happier homeschooling-day 4

If you’ve been planning and preparing ahead of time, I hope you have felt a significantly ahead of the curve these last few days!  Sometimes it takes time to feel the benefit of such tasks, but I do believe we are helping ourselves cope with all we have to do in a day.  Let’s talk mornings.   In our home we begin our day by waking, dressing, brushing teeth and hair, and cleaning our rooms.  My rule is that no one goes downstairs before these things are complete.  I have found that if they happen to get downstairs, I have a harder time rounding everyone back up to do these tasks timely. Kids can get distracted with so many other things if they make it to the bottom of the stairs.  This is one area you may want to communicate with your husband, if he has the time to help in the mornings.   I have two that can dress themselves.  Their job is to wake and begin dressing.  My elder child does this fairly well.  She dresses and makes her bed without any prodding.  My middle child does still need to be prompted on what to do next.  This is fine.  Keep reminding, and they will form habits!  I also allow my middle child to make his bed, and it is usually a shabby mess when he is done.  This is also fine.  It’s good to spend a little time in the morning to teach these skills, without expecting perfection.  They will get better with practice and are learning responsible behaviors.   My youngest child needs the most help.  He needs help to dress and make his bed.  However, he is called upon to help clean up stray toys in the room that were scattered sometime after lights out by the escapees.   While they are busy doing these tasks, I am able to shower, dress, and make my own bed!

If my husband is available in the morning, he will begin preparing breakfast while we dress.  However, if he has already left for work, we go downstairs together and have a simple breakfast of cereal, fruit, and juice.  We choose a simple breakfast so that we can begin the day on time.  While the kids are eating, I unload the dishwasher so that we have an empty space for the dishes we will accumulate during the day.  No sinks or counters full of dishes!  Trust me, you do not want to have to face those later after a day of school.

By now you may be thinking that all I have talked about is cleaning.  What does that have to do with home schooling anyway?  I have found that as home schoolers, we spend a great deal of time at home.  Because we are home so much, we make more messes naturally.   If we didn’t attend to our messes and housekeeping needs with some semblance of order, things could get out of control quickly.   I believe orderly living makes for orderly schooling.   I also believe that we need to model and teach how to be  good citizens of the home to our children.  It’s sometimes easier to let things go, but what am I teaching my children about citizenship?  How am I preparing them to be good partners in their future marriages?  I believe these things are all part of the unwritten curriculum that home schoolers should be taught.   I do, however, recognize that families differ in their tolerance for disorder.   I’m not suggesting that everyone adhere to my preferences, but do take time to find a plan to simplify and control your distractions while building in routines that teach responsibility.  That will look different from one family to the next.  I would love to hear some of the different ways!


Join me tomorrow for a 300 second sanity saver.



  1. I’m enjoying these posts! You are doing a great job. Maybe half my battle has been ranch living. Hoping and praying that 2 story living works a bit better 😉

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