3 ways simplifying might save your sanity

Kari-347picmoThe following is a post from contributor Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

I have this fantasy of fleeing into the far-off woods and living off-grid. In my (unrealistic) fantasy we live off the land with no iPhones, no trips to Costco, no internet, nothing.

Whenever this dream crops up my husband shakes his head and patiently waits for it to pass. It always does. We love our life in this crazy world, even if at times it feels dizzying.

Between leading a church, traveling to speak, writing a book, keeping a blog, managing a (full) house, and homeschooling, there are days when my goal of “simple” seems to laugh in my face.

Nothing about life, really, is simple.

But that’s why, in this busy, hectic world, simplifying isn’t just a fun idea, it’s vital.

It’s necessary for our sanity. The ways in which we simplify will vary for us all, but we all must make simplification choices if we’re going to keep our homes without losing our minds.

Here are 3 simple ways we have simplified, and why they’ve made a world of difference for this dizzy mama.
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How I taught my kids to clean…so I could stop cleaning

How I taught my kids to clean...so I could stop cleaning
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Lean in closer, let me share a secret:

I don’t clean too much anymore…and I love it.

Why am I whispering? Well, I guess it doesn’t feel proper for a busy homeschooling mama to admit something like this.

Over five years ago, while reading one of the books that has become a foundational part of our homeschool, Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning, I came across this quote:

“A significant part of Love of Learning Phase is to learn to work like an adult, thus many responsibilities can be given to Love of Learners. Still, Love of Learners need to be trained to do jobs well, so we recommend that Mom be released from any cleaning and instead be given a training and supervisory role only.” (page 121)

As my kids were ages five, four, and three at the time, I’m pretty sure I snorted at this impossible and lofty way-too-far-in-the-distance aim that seemed unlikely to ever appear on my messy home horizon.

But now Trishna is 11, Jonathan turns ten on Labor Day, and Elijah is nine. Life looks different around here–far from perfect, mind you–but definitely different. And one variation is the amount of time I spend cleaning.

Looking back, I can see we went through the following phases of cleaning to reach where we are now. 
[Read more...]

Where to find the best homeschooling & homemaking inspiration

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How hiring help transformed our homeschool

How hiring help transformed our homeschool | Simple Homeschool

Written by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

Last year I hired a mother’s helper, and it’s transformed our homeschool.

Let’s back up: homeschooling and I have a complicated relationship. I love the idea of my kids being home educated, but the day-in, day-out reality of educating my kids at home drains me dry. I’m also a working mom, and I wanted to get through the hands-on part of our school days faster so I could work (and my kids could play).

I knew I needed help, but it took me a little while to figure out what kind of help I needed. I didn’t need childcare, exactly, or a cleaning person, or a tutor. What I really wanted was another set of hands: someone to fold the laundry and build blocks with my toddler, to dole out snacks and read stories to my 5-year-old.

It turns out there’s a word for that: I needed a mother’s helper.
[Read more...]

5 ways to manage home and school

5-ways-to-manage-home-and-homeschool
Written by Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

Ours is a busy household. As you can imagine, with eight people, the sheer volume of dishes, laundry, and stuff to manage is fairly high, at least twice that of the “average” home. Coupled with homeschooling and being home-based in the truest sense of the word, our home boasts a very “lived in” look.

The walls bare fingerprints. The washing machine has a shelf life of about five years. The kitchen boasts a revolving door. Or so it seems.

Here are five tricks that I use to help me manage home and school: [Read more...]