I happened upon this amazing conference last year, deep in the trenches with four kids and no sleep and no local homeschool conventions anymore for encouragement and inspiration, there had been one in our city but it has stopped indefinitely.
I loved that I could put my kids to bed then log in and listen to the wonderful participants as I wash dishes, folded clothes and drank wine in my PJs! I was so moved by one presenter that I bought her video series explaining in detail how she had done to homeschool her many children with a very strict budget and through periods of severe illness. That series cost me about $30 but ultimately shifted how we school and the tears dried up over-night.
If you need a boost, register for free here ( disclaimer: this is an affiliate link, and I will receive a small % of any purchases made, but you don’t need to buy anything to listen to all the great presenters). If you are new or struggling with homeschooling right now, I fully recomend the $35CND all access pass that will give you long term access to the presentations as well as oodles of discounts and freebies valued at $120CND.
I just know you will love it, go check out what sessions have been lined up. And enjoy the conference from home!
Of all the chore systems we have tried, this one has lasted the longest and had the most success. It’s basic, easy to remember and quick but most important, it provides a reminder to work with and train my kids how to do the jobs well. Here is how it works:
We take 10 minutes either in the morning or right after lunch to tackle a task. These are basic areas that need regular attention but would be neglected if I did not have a schedule. Now that I have older kids, I send them to one area of the house while I train the little ones in another area.
Monday is Mending and Maintenace. That means if a button has fallen off a shirt or pants have a ripped knee, we practice sewing and mend it. If a light bulb needs replacing or a gash in wall needs spackle, we do it then. We don’t need to cross every item off the list, just work at it for 10 minutes and get done what we can… together.
It’s good to have a running list of items that need doing so that you can delegate a small job and help with a bigger one. This does not mean that we leave every maintenance and mending job for Monday’s, it just means that once a week, we are prompted to look around and care for things that need our attention.
Tuesday is Tubs and Toilets. Pretty self-explanitory but while we are in the bathroom cleaning those fixtures, we do the sink and mirrors too, because, why not? We have lots of bathrooms so we spilt up and I rotate which one I help with so that each one gets a really good clean every few weeks. I do not inspect the bathroom being cleaned by the older kids, though I work along side them often for refreshers. The point is to be done in 10 minutes and move on with the day. It is not an exam, it’s a contribution made to the household. Somedays they give their best, other days, not so much. That’s life.
Wednesday is for Windows and Walls. I have these amazing cloths called KAWOS (kleen anything with out streaks) you get them wet, wring them well and wipe ANYTHING! No streaks! So everyone gets one and we spread out, washing windows, doors, doorknobs, marks on walls, door jambs, ect…. fun and done! Moving on….
Thursday is to Tidy Thoroughly, putting all those items that are not where they should be back in their propper place. Stuff just seems to migrate through the house. I am an offender too. Remember 10 minutes only!
Friday is Floors. Vacuume carpets, sweep and wash what you can of the rest in 10 minutes. I often do a good sweep and vacume with the kids during this time, then wash the floor once the littles are in bed.
Sometimes we miss a day, but we get it the next week so it is still better than what happens when we have no plan at all.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the things that need doing in the house every week ( dusting is not on the list and never gets done….I should really add it in somewhere, what day rhymes with dusting? 😂) And I do often have to clean a toilet between tuesdays, but the point is that the kids are learning that these jobs are easier when done regularily and that they are not all that hard to do, even the little kids can help.
By using alliteration to assign these tasks, I dont need to take my list with me when we travel, we all know what needs doing each day, no matter where we are in the world.
Whats your cleaning schedule? Any tips to share?
We recently lost a very dear family friend. She was 61 and essentially an adopted grandmother to my kiddos, though she was like an older sister to me. Unmarried and childless, she gratefully joined in on any activity we invited her to, from swimming at the community pool to gymnastics class to going to the zoo. She was one of my foremost homeschool supporters.
Though she fought hard against multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) for 6 months or so, it was her kidneys that gave out in then and sent her into a rapid downward spiral. Through all the doctors apointments and hospital visits and extra help with shopping and around the house, we put on our brave faces and tried never to complain about the inconvinience. I would be lying if I told you that I never thought to myself: ‘it will be easier once she dies’. I thought it… but I was dead wrong!
Losing a loved one may release them of their suffering but it also releases you of the need to put on that brave face, and the trapped emotions just might come crashing in on you all at once. The guilt, the anger, the blame, the sadness. And when your children are suffering the loss too, it is all multiplied.
It might seem to make perfect sense to throw out the homeschool schedule for a while and ride the wave of grief. And for some, that may actually work. But I want to offer my personal experience so that others may benefit from considering it.
Aimlessness and sorrow can get into all sort of trouble when they chum up. If everyone in the family is feeling stung, then having no purpose in your day will likely lead to fights and chaos and anarchy…which will lead to more pain, of a different sort. Don’t pile hurt upon hurt.
If you are fortunate enough to get a heads-up that a loved one is dying, have a plan for your own family to carry you through the storm. There are a few things I wish I had known to do:
1) Prepare freezer meals. I have not only found it hard to think about food, or what to make, but have also felt overwhelmed at the thought of having to grocery shop. Think comfort food.
2)Have babysitters lined up. Friends or family who will take the kids so that you can have some time to process your own feelings, or so that you can devote time to helping with nessesary tasks after the death of your loved one without feeling like you are neglecting your kids. Little kids are resilient, they need to get back to playing and can seem unbothered by the loss, which can almost irritate older kids and adults who are processing dificult feelings. I sent my littles to daycare for a couple days and it was a nice break for us all. I only wish I had lined up an overnight or two as well, bedtime routine was harder than usual and I would get quite cranky with them.
3) Stock snacks. People may come visit to consol you, be ready to receive them with tea and cookies. It may even be that tea time is what your kids need more of too. Or perhaps you will welcome the distraction of a playdate, snacks would be good to have on hand.
4) Discuss what roles you may be called on to fill, post-mortem, with with the ailing party so that you can be prepared. If you will be asked to say a few words at the funeral, start writing things down now. If you will be asked to help file the taxes and claim insurance, know where the paperwork is. Etc…
5) Prepare several weeks of school lessons ahead.more on this in a bit.
6) Prepare how you will explain death to the little ones. Continue reading