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Cleaning doesn't always seem to fit into a homeschool day. Keeping your home and family neat and organized can be a full time job along with the full time hours that a homeschooling requires.
Children can be involved in the daily routines needed to keep a house in order. The whole family needs to work together to keep a household running smoothly.
Young and old are capable of helping. The key is to find the right job(s) for each person.
Young children can put toys into bins, dust, sort laundry (both clean and dirty), help empty the dishwasher or put away clean dishes, put away shoes and coats, help unload groceries, feed pets, etc.
Younger elementary children can do what preschoolers do plus clear the toys off the floor of a room, move chairs or check for toys when Mom sweeps or vacuums, help rake leaves, help plant a garden, pull weeds, fold towels, socks and underwear, put their laundry away, etc.
Older children can do almost all that Mom does including dishes, minor cooking tasks, making a salad, chopping vegetables, picking up after themselves, etc.
1. Perfection is not realistic - If you
expect your house to look perfect when several people are there 24 hours
a day learning and creating, you are setting yourself up for failure.
You should be able to come up with a balance between what you can
tolerate and what your family can accomplish.
2. Plan your plan - Make a list of the tasks that need to be done each day, week, month and year. You should be able to divide this list among your family members. Chores should be done before play. If someone chooses to play you can institute the "job jar". That person then has to choose a job from the "job jar" because they chose to play instead of get their chores done. No one should be allowed to watch television or play video games (or even read a book) unless their jobs are done. If you are consistent with this, your children will eventually understand how your plan works.
3. Flexibility helps - A schedule is sometimes interrupted by illness, special event, or holiday. In this case you might need to perform that job the next week or carve out some other time if the job can't wait. Sometimes you have to live by the motto - "Tomorrow we begin again."
4. Get help if needed - Just being able to have someone wash floors and bathrooms can be a big help. When my children were very little and couldn't help me with the major chores much, I was able to have someone come in once a week. It was wonderful. I always said that someone else can clean my house, but no one else can homeschool or spend time with my children the way I can.
For a complete system that is easy to use and adapt to any personality I recommend the Complete Guide to Organized Parenting (it's at the bottom of that page). You can read my review of this program here.
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