Thursday, September 8, 2011


Now that we are getting into the swing of things, I am finding a few tricks that work for my homeschooling organization. I read this idea somewhere and it is brilliant, so I had to share. For awhile, I kept the books and things that we used daily during circle time in a little plastic tub. The tub would start with us in the living room for circle time, move to the table for school work, then maybe to the kitchen if I read out loud during lunch. But, the books just kinda get piled up in there and I got tired of digging through books. The solution? A dish drainer!!
It is segmented perfectly for books, so I can flip through them so easily. Plus, the silverware caddy is convenient for the smaller things we use daily during circle time.

Now, I gave you a good idea, so it's your turn :)  Will you be my sounding board for a sec??

First off, I cannot believe how busy I feel now that school is in full swing. I feel like I never sit down!! There is so much that needs done and school only adds to the home maintenance! I have only sewn one seam in an entire week, which kinda bums me out, but obviously those expectations need to change too. A few things I'm working on to improve things where housework is concerned:

  1. Lowering my standard. A family that is home all day cannot have the same standard of "tidy" as a family who works and goes to school. We are here all the time, so I need to be ok with some degree of mess.
  2. I have not required enough of the kids. I'm working on this. The little things they are capable of doing could really add up and help me out a lot. I'm wondering, though; do you have any tips for motivating your kids to help out with a good attitude?
  3. There are a few things I feel like I have under control. One is the laundry, the other is the kitchen. I think if I can maintain these two areas, plus have the family room generally picked up by the end of the night, I'll be happy with that.  
What are YOUR tricks for keeping up????? Please, I really want to know!!


  1. I love your eye opener "home all the time" standers for the house. I think I have become victim to thinking that the house needs to look "perfect". anyway, when it comes to getting kids to clean I always though the rewords chart sounded great. I don't have to much experiences just yet, but I know what works to get the guys at my house to help out. LISTS! James took a dry erase board and wrote out each room and what he and the other guys could do to help keep that clean. Each week it rotates so no one gets stuck with the bigger mess rooms. So to modify it for little no-reading kids: Maybe make up cards or a picture list and they are responsible for picking that up for a few days. Or make it a scavenger hunt now and then! Have them search the house and find things out of place and have them take them to the appropriate "home". It may not work all the time, but it sounds good :)

  2. Rewards charts seem to do the trick a lot, but it may not help with the attitude side of it. So maybe modify it a little, if I were doing it (or WHEN I eventually do it) :) I'm going to make 2 columns for each chore. The first column will be for them to put a sticker by when they get the chore done, the second column will be for ME to put a special sticker by if they do it with a good attitude. Column 1 is fun for them to check-off, column 2 is reward based. ie: 20 special stickers from me and we get to go out for ice-cream, or special date with just the 2 of us or something like that (I'll prob avoid toy based rewards just cuz they'd most likely be cheap toys that I'd get and I'd rather not keep "junking up" the toy chest with those...) :)

  3. It just so happens that I wrote a blog post about my housekeeping schedule a little bit ago. Of course, I just have the one, little kiddo, but I feel like I have it down to a science now. Excepting laundry, I clean for about 30 minutes a day.

  4. I have 3 boys - 5yr old, 3yr old, and 5mo old. The older two have poster board in their room with the days of the week listed down the side and a verse about serving others across the top. By the days of the week i have little pieces of velcro. In the morning we'll move the marker to whatever day it is. Then I pull out some picture cards that show ways they can serve that day (help wash dishes, empty trash, etc), hide them behind my back, and let them each pick a hand. Whatever they pick is stuck to the chart and that's how they serve that day. Of course they're still learning how to do some of these things and my help is still required, but i figured i had to start somewhere. =) And so far there have been no complaints or problems. We're not using any rewards charts, but i do make sure i thank them when they've helped...and talk about how helpful they were when daddy is around. I've also taught them to ask if there's anything else they can help with when they've finished their task. oh, and they're responsible for putting their toys away before they go to bed every night.

    I'm just at the beginning stages of homeschooling and have been feeling utterly overwhelmed some days. i think being more consistent with having my boys help and gradually giving them more responsibilities will help lessen that. and i'm looking forward to reading what works for you and others.

    by the way, love the dish drainer idea!!!

  5. I hope by the way you wrote point #1, that you don't think people who aren't home all day have clean tidy houses... if anything, I bet mine is a total mess because we're home long enough to mess it up, but not long enough to clean it up. We usually mess it up during the week and have to take a couple hours each weekend getting it back in shape ready to tackle the next week. No problem lowering your standards though, a house should be comfortable and lived in, not staged like a magazine (or a picture perfect blog).

  6. My tip: Come visit us right in the middle of our insanity over here for 1 full week. You'll probably learn a lot of how NOT to do things :-), and maybe a few ideas of how to do things (ie: things I've figured out the hard way)!
    Sorry we're playing phone tag...our phone has been on the in-and-out I haven't been able to tag you back!

  7. this is such a great idea for the daily books!!! As we begin our school year i am trying to find ways to streamline things a little and this could really help out. If nothing else that would be way easier to move than a big loosey goosey pile of books. I wish i had some tips for you about getting the kids to do something with a good attitude...we struggle with that daily!