As a homeschooling mother, I have the privilege of having three children in the house (and surrounding property!) 24/7. But because we are home all the time, the house is much more chaotic. It's not like kindergarten, where the teacher has a hard day and sends home her little pupils with a sigh of relief, and then turns around and cleans up in the quiet of her empty class room what the little angels missed or are too little to do. My students never leave. So all this must be done as they clamber into new projects, fight over the train set and I'm making meals. It's hard to keep a perfectly clean house, which has been hard for me to except. My mother kept an immaculately clean house, dusting at least once a week, vacuuming even more. Home cooked meals on the table every night, made in a spotless kitchen. Now I've never been a tidy, I've always been a bit of a messy. But I so appreciate an uncluttered house. But I just can't keep up, and I often hate having company, for fear of being judged. Out of a moment of frustration about this one day, I hibernated to my computer, and as I was searching other homeschool sites, I spotted this verse -"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest" Proverbs 114:4 NIV
I looked it up in my favored translation-
"Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox." Proverbs 14:4 KJV
I was inspired by these verses, and here is my paraphrase, and my motto for house keeping:
A HOUSE EMPTY OF IT'S FAMILY ALL DAY, MAY STAY CLEANER THAN A HOME FULL OF CHILDREN, FAMILY AND FRIENDS, BUT IT DOES NOT STRENGTHEN THE FAMILY TO PROFIT AS MUCH IN LOVE, VALUES, KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING!
Now, this is NOT to say there is not as much love in two income, public school families. But, in my position, I will never be able to take for granted that the children have been taught how to deal with life situations by anyone else. I will have to be the one that teaches them about the birds and the bees, and what to do on the internet when questionable things come up. They will not have their peers around discussing last weekends party, so I will have to make sure they know how to deal with smoking, drinking and drugs, and what those things are! But because I am in this position of being their #1 influence, I have a better chance of instilling the Christian values we have chosen to follow for this family. I read once what an advocate of Homeschooling said "With all the unsupervised time in schools,(ie group stations, over sized classes, recess, hour long lunches) do you really want your children being taught life by all their other inexperienced peers?" Homeschooling allows for 3 on one child/adult interaction. When they have a question, they are talking to someone who has experienced decision making in the adult world.
And if that is the advantage I receive, I will live with the cluttered house! It's worth it!!