How to Transition from Busy to Staying Home

Each state has its own shut downs, work from home placement of non-essential personnel, school closings and social distancing mandates. Every single one of us has a list of projects, chores and so forth that we have put on the when I have time list. Now is an excellent opportunity to pull out that list and make a plan.

Today, we are going to write down a master list of task that we have been wanting to tackle. Then look at the time, cost and importance of each task. Pick one thing to do a day and focus on that.

Some of the items on our list:

laundry … how can I be so far behind on laundry?

Deep cleaning … perfect time for an old-fashioned spring cleaning. Intimidated by the thought of this? Don’t be. Break the room down as you would a work or school project.

Step one: move the furniture that can be safely moved and clean the baseboards and walls.

Step Two: vacuum, sweep or mop where the furniture was.

Step Three: Vacuum or dust the furniture (front to back, top to bottom) before putting it in place Hint this is also an excellent time to rearrange if you have been thinking of it.

Step four: pick another part of the room and repeat.

Step five: clean lamps, pictures, knick-knacks, dust books, games, cd’s, dvd’s,

Step six: add to your laundry: was throw blankets, *if* your drapes are washable do so otherwise vacuum them,

step seven: glass (do not spray electronics with any cleaners)

Closets, Cabinets, Storage Areas, Attics, Storage Totes and Lockers: Clean and organize the closet space. See what has been shoved in there. What is useful? What can be repurposed? Where the hell did that come from? OMG what is this disgusting thing …. Kids! Deal with this unintended science project! Don’t need something? Put it aside for charity or organize a community, neighborhood or friend swap. Please, do your best to not add to the trash problem.

Garages: Clean and Organize. Yard equipment: maintenance, oil, check blades for sharpening. Tools: clean off rust, oil, organize.

Kids toys: These things multiply worse than the laundry and dirty dishes. Go through and get all the broken toys, happy meal toys and the ones you hate. Broken toys can usually be recycled. Teach your kids about charity gifting or selling things to put money towards something they really want. If you give to charity or decide to sell please make sure that it is clean, sanitized and in working order. Just because a kids gets a second hand toy doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be nice. Involve your kids in the process and you will have a lot less fighting and fussing.


Turn it into a DANCE PARTY!

Wear silly hats while you clean.

Fun Competition: Set a timer and see who can clean out which cabinet first and give that person a reward such as picking tonight’s movie; drawing them an elaborate bubble bath; let them pick the game for tonight, etc.

Live alone? Make a plan to indulge yourself when the project is done. Dig out your favorite chocolate. Binge watch your secret favorite show. Do something fun you haven’t done in ages!

Don’t be afraid to NEGOTIATE with each other on what needs done. One of the kids hates folding laundry. I want to fold laundry so I can binge watch Criminal Minds. Hence, negotiation. I will fold the bulk of the laundry if each of the kids puts away their laundry. The child who hates folding also agrees to put away the toddler’s laundry.

HOMESCHOOLING SLANT Involve your kids in the task you are doing. Will it take longer … yes. Will it be done exactly the way you want it to be … NO. Will they learn something … Yes. BREATHE, RELAX, SHARE … Life tasks are just important to learn as the information in schoolbooks. We don’t have anywhere to be so don’t rush, enjoy and bond.

WaterLily Nature and Nurture’s plan is to empty all of the laundry from the kids bathroom by having the older children take turns bringing the laundry down to the kitchen (our laundry room is the hallway off the kitchen). Then we are going to play a sorting game to prep the loads. After that each kid will take a turn putting loads in with my supervision on the soap and settings. Next, the kids set a timer on Alexa for the laundry so they know when the next person’s turn is to help mom flip laundry.

While the laundry process is happening today the kids will divide the bathroom up to clean it. One will get the toilet and floor surrounding it. Another will get the mirror, sink and cabinet, and the third will get the tub and remaining floor. Myself or another adult will supervise and explain to them how to do this.

In between all this is a great time for music, games, binge watch a show, walk the dogs, etc. Use your imagination, relax and remember to breathe and make your own schedule. Follow the sun and moon. Rest if you are tired. Eat if you are hungry. Laugh, cry, allow emotions to flow. Do art, read a book, listen to music, watch YouTube, learn a language, FaceTime a friend, really listen to your loved ones speak, journal, find yourself.

In the time of silence and fear I walk with myself and find the beauty and strength within myself and the world around me. I remake myself and change the world by creating a new normal. This is the time of the Phoenix and out of the ashes we can birth a better world, society and community.

Irisa MacKenzie 2020

WaterLily Nature and Nurture Homeschool and Sassy Viking Mama

Homeschool Survival

Step one: Don’t Panic

Step two: Do you know where your towel is? If not, may I recommend reading Douglas Adam’s HitchHiker’s Guide to the Universe?

Step three: The only answer that matters is 42

For those individuals hit by the homeschool panic, I thought I would share some resources, ideas and sanity savers. Homeschooling sounds very intimidating and many people cannot picture what it realistically looks like due to going to a brick and mortar school.

The biggest obstacle is socialization. Thankfully, we live in a world of technology. FaceTime, Kids Messenger and Google Hangouts are just some of the resources available to enable kids to chat with friends and family that they normally hang out with. Things to do while they video chat with a friend: Stream the same movie or TV show, make the same art project, perform a science experiment, play dress up or put on shows for each other.

Screen Time. My kids love their tablets and the balancing act between technology and life can be a real struggle. Pro Tip: use screen time to explore their interests TOGETHER. Love Science? Google YouTube videos on science experiments. Space is Cool? Explore NASA or the ESA. ART? look into a museum, watch Artie’s Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime and do the art project, pull out art supplies and have them use their imagination. Language Arts., NanoMano kids, WordWorld on Netflix.

Family Time! This is critical at any stage of life but now is the perfect time to go for some good old fashioned bonding. Play games together, do art, take a walk, sit in the backyard, play with the pets. TALK. Get to know each other again. LISTEN without judgement. Really HEAR each other.

Education. This goes so much further than the textbooks and worksheets. Take the time to teach them real life skills: Laundry, Dishes, Cooking, Baking, Cleaning, Gardening. You don’t know how to do something? You want to learn something? Show your kids you are human and research it together! Library (electronic), YouTube, Web search … all are valid ways to find resources and explore interests. I recommend being with your kids as they search online and explore online, especially if they are small.

ABCs and 123s. There are many resources available for traditional subjects. Look to your school district for online learning links. I will also list some at the end of this article.

Homeschool doesn’t have to be narrow or ridge. It is about nurture and nature. We began our homeschooling adventure as a way to reduce our children’s anxiety and allow them to explore their personal interests. Our kids are not concerned whether they learn at home or at school as long as they still get to have friends which is normally easily managed. If you want your kids to have fun with education allow it to be real. Learning is fluid and all around us if we simply know to seize the opportunities before us.

Khan Kids … great for Preschool and kindergarten

Khan Academy … Perfect for elementary and older … Preschool through Fifth. Videos, games, worksheets and lesson plans

Night Zookeeper … Interactive Language Arts

4H … A list of resources to keep your kids engaged

PBS Kids … Activities

Sesame Street … Games, Videos, Art

Duck Duck Moose … Learning Apps

Met Museum … Art Museum

Project Gutenberg … Free Books

NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers … Writing Exercises

Science Friday … PodCasts, Stories, Education

Scholastic …Books and Games

How Stuff Works … Curiosity Explored!

PBS Media …. Resources on many subjects

NASA Kids Club Who doesn’t want to be an astronaut?

These are just some of the resources available to us. Have Fun, Bond with your Family and make the best of the situation before us.

WaterLily Nature & Nurture Homeschool by Sassy Viking Mama