Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog, Juggling Homemaking, Homeschooling, and Boys and a Dog! My name is Crystal and I’m so excited to be here with you.
It all started five years ago when my husband and I welcomed our first son into the world. Life got a bit crazier when our second son arrived two years later, then a dog, and then our third son two years after that! Through our chaotic and blissful journey, I learned many important lessons about homeschooling, homemaking, and raising three boys and a dog.
And now, I’m so excited to share those tips with you. Let’s get started!
Acknowledging the Challenge of Parenting
I get it. I help moms who are juggling and swirling in the day-to-day chaos of managing three boys, a dog, and the demands of homemaking and homeschooling.
It’s overwhelming, frustrating and exhausting. So many different thoughts rush through your head at one time — what should I make for dinner? did I send him to school with enough snacks? did we finish our math lesson today? where is that sneaker? what do I need at the store again?
When your head’s spinning like that it can be hard to get back out of survival mode. Feeling like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel, going and going but never succeeding in any area of life is an all too common reality for busy moms with homemaking responsibilities.
That’s why I’m here… writing these guides! Sharing practical insights on how to manage three boys, a dog, and balance the demands of homemaking, homeschooling all while managing your sanity. Because when you juggle all those things it takes something special— grit blended with grace—to make it through each day victorious!
Celebrating the Joys of Parenting
The challenges of parenting can be overwhelming, but if you’re anything like me, a cup of coffee and a good dose of laughter will get you through the day. That’s why I want to take the time to celebrate the joys of parenting— because it’s worth it!
I am a stay at home mom with three boys and a dog. My husband and I are homeschooling our boys while we simultaneously maintain our homemaking responsibilities with our fur baby in tow. Yes, life is busy at times, but it is so incredibly fulfilling. There have been plenty of days when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep until noon. Although this has not yet been possible due to my many responsibilities as a mother, the blessing of having such wonderful family around me gives me more pleasure than anything else in this world could ever offer.
What’s more – most days we are able to make homemaking magic happen within budget! What?! Yes, you heard me correctly! We have found that by taking some simple steps (and using some really clever hacks!) that reduce strain on your everyday life – both financially and emotionally – that can revolutionize your balance between homeschooling or working outside the home (or both!) and looking after your three boys and dog soulmates.
Throughout this site, you’ll find lots of tried-and-true practical tips for juggling busy days that come from my experience as a busy mom with three boys (plus one little fur ball!).
Here is where I’ll be sharing amazing tips for creating memorable family experiences (seriously – birthday parties on a budget have never been so easy!), trying new recipes from different countries around the world (from across Europe to Asia), while also looking after yourself with delicious homemade body scrubs, face masks and more! Take advantage of all the tips here – whether its easy dinner ideas or hacks for foolproof kid hairstyles -it’s just plain fun too!
I hope this guide helps give other parents confidence in their ability to juggle all their responsibilities – plus providing endless entertainment for their families along the way! From one busy mom to another – Happy Parenting!
When I first became a mom, I had no idea how I was going to manage it all. I was already homeschooling our three boys, plus taking care of our beloved dog, and had all kinds of other home-based responsibilities, too.
I’m here to tell you that, despite all the challenges, it’s absolutely possible to juggle it all and even make it a joyful experience! I’ll be sharing with you a few of the practical tips and strategies I’ve learned over the years that have made a huge difference in my life as a busy mom.
Meal Planning and Prep
For busy moms juggling homemaking, homeschooling, and boys and a dog, meal planning and preparation can be quite the challenge. With our three boys, a lovely rescue pup, and both of us working from home full-time (plus homeschooling during the week) it can leave us feeling exhausted just thinking about what to make for meals. That’s why it’s so important to spend a little time each week planning our meals. Here are some meal planning tips that help me get organized:
- Create a flexible weekly meal plan: Taking an hour or two each week to sit down and create a basic meal plan allows me to brainstorm ideas for quick dinners for busy weeknights in addition to more time-consuming meals for weekends.
- Double recipes whenever possible: Whenever I make something like lasagna or chili that can easily be made in double batches, I always double the recipe so that I can freeze half for later weeks. This makes dinner prep much simpler!
- Make lists of meals you enjoy cooking: Knowing what everyone enjoys eating keeps stress levels down when I’m trying to come up with dinner ideas on the fly. Keeping a running list near your meal plan helps with inspiration too!
- Prepare ahead when possible: From chopping vegetables ahead of time or prepping ingredients in advance to doing laundry on a designated day of the week – taking care of as much “homework” as you can before weekdays start is key!
- Batch cook on weekends & freeze meals: Taking advantage of free time comes in handy here when trying to reduce kitchen chaos during busy times like dinnertime sometimes calls for efficiency & creativity. Cook big batches one weekend and freeze the leftovers so they can be used again on nights you don’t have time or energy to cook.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard – with some creativity & some well thought out pre-planning you’ll find that feeding yourself and your family will become easier as each day passes by!
Creating a Cleaning Routine
Creating a cleaning routine is essential when homemaking with three boys and a dog (or any kids). It’s easy to fall into the trap of letting things slide until they become overwhelming and unmanageable. Having a routine in place makes it easier to keep up with the daily tasks without getting bogged down.
When developing a cleaning routine, the first thing I like to do is brainstorm: make a list of all the areas of the house that need regular attention, such as the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, mudroom/laundry area, etc. Then think about what tasks need to be done in each area on a weekly basis – sweeping floors, dusting furniture or shelves, laundry or changing linens? Make sure you decide on tasks that are realistic for your family and home size – don’t overdo it.
In addition to weekly tasks, come up with monthly or bimonthly tasks as well. For example vacuuming carpets or upholstery or wiping down baseboards. I also like to include one special task each month- like deep-cleaning an appliance or tackling a specific organization challenge that needs extra attention.
Divide everything you’ve jotted down among your family members according to age and ability; older kids can take on more responsibility than younger ones. Set aside one day each week when everyone chips in – this is especially important with three boys and a huge dog! And don’t forget yourself – carve out some time for yourself at least once each week too! Everyone benefits when there are specific expectations and consistent effort around maintaining our home environment!
Finding Time for Self-Care
I know that as a busy mom with homemaking, homeschooling, and three boys to take care of (not to mention the dog!!), it can be hard to find time for those activities that we do just for us. When our daily routine is dictated by the needs of others and our mental energy gets drained quickly by both real life and an ever-present mom guilt, taking advantage of any opportunity to prioritize ourselves can feel like a huge accomplishment.
That’s why carving out even just fifteen minutes here and there for self-care is so important. Here are my tips for busy moms who are juggling all the roles thrown at them:
- Take time in the morning before everyone else wakes up. Use this time for exercise or stretch; listen to your favorite music or podcast; make a cup of tea or coffee; read or journal; paint or draw; pray or meditate—whatever activity is calming and relaxing for you!
- Make a spot in your home that’s just for you—no kids allowed. Whether it’s just where you put your feet up during the day when you need some quiet solitude, a whole room dedicated to your hobbies and interests, or anything in between, give yourself permission to make that space your own oasis!
- Put yourself on a schedule. Whether it’s every other day or once a week, decide when it makes sense in your current season-of-life circumstances to set aside half an hour (or more if possible) exclusively devoted YOU TIME – no excuses!
- Don’t forget about socializing! Get together with some friends and take the pressure off yourselves completely – enjoy each others’ company without expectation The best relationships come from true bonding during relaxed conversations over coffee (or cold beverages!).
- Prioritize restorative practices such as yoga and/or massage therapy: both help lower cortisol levels which leaves us feeling more relaxed yet energized at the same time – win/win!
- Finally: Laugh more! Not only does laughter produce positive endorphins it helps us release stress which ultimately refreshes our body & mind with renewed clarity & purpose so don’t be afraid to let go & have fun with family & friends!!
When I started homeschooling our three boys and a dog, I didn’t know what I was doing. But I was determined to make it work. After all, we wanted to give them the best education possible, and I knew that we could manage the logistics of juggling homemaking, homeschooling, and three boys and a dog.
This article is dedicated to my own experiences as a mom, and I’m excited to share some practical tips that have worked for me on this journey.
Establishing a Homeschool Routine
Creating an appropriate homeschool routine is a subject that comes up often when talking to friends and fellow homeschoolers. It’s a real challenge for busy families like mine. After all, there’s more to life than the three Rs: There are boys and there is a dog—all with different needs! But don’t despair: With some creative thinking and planning, you can find a balance that works for your family.
I find it helpful to break down how we organize our days into five main components: transition time, structured learning time, fun learning time, mentored playtime, and reflection time. Each day typically follows the same basic pattern right down to the minute so everyone knows their expectations and what needs to be done when. This routine provides structure while also allowing flexibility to accommodate all of our interests without feeling overwhelming or restricted.
Transition Time: I start each day at 8am by gathering my three boys together in one room for “transition” time—a period designated for prayer, journaling (for me), gratitude declarations (for my kids) from something we learned in school that week or are grateful for around the home/family, then move onto scheduled chores for each of us—each rotation ends with someone checking on our dog “Blue”. True transition time should give everyone in the family purpose & space to prepare their minds & hearts into “ready mode” – ready for activities ahead!
Structured Learning Time: As we move through transition time, I flip it over into structured learning activities soon afterward – this gives us plenty of margin as well as accountability—keeping us on track & focused as well. During this hour my two older ones read independently & I’ll spend 30 min with my preschooler while sharing varied book lists each week that aligns with what they would encounter in school settings…we enjoy playing games during this block — Math War card game being one of our favorites especially when they want to sharpen their mental math skills!
Fun Learning Time: Sometimes personal interests worm their way right along within Structured Learning Time & why not? Overlap might not be only logical but healthy too — provides breaks or much needed breathers every once in awhile so everybody could remain fresh-minded throughout…one example of which is music — it can easily lay back against our academics since we listen/play various kinds of music types already as part of our daily life anyway! Then there are some days wherein there’s extra ‘creative juices flowing’ — sometimes unplanned projects show up even without any warning signs…my eldest son would love experimenting with chemistry/detective work during these times which he finds beyond fascinating!!
Mentored Playtime: Dogs need attention too but most especially children need exercise…viewing mentors around here as great teachers – assisting kids focus specifically on whatever moves them particularly — works like internal force-multipliers – whether its outdoor sports (soccer), swimming , gymnastics , abacus . . .well you get the idea! What this does is help them better understand intrinsic rewards from dedicating efforts towards something worthwhile rather than depending solely on extrinsic rewards…great positive reinforcement don’t you think? Every achievement gained out rightfully granted carries more weight! It provides deeper meaning not just sheer joy!!
Reflection Time :Think Final Exam but Better … We’re taught to pause at the end of each day – offering simple thoughtful reflections about how it went – how could we have done certain things better & why achievements should be celebrated only up until certain points otherwise may lower overall performance excellence level unawares?? Most times I do send out writing prompts randomly related towards their studies etc; however what matters most on this aspect is getting them open things up so inquisitive minds keep working properly until its natural shut-off whenever sleepiness sets in!! So true when people say ‘minds doesn’t switch off like lightbulb’!!
Choosing Curriculum and Resources
When choosing and planning curriculum and other resources to use while homeschooling, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the needs and learning styles of your children. This can help you select appropriate curriculum and activities that will be stimulating and fun for them. Secondly, take a look at your budget and prioritize what’s most important. It can be tempting to buy all the new books, games, and tools available on the market for homeschoolers but it’s important to remain mindful of what you can realistically afford. Lastly, align your choices with your values—it’s helpful to pick resources that represent the values that are most important as well as ones that could potentially open up dialogue about different world views or perspectives.
Once you have selected some resources such as textbooks, websites, apps or even field trips—the fun part is actually using them! When using texts focus on letting your children explore on their own rather than obsessing over covering every page in the book. Consider having conversations about what they find interesting or engaging so they take ownership of their learning. It’s also important to remember not to put too much emphasis on standardized testing–fundamentally education should be about enjoying knowledge and developing critical thinking skills rather than worrying whether they have “learned enough” by certain benchmarks or determinations set by outside sources like government standards or school district requirements–sometimes we just need some simple tips for busy momos!
Incorporating Fun and Variety
Keeping our homeschool days positive and fun can be hard work! We all want to help our kids learn and grow in their studies, but there’s nothing more boring than a rote recitation of facts. Variety is the key — add some experiences into your lesson plans that liven up the day, such as field trips to local museums, exploratory hikes in nearby parks, or even just watching educational videos and documentaries on topics related to lessons.
This is especially important when teaching little ones — children who are just getting started with homeschooling need plenty of fun and adventure mixed with more traditional work. Kick off each day with something special, such as an outdoor activity or playing a game that ties into the lesson plan. Give them breaks throughout the day so they can refresh their minds before returning to studies.
Another way to keep your children engaged and learning (in addition to having some fun!) is through hands-on activities — letting your children touch, feel, discover new things can encourage them to stay interested for longer periods of time. There are lots of interesting experiments and projects online (or you can simply invent your own!) tailored for specific age groups or lesson plans that you can use — from chemistry projects for middle schoolers working on advanced math problems or elementary school students making crafts related to science concepts.
We try get outside at least once per day with our three boys (and sometimes our dog!) either running errands around town together or visiting local attractions like botanical gardens or natural history museums. This helps keep homeschooling feeling fresh and exciting which keeps everyone involved — including us parents! So don’t be afraid to incorporate variety into your days; it will definitely help make juggling homemaking, homeschooling… and boys…and a dog… that much easier!
Boys and a Dog
Let me tell you, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I married my husband and welcomed three little boys and a dog into my life. It’s been a wild ride and I often joke that if I can find ways to juggle homemaking, homeschooling, three boys, and a wild dog, then I can do anything.
So let’s take a look at some practical tips I’ve figured out for busy moms like me looking for ways to stay sane and organized with a house full of boys and a dog.
Establishing Boundaries and Expectations
Setting boundaries and expectations with our three boys, along with the dog, can be a strain on the patience of even the calmest and most organized moms. Still, boundaries are important. When we establish boundaries, we’re helping our children learn right from wrong and self-control when it comes to their behavior. They also learn that as adults we’re willing to take a stand for what’s right, even if it’s not always popular with kids!
When I first started out as a homeschooling mom of three boys and a dog, one of the most challenging tasks I faced was setting boundaries. It felt like I had zero control over them! They wanted to stay up late, sleep in late in the mornings, skip learning activities because they were “tired” or just didn’t want to do them. Afterward I would be too exhausted or distracted to complete my necessary homemaking duties like vacuuming or folding laundry!
The truth is that enforcing boundaries is essential for your emotional peace and sanity as well as your kids’ development. So it is definitely something worth dedicating active effort into mastering! Here are some tips that worked for me when establishing expectations at home:
- Create a regular schedule: Not all families have strict routines but having basic ground rules are essential elements when it comes to creating a peaceful environment at home. Setting limits on playtime activities vs learning activities will go a long way towards organizing yourself and your kids’ day.
- Set concrete rules: By having specific rules in place like no running in the house or no hitting as well as housekeeping jobs sets expectations and builds respect between yourself and your children – they learn early on you mean business!
- Be consistent: Be sure you enforce the rules consistently and keep forgotten consequences minimal; otherwise children may feel confused when reminded about different consequences after an infraction is committed. For instance if running inside is not allowed explain why first then state “No running.” When followed by an action then rewards should be equally meted out too for good behavior – this way everyone is aware of their actions trajectory!
Scheduling Outdoor Time
Outdoor time is essential for young minds and bodies. Especially for our three boys and a dog! With busy homemaking and homeschooling lives, how can we make sure that outdoor time gets into our daily routines?
One of my favorite solutions is to designate a certain amount of outdoor time daily, like 15 or 20 minutes or even an hour. It could be spent romping in the backyard, chasing the dog around, or taking a leisurely walk around the neighborhood; there are so many options. Scheduling this time keeps us on track, ensuring that we don’t forget to take advantage of all the activities playing outdoors has to offer.
I also keep a list of fun ideas for playing outside and in case I’m short on new ideas: hide-and-go-seek, soccer practice, hopscotch court, scavenger hunt and making mud pies are just a few great ideas I can think of off the top of my head. You could even create an outdoor obstacle course! That always provides hours of entertainment for our three boys (and if you happen to have a pup too—even better!).
With some creative scheduling tips—and understanding how important it is for our kids—outdoor time can easily fit into your days with boys and a dog.
Finding Time for Fun
Finding time for fun may seem impossible, but it is possible with a little creativity. With three boys and a dog running around our house, I’ve had to get creative in order to fit fun into our hectic schedule. From having ‘picnic’ game nights in the living room, to taking weekend hikes around the neighborhood, finding ways to make fun quality time as a family can be as simple or involved as you choose. It all depends on what kind of outing or activity your family enjoys.
Many of us enjoy the outdoors and prefer activities such as swimming, hiking, camping or fishing in nearby lakes or forests. If that’s the case for you and your family, then there are plenty of options available. Packing up the car with snacks and drinks and setting out for the day can be a great way to connect with nature – plus it usually requires no advanced planning!
If you prefer low-key activities like board games, craft projects or video gaming then there are plenty of those too! Building pillow forts with my three boys is always one of their favorites – plus it leaves them exhausted at night which makes bedtime that much easier!
Sometimes I think it’s easy to forget how important it is to make time for fun with our families – especially when we have so many responsibilities competing for our attention. But by carving out some special time each week – even if its just 10 minutes – we can make sure our relationships stay strong and ensure that everyone is having some much needed quality bonding time together!
It’s amazing how the little moments of joy can often outweigh the chaos of being a busy mom!
We can take comfort in knowing that in the end, we have been able to give our three boys and our dog a loving home and a stable educational environment, which has been our goal since the beginning.
We hope that these practical tips have been helpful to other busy moms out there – you definitely can have it all with a little bit of organized planning!
Reflection on the Journey
My journey over the past several years of homemaking and homeschooling with my three boys and a dog has been eye-opening and filled with many joys. Each day presents unique problems and opportunities that require solutions. In the process, I’ve learned volumes about how to juggle multiple tasks and assignments in order to keep everyone happy, healthy, and learning.
This exciting roller coaster ride has taken me back to basics— teaching our family members how to become independent thinkers, communicators, problem solvers, future workers, and growing Christians. As we’ve traversed life together as a unit we have also engaged in fundraising activities as well as impromptu trips to interesting places because I believe there is another side of “education” which must take place outside of a traditional school setting.
Even with all of these experiences, I am still learning—looking for better solutions on the fly for our particular family dynamics; recalibrating based on the vision God has given me for my family; embracing change even when I think things should stay the same; being mindful of what truly matters at its core; taking massive action so that each day counts; maintaining balance so that I don’t become overwhelmed; seeking God’s guidance throughout my day; applying grace liberally when needed; assessing our lifestyle’s impact on every aspect of our lives (i.e., food quality).
This reflection reaffirms why it is important to pause periodically in order take inventory where I am now versus enlisting a dream upon a distant horizon. A hearty appreciation lies within each stage–the dreams shaped by Jesus himself that stirs up joyfully work exhaustively towards while taking into consideration our individual needs and strengths–and as a result creates an entirely new path forward with hope along life’s difficult curves until an eventual destination emerges into sight.
Acknowledging the Challenges Ahead
There are certainly challenges to managing homemaking, homeschooling, and boys and a dog. I know from personal experience that each of these can be overwhelming. But with proper planning and realistic expectations, you can do it. Yes, things will get crazy at times, but isn’t that part of the adventure?
I recognize how daunting it might appear to those looking in from the outside at our three boys and a dog. But I want to remind you that if you take things one day at a time you will make it through this journey with grace and joy. There are days where schedules don’t match up perfectly and some chaos ensues as we all navigate through difficult emotions or academic conundrums. It’s okay if it isn’t perfect every day – life on this front is an ongoing conversation, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or change course when needed!
Whichever route or lifestyle works for your family is the best option for you – there is no one-size-fits-all solution when caring for little ones (and furry ones) in addition to maintaining the home and learning environment everyone needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
What tips do you have for juggling homemaking, homeschooling, and boys and a dog?
I’m a busy mom with three boys and a dog, and I know how overwhelming it can be to manage it all. I recommend setting up a daily routine and sticking to it. This will help you keep track of your responsibilities and prioritize what needs to be done. It’s also important to adjust expectations. You can’t do it all, so don’t be hard on yourself. Lastly, don’t forget to take time for yourself. Make sure you take a break and have some fun every once in a while!
What are some of the challenges you face with three boys and a dog?
One of the biggest challenges I face is just trying to keep up with all their energy! It’s always go, go, go with our three boys and the dog. Keeping them entertained, fed, and busy is a never ending job. On top of that, I’m homeschooling and running the house. It’s definitely a lot to manage, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What advice would you give to other busy moms like yourself?
My best advice would be to stay organized and make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Having a good support system is also important. Whether it’s family, friends, or other moms, reach out and ask for help when you need it. Most of all, remember to enjoy the journey. It’s not always easy, but it can be so rewarding!