Me and my 'first-world' problems. I live in a country and time where there are many legal options for educating my children. I am personally blessed enough to live in a place where the public schools are pretty good and some of the alternative and private options are excellent. I stay-at-home most of the time, so I am able to volunteer and be involved in the schooling process. In spite of this, we are choosing to homeschool the children through a public charter school.
We six people (plus a standard poodle, an outside cat and an inside beta fish) would find this townhouse with a postage stamp backyard just fine if we were gone all day at work, school, and activities. I do hear-tell of mothers who finally have all their children in school and they are thrilled that the house stays as clean as it was for the hours between eight and three every day.
But I don't think that the primary problem is being at home all day or having too much (of course, that contributes to the messiness problem). The house is pretty small. Yes, I know: 'A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place." Then should my second pot or the children's bicycles or the stroller or the coffee machine be considered clutter because I don't have the space? Thank goodness I was able to be at a talk by author Laura Berquist who reminded us that if we are stopping homeschooling simply to free up time to clean the house, we should hire a housekeeper and choose to educate our children. There are valid and important reasons to have children in mainstream schools, but housekeeping is at the bottom of the list.
Here is as bad as it gets in the single-car-garage/family-room/dog-dorm/learning-room/storage/pantry. I am trying (with the help of the kids) to keep the rest of the house clean and organized and I am having much more success than here. Mom- it is not this bad right now (oldish photos), and there are no rotten potatoes lurking underneath the piles. I've got my Goodwill bags and trash bags ready. It is a never-ending project because we are doing a lot of living here. I do hate that my children don't have more space. If they were in school, the school rooms would always be clean! And when I want to really get down on myself (just kidding! sort of...), I click over to Charming the Birds from the Trees- an Orthodox priest's wife who homeschools and has a lovely home. But I comfort myself a little when I realize that the living here is much more expensive than her area. But still...take a look at this...
yes, the third photo is a side view of the two big girls' desks, covered in stuff that should be in the pantry and other places. It doesn't look very peaceful or conducive to great academic achievement. Notice the USCCB envelopes in the foreground. They send a lot of mail. The 'learning room' is already half-better, but I'm not ready to take photos- it will be next week sometimes. And it will never look like the 'Charming' room.