Parenting From The Bathroom

Yesterday was an interesting school day. I was so excited for a full day at home and started off with a special breakfast with the four youngest children. The older kids were all away at school or work for the morning but when I went to check on my daughter's dog, I could see that she was in labor with her first set of pups. I quickly called my sister who is an expert in these matters and she got me set up with a list of what to do. Although she recommended I move the dog out in the living room, where I could watch her and be a part of the family, the dog had other ideas. What she really wanted was to be on my daughter's bed, but since none of us wanted that kind of mess on our beds, I ended up closeting myself in the bathroom with the laboring dog. 

This meant leaving my four youngest children to manage themselves without my supervision for a few hours until their sister arrived home. Although the oldest of these children is 13, they are the youngest of my children and as such, not as used to being in charge. My oldest daughter at that age could have run the house just as well as me, but my younger ones generally need pretty direct supervision.

However, when I finally was able to leave the birth room, er bathroom at 4:00 pm, I was happily surprised that the house had not caved in around our ears. The kitchen was relatively clean and some of the schoolwork had been done. They had also only watched one movie. This was not as bad as it could have been, in my estimation. We also had a one hour visit from a tutor, during which no fights had broken out and the children had all stayed indoors.

A few things that helped these young children manage themselves without too much destruction were the good habits, chore lists and assignment sheets that they have been taught to use. 

Even though I wasn't out there checking every thing they did, I could at least say, "Do your schoolwork," and then, "Have you done everything on your assignment sheet?" when they came in to tell me that they were done. They also got the awe inspiring treat of seeing tiny puppies just moments after birth when they came to check in with me.

Although this was by no means an ideal day, it did result in the safe birth of two puppies which will hopefully help put my girls through college. It was also an opportunity to develop more self management skills, which although these skills can be hard to give our children the space to learn, they are valuable skills to learn.

Some good resources that we have used for developing good habits and order are:

Managers of Their Homes- Steve and Terri Maxwell
Managers of their homes: A practical guide to daily scheduling for Christian homeschool families br /> Home Education-Charlotte Mason
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What are your favorite resources for developing an orderly home?

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