This was actually written as a companion piece to Secrets of Homeschooling, which appeared on Sandbox to Socrates in January.

Every now and then, some well meaning soul, when looking at the number of minions I have, the age ranges (15 to 7 months) and finding out I homeschool, says, “Wow, you must be soooo organized!”

My response?

That would be a no.

I’m not the organized sort. I describe my temperment as being ‘the artiste’ type. Which is a nicer way of saying that I live in constant, whirling chaos, bouncing like a demented pinball from one thing to another. My intentions are good, but in the box of doughnuts that comprises my brain, the one for organization is missing. Not a single crumb nor sprinkle to be found. I’d post a picture of my desk as proof, but I’m not sure I want that sort of shame online.


So, I’m here to reassure those that suffer from Chronic Chaos, homeschooling can still be done. It is actually ok if your day doesn’t have colour coded time charts with everything for the next year carefully plotted out. Or even the next week.


Don’t get me wrong, part of me would LOVE to have that. As long as someone else came in and did it for me. With wee ones in the house, planning time isn’t sacred. Heck, potty time isn’t sacred! Dollars to doughnuts, I shut the bathroom door behind me, and I’ve got maybe 30 seconds before someone is at the door. Not even the dog leaves me alone in the bathroom.


So, planning time just doesn’t happen. I’ve tried, and it ended up being another stress, trying to get everyone to leave me alone long enough to get anything accomplished.


Plus, do you know what happens when you leave a Mom of five (two of which cannot be relied upon to sleep through the night, meaning I haven’t had a solid night of sleep in over seven months) alone, in peace and quiet? Yeah. I nod off.


So. Planning for any length of time is out.


I go day by day. Seriously. I have a mental to do list when I get up each morning. And, after enough caffeine, I even remember it.


I keep it simple. The Middle Minions know that they are to do their math and printing, and usually have that done by 7am. Yes, 7am. They’re up by 6, have breakfast, and go for it.


This often leads to me being asked to help with math before I’ve finished my first coffee. Thankfully, it’s grade two and three math, not algebra.


Then, through the day, I get each of them to do reading and spelling with me. We also read aloud whatever interests them from our ‘homeschooling’ bookshelf.


Some days, I let them on different reading and math websites. They think they’re only having fun! *insert evil giggle here*


I use different science videos, some books and experiment kits, and when someone has a particular interest in something, we explore further.


Trips to the library, hiking with Dad, and hooking up with a local homeschooling group for awesome discounts for skiing rounds out our curricula.


One thing I have learned is that I simply cannot do it all. So, a load of wash gets forgotten about, more often than I care to admit, and needs to be rewashed. Walls need scrubbing. Beds don’t get made. Any given day, I can glance around my home and see a myriad of things that need to be done. Folks here insist on eating on a regular basis, so that can’t be skipped. Anything else I can flex on. If laundry is getting done at 9pm, so be it. Same with any other housework.


I’ll never make the grade for my housekeeping skills. And, I’ve given myself permission to go with, “Good enough.” rather than stress myself out trying to be perfect. I’m simply not made that way. Perfection is beyond me.


But, as long as I get the kids basic lessons done, they’ve laughed and imagined and played, cuddled and kissed and hugged…I count it as a win.

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Organized?! — 32 Comments

  1. We seem to have a lot in common. I also have 5 and get the same, “You must be so organized.” Nope! I am an organizer wanna-be. I WISH I were organized. But you're right, homeschooling can still be done, even without the color coded charts. LOL

  2. When I read the first couple of lines, I stopped and laughed that knowing laugh. I have five kiddos of my own and ours range in age from 12 to 3 years (so far). When I first started homeschooling, I was sometimes annoyed at the comments and the looks. Now, I love it. Great to find your little corner of the web.

  3. Thank you for keeping it real and telling it like it is. Now that my two boys are older, we do have to accomplish more than just a little reading and math. But I'm still not organized and always running behind on their assignments.
    I'm stopping by from the 100 Days Challenge and I'm thrilled to have discovered your blog.

  4. As a first-time Mom of only one, I wonder how women with more kids get it all done. I am glad to see posts like this, that are “real moms”. I'm often told it can't all be done, and something will give. Like you, I'm OK with it being the housework. Laundry & dishes are ALWAYS there, my child will only be little for a short time. I too will enjoy the cuddles, kisses and giggles! Thank you!

  5. Stopping by from the BYB challenge and I'm really enjoying it!

    I love your writing style and telling it like it is. I am one of those anal people that still “imagine” they can get it all done and stress myself out constantly. You would think I would have learned after 31 years of taking care of my kids and now my grandchildren to just let it go and admit defeat and be happy with that. It's nice to see I'm not the only one out there that just can't do it all.

  6. What a great post! I especially love this part: ” I've given myself permission to go with, “Good enough.” rather than stress myself out trying to be perfect. I'm simply not made that way. Perfection is beyond me.” So true for all of us.

  7. Well, the reading and math are the basics. B/c Tazzie has been a 'reluctant reader' (I have an article on that to come), that's been my focus this year.

    Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll return!

  8. LOVE what you have to say here! I have somewhere on my mental list that clean laundry and dishes = success, so I am constantly in a state of housekeeping failure, lol…but you are SO right..if there's laughter and snuggles and moments gained, that's the real success right there!

  9. I so wish I was organized, in fact it is my goal for 2014 to become more organized, but it is so hard and I only have 4 little ones, ages 7, 5 1/2, 4 and 2.
    I really enjoyed this post, especially the photo! Thanks for sharing.

  10. I loved this post. I can see so easily sometimes where others could be more organized but I personally couldn't follow a color coded chart even if my life depended on it probably. I could probably spend way too much time making one though 🙂 In reading your post, it does sound as if your days have a bit of flexible organization which is my favorite kind.

  11. This made me smile from ear to ear!!!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  12. I got that same “organized” comment a few days ago. I think homeschooling moms must develop a different sort of organization. how else could we keep track of which child knows what and how many library books are due next week, mostly without writing any of it down?

  13. Maybe that's it, maybe we just develop a super human memory?

    I kinda doubt that, in my case…but, at the same time, I've not forgotten a kid anywhere yet, so maybe…

    Thanks for stopping by!

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