Can Homeschooling and Housekeeping co-exist?

Hi Kendra,

I have been reading your blog on and off for about a year now and it has been such a blessing to me. I am a mother of three, ages 4, 2, & 1, and I hope to start homeschooling next year. I don’t know any women experienced in homeschooling, so I have really taken in your thoughts and advice as a woman dedicated to God and her family. Thank you!

This year I have started really getting organized with my house cleaning. It isn’t perfect but it is much better than it used to be. I finally realized that everyone is a lot happier, including mom, when they have meals on time, can find their clothes and can walk without tripping on something! Anyways, I have lists of different things that I do on different days to keep my house in somewhat of order and it basically keeps me pretty busy. So it is seeming overwhelming to add homeschooling to the daily load! Did you ever feel that way? Someone told me that if you homeschool you won’t have a clean house because there is just not enough time in the day and you just have to deal with that. I don’t want to deal with that because I get stressed out when the house isn’t in working order. I am not a neat freak at all, but I just want peace and order in my home. Is that possible? I would love to hear your thoughts on that.

Thanks for all you do!

Hi Jamie-

Yes and no. Does that answer your question?

This is an area where I struggle, because I really like things neat, tidy, and clean. But there are nine of us living here all day long, and so I have had to learn to give it up to a reasonable degree. What is reasonable? Well, sanitary and tidy tend to be my criteria, but as my dear and wise friend Cheryl of Copperswife Blog has told me before, a perfect home is not worth sacrificing the relationships we have with our children. Amen and amen again.

I have had to come to terms with the fact that my first three children are boys. They do not see what I see. One is decidedly more organized than his brothers, but he is a pack rat and is learning what to hold on to and what to let go. And what *I* think is a clean kitchen and what *they* think is a clean kitchen are two different things. Entirely.

So now I have changed my MO. I still require that beds be made and rooms tidied before breakfast. I still require chores that help maintain cleanliness as much as possible, such as wiping down toilets with anti-bacterial wipes and emptying the trash. But I have also created a list that helps me to "hit" each room on a rotating basis to be cleaned out, decluttered, and put into some semblance of order. If it returns to disorganization within a few days, that's ok. I'll be getting back to it shortly.

Lastly, I am a huge proponent of hiring help, if it is within your means. Even if it is once a month to bail you out, consider it. We are one of a few nations who don't hire household help, and I think we women have come to believe that it is somehow shameful if we do. Nonsense! Think back in history- has there been a time when moms did all the laundry, did all the housekeeping, did the gardening or sewing or decorating, cooked three meals a day, did all the shopping, cared for and nursed the babies, drove children to appointments, and were solely responsible for the education of their children? When you see all of that in print, does it seem unreasonable to hire someone to help you? Are there young women at church who would be delighted to iron basic items for you for a quarter per piece? Or come alongside you as a mother's helper? Or weed, mow, or plant flowers? If you can get a few things off your plate, you might feel that the essential things like meals, laundry, household cleanliness, and school aren't quite so unreachable.


p.s. Be sure to check out all the blog posts I've written about chores.