The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are answering questions again this week!
Here is a question I got on my Smockity Facebook page :
How do you manage yard/garden work and the house work AND homeschool? I can't seem to get it together. If I get the housework done, then school usually suffers. The yard/garden is so consuming, yet I feel like I can't get out there until the school work and house work are in some kind of order, which sometimes means no gardening.
Ah, yes. The age old dilemma of "How can I get it all done?" The short answer is you can't. At least I can't.
The long answer is I focus on what the most immediate need is.
If my house looks awesome, it is probably because we have skipped school that day to dust, scour, scrub, vacuum, mop, sweep, steam clean, wash, fold, and put away everything because we are having a party later that evening.
If we are having the party tomorrow, it would be senseless to do all of the above today because it will only need to be done all over again tomorrow anyway.
Right now, our most immediate needs are
- our brand new baby chicks  that must be tended to regularly and
- finishing up our school year.
Which means my house isn't looking all that great. But no one is coming over tonight, so we're good.
Since I already know I can't do it all, I focus on the most immediate and then fill in leftover time with secondary needs.
Yesterday, I went down to the hen house to check on the chicks and give them fresh water and food. While I was down there, I gathered eggs  and noticed that the kid-built duck pond  was low, so I filled it up with water
As I was finishing up, I heard a cry that the neighbor's goats were getting out and headed for the road, so I rounded up the troops and we helped get them where they were supposed to be.
(Email readers may have to click through to see the goat herding video.)
After we all went inside a good hour had passed and I finished printing out, administering, and grading end of the year tests .
I could have fretted that I didn't have time to mop the floor or that we didn't get to go over multiplication flash cards like I had planned because of the goat roundup. Instead, I looked at the grades from the state tests I administered, and I realized that even though we don't have uninterrupted strictly scheduled  homeschooling going on during all school hours all the time, my children are learning and achieving and excelling.
And even though we don't have a spotless house all the time, we have clean clothes and dinner on the table and chores done daily .
I can't do it all. I prioritize and try to get to the rest in order of importance.
Now, be sure to check out what questions the rest of The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids  are answering: