One of the phrases I've heard more than once as an excuse against homeschooling: "The only time I can clean is when the kids are in school." I wonder about this. I'm sure there are some homeschoolers who have managed to keep their home in order and their kids happily pick up after themselves. I'm not one of them. For a short period in my homeschooling career, I could do that. I followed the Flylady system. It worked well until my youngest entered her toddlerhood and the older two got busy with classes and activities. Then I decided I needed more than a house that was ready for the cover of a magazine. I needed time to be creative. I needed to draw and write. I needed to express myself. Those things take time. If I'm devoting my free time to a neat house, I'm too tired for anything else. So I compromised. I prioritize laundry and dishes. I make my bed (almost) every day. And I try not to beat myself up when the house looks like a hurricane flew through. And as they grow, there are less toys on the floor. Now I am more likely to pick up books or art projects. And if I ask for help, I know one of them will step up and put away dishes or sweep the floor. They are growing. As hard as it is for me to see it now, I know there will come a time when I straighten up the house and it stays neat.