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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Lessons from a Life Skills Day

Written by contributor Kris of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Housework and homeschooling.  Those two words don’t always go well together.  While my family does employ a chore chart that has served us for many years, there are also weeks when we’re so busy all we have time to do is “dump and run.”

Afterward, my house can look like it’s been hit by a tornado, stressing my clutter-free-loving soul.

It’s at those times that I may institute a life skills day.

This means my kids are going to get an up-close-and-personal lesson in vacuuming, dusting, laundry, and general housework.

It may sound like a homeschooling cop-out, to some folks, but I’ve found that some pretty valuable lessons can be learned during a life skills day.
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5 Easy Ways You Can Simplify in Under 30 Minutes

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

Without a doubt, the simple life has a lot going for it.

In theory.

But when you’re a homeschooling parent, you may not have extra hours to devote to the cause.

Let’s face it–sometimes we don’t have the time to even nurture a private thought. Or go the bathroom…alone. So we need a few streamlined shortcuts to point us in the direction of a simple life.

It might not be perfect, but it will be a start. And sometimes that’s all we need.

Here are a few quick simplicity hacks for the busy family.
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Working at Home & Homeschooling: 7 Life Lessons from a WAHM

Written by contributor Hillary Boucher of infinitely learning

When my husband and I set out to homeschool our three children while running two home-based businesses we had no idea what we were getting into. We knew we would love the flexibility, the sense of control and the bonus family time, but we didn’t realize just how well organized we would need to be or the added stress it would bring into our home.

My husband designs and installs stonework and we run the business end from our home. I run a local birth services business that includes photography, doula services and birth tub rentals. I also do web consulting work for small businesses and non-profit organizations.

Three years later and we’ve finally learned how to make it work.

Here are seven things I wish I’d known when we started.

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