When we are home all day with our children, there is a temptation to feel that our homes need to be in spotless condition at all times. We are constantly picking up and putting away, to the point that we don’t get much else done. Our homes may look great, but our homeschooling suffers.
On the other hand, we can get so immersed in homeschooling our kids, that the laundry piles up, we have nothing planned for dinner, and can’t find our car keys amidst all the mess!
So what are we to do? We are so excited to be able to be home and homeschool our children, but at the same time want to make our home a haven (not a perpetual mess!).
Before I get into some ideas that may help to balance homeschooling and homemaking, please understand that there is no one right answer to this question. Our families, situations, jobs, etc., are all different, and that means that we are going to really have to rely on the Lord to show us the best solution for our family.
Here are some suggestions to consider as you strive to balance homemaking and homeschooling:
Decide What Your Priorities Are As a Family
Most will agree that some of your highest priorities are to have food to eat, clean clothes, and a somewhat picked up home. As a family, you may find that there are some other things you will want to include in your priorities. That’s fine. Just try to stick to the basics though for now.
Sit down with your husband and talk about what are the basics that need to be done in order for your home to run fairly smoothly.
Put Systems in Place for Those Priorities
Now that you have decided on your family’s priorities, put systems in place to make sure those things get done each day/week.
If meals are a priority, get some menu plans in place. Have a set day to clean out the refrigerator and make a grocery list, and a set day to get groceries. (Here are a ton of great menu planning printables!)
If having clean clothes is a priority, then set in place a laundry schedule. I have done laundry different ways over the years, depending on what season of life I was in. But getting a laundry schedule in place is a must!
If having a somewhat clean and picked up home is important to you, then you will need to get some sort of system in place to get the cleaning done. As with laundry, there are many ways to schedule the cleaning of your home. You can just do the bare essentials while you are homeschooling, then do more Spring cleaning type chores when you have breaks from homeschool. You can check out my Cleaning Calendar I have online. You can view it online or download it to your own calendar and customize.
Have a Block Schedule
This one tip has probably been the most helpful for me over the years of homeschooling. At one time I tried to set up our daily schedule in half-hour increments. Yikes! Once I got off, my whole schedule was messed up and I was defeated. Since setting up our day in blocks of time, our days have had a flow to them that brings organization and flexibility at the same time. I love it!
I sometimes use this free printable to plan our homeschool days, because it allows me to plan our learning without being tied to a strict schedule.
Enlist the Help of Your Kids
In order to keep your home in order, you are going to need to enlist the help of your kids. As soon as they are old enough, begin assigning chores to them. At one point, I used this simple Child’s Weekly Assignment Sheet to plan out my children’s school work for the year, as well as any chores they were responsible to do each day.
Believe it or not, it is good for your children to learn to work and contribute to keeping your home clean. They will thank you later!
Work in Seasons
I alluded to this above, but depending on how you plan your homeschool year, you may find that it works best to take advantage of less busy seasons to get a huge majority of homemaking work done.
For example, some homeschool year round, taking 1-2 week breaks throughout the year. During those breaks, the house is more deeply cleaned, freezer meals are prepared and put in the freezer for quick meals later, and mom takes time to plan out the next segment of homeschooling (until the next break).
Here is how I planned our homeschool years ago. This year I am using my Intentional Monthly Planners to schedule our studies for each of the kids. However you plan your year, make sure to take advantage of the down times to “catch up” if needed.
I hope you have found these tips helpful on how to balance homeschooling and homemaking. As you can see, my schedules changed over the years, depending on the ages of my children, and what was going on in our lives. Spend some time in prayer with your husband and figure out what sort of schedule will work best for your family at this season of your life.