Welcome to Habits in the Home. This is the second part in a 4 week focus on habits. We started with the habits of the HEART, our quiet time with the Lord. All other habits are secondary to our primary relationship with God, our creator and savior. However, as a homeschooler, habits in the HOME are of great importance since I am in my home most of the day. I am going to focus on just two aspects of our HOME life:
- School Habits: Schooling takes up most of our day, so it should be done with excellence. I am not just speaking to my students, but to myself as a Homeschooling mom. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” What a great verse to claim as a homeschool mom or student. Let us not be ashamed of the effort that we put forth each day. Here are some helpful ideas to create lasting habits in the home:
Habits For MOMS:
~Be prepared for your day by starting it off right with your daily quiet time. If you are spiritually dry, you will have nothing to give. (I am speaking to myself here!!!)
~Pray for guidance and patience with each child. Trust me on this… I have three going through some form of puberty at the same time and I’m clueless without God’s wisdom!
~Sow your seed in the morning and at evening let your hands not be idle… Ecclesiastes 11:6
~Be encouraging, uplifting, loving and FUN!!!!
~Get accountability if you are unorganized like myself.
Habits for STUDENTS:
~Be proactive about studying. (Don’t wait for your mom to remind you)
~Don’t just get your work done, do your best in everything.
~Have a positive attitude. Complaining makes everything harder.
~Create a lapbook or an interactive notebook on any subject that may be difficult.
My home EC girls made a Math Lapbook this week to help them to remember all of their math facts. A math lapbook is just a place where all of your math facts reside. It contains terms, properities, and facts that are easily forgetable. Having them in one place actually saves you time in the end. Plus, the actual activity of making the lapbook helps to committ the information to memory.
2. Housekeeping Habits:
As a stay at home, homeschooling mom, my home is my office, my classroom, my living space, and and intrical part of my life. I am most motivated to create, cook or learn when my home is neat and tidy. However, people and relationships should always come first. An organized home is difficult to be attained by one person. It takes a family effort. Moms must require their kids to help and spend the time teaching and training. I have a friend that always says, “If you EXPECT it, then you should INSPECT it”. Isn’t that one of the hardest parts about parenting…following up! However, if you expect any habit to be created, your children need accountability and you must be disciplined to give this to them!
Having a clean and organized home is especially important to me because I have an OCD husband. I am a natural messy, so I have to be purposeful about housekeeping. Here are some ideas that has helped us to maintain a clean home (except for my master closet, which is utterly hopeless):
~Crazy Clean: When my kids were younger I would crank up the music and set the timer for 10-15 minutes. The kids and I would then run around crazy, getting as much done as we could. We weren’t allowed to be still during this time. Typically I would do this right before dad came home at the end of the day! He would either come home to find us workin or a clean house. Either way, he felt blessed.
~The late Elizabeth Eliot once wrote this quote: “Do the next thing”. It seems incredibly obvious, but sometimes we don’t even know where to start when we feel overwhelmed by our housework and schoolwork. You don’t always have to focus on the end result, sometimes you just need to think about the “next thing”. I have this quote printed on my “to do list” in my laundry room.
~Set a timer: Being an undiscipined individual, I find that I do best with accountabilitiy, and rewards. My natural tendency is to spend my time doing things that are not always productive, like crafting, sewing or creating. (All of these things involve making a mess) I like to set my timer and go back and forth between being productive and working on my projects. The timer keeps me on track. My kids have gotten to where they love setting the timer.
~Chore Charts: I love to start things. I am never lacking a plan. It’s sticking with the plan that is my struggle. Every summer and fall I usually create or find a new chore chart for the kids. This breaks up the monotany of our mundane responsibilities. We don’t pay our children to do their everyday responsibilities, however I do have an opportunity for my kids to earn money doing odd jobs. This is a help to me and it gives them earning potential. These are chores above and beyond their daily responsibilities.
My home EC girls made their own chore charts using a set of old Stamping Up Chore stamps I purchased many years ago. I figured that they would enjoy being creative and setting their own schedule. Some of them even made charts for their younger siblings. (See picture above) I am praying that they are a blessing to their parents this week in the HOME!