I would say one of my biggest struggles with a lifestyle of homeschooling was finding a way to keep the house together and organized. The kids all had chores and my husband would help me on the weekends, but it seemed that the work was never done. Not even close. Things would look great for a day and then be chaos the next. That would weigh heavily on me and just bring me down. I don't need my house to be spotless, but I do work best when things are in order. I found our schooling even seemed to suffer when I was stressed from my lack of order.
One day many years ago, I stumbled across Flylady's website. What an eye-opener for me. She describes Chaos as Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. She talks about our attitudes and stinky thinking. She points out that we act defeated before we even start and asks how long does it really take to empty the dishwasher. She says get a timer and make baby steps and most importantly you cannot organize Clutter. Ahhh, that was the point for me. My husband was pretty good about letting things go, but I liked to hold onto things. Let me tell you though...that summer I was brutal. I went through closets, drawers, cabinets and every other hiding spot. I got rid of junk, donated things that we no longer needed and gave things to people that would love them or needed them more then we did. I discovered that the house began to stay cleaner longer and if things were messy it was a snap to pick up, because everything had a home.
I worked on my attitude and realized that I really could accomplish A LOT in 15 minute sessions. No more feeling defeated before I even started. I learned that with minimal regular cleaning, I could virtually eliminate having to have long cleaning sessions before company came over!! It was freedom. Yes, quite a bit of it is common sense. However, it was something that had been buried in my mind under tons of clutter.
I learned to declutter not only my house, but our schedules. We can't be running 3 different directions everyday at every moment. This was really helpful when we had 3 active young boys and even more helpful when my youngest son was 10 and we had another baby. That decluttered schedule was a lifesaver at the time.
Nowadays, I don't follow any set cleaning schedule and I no longer do flylady's zones. However, I keep the basics in mind. Things are in order and I am smiling most days just from the burden that was lifted. However, after a major remodeling project I had to pull out my flylady knowledge to overcome my defeated attitude of putting my schoolroom back together. :) I posted about it. You can read about it here, but beware the pictures are scary!! heheAs far as any homeschool curriculum that has been a relief to me, I would have to say I love My Father's World!! Kid #4 loves it, it's mom friendly, and it's organized. What more could I want??