Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Staying Home With the Kids- Without Losing My Mind!

As teachers and parents, most of us thrive off of a schedule, routine, and structure.  At least I do.  We know that kids like routine and that it offers security for them.  For me, it gives me purpose and helps me to focus.  In our classrooms (whether it be in a school building or at home) a schedule is absolutely necessary for maintaining order and actually getting something accomplished.

When I was blessed enough to be a stay at home, I struggled a bit at first with how to organize my days.  I'm task-oriented and product driven.  If I don't have a least a 100 projects/ideas swirling around in my little brain, I wonder if something is wrong with me!  For me, I need a fluid schedule and routine for summer and even for extended school vacations.  It just helps me to get motivated and be productive.  Otherwise, I most likely will still be in my pj's with the kids running wild when my husband comes home from work.

I know that you SAHM, WAHM, and home school moms (who are actually do both plus more!) have this down to a science.  I would love, love for you to share your tips!

In my house, the youngest son is the artist and crafty one in the family.  On Monday, I needed to clean the downstairs and the troops were restless!  My young son had collected small rocks and had them piled on his art desk.  We had talked about painting rocks (remember doing that as a kid?) a few days ago and he seemed interested.  So, I mentioned it again.  Then his older brother wanted in on the action!  So, he helped grab the supplies and I got them set up outside on the picnic table.

Now, you'll notice the orange circle-sponge thingy on the right.  That is cut from a pool noodle and they were also experimenting painting paper plates with that.  I'll write about that another day, but you can read what I did with a pool noodle hereI left them with paint brushes and a variety of tempra paints.  Then, I went in the house to clean, peeking out the window every so often to make sure there wasn't a paint fight!  When I finished and went outside, this is what they showed me:

Wow!  Rainbow rocks!  They said, almost in unison, "No, tye-dye rocks!"  Clever!  Fun!  Free! And I got some cleaning done, but most of all they were independent and used their imaginations!
Getting the kids busy doing something productive besides playing a video game or watching TV is one thing that sometimes works. 

Also, one thing I try to do ( just a little and not really all that well) is FlyLady.  I was obsessed with her when I was a SAHM.  Click on the cute pic above to visit her site for a plethora of home organization and cleaning tips and routines.  I still declutter, sometimes shine my sink, swish and swirl, do laundry everyday,  and focus on one room to clean per day.  Other days, well, I get caught up in blog stalking hopping, hanging with my kids, or creating things for my classroom!

Each year my summer schedule changes as the boys get older.  My oldest is 18 and just graduated from high school.  He's pretty much independentThe other two boys are a different story.  One is 6.5 yrs. and the other is 5.5 yrs old.  They are 14 months apart and are just like twins!

So here is my schedule for this year.  Like I said earlier, it is fluid and not permanent.  I also watch my nephews a couple times a week in the afternoons, so I often have 5 (yes 5!) boys here at the house!
Clip art by
Clip art by

 We have two local movie theaters that offer free movies each week in the summer.  They are older movies, but we never watch movies unless it is from Red Box, so they are new movies for my kids!

This is what helps me to stay focused, actually get something accomplished, and make summer fun for my little ones!  Now chores, that's another story.  I'll share how I handle chores and little ones in my next post.  Oh, and when do I blog, create products, and blog hop?  Early in the a.m., throughout the day when I can squeeze it in, and late at night!  My husband is a saint and on most nights after dinner, he entertains the boys for me so I can get some pinning work accomplished.

I'd love to hear how you structure your day!


  1. Cute owl theme for your blog!! I love that you have your kids on a schedule...especially the 'turn off electronics"!!! My kids SO need that rule!! I really like your selective mutism ribbon and the autism button. I had a student this year with Selective Mutism. I would tape record her singing and talking and laughing for the Speech Therapist just to convince her (the therapist not my student,lol) that 'Yes!! She can talk!!'

  2. Thank you, Nancy! My boys only have an X-Box and they beg for Ipods and A D.S., but I would rather them have a book or legos in their hands! My youngest son has Selective Mutism. He's gone to the same school for 2 yrs and still will only whisper. He also will only whisper to his speech therapist. He is very suspicious when I have my camera and I was only able to take a video of him talking at home one time. Thank you so much for sharing! Lauren


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