A clean and organized house makes for a much better homeschool. For me, this has been the hardest part of homeschooling, but I think it has been especially hard for me because of the twins and all the moving and commuting we have done the past 5 yrs. So my youngest is now 2 and I have older kids who are actually helpful. It has made a huge difference for me to not be interrupted as much. Cleaning is not in my nature and it takes a lot for me to get started, and every time I would get interrupted to change a diaper, nurse a baby or stop a fight, I would lose my momentum and then try to get motivated again with a bunch of other things calling out for my attention.
We have a decent system going on now, each of the 4 older kids have an area of the house they are responsible for keeping clean, the 5th child helps me in the kitchen and the twins unload the dishwasher everyday. The older kids rinse their dishes, but I do the kitchen– we have a septic tank with no garbage disposal (the only downside so far to living here), and so the sink just gets clogged too often when the kids do it. So I do it. I used to not know where to start in the kitchen, I would gather all the dirty dishes over to the sink, scrape them and then start washing them. But I finally tried fly lady’s method of cleaning out the sink first. This has made such a difference for me– with a clean sink, there is room for more dirty stuff– so I clean the dishes sitting in the sink first and then I just keep on going, there is always room in the sink for more and it seems to go much more smoothly, even though my sink is not always cleared and clean, this has made a huge difference in the kitchen. We are keeping on top of the mess way better than we have the past 5 yrs and it doesn’t seem like such a chore anymore. I even like it, I have been trying to practice more awareness and being in the moment– and this is nice to do while cleaning– feeling the water over my hands as I rinse, fell the scrubbing of the sponge as I scrub. It’s even therapeutic.
We also had company coming this week to stay so we had to get the kids’ room under control and the laundry. We got a ton done and were still able to do most of our regular schoolwork, not as much as usual– we missed a few lectures this week, but all the important math and Greek and reading and writing stuff. So what I found in doing that is to get some laundry started and then fold and put away the clean clothes in the morning before we go downstairs. Also, get all the bedrooms cleaned up and everything up off the floor and get the bathrooms wiped down. It took some effort to get the kids’ rooms cleaned up, we took out quite a few trash bags of trash and old clothes, but now the kids should be able to keep them up easily. I also paid my 11 yr. old $3 an hour to steam vac clean the carpets especially the big stains. And I paid the other kids for jobs they could do that are extra like washing walls, and vacuuming the edges and doing other kids’ jobs that they weren’t doing well. That was a win/ win, until my 10 yr. old told me that he already had enough money to buy the legos he wanted and didn’t need to work anymore.
So we have had a nice time with family, we even washed all the bedding and decluttered and got all the game pieces put in with their proper games. I love a clean house. It doesn’t last long especially when everybody is home all day, but I think we have a good system going on and a good start to keep it more orderly than we have in the past, and thus the ability to do some more learning. I am looking forward to this week!!