Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I am so overwhemled right now with how much I LOVE MY JOB! If you don't know me, that sounds weird, because my "job" is being a wife and mother! I am so thankful the Lord has burned a desire deep in my heart to be a homemaker. There is no place i'd rather be than in the heart of my home. I have not always cared for cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes, but lately, I feel so blessed and thankful to have a family to do these things for and it bring me such joy. I am busy from the moment i wake up to the second I lay down, and during most nights too. It's a satisfying busy though. Not the kind of busy that makes you frustrated and crazy (i've been there too!) but a fulfilling and peaceful busy. I've noticed recently too that because our days are pretty structured and full, there is so much less disciplining needed for my children. And i also don't mean the kind of busy where we are away from home a lot. Monday thru Thursday we are home all day doing our homeschooling, chores, and life stuff. Occasionally, we run errands in the afternoon if it works out. We have Cub Scouts and church certain evenings, but otherwise, we are home so that we can stay on our schedule. Fridays are our homeschool co-op and handbells classes and then the other Friday is our free day.
For some of you, you may think that you would go crazy staying home all day, there have been times that I have even thought that. However, i have found that crazy days are days where there is no structure. I seem to wander around from one thing to the next, always busy, but never seeming to get much done. Then the kids are fine for a while, but then the bickering and fussing begins when they don't know what else to do or need some attention or guidance. So a general plan for the day with round about times gives us a guideline to go by. Even when we miss things or something else comes up, we can easily get back on track by jumping back into the schedule at any time.
Here is our daily schedule (i re-evaluate this frequently and change as needed):
8:00-get dressed, make beds, brush teeth/hair, complete morning chores
begin School;M-Owen & Claire-letter of the week,Cody-Independent work
Th-Skittle School (if all work is completed this is their treat-they love it!Small candies are earned for answering questions and completing tasks/activities i give them based on their abitities; their favorite game is Alphabet Bingo! Since we don't eat a lot of sugar, this is a huge treat! Picture above is of Skittle School)
10:30-My Father's World (packaged curriculum)
others-read books/play quietly/occasionally watch a video
3:00-Free time (T/Th-computer/Wii)
7:00-girls in bed/boys feed lambs/shower
7:30-boys in bed/read books
8:00/8:30-boys lights out
I plan out our dinner menu 1 month at a time. Since I am now cooking dinner everynight (very little leftovers anymore) we have some meals that are always the same. Friday night is Mama's Homemade Pizza Night and everyone's favorite meal of the week. I make a batch of homemade dough and get out all of the toppings like sauce, cheese, canadian bacon, italian sausage, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, etc. Each person gets a chunk of dough and they roll it out in what ever shape they want and then top it to their liking. Sometime we watch a movie while we eat our pizza. I try to stick with the same type of meat each night, then vary the meal: Monday-chicken, Tuesday-ground beef, Wed.-eat at church, Th-misc, Friday-homemade pizza, Sat-crock pot meal; Sun-light meal (sandwiches,soup,etc)(we eat out usually after church for lunch so we're not as hungry for dinner).
We also have a weekly menu for breakfast and lunch. These do not change except when we get tired of eating the same things after a while.
Here is our laundry schedule:
W-Kenneth-am & noon
Th-linens-am & noon
F & S-misc-whatever didn't get done
I also alternate running the dishwasher and washing cloth diapers late at night. We have a septic system and since I am married to a septic installer I have to follow the "spread your laundry out" rule so our system doesn't get overloaded. Also, my children are trained to do their own laundry. They each have their own dirty clothes basket in the laundry room (they are responsible for putting all of their dirty clothes straight into their basket every day). At their designated time/day, they have to put their clothes in the washer and add our homemade(see my recipe in the Natural Cleaning tab on the right) laundry detergent(with help for younger ones). I usually move the load to the dryer since it is hard for them to reach way down in it. Then they have to put their dry clothes into their drawer (which is 1 huge drawer that is built into their beds). We do not fold, only hang special dresses or shirts! This is a stress saver for me at this point in life!!
Ahhh-It all sounds like so much, but really a little bit of planning goes a long way. I plan out our dinner meals at the beginning of each month and write it on my calendar so I see it every day. I also plan out 6 weeks of school at a time then take off one or two weeks so I can reevaluate our studies and adjust where needed. We are homeschooling year round so these are needed breaks to the kids as much as me. I found that taking the summer off led to lots of problems due to a lack of schedule, so we go year round with many breaks for resting and holidays. I then prepare for each week on sunday nights and get all of the materials needed for the week ready.
So...Staying home can be great! Just find what works best for your family and go with it. If you find yourself having a hard time, maybe you need to focus more time on your children. Play a game with them before you clean the kitchen or read a book to your little ones before starting school. Fill their cup first, before getting all of your housework done, and they will be content.
Also, one other thing I have found that makes our day go so much more peacefully is to not get on the phone or computer. It never fails, that when i do either of these, things get wild! I try to do these things after the kids are in bed.