Meals, Cleaning, and Routines . . . Oh, My!
October 27, 2021
Take it Slow
If you can, slow down. It always gets done. Working faster just makes your heart beat at turbo speed. And then you sweat. And feel all frazzled and wild. Your hair looks like a caveman’s. Just not worth that extra stress, and then it curls back up all over your head again. The flat-iron will ruin your hair if you use it too much. Believe me; I know (Mama Scarecrow).
Let’s examine some truths here for just a moment:
- Your kids run to you first for everything. Why? Come on, you know why. Your face is what lights up in their minds when a need arises. You’ve created patterns over the years: Need = Mama.
- Your house is clean enough. Maybe not perfect, but your kids won’t care a decade from now what state of array the house was in on October 27, 2021. But they’ll remember how you cared for them, what kinds of activities or routines you did together, and how much you loved them. Togetherness = Memories (theirs and yours).
- They ate. So what if it wasn’t perfectly balanced. They always eat; they have fat, rosy cheeks and a hearty laugh. In fact, they eat too much sometimes. Bellies are full. Their eyes are piercing, always curious. They crack you UP and have you noticed how they try to do that a lot? Laugh from Mom = SCORE!
And remember, Mama . . .
All the care you have put in over the years has created these well-worn ways. You’ve built these pathways by God’s grace. They’re etched forever, can’t be scrubbed. Won’t be scrubbed. Your kids will always know their Mama gave them her all. Not perfect – but present. Available. That’s you, Mama, and as forever and always, His hand is on your head tonight.
P.S. Need encouragement at the end of the day? Read these articles from your friends at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Craft a Peaceful Year with Time Maps and Routines by Janice Campbell
Enjoy the Cozy Days of Fall Without the Worry of Cleaning by Sharla Orren
Let Go to Keep Up by Marilyn Rockett
Raising Real Men
Plan, But Leave Room for Flexibility
Hal was president of our state homeschool association and he was brainstorming aloud, “What can we do to help homeschoolers? What’s giving them the most trouble? Homeschooling high school? Teaching science? Getting started?”
Melanie gaped at Hal. “It’s the HOUSE, Hal!”
If your household routine, or lack of it, is giving you fits . . . you’re not alone! Here are a few things which helped us:
Give yourself grace.
Don’t expect your house to look like a photo shoot for Architectural Digest when all your kids are at home 24/7 and you’re running a school in the same space. For a lot of families, you can add working from home or even running a business there, too. It’s a productive workspace, not a museum!
Simplify where possible.
Disposable tableware and paper plates can reduce cleanup needs. You can buy recyclable versions, too. When our boys were little, we only bought white socks and black socks – it saved time matching!
Train your kids to be part of the team.
Less than a third of American families expect their kids to do any regular chores. Research has found, though, that people who had regular responsibilities growing up were better prepared for adulthood later. Besides, you need their help right now. Teach your children cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household tasks – you’ll be glad you did, and they will be, too – one day!
Plan, but remember God.
Jesus talked about being realistic in our planning, as a matter of discipleship (Luke 14:25-33), and James warned against being too self-confident in our forecasting (James 4:13-15). We could try to schedule in five-minute increments every day, but events involving kids can often be random – the younger the child, the more so! And life seems to intervene, too. Melanie found it less frustrating to plan by the week rather than the hour, and to work through a sequence rather than a schedule.
Leave room for Providence
You don’t know when an unexpected visitor will arrive, or an unplanned opportunity, or an accident or sickness of any sort. If you schedule too tightly, any disruption will derail the whole day (or week, or more). Instead, plan some space for rest, or for catching up, or for sick days or snow days or trips to the beach.
Hal & Melanie
One Simple Pointer for Keeping a Clean, Organized Home
We often have unrealistic expectations for a clean home and organized school day, don’t we? For me, all my organizing hopes would eventually spiral into a just-make-it-to-the-weekend mentality. That goal of a museum-like home only caused frustration, and I didn’t want my children to remember me as a crazy Mom who was always shouting orders.
But organizing and cleaning constantly stressed me. My husband often heard me say, “I’m sorry we didn’t get to _____ because of school (or the kids, or the broken dryer, etc.).” It got so bad that every time he came home from work, I greeted him with an apology. My expectations for myself were unrealistic, and I was even causing him to stress about it!
I can share a lot about what we did, but one major pointer really helped change my frame of mind.
I asked my hubby that if I could only do one thing each day, what would bless him? A warm dinner, a swept floor, groceries in the fridge? I told him I wanted our house to be a haven for our family, and this would be one way to foster that for him by blessing him.
During this season he worked in a professional office, and he liked having a choice of crisply ironed shirts to wear. Well, I REALLY don’t like ironing, but I agreed to make ironing a weekly priority.
Sometimes he’d come home, and I would say with a wink, “We’re having cereal for dinner tonight, but I got the ironing done!” And we’d both smile. You see, I still don’t like ironing, but now I do it with a desire to love and serve him. By doing this, I’m blessing him (and he knows it, too). It really changed my perspective and my heart.
He asked me the same thing regarding serving me each week. What would I want? And it’s been revolutionary for our kids, too, as we learn to do our work as an act of service to each other.
None of us can do everything, but whatever we do can be done with a loving and serving heart. That is the best tip ever!
About the author
Sherri Seligson and her husband David homeschooled their four children for twenty-one years. Before being promoted to mother, Sherri worked as a published marine biologist at Walt Disney World. With an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, she has authored Apologia’s General Science, Marine Biology, and several upper-level instructional video courses. An international conference and retreat speaker, Sherri uses transparency, truth, and humor, as she encourages moms on their homeschool journey and teaches families the importance of studying God’s creation. www.facebook.com/SherriSeligsonAuthorwww.sherriseligson.com
Pillar of Future
Dan Beasley – It is Morning Again for Homeschoolers
President Reagan made famous the slogan: “It’s morning again in America.” He was optimistic about the direction of the country, and it was inspiring for Americans to think about a bright future. That can be hard to do today. It is easy to get discouraged by the many controversies that dominate social media and news headlines.
Even though Americans are sharply divided over many important issues, including learning conditions and curricular requirements in schools, the future of homeschooling in America is bright.
Disagreements related to school policy only underscore the simple truth that children are best served when parents are empowered with liberty to make educational decisions for each unique child.
Innovation, community, and excellence have been foundational qualities within the homeschool movement for the last several decades, and they continue to abound today. As first-time and second-generation homeschoolers alike settle into a new school year, millions of students are experiencing the benefits of a custom-tailored educational program.
Just as Reagan was confident in the policies that would build a prouder, stronger, better America, homeschoolers can be confident in the qualities woven into the fabric of homeschooling that make it a proven alternative to traditional school attendance.
About the author
As an HSLDA staff attorney, Dan assists individual homeschooling families and advocates for homeschool freedom in the courts, legislature, and court of public opinion. Dan is also a homeschool graduate and homeschooling dad of four.
Looking for a Christian homeschooling curriculum? SchoolhouseTeachers.com self-paced PreK–12 courses are available for one price for the whole family. Use code: MAMABEAR to secure a membership for only $159 (reg. $224.97). Sign up now for a free tote and magazine (US only)!
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is now available for FREE online! Click the graphic to read it cover to cover!
Keep homeschool inspiration coming all year with a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Topics you’ll love inside the coming Winter issue (our 100th issue!): trains & transportation, workbooks vs. living books, learning through literature & raising a reader, Charlotte Mason homeschooling, babies & preschoolers, foreign language, music, and more. Subscribe today!
Congratulations to Taylor Courmier from Orange, TX, who won our August giveaway!
for the month of October
The Rhyme and Reason Series: Exodus
The Rhyme and Reason Series by Catherine Zoller takes a unique approach to helping children understand the story that God has placed in each of the books of the Bible. Using rhyme and humor to retell the stories from the books of the Bible, Catherine Zoller reveals God’s plan throughout each of the stories.
Each of the books in this series is a colorful, hardcover book that is about 8×8 inches. They are all about forty-five pages in length. The pages are illustrated by Mr. Sketches with vivid, bright images that help show the story of God’s love. When combined with the rhyming text of Mrs. Zoller, the stories of God’s plan and His love jump to life.
Each book covers one of the books of the Bible.
All of the text is rhyming. There is an introduction at the beginning that gives an overview of the entire book. Then the details of the main stories and themes of the book are covered over the remainder of the pages. Each page or two also includes a citation from the Bible so that parents and children alike can open their Bible and read the story as God wrote it down. This tie-back to God’s true Word is so important and takes these from good books to great resources.
The books on Genesis and Exodus cover all of the main ideas and stories – Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the 10 plagues, and the 10 Commandments.
Since each page of the book contains a reference back to God’s Word, the reader can use these books to strengthen their beliefs and understanding of God and His plan. They all are accurate biblically, and the rhyming text really helps younger readers get to know more of God. That is a wonderful thing. I have enjoyed reading these and will be using them to study with my children and with my Bible classes as they are bold and colorful and true.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the Exodus book from The Rhyme and Reason Series.
Triangle Education Assessments
Triangle Education Assessments is your One-Stop Test Shop! We provide year-round testing, group discounts, practice materials, and more. Online versions are available for some tests. Sample reports are on our website. Our Resources page lists videos and other useful articles that are free.
This free product and more are found in our 2021 Freebie Directory: TOS Freebie Directory – The Old Schoolhouse®
Have you ever had days when your 8-year-old doesn’t “get” the math problem you’ve just explained three times? Do you sometimes forget that with prayer we can be at peace during these times, and that we can walk through it all in victory? What does continual prayer mean and how can we practically do this? Grasp the many facets of prayer and reinvigorate your prayer life as you read the WeE-book™ . . . Homeschooling: A Prayerful Journey by Deborah Wuehler.
Do you need some more ideas on how to pray with and for your children? In this WeE-book™ you will find great ideas for how to pray for your children and your homeschool . . . Homeschooling: A Prayerful Journey – The Old Schoolhouse®
Find more freebies at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Store: Freebies Archives – The Old Schoolhouse®
Is there a product you have been wondering about and would like to hear someone’s honest review? Or maybe you are looking for something new for a subject and would like to see what others are using. This is the best review site for homeschooling products and services: www.SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com.
With the TOS Mobile App, search topics of interest spanning more than a decade, share articles, browse interactive content, and follow the links to hundreds of related resources. Each issue can also be downloaded and read offline.
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
|We Want Your Feedback!|