Cleaning Schedule for Homeschool Families

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I’ve had sweet conversations lately with moms who are trying to figure out a cleaning schedule for when they “officially” start homeschooling.

This naturally leads to questions of how I find time to clean my house and homeschool; especially after my post about Age Specific Chore List for Children Ages 1-12.

cleaning schedules for homeschool families

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We aren’t slaves to our home; but caring for our house is something we’ve always done as a family. I believe that children should be trained in responsibilities (chores included) from the get-go.

For our first years of homeschooling we cleaned in the mornings after breakfast.  This worked just fine when I only had 2 or 3 smallish children. 

Life changed.

We were blessed with two more sweet little boys in under two years.

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You can see in our homeschool life schedule we now have an hour in the afternoons for focused cleaning.  I read several posts last year, inspired by Kim Brenneman’s book Large Family Logistics, that encouraged afternoon cleaning. It sounded crazy to me at first, but we gave it try.  For our family it has worked fantastic. Since we’ve moved our heavy cleaning to the afternoons we’re able to start homeschool after breakfast and devotions, when our energy is fresh.  We usually have our family school work time completed by lunchtime.  This affords us several hours for our read aloud time, projects, or independent learning.

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I created a daily family cleaning schedule after switching to an afternoon cleaning time last year.  Before you look at it, let me add there are also days where we romp with friends in the sunshine, or roadschooling to various places. And we certainly have seasons where our homeschool goes on survival mode, or I honestly don’t know where to begin. In those times we do what we can do.  We put one foot in-front of the other.  And we sing “just keep swimming” with Dori from Finding Nemo.

Our Daily Family Cleaning Schedule

Here is the download of our Daily Family Cleaning Schedule, if you’d like to look at it closer. You’ll notice that each member of our family has a daily Responsibility Focus of a particular task.  The three tasks that need attention several times a day are: Sweeping (all hardwood floors here, no carpet), Dishes (the old-fashioned way, no dishwasher), and Pick ups (you know, the toys and LIFE that accumulate because we LIVE here).  The Responsibility Focus for each day is rotated.  That way no one feels stuck with the same jobs everyday.  It also allows for each family member to be cross trained in running the details of our home.

Beside each day of the week name, each family member has assigned responsibilities for our afternoon family cleaning time. You’ll notice that Naomi is helping me for most duties.  This gives us a little “girl time,” and I’m training her in chores.  Once she’s more independent, Gabriel will be ready to learn more responsibilities and spend his cleaning time learning with mommy.

That is an overview of our homeschool family cleaning schedule.  Here is a collection of additional cleaning ideas, to-do lists, and sparkling thoughts from around the web, to help you develop a cleaning schedule that works for you:

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Large Family Logistics

Tell us what your cleaning schedule is for your home.  What works well and what would you like to change?  If you have a post on cleaning, de-cluttering or organizing that you’d like to share, please link it in the comments below!

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. says

    Jamerrill, Thank you for this inspiration….The children have chores…I don’t have charts (hmmm…wondering now if I should go there again)….but, I do have this to share..on Friday, we cleaned the house…top to bottom in two hours….the best part was dancing to the music, getting wet in the shower, laughing…oh and since we met our goal….we had ice cream on the back patio!!!!

  2. says

    Jamerrill — This post is amazing! You have provided so many great links and encouraging ideas. And thank you for linking to me and for your kind words. I am so truly blessed to call you friend. :)
    Rachel

  3. says

    I had to laugh this morning, when I got up and saw a pingback to my post here. (10 Tips to cleaning house while homeschooling) My house is a PIT right now – I’d better go back and read my own post again. Or add an update — like how to clean while homeschooling, working, and preparing for baby #5.

    • says

      LOL, that happens too! Baby #5 is what inspired me to *reallY* get my fanny in gear. And like I said…some days we don’t! It’s nice to have a starting place. :) Loved your post!

  4. says

    I just finished Large Family Logistics too and thought it was very helpful!

    I just posted my monthly zone cleaning plan over at Homemakers Challenge last month and mine is modified from FlyLady. That’s a great list of resources. I also like what you said in your post about sometimes we’re just in survival mode. I think a good plan is one that can be picked up wherever you left off when life got away from you–because it always done! :)

  5. says

    I love this collection of ideas – it’s great! I don’t have children at home, but I can see where afternoon cleaning would be a great idea. In addition to being energized for school in the morning, I’m guessing that this would also allow for homeschool projects and experiments without having to worry about messing up a freshly cleaned house. I do some tutoring, and I always do my main cleaning after everyone is gone.

  6. says

    I so appreciate your willingness to share. I have found your posts on chores and lists invaluable. I personalized your morning lists for each of my kids and they love them! I am also using your Mom’s Master List and find that even though it’s similar to other lists I’ve used, the fact that it has the Bible verse at the top changes my outlook considerably…it’s been such a blessing! Thanks Jamerrill!

  7. says

    what a great round up of helpful posts you put together here… We struggle with clean up routines in our home (school) and are taking it one chunk of the day at a time. After realizing how much we’ve been letting go as we go from here to there lately with appointments, etc., I have started with time block one and have been refocusing on our morning routine, which I wrote about today at my blog at http://traininghappyhearts.blogspot.com/2012/04/five-before-breakfast.html Simple, but a good start!

    Thanks for sharing what works for you and for providing so many other resources. I will be back when I get to later portions in our day.

  8. says

    Whatever we have isn’t really working. I do washing most days, but fold and put away once a week. Everything else as needed with some bulk cooking. Lots of ideas here for a better system, thanks.

  9. Audrey says

    Good stuff. I’m trying to get this ironed out before school really starts.
    You really need a pinterist button. I’d love to pin this because of all the links. It will help drive traffic to you too.

  10. Sky says

    This looks great!

    I use http://www.flylady.net but have tweaked it to fit my small family’s needs. I love it and it keeps things company ready. My daughter uses a children’s version to keep her room nice and to remind her to take care of the cat.

  11. says

    I have read and re-read this post a million times since you first posted it, and I love it. It makes me feel better about doing the best I can. Right now, we do a crazy straighten of the whole house around 4:30, and I try to tackle little jobs in the kitchen throughout the day. My 6-y.o. is responsible for vacuuming one room downstairs per week, and I get the other 2. Bedrooms are really only cleaned once or twice per month, usually on a Saturday. I set aside an hour once per week (with the electric babysitter or while the kids are outside) to clean the bathrooms. My house will never win cleanliness awards, and most of the time, I’m OK with that! Thanks for all the great resources!

  12. says

    Thanks Jamerrill for this! I love the responsibility focus for each day. I have tweaked a schedule for our family several times so it works with what ages my kids are. Here’s the one I’m using now in a recent post: http://calledtobehome.com/2013/10/07/i-am-not-june-cleaver/ This does not include a chart I have posted on our refrigerator which includes their animal responsibilities. We have chickens and goats, so they take turns caring for them, and also taking out the trash! :) I love getting new ideas on how other people keep their home running smoothly! Thanks for sharing!!

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