Organizing the Week: Monday

As I have outlined before, I have been organizing my week into special days for allotted tasks like was common in generations past.  Around here, Monday is a wash and ironing tackle day, Tuesday is meal prep day, Wednesday is gardening focus, Thursday is house cleaning focus, Friday is market day… 
On Monday, our living room turns into a sight resembling something like a laundry mat or dry cleaners operation.  My goal for Monday is to get the majority of the laundry caught up and put away so that my week flows better having the big stress of mounting laundry tackled.  I usually do about 7 loads of laundry on Monday and I try to have these loads washed before noon.  I utilize a dryer and a hanging line outside to speed drying times.  The girls and I spend a good amount of time folding, putting away and ironing during that day as well.  We usually put all the folded boys clothes in a laundry basket and I have them put away their own clothes.  All other days of the week average about 4 loads with my goal being to some how shrink the laundry to a more reasonable size.  Monday is also the day that I wash Sunday clothes and hang them back up.  If my husband has to go into town for meetings or classes, I iron his shirts for that week. 
I must add that I am not perfectly organized in this department and although it sounds ideal, rest assure that all my hopes of having laundry completely washed and put away where it belongs are just that…hopes and dreams.   I can safely say that laundry is never done around here (and hasn’t been since child number 3) and that’s perfectly fine.  We have a lot of little ones and live on a farm with lots of dirt and animals.  It’s down right dirty!  The goal, however, is to manage a laundry system that addresses and meets the needs of this large family.  Sometimes, things come up on Monday that alter my schedule.  That’s ok…laundry will always be there, those other things, like fellowshipping with friends from out of town are moments in time you should take advantage of.  For me, having a dedicated day for focused laundry time helps tremendously and learning to be flexible if my dedicated day doesn’t happen is more important than dirty laundry any day.    


  • Meredith_in_Aus says:

    Interesting post and good to see it so realistic. My goals and reality are often far apart, too.
    In Him
    Meredith in Australia

  • Jennifer says:

    I have greatly enjoyed your postings and always come way inspired 🙂 (I followed you over from Birth Dynamics :-)) I have one question I have been meaning to ask you about having different tasks assigned to different days. How do you manage this during the school year? I have been implementing this to some degree for the past several years, but I’m still not sure how to make it work during the school year. Our 5 little ones are all very young yet (6- 18 months) so while they can be very good helpers we move pretty slowly sometimes (wit lots of interruptions!) and my attention is needed for almost everything and everyone. Just getting everyone up and dressed and seeing to morning chores feels like a full day’s work! 😉 When I have been able to fully implement the weekly routines everything does go so much smoother! I would be most interested to hear your words of wisdom on fitting school in there too 🙂

  • BethTN says:

    While my Organizing the Week may seem ideal and perfect, you can be assured that we do not perform perfect organization and still lag behind on day to day chores! However, the idea is to set a standard or goal out before us. Some weeks it works well, other weeks we are doing good just to get dressed and put food on the table.

    For us, ideally, the farm and household chores work better if we can get these done in the cool of the day. In the heat of the day, I put babies down for naps and am able to have more focus time with the older ones. However, for me—I consider my 6 years and under still very high maintenance. My 6 year old is just starting to get out of the “more work, less help” category but everyone under him are a lot of work. So, I wouldn’t expect too much to get done with the majority of them at this stage. We too have lots of interruptions and times of “craziness” with a lot of little ones in the house! I keep “schooling” very minimal and incorporate it into our everyday life as much as possible. As they get older, reading, writing, math, history become more important but also, they are capable of taking on more of a self-learning style. My husband encourages me to not focus on the little schooling things–but teach them how to read and love learning. For us, this has been so rewarding. I have my older 3 who love to read and who soak up information like sponges. There are times that I can not stand there and teach them because I am dealing with babies and toddlers, but I can say something like, “Read this and this and give me an report about what you read when I get back…..”.

    Another helpful tool for me is: I am using regular spiral bound notebooks for my children (ages 8 and up). I give daily assignments–for example–my daughter’s notebook looked a bit like this:
    Bible Memory: review James Chapter 1
    Math: –then I had a list of math facts she is supposed to be memorizing as well as other things that she needs to learn.
    Writing: she was assigned to write the first couple of verses of James chapter 1–the book of the Bible she is starting to memorize. As well, she had to rewrite the grocery list she wrote from last Friday (since it was market day, I incorporated “schooling” into what we needed to do that day which was gather groceries.)

    Currently, I use the notebooks for the summer months and for the times that are just really busy (traveling). I do have handwriting books and other math books that they work from, but currently, we are making our life easy with this notebook method until we get the farm a bit more settled.

    History is very important and we usually get our history from many tapes and CD’s as well as good books and dad talking a lot. Other subjects like Science, Latin, Geography are usually things that we read about or watch on DVD. Some weeks we focus more on these topics than others. The greatest advice I can give to homeschoolers is to turn life into school. The truth of the scripture in regards to home education found in Deuteronomy 6 has been so freeing to us. First and foremost, we focus on teaching our children to love and fear the Lord, everything else follows.

    One other note… Trying to do all that I do by myself is completely impossible, that is why I am actively pursuing mother’s helpers’ apprenticeships. I think we live in a culture that has lost the understanding of how vital apprenticeships and servitude are to the home economy. One..because homes are no longer filled with many members and Two…because the home has been scattered, doesn’t regularly provide hospitality and isn’t a place of industry. As a mother with many little ones, having help is vital to existence. Furthermore, for us, making the home a place of industry and hospitality further necessitates mother’s helpers on a regular basis.

    Even if you can set up just one day a week where you can have one or two helpers come into your home to help you prepare freezer meals for the week, your time to homeschool or do other child training activities immediately becomes easier. AND you have helpers in the kitchen cooking meals for you!

    Last week, I was blessed to have a friend come over and help me prepare for company I was having. She was able to get many things in the kitchen done, while I was dealing with my little toddlers and doing other things that needed to be done. She was a great blessing to me that day. On other days last week, I was blessed to have a young lady come over and help with the milk cow. It was a great blessing to me in the midst of having my husband away teaching a class and company and the regular pace of having 7 little ones–having her come milk several times last week was very helpful to the peace and productivity of our home. This is something our family is actively pursuing— bring apprentices and helpers into our home to help further the productivity, industry and functioning of our large household.

  • Carmen says:

    I was reviewing your posts on Birthdynamics about the sour dough starter. Does your recipe differ with the wheat flour than with regular bread flour? We’re moving at some point in the near future and until we can get settled and I can buy a food mill and grind my own wheat I planned on buying wheat at the grocery (we have Kroger)…can you recommend any specific brands? Also I read that you take some of the starter away and feed it…how much do you take away while you are getting it established?
    Do you have a good wheat pizza dough recipe? Or one using sour dough?
    Also, could you post your homemade tortilla recipe? Our family loves Mexican foods…we have a Mexican meal at least once a week but usually twice a week.
    Thanks so much for your time. Your blog and information is a blessing.

  • Carmen says:

    I also forgot to add that despite my trying many recipes for pancakes I decided to try one more time and yours (
    was AWESOME!!! I added some fresh blueberries to it and there weren’t any left. They tasted so yummy! Thanks!!!!

  • BethTN says:

    That pancake recipe is a great basic one that I use many times during the week. I now am making the bigger batch and sometimes will add blueberries when I have them. Pancakes are great topped with applesauce, fruit, whipped cream, peanut butter—and of course maple syrup. We mix up the variety of toppings because we have pancakes a lot around here….

    I have a great, EASY crêpe recipe that is fantastic and my children absolutely love—we roll up fruit and whipped cream in them. I don’t know if I have posted that one yet or not— if not…I will include that one in the recipes I post one day soon… 😉

  • BethTN says:

    Carmen —
    I killed my sour dough starter and just now am in the process of fermenting a new starter using our small bunch of grapes we picked off our grape vines. As of yesterday, it was starting to smell like a sour dough starter and had some bubbling—it may work?!?!?
    This time I am using only wheat flour to start it in and feed it with… last time I started it with regular white flour (that large bag from Sams) and decided to change to wheat flour —it didn’t like that and somehow I killed it by changing the type of flour I was using.
    That huge bag of flour at Sams worked great for making sourdough, however, I wanted to start using the wheat since I had a grinder and had wheat berries—and the fact that the fresh ground wheat was more nutritious. However, if you only ever used the large white flour bag from Sams–I think that it would still be healthier, tastier and cheaper than buying regular bread from the store.
    I can’t say how the wheat is going to work out—- we will find out here soon.
    yes…I will post a pizza dough recipe and my tortilla recipe soon– Currently, I killed my tortilla maker as well from over-use. I am in the market to buy another one very soon because we are really missing the homemade tortillas—they are very easy, very cheap and dramatically cut our bread consumption. We love tortillas…

  • Carmen says:

    Thanks for the information, Beth! That pancake recipe was so awesome…I look forward to the other recipes!