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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

House Cleaning and Home School ?

Today I am not going to share any magic formula on how to home school and keep a clean home. There are many amazing mom's who share on how to accomplish that. Today I'm going to share a little about me and my journey.  Homeschooling is my passion and I enjoy it immensely, house cleaning on the other hand is not my passion at all in fact I wish I could click my fingers the way Mary Poppins does and every thing would jump back to it's place instantaneously! Personally I like a place for everything and everything in it's place however I share my space with a multitude of personalities which makes having it perfect all the time an impossibility.

I've come to realize that personality and circumstances all influence the outworking of house cleaning and home school either working in concert together or acting like opposing forces!

Looking back over the last 23 years I have come to realize that their are many seasons in a woman's life and many factors that influence her ability to maintain a home that is a safe haven for her and her family. I have come to understand that during the seasons of life when I looked after myself {Mother Culture} balancing home duties and home school were easy.

The seasons when we were schooling through a crisis (two spinal surgeries and two immigrations) it was very hard to balance the two. Recently I have been walking through a season of standing with a teen who is trying to find a new direction and this has been emotionally draining and home duties have had to take the back seat. As a result I'm now playing catch up and trying to re-organize my chaos (can't have anyone over syndrome).

I've had seasons of a very tidy home and seasons where my friends and family have had to jump in and help.  I remember well the day I had a meltdown when Paul came home and expressed his frustration and the not so tidy home. My response was "Love we have a choice we can place the children in school and I can take on full time home duties and provide us with a picture perfect home OR for this season I home school and we don't have a perfectly tidy home" It was hard coming to the point of realizing that I just couldn't keep a perfect show home and home school. After all we do actually live in our home and it shows.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11 This is a season of having young ones in the fold and as such we need to be gentle on ourselves and our young.


A place of safety 

I have found that my home is no longer a haven of solace to me or my family because it's over run with clutter and that in turn makes it hard to keep clean. I am pleased to have walked through this experience it has shown me that it's not that easy to keep home organized and well run during difficult seasons and seasons of change.  I am even more pleased that my sister is living with me and giving me a hand to become better organized. Some of us are naturally able to do all and some of us are not and therefore have to work at it a lot more.

This experience has softened my heart and provided me with insight and understanding towards others whose homes are perhaps not as well kept as my own. I tried working part time a few years ago and I take my hat off to you mom's who do that too I just could not keep all the balls in the air!

Today I read this statement over at Raising Arrows that spoke to me: I believe the purpose of your home is not to create a place that sacrifices the family on the altar of appearances. I agree but I do say as in all things we need to find a healthy balance. A perfectly clean home and an unhappy mom is not worth it. After all you are the indispensable ingredient and if you are not happy no one is happy.

An Ode to Tired Mama's

Take the children along
I feel we do not only our selves a disservice but our children suffer too if we do not teach them how to maintain a home. Anything worthwhile takes time. My friend Mrs S always used to say "Stop credit card parenting!" This was her analogy. If I purchase an item on credit I spend years with the pain of interrest payments combined with base payments. If I save up and then buy I can enjoy my purchase debt free. The moral of the story it's so easy and quick for me to do things myself around the house (credit card parenting quick and easy) but the high interest comes as my children grow and add to the work load. If I savings account parent it takes up to four times longer to accomplish a task (and I end up dealing with attitude . . .) BUT the rewards long term out weigh the effort. Long term they understand the consequence of their actions and they are able to help carry the load making life easier for everyone including themselves. Everyone gains more free time to enjoy doing the things they enjoy including having a safe haven to return to after a day out and about. More importantly children gain a sense of self worth and a feeling of I am needed and important in my family.

How do I ?
Over the years I have used a number of different approaches that have worked.  Nothing works perfectly all the time because things change. Children grow, outside the home commitments change, health issues arise, crisis happen, needs alter. I have found it is important that I keep searching for new ways to encourage and move my family forward and for this I have found Pinterest to be an amazingly empowering resource providing you don't let it paralyze you into doing nothing! 

I have learned that the key to making house cleaning more attainable is having an organized home / home school area and finding your rhythm and what works for you during your particular season of life. What works well for one person might not work for you so experiment and try new things until you come to a place of contentment.


Encouraging bloggers

clean, cleaning,mom 52 Week Organized Home Challenge Homemakers Challenge Raising Homemakers

On the WWW

The question is : House cleaning and Home school is it possible ? The long and the short of it is YES it is. I would like to encourage you to find what works for you. When deciding what to do take into consideration your current season of life and the ages of your children. As Diana Waring says: "You are the indispensable ingredient" without you there is no home, no home school, so look after yourself, make small permanent changes in order to effect long term change.


This week

Linking with
Teach Me Tuesdays Hip Homeschool Hop Button The Homeschool Village

** Photo Credit Stuart Miles


  1. I think you are so right...there are different seasons. And, it is great to get the kids involved. I enjoyed reading this.

    1. :) I have been the most surprised by the teen season. I always thought that the season of toddler hood would be the hardest but it was not.

  2. As always, Chareen, great links!

    1. Thank you Savannah :) Loving this series

  3. Having been a professional with domestic help, I don't find cleaning easy or attractive. Getting the children to help can be a bit of a challenge when they have spent much of their life with people to clean up after them.
    I hope we are gradually moving in the right direction! Clutter removal certainly helps. I'm doing the Moneysaving Mom cleaning challenge at present-on day 2 so very early days!

    1. I'm with you Sarah it is not my thing either I would rather be here blogging or on some field trip. If I could afford it I would pay someone to do the ironing!

  4. This was such a great, down-to-earth post. I really enjoyed it. Have a lovely week, Chareen!

  5. I only have one teenager left at home that I homeschool. I think it was easier for me to keep up with housework when I was working part time out of the home and had 4 children that I was homeschooling. Funny thing is that I can't explain why.
    I keep looking around now and telling hubby that we just have far too much stuff. I have been working on getting rid of excess this year and feel good even if it's just a little bit that I get through each day.

    1. I hear you and agree. I struggled to keep the home fires burning when I was working. I salute you being able to do that. Wow.
      I think stuff can make it harder but disorganized stuff is even worse. I'm so pleased my hyper organized sister is here to give me a hand.

  6. That first paragraph could have been describing me. Love homeschooling, loathe cleaning and housework! I have also decided that a good de-clutter should help make things easier to manage... I hope!

    Love your decscription of CHAOS ... that is so me, far too often for comfort.

    1. :) I need a set of those three machines for my washing and life will be well ...

      The declutter is definitely helping

  7. Your home cleaningactivities are too good and amazing. I like these all activities. It is also good hobbies. I like it very much.

  8. Oh man, I DO wish there was a folding machine to help with laundry!

  9. Seasons - oh yea! My children are still young enough that I know we will still have many different season to travel through. Thank you so much for your candid but cheerful view of life, home, and school. - Lori

  10. An ode to tired mama's is pretty sad. I like your article and I hope everyone is I found something for yourself.

    Sometimes hiring a cleaning company is not a bed idea :) To have a rest and take your time. Check it sometimes - siivouspalvelut

  11. For the purpose of House cleaning. I really like your magic formula. This is truly a wonderful cleaning story. I always need to clean my carpet once in month, so I call carpet cleaning companies in Dallas, TX available at ekoserve.com for cleaning purpose when I am in Dallas.

  12. Great Article House Cleaning and Home School. Its much easier to just hire a House Cleaning Company

  13. I had fun reading your cleaning schedule, although it was also a reminder that I should clean more.

    House Cleaning

  14. Wonderful encouragement Chareen!! I have two kiddos, and now they are getting older things are easier. However, I certainly had my "seasons" of a less than picture perfect home but I wouldn't trade it for the time I had with them.

  15. Great advice and a good reminder that everything is about the season.

  16. Teaching a lad how keep a house in order has been a boon to keeping the house in order

  17. Great ideas! This is an area we seem to constantly be working to find the right balance.


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