This afternoon I took a moment to look around the house.
There are hundreds of thin strips of colored paper in various locations around the living room. The remains of an art project that the girls have been picking up and discarding for the last two hours.
Legos and half completed Lego structures take up residence on nearly every flat surface (and some not so flat surfaces, like the sofa).
There are library books, books we own, picture books, novels, homeschool workbooks, nonfiction books, a dictionary, notebook paper, pens, pencils, a glue stick, Sharpies, markers and water glasses littering the coffee table and floor.
There is egg and rice all over the floor, curiously around the high chair, courtesy of a certain 9 month old who shall remain nameless.
The dishes are overflowing the kitchen sink and counters. And dishwasher.
The kid’s rooms look like a tornado came through.
Did I mention it’s 10 AM?
Yes folks, homeschooling is a mess.
I hear homeschooling moms say, “You can either do school, or you can do housework.”
It’s true isn’t it!
How do you deal with the need for order and the need to create a rich learning environment for your kids?
I’ll tell you what we do.
At 4:30 every day it’s officially Chore Time. My phone alarm goes off, even.
(Of course oldest, who does Laundry, does his chore several times a day.)
I used to be one of those “clean as you go” type of people, but I found this was too distracting for the kids.
It’s easier for them when schooltime can have a clear cut “done” time. If there are numerous periods during the day when I or they have to stop schoolwork in order to tidy up, they get too off course, and then I’m back to corralling them back into the living room.
Which is rather like herding cats. Or using spaghetti for bookends.
Some days it’s just fine with me, but other days the Beautiful Disaster really gets on my nerves. Today was one of those days where I was having to talk myself out of a panic attack at it all. I did my best to ignore it while doing read alouds, math, history, geography, etc. I did ok. But I wish I could be more relaxed about the mounting piles. Instead, my face contorts into this kind of nervous twitch.
How do you handle the mess of homeschooling?