Busy Homeschools can be Clean and Tidy Homeschools Too!
by Beverley Paine, Dec 2013
Tina asked: "Do you have any ideas on how to keep your homeschool room clean?"
Our homeschool room was our house. We did most of our homeschool work in the living area.
Our eldest went to Kindy and among the lessons I learned (because I went with her - didn't know then that this was a keen sign I would become a home educator!) was to clear the horizontal surfaces at the end of the day. If they weren't clear the cleaners wouldn't clean them. And that was a huge deal because little people create a lot of stickiness!
When she was about six I realised that the key to tidiness was picking up after her and her siblings. It was unrealistic to expect little people to remember to do that - they were always somewhere in their imagination, not really present enough to see the clutter of toys and things gradually taking over the house! I probably had 3-4 general pick up sessions a day, though the more I casually did as I moved through the house for whatever reason the easier it was. An unexpected legacy was that the children enjoyed working and playing in a less cluttered space and it encouraged and facilitated cooperative behaviours. The children were not as cranky with each other, fought less, which translated into not needing my attention as often. Meaning I had time to pick up, as well as getting on with other things I needed or wanted to do.
My eldest was probably about eight years of age (youngest two) before I had fully learned these lessons...
We used open shelves as it was easy to see where things belonged and there wasn't the temptation to overfill them, losing things at the back of cupboards or drawers where they can't be seen and remembered to be used. My aim was to make it as easy as possible for the children to get things and put them away independently.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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