I’m a Homeschooler, Not a Housekeeper

I'm a Homeschooler Not a HousekeeperI am a homeschooler and not a housekeeper.  You can search through all the posts on this blog and come up empty when you look for housekeeping tips.  Until now…

I’ll share my one and only tip that keeps things from falling apart around here.

Delegation.

I spend about 2-3 hours each day on meal preparation and washing dishes.  My kids do the rest.

I’ve heard many homeschooling parents talk about how chores are overwhelming and sometimes it is difficult to fit school into the mix with everything there is to do around the house.  I must admit that I have the opposite view.  I find that it is difficult to fit housework into the mix with all that we have going on around here.

During a typical school day, I work 3-5 hours and spend about 6 dedicated hours on my children’s schooling.  During that dedicated time I am usually working one-on-one with someone.  It is extremely rare at this point in our schooling journey for me to have a time where everyone is working independently.  And if that is the case, I don’t jump up to do housework.  I take a break, do prep work, or read to gain ideas from other homeschoolers or educators.

Add together the 3-5 hours of work with the 6 hours of school and 2-3 hours of chores and I have a full day.

I don’t expect my house to be perfect.  Not at all.  My kids clean most of it and even though I review their work, it isn’t done as thoroughly as I would do it.  That’s okay.  It is giving my kids good experience and as they grow my expectations for thoroughness grow too.  Sometimes I will do some deep cleaning on the weekend or when we have the day off of school.  If someone is coming over, we all work together to make sure things are presentable.

So back to my little bit of housekeeping advice.  If you find that homeschooling gets squeezed out due to chores or if you are overwhelmed with all that needs to be done around the house, delegate.  It may take a little time to teach your kids how to do some chores, but in the long run everyone benefits.

Added note:

There have been many responses in the internet world to this blog post.  Many seem to think that my children are required to do the bulk of the housework timewise.  While they do “everything else,” that everything else takes them each 15-30 minutes if they don’t decide to play along the way.  I actually do the bulk because I do the most time-consuming chores.  Without a dishwasher, preparing meals and cleaning up the kitchen can take 2-3 hours each day.  This pales in comparison to my children’s time commitment.

How do they do everything else in 15-30 minutes?  Our house is not spotless and I don’t expect it to be.  People live here and with some perfectionistic tendencies in our household, it is beneficial for me to call a non-perfect room “good enough”.  My kids have also learned to be efficient in completing their chores.  My boys have been known to straighten/clean up the entire house in 10 minutes.

Call me lazy if you wish (which is pretty funny if you actually know me), but I don’t believe that cleaning the house is the job of the mother.  It is a responsibility for all those living there.  I will continue teaching my children to be responsible in that way.

 

4 Comments:

  1. I agree with delegation. I have four children ages 9, 7, 4, and 1. All but the baby do chores. I make only a small fraction of the mess, so why should I do it all by myself? I don’t expect my husband to do much more than keep track of his own things because I know he is extremely busy. MOST of the mess is made by the children, so it only makes sense to have them clean up after themselves. Plus it teaches responsibility. In fact, I believe it is an important part of my children’s education that I teach them how to keep a neat and tidy home. (My sons future wives and my daughters future husbands will greatly appreciate this.) For me at least, there is no excuse for living in filth. That is not to say, I stress over my house at all (I don’t) but it is fairly clean most of the time; clean enough that I would not be in the least embarrassed to have an unexpected visitor. You see, when everyone does their part and does it regularly it takes little time and is generally clean.

  2. I have tried to make this real for us; “that I have a clean house because I homeschool”, rather than “I don’t have a clean house because I homeschool!”

  3. Catherine Darsey

    Love your post. I’ve been saying this for years. I figure since people live together, all those people should shoulder the responsibility of keeping it clean. If kids don’t learn to pick up after themselves as kids, who is going to do it when they are grown and out on their own?

  4. I agree, delegation is so important! I have two daughters, age 8 and 3, and I have been starting to give the 8 year old more responsibilities like cleaning a bathroom each weekend, sweeping the dining room, etc. We are on a 2 week break now before starting the new school year (we’re on a bit of an odd schedule) and my job this weekend is to finish up making schedules – both for cleaning jobs and school subjects each day.
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