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The Organized Homeschool Life

A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. Cleaning house while the kids are home is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing. I just cleaned the house top to bottom, so now I'm gonna need everybody to stop living here.

Have you heard sayings like these? I had when I started my homeschooling journey, and I believed them. 

My disorganized homeschool life

I had three kids ages three and under. Of course, my house was a mess! Of course, I forgot things. Of course, I had no idea what was for dinner. I had three young kids, one of whom I was homeschooling. I couldn't be expected to have a clean home or any organizing practices in place. Or could I?

I said I was homeschooling one child at that time. But the truth is I was so overwhelmed that I never got around to the homeschooling part. And that was just one aspect of the problem. I never got around to laundry, or picking up, or even showering on many days. My husband would come home to a wife in pajamas, a messy house, and no dinner. I couldn't tell him what I'd actually done that day, though it felt like a lot.

I blamed my husband for being mad at me. His expectations were just too high, I thought. I was mad at him and mad at the kids for making messes.

Yet his frustration upset me because I knew something was wrong. If I couldn't get around to homeschooling a preschooler, what would I do when I had older kids? I had visions of Child Protective Services coming to take my kids away.

But I also know if I sent the kids to school, I would still have a problem. I had a problem BEFORE I had kids. As a single graduate student, I let dishes, laundry, and trash pile up. I lived with a roach infestation. I used one credit card to pay the minimum payment on another. I missed appointments with my therapy clients and lived in fear of being kicked out of the Ph.D. program.

Once I got married, I changed some of my messy ways, but not all of them. I still had piles of laundry and messes that languished for days and I still forgot things all.the.time. My self-esteem was terrible. I wondered how someone with a Ph.D. could fail to manage housework, parenting, and homeschooling a preschooler? But that's where I was.

While I believed God had called me to homeschool, I didn't believe I was equipped to continue. I was ready to wave the white flag on homeschooling and admit that I couldn't handle any more children.

My organizing fairy godmother

At the time, someone told me about FLYLady, a woman who shared organizing missions online. She wasn't a born-organized person (B.O. for short) and I loved that. I could relate.

FLYLady (aka Marla Cilley) didn't homeschool and didn't even have young kids at home, but I copied her routines anyway. I wanted peace and order and self-esteem. If she could have that, I knew I could too.

In a short period of time, I was cleaning my home in 15-minute timed segments. I had the kids helping me. I started getting showered and dressed nicely each day. I made homeschooling part of a routine.

I had a twice-a-month housekeeper then who marveled at how little time it took to clean my house. She thought she was just working faster. But she also wanted to know if I was going somewhere because I was actually dressed.

The unexpected benefits of an organized homeschool life

My housekeeper's amazement was just one small, unexpected benefit of organizing my homeschool life. Here are three more:

#1 Have a happier marriage with an organized homeschool life

My husband stopped complaining about the mess because picking up became a routine for me and the kids. The laundry was being done on a set day of the week. And best of all, I had a meal plan. I knew what we were having for dinner and I had the groceries to prepare it.

I was thrilled that my husband believed I could not only homeschool our kids but have more of them. We added three more children to our family after I found FLYLady.

#2 Have more patience with an organized homeschool life

I was so frustrated with myself for not cleaning the house, teaching my child, or staying on top of appointments that I blew up easily over small things. With routines, I noticed that I could handle a diaper blowout, a sibling quarrel, or a toy mess much better than I could before.

As I grew in patience, my marriage improved, and my kids exhibited less anger too. With more patience, I felt better about myself as well.

#3 Have time for more than homeschooling

Having babies and toddlers is time consuming, but the most time-consuming part of homeschooling is operating without a plan. I don't mean a detailed, read-these-pages-on-these days plan, but a plan for getting everything important to you done.

FLYLady's routines served me well for years, but I started wishing I had someone reminding me to get my used curriculum ready to sell, someone reminding me to put fall family activities I wanted to do on the calendar, and someone reminding me to organize my hobby supplies so I could actually use them. I couldn't find an organizing plan for homeschool moms like me, so I created one. The Organized Homeschool LIfe book was born. It has 15-minute missions for organizing every area of your homeschool life -- not just your school space and lesson planning. I loved having a plan and so did many moms who purchased it. It was a sanity saver for sure! 

But then I became busier. I started podcasting and began my own business writing and selling Grammar Galaxy elementary language arts curriculum. I was still homeschooling several kids and parenting all six of them. I understood the moms who told me they were having trouble fitting even 15-minute missions into their days. I wanted a solution for myself that would help me get it all done. I created The Organized Homeschool Life Planner. The planner helped me and other homeschooling moms:

  • see a list of weekly tasks to complete, including the 15-minute missions
  • make a plan that begins with time with God
  • make organizing a habit (rather than event) by listing a mission or another organizing task to complete each day
  • make a list of three priority tasks and just three other tasks that can be completed in a day
  • make a loose schedule for when to get things done that includes time for relationships and a daily reward

I use The Organized Homeschool Life book and planner to do all the things I feel called to do as a homeschooling mom, podcaster, and business woman. I've come a long way from feeling like I couldn't even homeschool a preschooler!


No matter where you are in your homeschooling journey, you can experience the unexpected benefits of an organized homeschool life like I have: a happier marriage, more patience and improved self-esteem, and time for more than homeschooling. Get a free sample of The Organized Homeschool Life book and planner to use for two weeks and see if you enjoy these benefits and more. 


Dr. Melanie Wilson

Dr. Melanie Wilson is a Christian psychologist turned homeschooling mother of six. She is the host of The Homeschool Sanity Show podcast, a speaker with Great Homeschool Conventions, and author of The Organized Homeschool Life and Grammar Galaxy language arts curriculum. 

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Comments 2

Guest - Tricia (website) on Wednesday, 04 September 2019 13:14

It’s even harder with busy young adult college age kids breezing in and out and being home just long enough to make a mess but not clean it! You know I love your Organized Homeschool Life Book and Planner.

It’s even harder with busy young adult college age kids breezing in and out and being home just long enough to make a mess but not clean it! You know I love your Organized Homeschool Life Book and Planner.
Robin on Wednesday, 04 September 2019 14:21

I know what you mean, Tricia! We have an adult daughter at home too!
Assistant to The HomeScholar

I know what you mean, Tricia! We have an adult daughter at home too! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
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