Menu Planning, Make Ahead Meals & the Busy Homeschool

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

If I had a maid, a chauffeur, and private chef, homeschooling would be a piece of cake. Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little. We know that even the best laid lesson plans sometimes meet with reluctant learners. But what can break a homeschool mom at the knees are those regular household tasks.

Molding young minds and teaching multiplication tables is tricky enough without the meal prep, laundry, and cleaning tasks that compose a well-run household, not to mention the fact that everyone’s home all day to give the place a rather “lived-in” look.

Jamie recently shared some of her tips for tackling the cleaning tasks. Today, I’m here for the food. Careful meal planning and some make ahead meals can save your bacon when it comes to managing your busy household.

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A Day in the Life of a Once a Month Cleaner

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Today I’m finishing up all this cleaning talk with a post over at Steady Mom. (Somehow posting before & after photos of my toilet doesn’t seem appropriate in this venue!)

If you’ve missed any posts in this series, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two.

From my post:

“If the shelves are dusty and the pots don’t shine,
it’s because I have better things to do with my time.”
~ Author unknown

Diary of a once a month cleaning day in action:

The night before: The kids are taking a bath, so I’m able to change a few sets of sheets on beds upstairs. I put other sheets in the wash so they’ll be ready in the morning. (Doing this makes me feel like I have a headstart on the day’s work tomorrow!)

6:45 am, Cleaning Day – I wake up with purpose and get busy. Seems like the perfect time to declare a “hat day” instead of fixing hair. By the time the kids are ready for breakfast, I’ve finished changing the rest of the sheets and have dusted a few rooms upstairs too.
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How to Clean Your House Once a Month

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

I was completely floored by the response to last month’s post about once a month cleaning. Many of you shared your enthusiasm and also asked specific questions about how to clean your house just once a month. Today I’m back with more details, and if you missed the first post head here to catch up.

I recently completed my fourth cycle of once a month cleaning, and every time I do it I discover new ways to make this system work better for our family.

Here are a few tips and specific how-to’s you may find helpful.
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5 Ways to Simplify Dinner in a Homeschool Kitchen

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

There was a time when I looked at homeschool families and thought they must have it all together at home.  I imagined dreamy, organized living spaces and multi-course meals spread on the farm table three times a day. After all, they were home – they must have plenty of time on their hands for such things.

Then I became a homeschooler.

Very quickly I learned that although I’d be spending more time at home than I ever had in my adult life, my home would become messy and the dinner hour would come fast. Oh, and most importantly, I learned that homeschooling is a very full time job and some days down right exhausting. As it should be for the responsibility that it is.

In addition to homeschooling, I also work from home. I know many of you can relate to the engaging, inspiring, and tiring sort of days I’m talking about.

There was a time when making dinner found me slipping into the kitchen around 5:00, turning on NPR, and pouring a glass of red to be enjoyed while I prepared the planned meal for the evening (I always did work with a menu plan). Nowadays, it is easy to feel done for the day just as soon as we check that final item off our homeschool list.

I actually love to cook, so this lack of dinner hour enthusiasm saddened me. I needed a freshened up approach to making dinner. The kitchen is one area that I have trouble handing over the reins, it is my happy place, my domain… but I knew I needed to enlist some help and shift my own perspective in order to energize the dinner hour.
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The Case for Once a Month Cleaning

The case for once a month cleaning
Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

This post is part one in a three part series about cleaning. You can find the second post here and the third here!

Late last year, I thought I had it made when I booked a local company to clean my house once a month.

Any homeschooling parent knows that a home needs more than monthly care, but I figured they would do the deep cleaning, and I could keep up with the rest. It sounded like a dream come true for this work-at-home mom.

But it didn’t turn out that way. The cleaning company were used to customers who worked outside of the home. Not a problem, I thought. The kids and I will just go out for a few hours, and return to a tidy house. But when the cleaners failed to show up on time, after I’d worked hard to get the kids ready, it started to frustrate me. And when they didn’t clean the way I wanted or return my emails, I decided to move on.

Then one day I had an epiphany. If the cleaners could deep clean my whole house once a month, why couldn’t I?

Turns out I can, and I’ve been doing so for the past three months.

Here’s how it works.
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