Homeschooling and a Messy House

Homeschooling in a Messy House

I shared a picture on my Facebook page of my messy house after a busy homeschool day.

Wow! What a response!

So, what does this tell me? That this is an area we all struggle with. Getting it all done, creating a home for our family, getting a wholesome meal on the table.

Homeschooling is a Messy Business

Let me throw a little story out there for your, bear with me for a moment. Let’s just say you have a friend that works a full time job outside of the home. Her kids are home all day (this is a pretend story, work with me). Now this is just a normal way of life for your friend. Her working all day, kids at home. Would you arrive at her house at 4:00pm and expect the house to be sparkling clean and dinner bubbling away in the oven? Of course not!

Here’s the thing. As homeschooling moms that’s what we do. Homeschooling is a full time job. Just because we are home does not mean we are supposed to be cleaning. Do you ever remember your grade school teacher sweeping the floor and emptying the trash while teaching math? What about chasing toddlers around during history or making lunch for all the students? Me neither.

Don’t get me wrong. Home is not school.

My point is that we are busy. We are educating our children! Yes, part of educating our children is teaching them life skills like cleaning, meal prep and doing laundry. When your kids are all little that makes life even more challenging. As your kids get older they can help more with household tasks, however, then they generally have more school work to do or even a part time job in some capacity.

I don’t like messes. I feel stressed when I look around and see chaos all over the place. I’m certainly not advocating a crazy, messy house. Quite the opposite, I believe we all thrive when we have order in our surroundings. What I am advocating is grace on those days when we just can’t get it all done. And I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty much everyday for me.

Remembering What’s Most Important

Sometimes we have to face the fact that cereal is on the menu for dinner. Sometimes we have to sit down on the couch filled with laundry waiting to be folded and read a book. Sometimes we have to push the Legos aside and make space on the floor to watch a movie.

By now most of us know what is helpful in keeping a relatively tidy house. I’ve written about Keeping a Tidy Home While Homeschooling! I’m here to say it’s okay to NOT have a perfectly tidy house each day.

The silver lining of a messy house? The people we love the most are with us living, learning and being messy!



  1. Tracy Bua Smith says

    Hi Jen! Great post that I can relate to all too often! I struggle with a 15 mo. old that likes to pull things out of cabinets, drawers and throw books off shelves while my older kiddos think that the floor or kitchen counter is where everything lives all day long :) I was just saying to myself today, ” I wish everything would stay where I put it!” :) I realize I’m in a season of life that I can only do so much and I often forget because I can’t do it all, my older kids need and can help too! They help, but it’s not as often or as willing as I need it to be! Homeschooling… a constant work in progress in our messy/clean house!
    Tracy Bua Smith recently posted…FirePit Party Cake and CupcakesMy Profile

  2. Chandra Regan says

    I think my husband is really looking forward to us being done with homeschooling, because our daughter’s school work always ends up sprawled all over, especially on his side of the table. I think he often wonders why we don’t get more housework done while we’re home. It just sometimes takes a LONG time to get through Algebra, let alone our other schoolwork and remembering to eat lunch and getting dinner started! So, great article! Thanks for someone else understanding!
    Chandra Regan recently posted…How to Take Control, a.k.a. Let Go of ControlMy Profile

  3. Mary says

    Amen! I love your analogy, Jen. Perfect.
    Mary recently posted…Learn About Martin Luther: Resources and Free CopyworkMy Profile

  4. Patty says

    This is a good analogy to share with those outside of homeschooling who are under the impression we sit on the couch sand eat Bon-bobs.

  5. Tiffany says

    Hi Jen~ Popping in to Blogger to say hello…It’s been a month since I’ve logged in and it’s nice to stroll around…I’ve missed it! Please pray for me to know what God wants of me in this area. I always enjoy your homeschooling helps. I think this post is important as many people need validation. It seems that keeping things real can encourage people to persevere, despite the struggles. As we know, nothing that’s worth anything comes easy…Just the courage to get back in the saddle each day is a step in strengthening ourselves for the journey. Thank you for your continued inspiration!
    Tiffany recently posted…St. Monica’s “Sweet” TearsMy Profile

  6. Jennifer says

    Thank you, I really struggle with housework duties and homeschool duties. There never seem to be enough hours to get it all done. With a busy toddler, I feel like the house always looks like a cyclone went through it despite cleaning during every pause in the school day. I think it is very different when kids are out of the house all day.
    Jennifer recently posted…Happy All Hallows EveMy Profile

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