I just read answers to a question put out to home schoolers about when they do chores. The answer was unanimously, ‘before anything else’ in the morning. What?!?!?
I have heard of home schoolers missing co-op classes because the housework was not completed, and thought that this was rare, and nuts. (Who is going to see your house when you are gone?)
What I am beginning to see is that in many homes it is more important to mom for her house to look ‘perfect’ (so her friends think she is wonderful) than for her children to be well educated.
Let me point a few things out:
1. A clean house never paid the bills, but a good education leads to much wealth.
2. If your children do not get a good foundation in school they will find college extremely challenging.
3. By placing housework first you teach your children to over-value other people’s opinions. This makes them a slave to those who emotionally bully people. This is not a personality that does well in life, but is a personality that is prone to depression, low self-esteem and fear.
4. An overly clean house stifles creativity. If you have to worry about making a mess, you will not do the things that make learning fun. Finger painting, elephant toothpaste, raising small animals- all of these hands-on projects have great mess-potential. But they are also the things that children remember most.
5. Being overly attentive to how clean your home is makes mom the house Nazi. This is not a fun position to be in, and does not help your relationship with your husband or your children. It is hard to cuddle up with someone who is always worrying about how dirty you are.
Remember: Proverbs 14:4 “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” (KJV)
Do not keep things so clean that it inhibits productive work. And remember, those of us who were at the beginning of the home school movement, the one that produced those wonderful kids who scored amazingly on their standardized tests and won spelling bees, we had messy homes! (And we visited each other. There was clutter, honest!) Let’s stop being like the world, always worried about being ‘better’ than others, and start being the people God created us to be: kind, caring, and hospitable enough to let the little things slide.
photo by Matija Barrett