You know what doesn’t get talked about enough in the homeschooling world? Taking a housekeeping day…or week!
I take a housekeeping week whenever I feel overwhelmed with details and to-do’s. It’s my secret to staying energized about homeschooling for the long haul. Remember, effective homeschooling is about sustainability, not perfection. (Professional teachers have a certain amount of personal and sick days, inservices, planning hours, and lunch breaks, don’t forget!)
This particular week I was feeling depressed by a time-sensitive administrative to-do list that I just could not find the time to tackle (many items had dollar signs behind them). Then, on Sunday night I had a break-down about something minor. That’s when I knew it was high time for a housekeeping week! And maybe also to wean the baby.
As a homeschooling family, we are often blitzed at the end of a weekday. It can be difficult and frustrating to find the uninterrupted blocks of time required to do the things that keep our lives running smoothly. That certainly doesn’t mean we can’t! It just means we have to give ourselves a little permission to be human. With the right attitude, we can do whatever it is we need to.
Here’s what I did on my winter housekeeping week:
1.) WEANED THE BABY!
2.) Filled out the forms and to signed all three girls up for summer camp.
3.) Had second thoughts and cancelled June’s enrollment for summer camp.
4.) Signed June up for spring soccer.
5.) Priced and researched a keyboard for Libby’s piano lessons.
5.) Organized and submitted medical paperwork to our health share for David’s back.
6.) Researched and purchased storage containers for my bulk grains (I’ve been milling my own grains; post to come!)
7.) Signed all three girls up for American Heritage Girls and purchased books and uniforms.
8.) Culled and organized art supplies. Moved markers, pencils and scissors to a HIGH SHELF. (Also ordered more magic erasers).
9.) Renewed vehicle registration an paid the DMV.
10.) Planned Libby’s 8th birthday weekend.
11.) Planned our February calendar.
12.) Planned menus and ordered two weeks worth of groceries. (It’s a busy month!)
13.) Made dinner for a friend
14.) Cut hair for my younger two.
15.) Did a mid-season clothing update for anyone who had outgrown current items. (I had to order more warm sweatshirts! We are till adjusting to the cold.)
16.) Gave the house a good cleaning.
17.) Emptied my Friday basket of extraneous papers.
18.) Clipped and painted everyone’s nails.
Everything feels tidied and manageable again. Of course the dishes are never totally done and there lots of things I didn’t get to, but wow, I feel better! I’m ready for a full and focused homeschool week.
If you are concerned about missing days, don’t be. This is a good time for older kids to read independently in lieu of read aloud time and conduct a little of their own informal school. Unscheduled daytime hours led my two older girls to decide to write a book together. June enjoyed getting to paint and spend an afternoon “doing science” with homemade play dough.
While taking a housekeeping week may seem disruptive, it is important to the longevity of our family goals. And it is less disruptive than the time and transition it would require to enroll my kids in public school. You have permission to take one too! No long-term solutions for short-term problems!