Finding Your Flow
If you’re a stay at home, work from home, homeschool mom like myself, you may be struggling to find your flow when it comes to household management! Figuring out how to get the kids through their school day, keep the house clean, finish work projects, and actually manage to get dinner on the table is literally the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! While no system for the daunting task of household management is perfect, I feel like I’ve finally got a handle on this thing… most days.
Need more tips for keeping your home clean while homeschooling? Check out my Keeping a Clean Home While Homeschooling.
7 Best Tips for Household Management
Utilize Independent Learning Times
This tip might just change your life as a homeschool mom. If you have young children that require lots teaching time, you may feel overwhelmed and find the thought of doing housework or other mundane tasks during the day completely daunting. That is why independent learning times are essential for successful household management.
Handwriting practice, coloring sheets, and fun manipulative learning tools are all wonderful examples of independent learning times. Schedule it out or let it come naturally, either way use this time to complete simple tasks throughout your day! Typical handwriting time in our house is around 15 minutes long. I always use that quick moment to start my first load of laundry of the day. It’s a constant that I can depend on every single day, which I consider a huge multitasking win for this homeschool mom! Plus, it helps us all have fresh underwear on a daily basis. Definitely a must have, haha!
Coloring sheets are perfect for little hands while mom is in meal prep mode. Other simple learning manipulatives work wonders if mom needs a moment to step away and make that important phone call, or maybe just hit the bathroom. Think about what independent learning times you can incorporate into your daily homeschool routine and go from there. I’m a scheduler, so I like to plan and complete certain tasks during specific homeschool times. If you live to plan like I do, then go for it!
Looking for fun manipulatives for keeping your preschooler or kindergartner busy? Check out 10 Best Curriculum Aides for my top choices!
Schedule Free Time
Ready for a tip within a tip? Plan a free time for mom and a free time for the kids.
Our morning free time is placed strategically in between language arts & math. I did this simply because at that point in our morning, mom needs a moment. The kids have been learning for over an hour and our hardest subject is on the horizon. This is my free time. While yes, the kids are playing and enjoying their moment. It’s actually placed smack in the middle of these subjects because I need it to be.
I typically take this free time to catch up on tasks I didn’t get completed before we started school, or if I’m caught up and things are in order, I use it to freshen up or throw a little makeup on. The point is simple, I use this time to be productive in some sense of the word. That way I can easily prepare myself to slide back into “teacher” role and tackle my least favorite subject. The dreaded math.
Not sure how to plan a free time?
Don’t overthink it. I rarely plan out activities for our first daily free time. Typically I tell the kids to clean up their space and go play. Sometimes it’s spent outdoors riding bikes, other times it’s inside playing chef or doing puzzles. They love this freedom and I love the 25 minutes I have to complete something on my agenda. Today’s free time was actually spent typing up this paragraph, haha! Amazing right? The secret to getting it all done? Literally using all of your time wisely!
Free time number 2 is actually something we call looping. This free time is 100% for the kids. While I do use part of this time to swap laundry and prep dinner, I also tend to check in often. Not sure what looping is? My kids are totally obsessed with this and yours are bound to be as well! If you want to learn more, hang on! I will be touching on it looping more in depth in just a few short paragraphs.
Going With the Flow
If your child is enjoying a task or project, let them extend it! This was a hard one for me at first. I thrive on schedule and routine. However, once I started to let go and allow my flexibility to increase, I was completely shocked at how much more actually got accomplished during the day. Without fuss!
If my 5 year old daughter is playing quietly with her math manipulates 15 minutes after our math lesson is over and I have an article I need to polish up or a bathroom that needs a good solid cleaning, you better believe I let the girl play on! When my 11 year old son wants to extend his lesson of geography and study it further instead of immediately moving on to our next task together, I take hold of that moment and throw in a second load of laundry. This totally works you guys!
Seriously though, flexibility is the key to success. Plus, there will always, always be time to catch up or add in those next lessons. However in reality, starting a subject 10 or 15 minutes later wont hurt too much in the end. You can simply extend your day by those few minutes and still manage to get dinner to the table when it’s all said and done!
If you haven’t already read my article on how we do quiet time in our home, I highly encourage you to check it out today! Quiet time forever changed the life of our homeschool. I was stressed the max and on the verge of loosing my mind when I first implemented it. My daughter was at what most would still consider “napping age”. However, she had actually quite her daily nap around 1 1/2! Crazy right? Quiet time is definitely a must around here!
If you’re interested in creating your own daily quiet time for keeping up with household management purposes, the tips found in my article Quiet Time can definitely help get you there! This was a game changer you guys!
In our home we have quiet time for the littles and looping for the big kids. If you’re new to the concept of looping, I highly encourage you to check back often for my upcoming article Homeschool Looping. This article will touch on what looping is and how we use it as part of our homeschool routine multiple times a week. Looping can be a huge asset to keeping up with those daunting household management tasks that you tend to put off each and every day!
Not sure looping is right for your family? Worried that it will just be another thing to try and squeeze into your day? Simply try it out for a week or 2. The beautiful part of looping is that it’s actually just extra independent learning time, however your kids won’t even realize it! We sometimes like to use our looping time as a “study hall”, or for those pesky electives we can’t ever seem to find time for. Seriously though, don’t be afraid to play around with it, or even drop it. Find what works for you and your productivity needs!
Stay Up Late or Get Up Early
Okay, I’m definitely not a fan of this option. However, let’s get real. As homeschool moms this is the unwelcomed reality sometimes! If you are struggling with finding those extra moments throughout the day due to a colicky baby, hyperactive/special needs child, or even other unexpected interruptions, this might just be the best option for you!
I’m not an early bird what so ever. So, if I have extra tasks that creep up throughout my day, I definitely opt for the late evening hours. Let’s be honest here ladies, even the most put together mom has her bad days! I know I’ve had many myself. While I typically try to set aside most of my evenings for relaxing, there are some that absolutely have to be set aside for working. If they weren’t, I would get so far behind on the hectic days that I would absolutely never catch up!
While I hate to admit it, staying up late or getting up early is sometimes a must for the homeschool mom that is struggling with household management! Just don’t make it an every day occurrence, or you might find yourself feeling the constant burn out. Try scheduling once or twice a week where you are up before the kids, or work on things for the first hour after they are in bed. Simple changes can make a huge impact! Try it, tweak it, and make it work for you!
Too stressed to even thing about working in the evening hours right now? Check out 10 Ways to De-stress After a Long Day to find great tips on winding down and letting go.
Take a Day Off
Say what? Sounds crazy I know, but I’m totally serious! Taking a day off from all responsibilities might be just what you need to get a handle on your homeschool house management skills! Giving yourself a little time to take a deep breathe every once in a while can help you in the long run.
Taking the day off to refresh can be a huge encouragement to the homeschool mom! Doing this not only helps you to stay on task and utilize every free moment for productivity on the regular day, but it also takes away that huge sense of overwhelm we all experience on the hectic days!
Not sure how to even take a day off because it’s been so long? Relax momma, you’ve totally got this! Coffee and notebook in hand, you can tackle this day off like a pro. Find some time during your day off to refresh and do something for you, but also make sure you use some of that time wisely. Be proactive and plan out how you will get back into gear once your day off is over. Just make sure to keep it light and simple.
You can easily practice journaling and doodling, while list making. Not only does this keep the stress level down, but it’s also a fun way to be productive while taking a day off!
Want a day off, but need to have a full day of productivity first? Check out A Much Needed Catch Up Day, to get the best tips on planning your essential day! I this practice regularly and let me tell you, it works!
Want Even More?
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Need homeschool specific helps? Check out my top 5 articles!
- 5 Simply Homeschool Organization Ideas
- 5 Ways to Prep Your Homeschool Year Successfully
- The Best Language Curriculum for Preschoolers
- The Kindergarten Spelling Box
- The Homeschool Morning Basket
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