Do you have a plan for laundry at your house?

Teaching Tip: 

Do you have a plan for laundry at your house?

Having a routine for dealing with laundry each week is a huge time saver. Laundry may seem like an odd topic to include on our teaching tip day! But, laundry can really interfere with teaching by taking up needed space for “school” and overtaking your house! So, I’ll just share a tip that may get you thinking of how to address laundry at your house.

How do we deal with sorting laundry each week?

As our family has grown, we’ve discovered that the sorting of whose clothes belong to whom can really take time. It also slows down the folding process. So, we’ve found it’s easier to keep the laundry more separated from start to finish. To do this, each of our bedrooms has a laundry hamper. Even within the bedrooms, we have individual clothes baskets for our boys. This reduces the amount of mixing of clothes among family members.

How do we schedule our laundry to be done?

We schedule our laundry to be done in smaller chunks each day to keep it more manageable. So, at our house, Monday is our littlest guy’s laundry day. Tuesday is towel day and also the day my hubby and I’s laundry is done. Wednesday is our third son’s laundry day. His laundry requires special laundry detergent, due to skin allergies. Thursday is our oldest son’s laundry day. Friday is our second son’s laundry day. Saturday and Sunday we have off from laundry.

What is our laundry routine?

Everyone just brings their own laundry downstairs in their hamper or basket on their designated day. The person whose laundry it is also helps fold and put away on his/her assigned day. This makes sense, as each person knows best where his/her own clothes go! Of course, we all pitch in to help fold and put away when we are in a hurry. We have a goal to get everything put away by bedtime. Sometimes, we don’t quite make it. But, having a school workspace free of folded laundry is a great motivator!

Try making a laundry plan and see what you think.

Having a plan for your laundry may really free you up from feeling like the laundry is never really done. Try making a laundry plan, and see what you think!


Do you have scheduled breaks in your day?

Teaching Tip:

Do you have scheduled breaks in your day?

We’ve found that our kiddos can stay more focused on their “school” if they have scheduled breaks within their day. For us, this works better than doing all the subjects without any breaks in between.

Setting time limits for your breaks is key.

One key for us when utilizing scheduled breaks is to set a definite time limit for the break. We also make sure to use a timer to time that break. Perhaps you’re thinking you’d rather just allow your day to flow without the aid of a timer. I used to be that way too!

What if you don’t want to live by the clock?

Even if you don’t want to live your day by the clock, a timer is a great aid to keep your day moving. It addresses the one pitfall of giving your kiddos a break in the middle of the school day. That pitfall is getting your children, and you, to return from that break! Without the aid of a timer to signal the break’s end, neither you nor your child may wish to get back to “school.”

Setting a timer to signal the break’s end takes care of potential problems that arise with breaks.

When we set a timer for the break, both parent and child are well-aware of when the break will end. As a parent, this keeps me from taking on lengthy tasks that could spill over long beyond the break. It also keeps my child from feeling like he will be randomly pulled away from playtime on my whim. Instead, with a timer, my child knows exactly how much time he has to play.

How long should a typical break last?

Typically, our scheduled breaks are 30 minutes long. Our children take those breaks at varying times throughout the day. These breaks might include things like a mid-morning snack, playtime with a sibling, recess outdoors, time on the computer, going for a walk, tea-time, etc. Try a scheduled break in your day and see what you think!


Why homeschool? You run your own schedule!

From Our House to Yours

Why should you homeschool?… A Series on Reasons to Homeschool

There are many reasons to homeschool, and at Heart of Dakota, we are focused on sharing them in this From Our House to Yours series!  First, we talked about how you get to spend more time with your children. Second, we talked about how you know what your children did for the day. Today, we’ll talk about the third reason, which is one of the biggest reasons I love to homeschool!  Simply put, you get to run your own schedule.

#3 – You run your own schedule.

Are you tired of someone else telling you what you have to do, where you have to be, when you have to be there, and how long you have to stay? If you homeschool in your own home and you are the teacher, no one else gets to tell you these things. Why? Because you run your own schedule! This reason to homeschool is so big, I really could divide it into multiple posts. I’ll just touch on some of the big ideas here!

Whether you homeschool or not can depend on the weather!

We have blizzards in South Dakota, and what do public schools do? They call off school. Where are our South Dakota children during some of our nicest months temperature-wise, like spring and fall, when they could actually enjoy playing outside? Indoors, at school. In Arizona, one of the hottest, most unbearable months temperature-wise is July. Where are the children? Stuck indoors, at home, not doing school.  Where are they when Arizona has some of the nicest temperatures, and they could actually enjoy playing outside? Still indoors, but now at school. However, if you choose to homeschool, you run the schedule. If it’s nice outside, your children can be outside. If it’s either a freezing cold blizzard or a stifling hot summer day outside, you can be indoors homeschooling.

Vacation when no one else can!

Do you know how much money you can save when you can vacation when no one else can? A lot! We love to vacation in September. Why? No one else with children in school can. Hotels can be half the cost. Lines to rides or shows or entertainment of any kind can be half as long. Airline tickets can be half the price. VRBO’s can be a fraction of the cost. Restaurants can have half the wait time. National Parks can have half as long of lines of cars. Parking lots actually have places open to park. Hiking trails can have half as many people. Pools can have room to actually swim. Nothing beats vacationing when no one else can!

Pick the best time to homeschool for your family and your children!

Are you an early riser or a night owl? How about your children? When you homeschool, you can pick the best time to homeschool for you and for and your children.  Best of all, not everyone must have the exact same schedule.  If you are an early riser, you can partner with one of your children who is also an early riser and start school earlier with that child. Meanwhile, your child who is not an early riser but is more of a night owl can do some homeschool work at night and sleep in the next morning. Each person can have a say in the homeschool day, and that makes everyone happier!

Sick days, field trip days, special days – you can take them off whenever you want!

It is hard to take days off from public school. You can’t really take them off because the teacher is still assigning work to the rest of the class. That work must be made up, and it piles up, making it almost impossible to catch up or maintain good grades.  This is why sick children are attending school. In homeschooling, if your children are sick, you simply do school a different day. They rest. Recuperate. And no work piles up. They return to homeschool healthy and ready to learn. Likewise, if you want to take a field trip, you can. Or, if there is a special day you want to take off, you do!  We always take our birthdays off.  The birthday person chooses what to have for breakfast, lunch, and supper. He picks a board game to play, a movie to watch, and an activity to play. With homeschooling, you run the schedule, and fun is allowed.

Mealtimes, movement, and moments with Dad are at your discretion!

When does your family like to have mealtimes? Early morning? Late morning? Noon? 1 PM? It’s totally up to you in homeschooling. In public school, your child may need to eat breakfast at 6:30 AM to be able to catch the bus. But, school lunch might not be until 1 PM. That’s a loooooooong time to go without eating and not be allowed to snack!

Do you have an active child? In school, movement is limited. Your child may be sitting at a desk doing seatwork in a crowded room with 20-some other students for long periods of time. Just getting permission to go to the bathroom can be tough!  However, you run the schedule in homeschooling. If your child needs a break, he can get up and move, and return to homeschooling with a fresh mind ready to learn.

Does your husband like to fish? Or to hunt? To toss around a baseball? Or to bike ride?  In homeschooling, your children can join him at any time. He can round up the children impromptu when the weather is just right, and enjoy the day with them anytime his schedule allows it. Moments with Dad can happen any time it works with his schedule, and if your husband is anything like mine, he will love that! These are just a few reasons I think you will love to homeschool!  Fellow homeschool moms and homeschool moms soon to be – never underestimate the blessing of being able to run your own schedule!  It is one of the very best reasons why you should homeschool!

In Christ,