") shifted into priority. Yes, I'd love to spend all day with my dh having family time, but I'm a "working" mom, so I need a few hours on Saturday morning to do my errands, and catch up. 

The things I was able to do (errands in the mornings, lots of field trips, cleaning as I schooled) had to change as my kids changed. When I was hsing one kid, I could do laundry and dishes as I schooled. But it didn't work when I had 3 to teach. When I was hsing 2 kids under age 8, I could take random mornings off to catch up or go on every field trip scheduled by the hs group. But as my kids got older and their lessons took much more time, and I had many more kids to teach, I had to be much more intentional about my "job" 

 

 

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Not to dismiss anything you're saying (because I feel ya'), but have you checked your vitamin D? I just upped mine, and WOW I'm back in the game. 

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6 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Not to dismiss anything you're saying (because I feel ya'), but have you checked your vitamin D? I just upped mine, and WOW I'm back in the game. 

B Vitamin complex helps me too when I'm overwhelmed. Just does something for me mentally.

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5 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

B Vitamin complex helps me too when I'm overwhelmed. Just does something for me mentally.

Yeah, for some people it's trickier because they might have an MTHFR defect and feel worse with standard b vitamins. I was sort of contradictory like that.

But for me it's always the body getting me down, not my volition. If I could always feel great, it would be easier. And when it gets really overwhelming, that's my clue I haven't been feeling as well as I need to.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah, for some people it's trickier because they might have an MTHFR defect and feel worse with standard b vitamins. I was sort of contradictory like that.

But for me it's always the body getting me down, not my volition. If I could always feel great, it would be easier. And when it gets really overwhelming, that's my clue I haven't been feeling as well as I need to.

Yes, OP, how are you sleeping? How are you eating? IS there anything physical that might be contributing to your sense of overwhelm?

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4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

ds has struggled the last couple of years with Singapore and did not transition well to AOPS we’ve ended up with Saxon which is apparently working but we’re only half way 
dd was taking up to two hours per lesson.  So now I’ve set a time limit and the result has been she’s got through half a years work in a year. 

It sounds like you're doing what needs to be done. That doesn't seem unrealistic to me. My dd has a low processing speed, and it made everything take longer. You seem on track now, and you can still get the work done even though it's taking longer. Map out the long term trajectory, but it looks fine.

4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

feels like the dishwasher runs literally all day

Do you need to use disposables for a while or have some habits about cups and things? They sell these microfiber pads you can lay on the counter to receive hand washed dishes. We're pretty tight about one glass per person per day. Maybe people have gotten loose about your expectations? Maybe go to disposables and the offenders pay for them. I don't know.

4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

catch-up with housework

When was your last break? Maybe it's time for a complete break? Like put everybody on math/reading for a couple weeks and just get the house tamed?

4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

asking again to see if anyone has found a system or something fly lady like but that works better for crazy family/homeschooling life.   

For me, it's about the Roomba, habits, and decluttering. With the Roomba, I can say ds has to pick up his floor because it's his day for it to run. Kwim? So building in some structure. And the Roomba is pretty idiot proof, just pick up the floor and hit the go button, lol.

So assign everything a day but then make it idiot simple to make it happen.

Are your kids using checklists for their work? We are kind of a house of entropy, so lists help with that. Structure. Things on the calendars and the calendars syncing across every device so everyone knows the plan.

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You ladies are all so wise!  Yes my oldest just hit 13 and school is taking longer to complete.

yes I have slacked off consistently taking my b vitamins.

and yes my sleep is up the whack because dh has been working night shifts and overtime, coming home late. 
 

and no I don’t take vit d but I always feel better when I get outside for some extra sun and due to the crazy must catchup feeling have been skipping it.

and yes I have to absolutely sit and school when we school and I have been trying to sneak in some chores. 
 

and yes I over scheduled this term so most days we are finishing school and going on to after school sports or activities.  And being the Christmas time of year the entire weekend is being chewed up with out of the house activities right now.

And yes we typically have a break week at six weeks and we skipped it to try catch up.

and yes the end of the school year is two weeks away so we are nearly due for the big break.

thank you all for being the voice of reason and I will stop stressing now and try to get the self care stuff back in place and remember I just have to get through the next two weeks then we have four to get on top of stuff again.  

Edited by Ausmumof3
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My DS15 (birthday yesterday) did very very little in 5th grade and 9th grade. When my boys hit puberty, my highest priority was on their emotional and mental health, academics was a priority but lower.  

What helped me when my kids started their puberty growth spurt and crankiness was:

- disposable plates and utensils (some days everyone is too tired to wash), eating take outs when exhausted 

- lots and lots and lots of socks, T-shirts and jeans for our kids (DH or I could run a laundry load once a week and not worry that kids don’t have clean clothes and socks)

- forget perfection. I am a pragmatic perfectionist so that wasn’t so hard. My DS15 was an idealist perfectionist but is now more pragmatic.

- spend if it makes my life easier like science lab kits. Finding the cheapest source for everything was more exhausting than spending a little more for a lab kit for science.

- for kitchen stuff, I splurge on items that work better for my needs e.g seventh generation dish detergent, 3M scotch dish scrub sponge.

- high school is a marathon. a not so great quarter or semester or year doesn’t ruin my kids life 🙂

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8 hours ago, PeterPan said:

 

Do you need to use disposables for a while or have some habits about cups and things? They sell these microfiber pads you can lay on the counter to receive hand washed dishes. We're pretty tight about one glass per person per day. Maybe people have gotten loose about your expectations? Maybe go to disposables and the offenders pay for them. I don't know.

W

just about all kitchen sinks in Australia have a stainless steal drainboard attached .

 

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for my ds16 at the moment we are doing a subject blizs. Just concentrating on 2 subjects a day  to finish them off before the end of the year. We have managed to finish spelling ( forever) and IEW. We are now focusing on Maths and Science.

I am in a bit of a panic because ds will probably be going to TAFE next year so this will be his last year of being homeschooled and I really want him to have some things tidied up

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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7 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

just about all kitchen sinks in Australia have a stainless steal drainboard attached .

 

I had a sink like that. This is what I was describing. May or may not be useful, but I like having it. It's faster for me than using a dish drain and clears out if I need my counter 

                                            Umbra UDRY Rack and Microfiber Dish Drying Mat Space-Saving Lightweight Design Folds Up for Easy Storage, 24 x 18 inches, Charcoal                                     

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6 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I had a sink like that. This is what I was describing. May or may not be useful, but I like having it. It's faster for me than using a dish drain and clears out if I need my counter 

                                            Umbra UDRY Rack and Microfiber Dish Drying Mat Space-Saving Lightweight Design Folds Up for Easy Storage, 24 x 18 inches, Charcoal                                     

Yeah I just lay a tea towel and do the same thing

Sometimes several tea towels in fact!  I’m not actually behind on dishes at the moment but I’m just getting dishes and laundry not the kids rooms etc which are out of hand.  I wish takeaway was in the budget right now but it’s not.  
 

feeling a bit more under control as we had a friend come and so had a whole family clean and tidy.  Somehow messy mum that I am I have one kid whose actually quite good at tidying and cleaning when motivated.  I do really need to start tackling those hidden areas though!

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Motivated Mom's www.motivatedmoms.com is what works here....when I do it.  She is developing an app as well.

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