Life can be hectic and chaotic in general, but add kids and homeschooling into the mix and it seems to double, no triple, the responsibilities and obligations. If you have children, it’s even more important to simplify your life, not only for your sanity but also to be a good role model for them. Teach them early on that no matter what society says, they can choose to live a simple, peaceful life.
5 Tips for Simple Living with Kids
Have each child choose one extracurricular activity—some parents are run ragged by getting their kids to all their various activities. This is certainly the case when there are several children in the family. Decide now that each child can choose only one extracurricular activity per year or season, depending on how much you feel you can handle. They may grumble in the beginning, but they too will enjoy a less stressful schedule.
Create an out-the-door basket—set up an area right beside the door that you go out of and designate a basket for each child (and adult). On the nights before co-ops, field trips or errand days, each person is responsible for gathering up everything they need to take with them the next day and putting it in their basket.
Give each child his or her own “box of stuff” — Children love to collect “stuff.” Trading cards, pieces of string, rocks, whatever. Instead of arguing with your child or amassing a collection of “stuff” give him a designated box. Your child can keep whatever she wants (within reason) until the box is full. Once the box is full your child will need to make the decision on what to keep and what to toss.
Create a weekly lunch menu—You might have a dinner meal plan but what about lunch? Before you go shopping for the week, sit everyone down and come up with one lunch menu for everyone for the week, with very little variation. In other words, no one is allowed stuff that no one else likes. They can have that at home during the week. For example, buy turkey and ham and the kind of cheese everyone agrees on. Buy one or two types of fruit and vegetables only. Purchase one type of bread that everyone likes, even if it’s not their favorite. This will make lunch time go much smoother. It also makes it easier to delegate some of the lunch responsibility to your older kids.
Move more slowly—no matter what you do. Build in more time between activities so you aren’t rushing through eating dinner, for example, so you can get homework and dishes out of the way. Set rules for no running in the house, no dashing out the door without sitting down to breakfast. Start savoring your time with your family—it’s one of the best things you can do for all of you.
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Also published on Medium.