I have been asked many questions about stay days since I posted our spring session plans, so while I was reseting our white board calendar for the month I thought I would take a few seconds to explain this simple process that we use.
I require that we stay home for three days each week, no ways around this. There are so many activities and things to do that if I don't we would be out every day, my house and work become neglected and KM becomes exhausted, cranky and CRASHES! So I took a tip from a fantastic homeschool guru and I created a Stay Day System of our own.
Here is what are calendar looks like at the beginning of the month. I list all the things that we already have scheduled or planned and then I choose 3 days a week that we stay home, I mean I don't leave the house. Each of the three days gets designated a number 1, 2, or 3 because different chores need to be completed on those days. The three days can fall in any combination during a 7 day period. I try to space them out if possible, but sometimes it just isn't. On these days KM can have people over once she has gotten her assigned chores done for that day, but I will not take her anywhere or pick anyone up as I need to be able to get my household chores and work completed. This system works so well and each time I have allowed us to slip out of it, it has backfired and the house and the families attitudes fall to pieces.
Now I was also asked what sorts of things get completed on these stay days and this is going to be something that if you decide to implement you would need to decide for yourself. For us the days look like this -
- Stay Day #1
- Weekly baking - deserts, breads etc.
- Meal Plans for the Week
- Bathrooms thoroughly cleaned
- Full Kitchen Clean Up
- Laundry - Linens
- Stay Day #2
- Project - art, household, yard ~depends on what is needed~
- Clean Bedrooms
- ALL trash barrels emptied
- Laundry - K
- Stay Day #3
- Laundry - M & D
- Fully Clean Dining Room & TV Room
Having this routine and schedule allows us to not get overwhelmed with the household chores. We do pick up things as we go along and there are other daily things - compost, feeding animals, recycling bins, etc - that are done, but those things take little to no time and allow us to be able to the "Full Cleans" in a much quicker way because things aren't left to get out of hand.
This also allows KM to quickly be able to answer her friends when asked to setup an activity. If the day is blank or only lists library or something then she knows she can go ahead and say yes, if there is a number in the block she knows that the friend can come here or if she can get a ride from someone else - even CJ - she can go, but that I can't take her. There are of course ALWAYS exceptions to these rules - like birthday parties etc. but in general we have those things on the schedule in advance and I work the stay days around them.
As always this is something that needs to be tweaked for each family - it will not work the same for yours as it does for ours - but it is a great place to start from! It also gives the kids a sense of knowing what is coming and if they want to spend the day in their PJs they can because they know they aren't going anywhere!
I hope that clears up the questions that I received! Please let me know if there are any others.