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This is the fourth post in our
Ask a Veteran Homeschooler Series!
Last month we posted on our facebook page and asked “If you could ask a veteran homeschooler any question what would it be?” We received a lot of questions and responses as well! For the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of these questions and try to answer them for you the best we can!
Disclaimer: Though I have been homeschooling for over a decade, I am not an “expert”, things change on a daily, monthly, yearly basis, and what may work for my family, may not necessarily work for yours and vice versa. This is the beauty of homeschooling!
“How do you do it all?”
I get asked this question ALL the time! I hear it when I post pictures of a wooden pallet sign my husband built for me so I can refinish and paint it with a scripture to hang in my living room. I hear it when I talk about our garden and chickens and when I make gallons of salsa over the summer to sell and to give as gifts, or when I post photos of the kids releasing butterflies into our wildflower garden.
“How do you do it all? How do you have time to homeschool, grow a garden, have a mini farm, make organic salsa, decorate your home and be one with nature and raise butterflies?!?!”
What they aren’t seeing me post are the piles of laundry and papers that need to be filed, lessons that need grading, baseboards that haven’t been cleaned in who knows how long or how guilty I feel for eating too many convenience foods! As I am writing this it’s a Saturday afternoon. We returned from a Fall Festival and my husband is grilling dinner so I don’t have to cook. I have hopped back and forth between the laundry room doing laundry, the bathrooms making sure kids are washed and back to the computer again. I still have to sit down and go over my calendar for the week and see what we need to accomplish for school next week and I am frustrated that I haven’t had time to plant the broccoli that has been sitting on the deck for over a week!
So how do I do it all? Here are 3 answers:
1. I Don’t!
When I am working on a new craft project my house is usually destroyed! It’s like a craft tornado has blown through the house and other things get put on hold when I am working. When I make salsa this is usually a two day ordeal and no housework gets done and my husband insists that we order a pizza or chinese take out! When we are raising butterflies, the kids are really just picking the caterpillars off of our milkweed and watching them grow in a jar. When we release them it’s a big, exciting ordeal and we usually don’t get much school done that day! I don’t get a lot of sleep and I drink too much coffee and I still am not able to do everything!
2. Life School
I admit it, I do a lot. What Mama doesn’t have a full load? Yet all the things that I do, they are just a part of who I am. I enjoy these extra hobbies, I enjoy cooking, gardening, crafting and blogging. I have always done them, they are a part of our family. Depending on the ages and abilities, the kids naturally end up helping me with all of these things. A dear friend of mine calls this “Life School”. Now this doesn’t mean that we are unschooling, but there are so many skills that they can learn while doing life skills like gardening, keeping a home, making crafts etc… My husband and I agree that it is extremely important for our children to learn these types of skills so they are a part of keeping the house running. It is normal for them to jump right in and do these with me.
3. “To everything there is a season”
I don’t do everything all at once. That would be impossible. Sometimes it may look like it because there is always a lot going on. I even joked about taking pictures of all the things in my house that I don’t do, but I didn’t have time! There really is a season for everything. I don’t school year round, we take about 8 weeks off for summer. During the summer we are gardening and making salsa. That is also my time when I tackle the house. I reorganize closets, purge old toys and clothes, and I usually will do some sort of home improvement or decorating project. I also take time to prep for our school year. We stock up on healthy convenience foods and I do lots of make ahead meals like The Breakfast Station and Lunch Station because I know the first couple of months will be exhausting for me!
In the Fall school is in full swing. You may not see me socializing that often, I try to stay off of the computer as much as possible, and I usually don’t have time to do any new craft projects. Right now I honestly feel like I am trying to keep my head above water with schooling, working and keeping the house clean! It really doesn’t feel like there is time for anything else and that’s okay! The end of November we will take a break. We will probably take 4 – 5 weeks off. We will make lots of crafts and bake yummy treats, I may can and dehydrate apples. I will also probably work on some serious deep cleaning of the house to get ready for the holidays. We will be doing this Christmas Hymn Study and spending lots of time with friends and family.
In the Spring we will continue with school and will add in gardening and spring activities and outdoor nature studies. This is when I usually get another crafting bug and we will make spring decorations, mother’s day presents, and more. We usually take more field trips and have lots of homeschool extra curricular activities.
This was just a peek into my life and what works for me personally, again each family is different!
Please remember, you don’t have to “do it all”! Homeschooling and being able to stay home is a gift, it is also a balancing act. God will give you creativity and wisdom to accomplish all that you need to accomplish in the time you need to do it.
Don’t miss the other posts in our series:
How do you get your husband involved in school?
How do you cover every subject without taking up the entire day?
How do you homeschool multiple ages with babies and toddlers?