Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bathrooms, Laundry, and Meal Planning, Oh My!

Yeah, so let's talk about some specific chores.
In my last post I shared with you how we go about getting our chores done.
Remember, divide, delegate, and conquer?! ;)
But how exactly do I do that with these three major chores?
I'll tell you!

(Disclaimer: this post is a little longer than my other posts. 
Some out there are wanting the details, so here it is.)

Of course this will look differently for each family.
Chores need to be done when you're home (go figure!)
So when you can tackle them will depend largely upon your schedules.
But here's ours:

Bathrooms are done every Monday. 
We have three bathrooms.
During the summer, I clean our master bathroom.
The younger boys clean the upstairs bathroom.
The older boys clean the downstairs bathroom.
During the school year when the older boys are off at school all day,
The younger boys will each take a bathroom and clean it.
We are concentrating this summer on perfecting our cleaning skills.
I am grooming the younger boys to take over for the older boys
When their schedules prevent them from helping out with chores.
This does take time and effort, 
But, from past experience, is so worth it.

My schedule for handling laundry has become a 'well-oiled machine.' ;)
I wash clothes on Mondays and Thursdays.
I wash linens and towels on Tuesdays.
We all have laundry baskets in our room 
And then I have an industrial, divided laundry basket in our laundry room.
Every Monday and Thursday we all (some have to be reminded)
Bring our laundry baskets to the laundry room.
The boys are responsible for sorting their clothes to be washed in certain loads.
I wash and dry all clothes throughout most of the morning,
Sometimes it goes into the afternoon.
For the most part I also fold the laundry.
We all hang up our shirts 
So I simply lay them on top of each other for everyone to collect later.
The rest of the clothes I fold and place on a cart with shelves
(one for each boy with the littlest's on the counter).
I really try to fold each load as it finishes so that it doesn't pile up.
If I am tight on time, I sometimes throw all the socks in a bin.
The boys are then required to find, match,
And put them away with the rest of their clothes.

On Tuesdays all sheets and towels are brought to the laundry room.
I love having only one set of sheets for each bed.
So, as soon as they are washed and dried,
They are taken to the correct beds and I make them as I have time.
The older boys are old enough now to fix their own beds.
The younger ones are learning but, bunk beds..... ;)

I love having set days for doing laundry.
Yes, I do have days when I need to throw in an extra load (football season).
But for the most part I am able to stick to three days.
What I love about this is that although I do a TON of loads on those days,
I am off the other days. 
I don't even think about laundry, knowing it will all get done... soon.

Lastly, meal planning!
This is a must for me.
Knowing what to buy at the store
And then what to cook each night is quite freeing to me.
And so, I take the time each week to plan a menu and then shop accordingly.
About a month ago my husband came up with a brilliant idea.
He told the family one night over dinner that each boy would be able to pick a meal.
The meal had to include a vegetable but otherwise they were free to choose.
I added that we could only have one of the same style dish a week.
I.e. only one could choose pasta.
We love pasta.
The boys have no problem with pasta.
Some of us older folks wear pasta... I think you get my reasoning. ;)
This has helped me out a ton 
As I don't have to wrack my brain for new ideas all the time.
Once the menu is written on my calendar I can make my grocery list.
With grocery list in hand, 
The boys and I are able to conquer the list more quickly at the store.

I've tried to be detailed as I know some of you want the specifics.
(I'm one of these types myself) =)
Please let me know if I can share more.
What are you curious about?


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Let's Talk About Chores!

The tasks around the house that just have to get done.
And how do we get them done in the midst of homeschooling
Or running your children to and from school?

I'm going to share with you how I do it.
Divide. Delegate. And conquer. =)

There are so many methods.
I will share some I have used in the past 
And also the method I am currently using.

For awhile I used this chore chart. 
I purchased the pdf here and loved filling it in with colorful pens.
This chore chart divides chores into categories:
Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannually, and annually.
After dividing up all of our household tasks, 
I assigned each task to a member of the family and gave him a color.
This made it easy for everyone to see which chore he was to do.
I framed it in a cheap frame.
We then were able to use a dry erase pen to mark off completed chores.
The frame was attached with Command strips 
And hung on our laundry room dryer.
This way it was low enough for even the youngest child.

I love charts but not all in my family love working off a chart like this.
So my next idea was to add a 'chore' row to their school work schedule.
Each school week my boys are given a schedule I created in Excel.
The days of the week are listed in the columns.
The class subjects are listed in the rows.
So under the class subjects I added a row for chores.
At the start of each week I filled out their schedules with their assignments and chores.

We have done the same chores now for years.
We have done certain chores on certain days for years. 
So currently I am handling it very simply:
I let them know what chore needs to be done at the beginning of the day.
They understand that they will be helping with some type of chore daily.
Since we are on our summer break,
I require chores to be done before they run off to play.

I have always shared with my boys that because we school together,
We must work together.
And when we work, shop, and learn together,
We can also play together.
But there is simply too much for me to do alone.
And therefore we must work as a team.
I also believe this communicates what it means to be a family.

So, those are a few ideas on how I practically get chores done. 
Next time I will share when I personally tackle bathrooms, laundry, and meal planning. =)


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Scheduling Our Summer

So hopefully I've convinced you that organization is the way to go. ;)
(If you missed that post, you can find it here.)
If so, then let's start with where we're at, heading into summer!
Summer usually means a little more time.
Time to wake up a little more slowly.
Time to lounge by the pool, or picnic at the park.
Time to work on projects or read that book.
But without a little planning and organization,
Summer can also come and go
And leave you with that book unread
Or those projects left undone.

In order to accomplish more and still have fun,
I created a summer schedule.
First I filled out a 'project' page.
Click here for a free printable of the one I used.
I filled it out with everything I could think of that I hoped to get done this summer.
Honestly, I don't believe I will achieve everything on my list,
But I always accomplish more when I have a list.

After I wrote out my list I then filled out 'our summer schedule' page.
This is the one I used.
To do this I thought about what was important to me
And what I hoped to do on a fairly consistent bases.
Everyone's list will be different 
But I will show you mine to give you an idea of how I combined my two lists.

-School Planning
-Inside Chores
-Outside Chores
-Water Plants

For 'project' I refer to my 'project' page and pick something from the list based on the Amount of time I can give it that day.
Although I will not be able to follow this list every day,
It provides routine and structure which allows for more to be accomplished
Including the rarer treats like 'reading' and 'fun.'

Happy summer planning!!! Let me know how it goes!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I *Really* Love Planning!

I really love planning.
It's probably a little ridiculous how much I love it.
I love finding fun printables.
I love color-coordinating the pages.
I love choosing pen colors as I fill them.
I love filling in the pages with detailed plans.
I kinda love the whole process.

Now, I realize that everyone is different,
Some are super organized, while others highly disorganized. 
And of course, there are those who are somewhere in the middle.
But I think it's safe to assume that everyone can benefit from a little organization.

Here's my why:
Organization helps sets goals.
Organization simplifies.
Organization clarifies.
Organization allows for the best use of time.
Organization provides structure.
Organization provides routine. 
So that...
Structure and routine help to achieve desired goals.
Yay! Can you see why I love organization?!

For my next couple of posts I'm going to share some of the ways I organize, because well, if you haven't figured it our yet, I kinda really like it. ;)

Next up: how I organized my summer schedule!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

You CAN Do It

It's been awhile.
A long while.
But I think it's time to come back.
Back to this blog, a space where I write in hopes of encouraging others.
So whether you are a homeschooling mother
Or a mom with children being educated outside your home.
This is for you.
My prayer is that you will find hope and encouragement here.

Of all the people in the world,
And all the people throughout the history of the world,
God, in His sovereignty, chose you.
He chose you to be the parent of your child.
Because He believes in you.
He knows you are the perfect match for each other.
You will teach your children and they will teach you.
You gave them life.
And you will experience the fullness of life with and through them.

You can do it.
You can be their mama.
You can train them.
You can teach them.

Because you have a Helper.
To those He calls, He equips.
To those He equips, He enables.

So, cling tightly to the Master's hand.
Turn constantly to Him for wisdom and direction.
And rest, in knowing He will be faithful.
To you.
And to your children.

1 Thessalonians 5:24- Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
James 1:5- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Matthew 7:7- Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Isaiah 26:3- Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Because of Jesus,