Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Getting Everything Done

Well, the first month of Homeschooling is done now, and I have been evaluating whether or not there are some things I need to tweak in our schedule/routines.

If I were to list all the things I need to juggle, it would be exhausting, not to mention boring to read!  As a mom with four kids to care for, a wife, and a homeowner there are just lots of tasks even without the homeschooling.  I’ve been coasting along for a while now, not quite getting everything done.  I have a new baby! It’s summer!  But realistically, I can’t let it all go forever, so I need to find ways to make it a bit more manageable around here.

We have fallen into a routine of when we get certain tasks and subjects done each day, and being flexible is working quite well for us.  We have made progress that we are all satisfied with in all the subjects.  I have to admit that the schooling is taking more time of each day than I thought it would.  Because each child has their own separate material for most subjects, I am having to spend more time at it than I had planned.  I make the school time a priority, so it’s the other things that I need to figure out!

I badly neglected my yard work this year ( see above excuses), so I am kind of glad that gardening season is over.  Soon enough, snow will come and cover up my weed filled flower beds and I will have successfully put off that problem until next spring… when I am sure I will regret having left myself such a mess.

Bremen is about to be 4 months old, and I have yet to go for my “six week” post partum check up… I know, I know.  I’m just not sure how to get that organized with four kids in tow!  I’ll have to ship them off to a friend’s I think.

I thought I had been doing a good job of getting my kids in to the dentist, until I realized that one of them was a year over due for a check up… oops!  Oh well, we are up to date now!  Baden has had three appointments in the last three weeks, with one more in two weeks from now, to have a lot of work done.  Despite being opposed to using electronics as a babysitter, I took the laptop to the office with me so the girls could watch a movie while we waited.  Occupying three kids including a 4 month old for over an hour is hard in a dental office!  I’m just doing whatever it takes to get it done right now!

I’m working on getting Bremen settled into more of a daily routine too.  Some of the other areas will settle into more of a pattern if he is having predictable naps.  I hate this stage of parenting… sleep training.  I have never liked letting my babies cry even the littlest bit, but have regretted it more when I haven’t.

Mommy time has been non existent, or spent prepping things for school.  This is the reason my blog posts have been so sporadic.  I’ve been managing ok, but I do need to figure out some time for me to relax too!

The main thing I want to change up right now is my chore/laundry system.  Growing up, my mom always cleaned the house end to end in one day while doing laundry. At the end of the day, it felt wonderful to have the whole place feeling so clean and fresh.  This is what I did when I worked, and probably up until we had two kids.  Now, this is just impossible!  I am trying to figure out a system that will work because lately our house has just been getting messier and messier!  I need to find a system of routines that will help me keep up not only on the day to day stuff, but the weekly cleaning as well as things that should be done monthly or yearly.  It’s time to start “fall cleaning” but I haven’t finished “spring cleaning” yet.  Maybe I’ll just start with the rooms I never go to in the spring?

Right now, I’ve been trying to clean a room a day.  I have to admit, it’s not really working.  I am always a day behind, or more, and end up doing the last half of yesterday’s chores, then some of today’s etc.  We keep talking about having a tidy up time each day so that things don’t get so far behind, but we haven’t been consistent on implementing it. 

I try to do at least two loads of laundry each day.  It keeps me from getting swamped under mountains of dirty laundry, but it’s not really working too great either.  Sometimes it’s piled all over my couch because I folded it while the littles were sleeping and didn’t want to wake them up going into the rooms to put it away.  Sometimes, I got it through the machines, but didn’t get it folded, so several baskets of clean clothes were piled up waiting to be folded.  Sometimes, I went through all that work only to find it bunched behind the clothes in the closet because I gave to the kids to put away.

I can never keep caught up on dishes either!  My idea was to do at least one sink full during the day and then the rest after putting kids to bed when Shawn could help me.  Except that Shawn has hardly been home because of working so much and I don’t want to spend my only time with him washing dishes!  Now, my fingers are getting dry and sore with eczema again ( a regular winter phenomenon ) so I can’t wash dishes or risk split and bleeding fingertips.  Those of you who know Shawn should know what this means: I have to wait for Shawn to wash dishes… and wash floors.

Ok, so that’s my belly aching about what hasn’t been working, but now I want to move on to what I want to do about it!

I can’t do much about the dishes, other than wear gloves and wash the few that I can. 

Laundry wise, I am wondering… do you have one day where you tackle it all, or do you try to do a set amount of loads each day?  Do you keep on top of putting it away as you fold each load, or wait until the day’s laundry is done and put it away all at once?

I know that many tasks would go smoother if we found a good time, or two, in the day to have a tidy up time.  Having a daily chores time and keeping on top of toys and “stuff” that is left out would make cleaning a lot easier.  Anyone have tidy up at a time that they have kept up?  Wondering when in our day this could stick?

One of the ideas I read on a blog is to set a task for each day, instead of a room.  For example, dust all rooms Monday, vacuum Tuesday, etc instead of clean kitchen on Monday, the playroom on Tuesday.  I’m wondering if that would work better for us?  Does anyone manage their cleaning this way?  How do you find that?

Lastly, how to manage those chores that only need doing monthly, or annually?  Do you keep a binder or notebook, jotting down when that filter needs to be replaced? 

What systems are working for you?

1 comment:

  1. I certainly have no advice. My house looks like a tornado hit it at the moment, but I just wanted to chime in and say that you are so right...it's enough to juggle laundry, parenting, appointments, housework, cooking, errands, etc. and then adding homeschooling to the pile makes it that much more difficult to juggle. If you are managing to do enough laundry that your kids are wearing clothes, then with a new baby and homeschooling, you are a success in my books!

    In all seriousness though, I have no clue. The laundry "system" I am using sure isn't working. The tidy "system" I have isn't working either. Though my new homeschool method this year which is incorporating workboxes is working really well so far. It makes it easier to keep the younger kids occupied while the older kids are doing their schoolwork and making it more fun for the older kids.


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