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Stay at home, homeschool, cooking from scratch.. So much to do!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
That just about says it all. My DS is 4 1/2, DD 2 and I want to homeschool but I barely feel like I have enough time to do every day chores let a line fitting schooling time into the day. I'm still teaching both of my children to take care of themselves, clean up after themselves and help with daily chores, but between that, spending some time with them and cooking from scratch nearly 3 meals a day, I feel like I'm spent at the end of the day. If we want to go anywhere(socialization, errands) then that just takes more time away from home. I feel like I need 5 more hours to my days. Anyone else relate? I'm not even formally schooling yet and the thought if kindergarten and beyond is stressing me out. i also feel like I get so irritated that my kids aren't listening or are arguing with me so much that the thought of sending them to school when they're old enough sounds so blissful. I feel like the benefits of homeschooling are greater than public school but sometimes it just feels son overwhelming. Can anyone relate?!
post #2 of 20

I can definitely relate to feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day.  I guess for me the question is, why not make things easier? 

 

Things do get easier as kids get older and more capable, but I'm not sure the benefits of cooking from scratch are worth it if you feel permanently overwhelmed.  (I do a ton of cooking from scratch, because I usually enjoy it.  Some nights, I sling everyone frozen chicken nuggets to save my sanity.)  And home school vs. public school isn't a simple either/or choice - I went to public school, and nonetheless received most of my education at home, and home schooling doesn't necessarily mean flying solo and doing every part of a formal curriculum yourself.

post #3 of 20
We have food issues, so everything is pretty much from scratch. Still, there are some nights I don't feel like cooking. We all have those days. Since packaged foods are not possible, I needed to make my own items that are frozen and can be simply reheated.

Some ideas --

Homemade pizzas (individual size)

Stew or soup

Everything but the kitchen sink muffins (sort of like a sandwich, ready to go)

Peanut butter sandwich cookies (only as much sweetener as bread, but otherwise a cookie)

Homemade french fries (frozen, ready to be finished in the oven)

Homemade pot pie


Since you will be making it yourself, you can make them the way you like or need them.


As has been said, the children will be able to help more as they get older. And kindergarten does not require much official schooling.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies. My son is also having issues with staying in bed and waking us up all night. Makes for a grouchy tired mom and dad. I'm also having a hard time because to get him to stay in bed we've told him that when he doesn't stay in bed and constantly wakes us up at night it makes us tired and grumpy and not want to take him and do fun things with him. So, because its summer we've been going swimming a lot lately but on the days he wakes us, we don't go swimming because I just don't have the energy and I figured he's not going to stop waking us if the consequences are still going and doing fun things but then when we're home all day I battle with feeling like I need to come up with things for him to do so he's not picking on his sister or bored. Should I keep doing that or just let him be bored as a consequence??? I've already addressed his nighttime excuses and we both feel he needs to learn to go back to sleep when he wakes, so I don't really want a lecture about letting him stay in our bed or one of us sleeping with him or something. That doesn't work for us. I do batch cook and we go out to eat occasionally to give myself a break and hubs will grill on the weekend. I think we're just hitting a critical point in DS development where he's dully capable of helping out more and simply doesn't want to, and that's exhausting. Anyone have tips to help keep them motivated to help clean up and stuff?
post #5 of 20
I think your expectations are a little high for 4 1/2. It sounds like you are expecting him to pick up after himself, which is unlikely. If I'm reading that wrong, I'm sorry.

You could pick up his playthings and make putting them away a game. Maybe timing him, or see how many get in the right place. Have a reward ready if he does well. Before giving the reward, admire the cleaned up space, so eventually the admiration becomes the reward, then even later he will admire it himself. It's a process. Give it time.
post #6 of 20
You know, I think one of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to focus more time teaching your kids to take care of themselves and whatnot, rather than academics. I'm considering homeschooling my DD until 1st or 2nd grade for just this reason.

I hear you, though, on not having enough hours in the day. Lately I feel like we hardly have any time to just....play. And it's just me and a 3 year old. She's in a major foot-dragging phase, so we spend most of our time transitioning. It's frustrating for sure.
post #7 of 20
In regards to your son's sleep, is he getting enough active play in the day/afternoon? It just struck me that removing swimming for a consequence might just be adding to the issue? I have a HIGHLY active/spirited son, and if I don't encourage active play a lot, things just get really ugly.

I suspect your kids would love to help you cook and clean if it means getting to stay at the pool longer. This logic helps us with getting work done so play can follow sooner (sometimes). Think of ways to make clean up fun, if possible. We like to use spray bottles to clean the floor wearing rag "skates". Also, vacuuming and dusting can be naturally fun. Or the kids can wash their toys in the yard/sink/tub with sudsy bubbly water while you do some laundry/kitchen cleaning/toilets. I should really write this down for ME to remember (lol).

I can totally relate to your desire to get them into school, but I decided to start with unschooling and adjust as needed over time. Life skills are just as important as school subjects.

Good luck, mama!
post #8 of 20

I feel you mama. I have a 6 yo, almost 3 yo and one on the way and it is never done! But I have learned to be ok with that.

 

How much help do you have from your partner? It is not unreasonable to ask for a little help. Yes we are the SAHM, but he is still part of the family and can contribute to running the household. Even if it is something as small as entertaining the kids so you can get something done interrupted, running an errand, or loading the dishwasher.

 

Here is my experience with schooling. My DD1 went to kindergarten for a few months. For me it was NOT a break in any way. To get her up, ready and out the door was a chore in itself, not to mention homework, keeping track of field trips, volunteer stuff, PTA stuff, ect. ect. I have actually found it much easier to homeschool. And for kindergarten and 1rst grade you really do not need to do a whole lot of formal stuff, if any at all. Read lots of books, play, get them out in nature, have arts and crafts and you're good. Even if you do formal stuff, you can cover what they do in public school in an hour (so much of what they do is busy-work, administrative stuff, lining up and waiting, ect.). You can even break it up in little spurts throughout the day. But again, kindergarten should be very low key.

 

i agree that you don't have to do everything all the time. We occasionally get take-out when I am feeling run-down. I let some stuff in the house go sometimes to focus on more important / immediate needs. Sometimes my kids will watch a video so I can lay down for 30 minutes to recharge. You can take days off from activities or eliminate them if it's not working for you.

 

Most importantly - TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Do something for yourself, have your own hobbies and interests, and take care of your physical needs. If that means calling a sitter or letting some cooking and cleaning go for a day, so be it!

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
DH does help out but I have to spell it out for him. He doesn't pick up on emotions/social cues very well, so when I'm frustrated or feel like I need a break I have to tell him directly what I need and then he will oblige. I know this is normal but it's still frustrating. He's ADHD and that throws a whole other dynamic into the mix. Unless you live with an adult with ADHD you don't know what it's like. Sometimes it's more work getting him to remember to do things and help than just doing it myself. Sometimes I feel like I'm training three kids. I know.. It's a work in progress and we are actually working on how to change that dynamic together through an online counseling course. But yeah. So that's probably part of the problem. That and our parentif styles are very different. I'm peaceful, AP and he isn't. We don't spank or anything but we do time outs and punishment for inappropriate behavior. I'd love for us to be on the same page but its so hard changing habits. I'm having even a hard enough time becoming the parent I want to be and then I'm trying to help/encourage my husband to be peaceful as well and he just doesn't get it. So when he takes over things are done way differently than I'd like and it's almost more stressful letting him take over. We are also working on this too. But it's certainly not perfect. Any tips? He hates hates reading and will read the same paragraph over and over again and not retain anything unless it really interests him. I've tried!! :/
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
I uninstalled Facebook from my phone today. I think its too much of a distraction to me. I feel like my kids behavior is directly related to the fact that I don't give them enough attention during the day because I'm distracted by my phone.. So I get stressed out and overwhelmed because my kids aren't listening to me then I try and get DH to take over when he gets home and he just does what comes natural to him... Raise his voice, threaten and also spend too much time on his phone rather than engaging them. This turns into a downward spiral for everyone. As much as it sucks that I have to be the one to lay the groundwork for how the family functions I think that is going to be the easier solution long term. DH and I talked tonight about the family dynamic and he agrees with everything I've said. He just isn't with the kids all day like I am and needs direction on how to parent. Which is kind of tiring sometimes but I think long term it will be better for the family. I told him its difficult being the parent that is keeping it together all day every day and when things start spiraling to a bad place it's usually because I'm tired and need a break from being caretaker, chef, housekeeper, nurse, bill payer, yadda yadda... You all know what it means to be a SAHM. I told him I need regular breaks for the family to function well. He agreed. So yay.
post #11 of 20
I too stay at home and homeschool (4 boys ages 9, 6, 4, 2). It can be done! Not to say that I don't pull my hair out. I'm not trying to paint a rosy picture here. But as for fitting school in...there is no need for a formal structured school-y type thing, especially when so young. Just include them in your cooking, have them measure, help double the recipe, read to them, talk to them. That's it.

If you want to home school take a look at unschooling. I don't follow it exactly myself but it helps to be flexible and relaxed.

Have fun!
Amy
post #12 of 20

I relate to this, op.  My own children are 4.5 and 2.5, just genders reversed.  I cook mostly from scratch, and honestly I'm still learning.  Being a homemaker is hard work, no doubt.  And a homeschooling homemaker even harder.  I also relate to the idea of sending them to school for the break, though I doubt I will. 

 

I don't do a lot of "schooling" right now.  I'm not sure if we will stay on the unschooling path, but that's where we are right now.  I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to start schoolwork right away when the decision to homeschool has been made.  I also think there is a lot of pressure in our society to start academics younger and younger.  However, my friends and family that have decided on public school don't seem to feel as pressured to do academic stuff at home.  If they don't do preschool, even our oldest ones aren't doing much in the way of "schoolwork".    We do crafts, we play outside and experience various things in nature, we go on trips, we visit family and friends, they watch Magic School Bus and Leap Frog films, and my daughter does computer games like starfall when she's in the mood.  I have found some free printables they enjoy, but right now my 4 yr old just doesn't care for worksheets.  We do enjoy dot to dots, puzzles, etc. 

 

As they become more independant in other areas, and hopefully more helpful around the house as well, lol, their academic needs will probably increase.  At that point I will be able to focus more on that and less on the day to day...at least thats my plan for now and kind of seems the natural order of things.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies. I think I was just having an overwhelming day, and not as in tune to my children as I should have been. I think I've been less productive and short with my children lately because of my stupid iPhone. Seriously, instant access to research anything that pops into my head, Facebook notifications, following blogs, groups and online garage sales. It's so distracting. I uninstalled Facebook from my phone and that's helped a ton. I always wondered just how incredibly productive my parents seemed to be growing up, and I think not having Internet as a distraction probably helped, that and we had more structure to our days. She instilled a mandatory quiet time from 2-4 everyday. We didn't have to sleep but we had to stay in our rooms. I think she did this because we were home all day, homeschooling and she needed the break! I never felt ignored or isolated during these times because they typically have us the attention we needed and taught us to be productive and helpful from early on.
post #14 of 20

2 and 4 are exhausting ages!  In a couple of years it will be so much easier!  They will be able to help sooooo much- you won't believe the difference!  I do think you are doing the right thing by pushing them gently to help- they can't run amuck and then hit 7 and suddenly be expected to help and know how to do it :)  I honestly think that my 7 yo DD knows how to do almost everything that I do with the exception of laundry because I have always expected her to help out.  

 

But there are better days just around the corner.  I also think your household expectations might need to be lowered.  You have little children who are only little once.  The poem about dust and cobwebs and rocking your baby and all- it is true!  You turn around and they are 7!  We pick up our toy room once a week to vacuum- yeah I would like it picked up everyday- but this is life right now.  There are fingerprints everywhere- signs of little ones running around- it is ok.  We don't live in filth but a little mess is ok.  There are lots of years ahead to have things perfectly tidy.  Also there are tons of Pinterest ideas for once a month cooking- would that work?  It doesn't work for me- but I do a lot of crockpot meals and we are hitting sandwiches pretty hard right now.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

We have food issues, so everything is pretty much from scratch. Still, there are some nights I don't feel like cooking. We all have those days. Since packaged foods are not possible, I needed to make my own items that are frozen and can be simply reheated.

Some ideas --

Homemade pizzas (individual size)

Stew or soup

Everything but the kitchen sink muffins (sort of like a sandwich, ready to go)

Peanut butter sandwich cookies (only as much sweetener as bread, but otherwise a cookie)

Homemade french fries (frozen, ready to be finished in the oven)

Homemade pot pie


Since you will be making it yourself, you can make them the way you like or need them.


As has been said, the children will be able to help more as they get older. And kindergarten does not require much official schooling.

Great ideas!!!! I always feel like I ma out of time too and feel tired. I am tired of cooking!!!!!! a lot of the time because I too make everything from scratch and running the ship. I like these frozen food ideas!

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've since implemented quiet time into our day. I have been waking up before the kids to have time to drink coffee, get on my phone and make my bed and get dressed. It's amazing how quickly my additude has improved! I just need to be disciplined enough to stick to it. I'm naturally a night owl, but as ice learned what I prefer isn't necessarily best for the whole family. Kids definitely have a better day when we aren't lazing around all morning before starting our day. I've started buying gluten free bread for sandwiches and l have been cooking bigger meals and freezing leftovers, or simply reusing leftovers and transforming it into another meal the next night. That's been helping!
post #17 of 20

I'm a new mom to teenagers gasp !! my kids are 13 and 11 and I'm new to this site i use cafe mom but its nuttiness but drama I'm from Louisiana and we are homeschooling too !! hope to make some friend here

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Finally figured out why staying at home with two kids has been driving me crazy lately. My son is ADHD. OMG! It explains everything. I felt like my son ran the household and in a way he did. We started him on a vitamin regimen and essential oils and its improved everyone's life so much. He doesn't rule the house anymore and everyone is happy. I've actually started watching a boy out of our house part time and at first the thought of it was stressing me out but now It's been working great and were all enjoying it, and my son is feeling so proud and accomplished that he can accomplish things for himself and remember stuff now.
post #19 of 20

You're already homeschooling. No need for academics at those ages, unless they are just interested on their own. Or, you could look into Charlotte Mason homeschooling, where the most important thing to teach them first, is good habits, providing a certain beneficial atmosphere in the home where family time comes first, and academics come differently, and later on, once self-reliance in dressing, hygiene, and daily routines is firmly established.

 

Letting them sort silverware into the silverware drawer when they are little and want to help with everything but can't do much, is a good thing. Getting little kid-sized brooms and dustpans so they can "Help" sweep (no matter how bad they are at it, it's fostering the spirit of willingness that matters) helps.

 

Later on, they can learn to fold laundry starting with dishcloths or washcloths, and later on, put away their own laundry.

Etc, etc.

 

I love the "room time" ideas I have seen here and elsewhere, and plan on doing that too. As for academics, half the battle has been, for me, waiting til the right time for each child, to start something. My DS was not ready to learn to read at 5. Now, early into 6, he's happily able to do the basic phonics that he was miserable with me trying to get him to do even a few months ago. I'm seeing that it's ok to do things on their timetable, not someone else's. He has a short tolerance, so a sweet 5-minute lesson today was successful and he even said I made it fun! Any longer, and he gets resistant, so I don't push. He's still learning.

 

I find they learn more by following their interests, than anything I could teach, but what I do teach, when they are ready, they absorb a lot in very little time, compared to warming a chair day after day, year after year, in school. So they spend time helping with chores, time learning, and a lot of time following their interests or us going out on an adventure. Probably when I have this baby we'll take a break from formal learning. They can learn about a baby all over again! We could use it as a unit study for human reproductive biology!


Edited by goingonfour - 1/11/14 at 3:08pm
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBone View Post

Thank you for the replies. I think I was just having an overwhelming day, and not as in tune to my children as I should have been. I think I've been less productive and short with my children lately because of my stupid iPhone. Seriously, instant access to research anything that pops into my head, Facebook notifications, following blogs, groups and online garage sales. It's so distracting. I uninstalled Facebook from my phone and that's helped a ton. I always wondered just how incredibly productive my parents seemed to be growing up, and I think not having Internet as a distraction probably helped, that and we had more structure to our days. She instilled a mandatory quiet time from 2-4 everyday. We didn't have to sleep but we had to stay in our rooms. I think she did this because we were home all day, homeschooling and she needed the break! I never felt ignored or isolated during these times because they typically have us the attention we needed and taught us to be productive and helpful from early on.


I'm going to get cracking on "room time" myself for all those reasons, once I build those built in bookcases along the wall under the eaves, so we can organize everything and clean up up there, to where they actually have things to do, up there!

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