I’ve gotten several emails lately asking me how I “do it all”, you know, homeschool, cook, clean, do laundry, make printables, blog, and stay sane. After I got done laughing hysterically, I thought I should just be honest and lay it out for you. Keep it real.

The short answer: I don’t.

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The Long Answer:

I know it may seem like things are all roses over here at Confessions, but you have to keep one thing in mind when reading my blog (And really this goes for most blogs):

You only see what I want you to see.

1. You don’t see the messes the Teeny Tot makes while we’re trying to do school. And trust me, she makes messes. It’s her specialty.

Confession: I often take my arm, or foot, or Teeny Tot, and sweep it across the floor clearing away all the debris so I can snap a lovely shot of one of my children working happily on a project.

2. You don’t see my laundry room. Ever.

With 6 people in our house, it seems like that humming sound coming from the Laundry room never stops. There’s usually folded clothes on top of the washer and dryer, piles of dirty clothes ready to be washed, and a full dryer that I was previously avoiding, until instituting my beloved chore chart.

3. You don’t see the failed crafts, recipes and all of my “brilliant ideas gone awry”. I prefer to block it out and pretend it never happened.

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So, How Do I Do What I Do Do?

First off, no one can “do it all”, something has to give, for me it’s usually the cleaning, my sanity, or dinner…or all 3 depending on the day. ;o)

Remember, the only pressure we’re under is pressure we’ve put on ourselves. If your schedule’s too hectic, take a minute (I know, I know, you don’t have a minute, but trust me this will help) and write down all your commitments, and then see what you can get rid of, and what is necessary.

You can rest assured that my house is just as chaotic as yours, but we do have a schedule. And I try to follow it. You can get a more detailed version here, but in a nutshell, this is what I do each day…please don’t judge. ;o)

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1. 8:00 am: Wake up, pray, take shower, keep praying, get dressed, pray some more: I seriously do not leave my room until all these things are done. If I did, I don’t think I’d ever get back to my room to shower and that would be bad. And I’d have no friends.

2. Throw in a load of laundry. Wonder how there’s so much laundry in just one day.

3. Make breakfast, read kids their devotion while we’re eating. Secretly try to check my email, but then remember I told all of you to stay away from email until after school hours…

4. Kids do some chores while I clean breakfast dishes.

5. 9:00 am-ish: Start school, chase Teeny Tot, re-start school, track down 1st grader, re-start school, track down preschooler, lock all kids in schoolroom, finish school.

6. Noon: Swap out laundry, lunch, kids get free time while I clean lunch dishes. Start dishwasher so whoever has that chore can empty it for me before dinner.

7. 1:00 pm: Put Teeny Tot down for nap, lie by her door so I can catch her crawling out of crib, put her back in, lie by door, repeat…

8. TBA based on #7 above: Start Expedition Earth fun stuff

9. 2:00ish: School’s Out! Check emails

10. 3:00 pm: Chore time, finish any chores left for day

11: 5:30 pm-ish: Dinner followed by clean up and Dad time for kids

12: 7:00 pm: Start bedtime routine

13: 8:00 pm: Breathe a sigh of relief that I made it through another day of homeschooling…aaaah….check calendar to see how many more days are left, pray for perseverance.

14. Rinse and repeat.

A Homeschooler’s Home

As homeschoolers, we are always here, so our house is always “lived in”. That makes for extra mess. Sometimes I’ll take a field trip just so I don’t have to clean! If we’re not here, no mess right?

I also have a secret weapon. My Mom. Thanks Mom.

She comes once a week to help out, she cooks for us, folds laundry, cleans, and chases the Teeny Tot. I do school, run errands, drive to dance, to Lego club, to our homeschool group, to science club, and go to the bathroom in peace.

I have another secret. Live Writer.

I blog in advance, sometimes I’ll sit down and write several posts at once and schedule them out. It is much easier to write, upload pics and format posts using Live Writer. I do not blog every day. Thank you Live Writer. Note: You can also schedule posts in blogger in the “Post Options” at the bottom of blogger post window.

Planning: I have to say the thing that’s helped me remain sane the most this year, was planning ahead. I took the summer to plan out our work for each child for the entire year. Some of those things have changed as we’ve gone along, but we’ve mostly stayed on schedule. I even purchased all the craft supplies we’d need for the whole year in advance! I know, crazy right? But still, it’s kept me from slacking off in the craft area!

Also, having our year scheduled out helps me to see the big picture. I know when we’re scheduled to finish for the year, so I know if it’s okay to take an entire week off when we’re sick.

Here’s a sample of our lesson plan for my 2nd grader, I usually put page numbers and such, but I just did this real quick like so you could see an example.

Click here to download this scheduling template

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Do I follow my plan? Mostly I do, the kids seem to do better when we stick to a fairly routine schedule. I am flexible to change things that aren’t working, and keep things that are. But on most given days I follow what I set out to do. Like I always say, “Better to have a plan and not need it, than to need a plan and not have it!” (Okay, actually that comes from my husband whose motto is “better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” This applies to anytime we leave the house. It’s why I have a mini-van with a large capacity rear storage area. {wink}

Planning Tip: Another tip is to plan in Catch Up Days into your schedule. Inevitably life gets crazy, kids get sick, and if you know we have every other Friday for catch up, you won’t be so stressed when we get behind. Also, if you’re homeschooling, you’re never really behind, I mean you’re the principal so you set the rules! Can I get an Amen Sister!

Here are some of my posts on organizing, scheduling and the like:

Other scheduling options:

Have a tip to share? I’d love to hear what you all do to help make your day go smoother, so make sure to comment below!

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72 Comments

  1. I love your site and blog and the big question I have is, what programs do you use to make your printables? I teach pre-k right now and am about to make the move to quitting work and homeschooling my own kids & I would love to have the resources to make my own printables. Any advice and help you could give would be great!!!!!!

    Zowie Farr
  2. Thank you so much for writing this! You are right. We can’t do everything. Something will suffer. I homeschool a 5 ,a 7 year and a 12 year old. My schedule is a lot like yours. I try my best to tidy the house before we live for swimming or music at 2:30pm and get the kids involved. I feel proud of what we accomplish. That is until my mother in law or husband come into the house and start pointing at how disorganized are my cabinets, or the kids drawers etc. There are times that I do feel inadecuate, but this post gives me the strength to continue, trying my best at cleaning, but keeping my family my main priority. Thank you for the insight.

    Jessica
  3. Your honesty and humility is refreshing. I was truly impressed when you wrote: “…you see what i want you to see.” I secretly feel guilty when others commend me for my role as wife and mother because of all that I feel I don’t do. But this past Sunday at our place of worship we had a study on our worth in God’s eyes and the important point that he does not judge us by accomplishments but by our faithfulness and our devotion to Him. It helped me to realize that I can be honest and humble but also feel good about my behavior and dedication in my life. You should too!

    LindseyLoo
  4. I know you wrote this post a long time ago and this is not a very interesting question. I am trying to use your schedule above to plan out my homeschooling days and I like the arrows you added in. Can you tell me how you did this in Excel? Anytime I add an arrow that spans more than one cell, it expands the cell size and won’t let it cross over the borders. : ( Thank you for your posts!

    Barbara
  5. I was just thinking as I looked at your instagram, HOW DOES SHE DO THIS ALL SO PERFECTLY! So, then I read this. Thank you so much. I also have been blessed with four little ones and a hard working hubby. Staying on top of EVERYTHING can be a bit overwhelming. But, alas, I know this season will not last forever. : ) Thanks again for this blog. It is so helpful and encouraging!!!!

    Kortney A.
  6. Hello Erica,

    Thank you so much for your post! I am planning to home-school my 3rd grader next year. I have been praying for God to show me the way if it is his calling for me to home-school. Lo and behold, I stumble to your post today 🙂 I love your sense of humor and humility. I am in awe of what you can do when you put your faith in Christ and follow his calling. You are truly a blessing! Thanks again 🙂

    Maya–Lawrenceville, GA

    Maya S
  7. I read this to my kids at dinner and they made me read #5 on the list of things you do over and over again. Very funny, mostly because that sounds A LOT like school at our house. Haha Thanks for being real and real funny! We appreciate your effort.

    Lisa
  8. This was so helpful to read! Thank you for this honest post. As a home educator and blogger, I often am asked these questions, and I am inspired to write a post like this so readers understand that we are human, too!

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