Friday, September 26, 2014

Homemaking Helps for the Homeschooling Mother


Is the laundry, cleaning and meal making overwhelming to you as you home educate your children? Here are some ideas to incorporate some homemaking into your homeschooling schedule which will help to relieve your daily duties while fulfilling your role as teacher:

#1 Audio books are a homeschooling mother's best friend. The library is full of them to borrow or you can even download your favorites online. One major solution I have found is to dedicate at least a half-hour (or more each day) of your homeschooling with an appropriate audio book (we choose books that pertain to something we are studying or are on our reading lists).
  • Turn your audiobook on in the kitchen and dump a pile (or two or ten…) of laundry on the table. Have your children fold the laundry as they listen to the literature being read. Little ones may not fold perfectly in the beginning but trust me, practice does make perfect! We started our daughter at 3 1/2 years and now she fold better than I do!
  • Children can also sort dirty clothes for you as they listen to the book. Teach them your system such as white's, lights and darks and have them prepare the piles for you accordingly. Teach them to check pockets and place clothing on the right side out. This will really help to lesson your laundry load.
  • While they are listening, folding and/or sorting, you can either tidy up or begin doing some dinner preparations. I usually will do some chopping of any vegetables needed in my recipes, shred cheese if necessary, cut up the salad in advance or any other quick steps that will make meal making that much smoother (you could also enlist a child each day to help you in this area too if you have a large family). Something always seems to come up around dinnertime and it really helps to have the bulk of the work out of the way while you still have a decent amount of energy.
While all this work is being done in your "little elf workshop", you are able to listen to books that have been on your homeschool reading lists. Your children are also getting a nice dose of home economics as some of these principles are being applied. Don't underestimate this valuable tool (it has kept me sane during many interesting times). You will find some of our favorite exciting and inspirational audio dramas here.


#2 Another way to keep up on your homemaking is to have an "independent curriculum". The idea is that it is something the children can do on their own {DVD tutorials are excellent choices} such as an art curriculum, a crafting kit that would interest your child or a nature study workbook {affiliate link}. A computer curriculum such as the Rosetta Stone for learning foreign languages is also a good choice. While they are working on these particular programs, you can be doing some home maintenance.

#3 Thoughts on toddlers. A special set of toys for little ones would be excellent to bring out during these homemaking times. These should only be utilized during your laundry and meal making management. This would also be the time to give them their special snack of the day or simply enlist the toddler in putting some of the easy laundry pieces away such as socks (they can do all the running around while everyone else is listening to the audio book and working).


#4 Videos and when sickness strikes. Of course, there is always the educational video, but I would rather do the options shared above prior to placing my child in front of a screen. I do reserve those moments of movie watching for times of sickness to keep the child comfortable and less miserable. This also allows you the time to prepare herbal teas and nourishing soups for the sick, the washing of soiled sheets, and all other issues that come up when illness is present.

#5 Meal making. There is no need to be a gourmet cook at this point in your homeschooling career! Stick to simple, healthy and fresh meals. They are just as tasty and better for you too! Make a large pot of soup for your lunch that week (idea here) and change it up daily with different crackers, cheeses or salads. Prepare a large batch of pinto beans and make the following easy menus each week. There is always the simple sandwiches such as grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, etc. (serve it on some healthy bread, with some sliced fruit). This way, dinner is the only meal you need to fuss with as hardworking hubby would appreciate a variety for his special time with his family at home.


When it comes to housecleaning, don't forget to have the children help. Here are some ideas to get them involved.  Happy homeschooling and homemaking!

"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity..."
~ Ephesians 5:15-16a (NIV)

24 comments:

  1. I second the audio books! We use Librivox quite a bit. It's got quite a few fun ones, and it's all free. They are all public domain books, but there are some dramatic readings too. The kids love those!

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    1. And I second Librivox! We are listening to Journey to the Center of the Earth on it right now... And I love them too :) Have a wonderful weekend!

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  2. Great advice, especially #1, #2, #4. Regarding #5, you could always consider involving the children in the meal making as a part of their education.

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    1. Very true! I should have written that for older children! My daughter makes lunch every day and I do dinners. The following month, she does the dinners and I do the lunch.. She ASKED to do this so she could learn meal management and preparation. It is a blessing to me and her cooking has surpassed mine! Needless to say, she gets an "A" in home economics!

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  3. Wonderful tips ! It's a juggling act to keep everything in order and going smoothly . God has helped me keep it all up so much better than in years past !
    Great Post JES !

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    1. Yes, the old saying goes... you live, you learn... and with His help, you "can do all things"....

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  4. Love those visuals and the advice, which also works great for keeping visiting grandchildren busy until we can get out the door to do something more engaging. The last painting reminds me of the Heidi movie that I haven't watched in a while - sounds like a plan for a slow Friday night. ;)
    Hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. I think it is the hat on the young man that creates the "Heidi" vibe! I must say, the book Heidi had me in tears... constantly! One of my absolute favorites!!! An innocent child, fresh goats milk, gorgeous mountains and redemption... You can't go wrong!

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  5. JES, this is so excellent! I am sharing it on my DRAH FB page. Wonderful for the new homeschool mom, but also for those who are seasoned and get into a rut or forget what got them there...which I have done many times.
    I pray you are all well as you go into your warmer weather season. I certainly wish we were closer (like real neighbors) somehow! God bless you, sweet friend.

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    1. Thank you! :) I wish that were so too!!!

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  6. I shared this today on my FB page, JES! So helpful!

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    1. Hope some of this can be a blessing! :)

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  8. Great tips! Thanks for the reminder about using audio books while doing chores. I used to do that some but had rather forgotten about it. Recently I have checked some out from the library to listen to while we drive as we recently moved farther away from town. We have enjoyed that and it makes the drive go quickly.

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    1. We used to live an hour from town and used audio books and learning songs as well! It was such a pleasant way to sneak in some school while being on the road ;) Thanks for sharing Abbi!

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  9. JES- I didn't homeschool our son but books were a huge part of his life and still are. I taught him to cook when he was around 10. He would stand on a milk crate and stir a sauce.
    He's 35 now and is a wonderful cook.
    There weren't Mp3's to listen to books and he would listen to classics at night on tapes. I can't tell you how many tapes I have and now no one wants them!

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    1. That is wonderful Linda!!! Sounds like you did homeschool some then :) And I love hearing about children who love books! We still use cassette tapes in our homeschool. Of course we also have MP3's and CD's too...anything with good content! They are gold! :) Especially the classics!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to share today Laura, have a wonderful week :)

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  11. I LOVED this post...such wonderful, practical ideas. God is so gracious to allow us to teach our precious children at home and to give us the control over what goes into their innocent minds. I love the idea of multi-tasking and having them help with laundry or other chores while they listen to something edifying/educational. These moments will become precious memories to them later on, and they won't even realize they are "learning" as they make those memories!!! God bless you as you continue to bless so many of us through this blog and your words of encouragement and suggestions.

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    1. Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to share here today :)

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  12. Great tips!! Audio books are so helpful... we often fold laundry or work on crafts while we listen. So many blessings in homeschooling - thank you for the encouragement.

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    1. I agree, so many blessings in homeschooling! I *love* it! :)

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