A beautiful aspect of homeschooling is having your children with you all the time as well as, most often, not working outside the home. This gives you time to work more in the home and to teach your children modern homemaking skills they wouldn’t otherwise have the time to spend learning.
There are many different skills involved with making a home and different people would consider different things worthy of being on this list. What skills are deemed useful or important will differ between families as will the skills the parents have to pass on. These useful skills will help prepare children for adulthood and manage a home. In many cases, these skills are best passed on by modeling and observation.
1. Develop Daily Habits
- Putting a load of laundry in as soon as you get up in the morning.
- Making lunches the night before and having them in the fridge.
- Doing prep for supper while little children are napping.
- Implementing a quiet time.
- Cleaning the bathroom while you supervise little ones in the bathtub.
- Have bins on the stairs for each person where random items get put throughout the day and brought back up stairs at bedtime.
- Keep a running task list so you know the next thing to work on when you have time. Write things on the list as they come up in your mind.
- Wake up early to read your Bible, spend time in prayer, and prepare yourself mentally for the day. (This could be its own full section, but we do have an article about daily habits of faith with lots of helpful suggestions. This is the single most important thing you can do as a mother and can pass on to your children.)
2. Have a Daily Routine
This does not need to be rigid and strict, but a general idea on how your day will go helps a lot with productivity. It can be as simple as
- Wake, throw in laundry, make coffee and read Bible
- Kids wake. Breakfast and family devotions
- Kids’ chores
- Lunch clean up
- Quiet time
- School if need be
- Free play / Mom’s housework or work time
- Free play / clean up / baths
No times need to be assigned. For many people, having a set time assigned to tasks causes more stress. However, having an “order of operations,” so to speak, helps you know what to do next. On top of that, it lets your kids know what to do next and allows them to know what to expect from their day. This often makes things run more smoothly for everyone.
Tailor this list to your family’s needs. You may need to add in animal chores, you may have commitments outside of the house, you may need more schooltime built in, etc. This is an example, a jumping off point, to help you make your own family’s routine. A solid routine can help even an unorganized person feel organized!
3. Plan Meals and Shop Accordingly
This task can help with budgeting and being responsible with food intake and waste. These are important parts of homemaking that you can easily involve your kids in. Again, there are different ways to do this. Some people plan by the month, bi-weekly, or weekly. For example, you could meal plan Friday night or Saturday and get groceries Saturday to last you the week. No mid-week trips! This helps stick to a budget and become resourceful with what you have.
If you want to include your children, start by asking them for some meal suggestions for the week. Take this time to talk to them and teach them about balanced meal planning. Once you plan your meals, work on making a list of what you need for groceries. Even little children can be “runners” for you and go check the pantry or fridge to see if you have certain ingredients needed or if they need to be on the list. Make your list at the same time you plan your meals so you know you have everything you need on the list.
Another great skill to pass on during this time is taking an inventory of what you have in the home and figuring out what meals you can make with what you have and a few add-ons which will go on the grocery list. Older kids can even help search recipe books or websites to find ideas.
This is a great time to teach your children about nutrition and the value of home cooked meals over convenience foods. Teach them about what different foods do for their bodies and why what they eat is important.
These simple tasks of meal planning, proper grocery shopping, and having healthy meals can make a huge difference in the home all on their own.
4. Set Up a Command Centre
You may or may not have heard of a household command centre. Some would consider this one of the more modern homemaking skills. Essentially, it is one main place in your house where you keep important papers and schedules. Typically, it would include a calendar, written-out meal plan, emergency numbers, and possibly things like car keys, wallets, library cards, chargers, etc. You can charge up any devices here as well. You want this somewhere easily accessible. The kitchen or front entryway / mudroom are the most common locations. This can be fancy or plain, big or small, even as simple as a family binder on the kitchen counter. It is simply a place where you can go to find the info you are looking for, kids included. They can check there to see what is for supper and any appointments. You know to look there for the phone or device you are looking for. You can use one large family calendar and / or individual planners for family members. This would be the ideal location to keep important forms such as permission slips, fundraising info, etc.
This can be an excellent way to teach our children organizational skills and pass on to them all the aspects that come into running a home.
For more information and ideas on family command centres, check out these examples.
5. Set a Culture of Calm
Setting the mood or culture of your house is mostly up to you, Mama, as the main person at home. This can be done through routines but also through your surroundings. Decorate your family home to suit your family. If you love pictures, put family pictures everywhere. If you love plants, fill the house with plants. Make it a home your children and guests aren’t afraid to live in and feel comfortable in. Working to have all things have their proper spot in the home helps with that feeling of calm. It can be hard to feel focused and productive in chaos.
Start your morning off with soft lighting and low music playing. Be happy to see your children when they get up and greet them with a hug and an “I love you.” Set that tone for a good day that you hope to have. Show them how a mother can set an example of love in the home.
6. Traditional Household Skills
There are many traditional household skills you can use to make your house a home and pass those skills on to your children. If you haven’t had your children do chores or bless the home and family by helping, this article has many great tips. This list is not conclusive but instead offers some broad suggestions. Many of these skills have been passed on through generations and are at risk of dying off in today’s busy and convenience driven culture. However, you never know when these things will come in handy, and they can definitely help with keeping a budget and living practically. As these can all go into making a home, we consider them an element of homemaking!
- Sewing (by hand or machine)
- Knitting / crocheting
- Canning and food preservation
- General cleaning tasks / deep cleaning
- Making bread from scratch
All of these ideas are just some general and broad ideas on how to pass on homemaking skills to the next generation. They are also tips on homemaking for you! The best way to pass on any of these ideas is to model them and talk about them, inviting your children into these things with you. What they see you do and do alongside you is what will stick with them. Remember that anything you do to make your home is homemaking! It doesn’t have to look like the things we mentioned here.
This article has been written by homeschooling staff writers of The Canadian Schoolhouse (TCS). Enjoy more of our content from TCS contributors and staff writers by visiting our Front Door page that has content on our monthly theme and links to all our content sections.