Ankle Deep In Craft Paper

My youngest is almost 16, so it’s not so much craft paper these days as fabric scraps and other supplies needed to make a fabulous anime convention costume.  In the early days of our homeschooling, I often despaired of ever having a tidy house again. Twelve years later, I occasionally glimpse the mythical “tidy house”, but it’s like a flash of unicorn horn in the trees of the enchanted forest.

English: Notebooks

English: Notebooks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Homeschooling can be very messy. All that stuff that happens at school– the cotton ball sheep, the Eiffel tower made of pasta products, the finger painting,  the fall leaves cut from construction paper, the frog dissection that takes three days– all that, or whatever you decide to do in your homeschool, ends up happening in your house. Even if you’re one of those super-moms with chore charts and strict rules like never use the white glue while sitting on the sofa, it’s likely that homeschooling will bring more  mess that you expected.


My advice for the homeschooling parent facing down the tide of craft paper: pick your battles.

  • Make certain areas project free zones.
  • Get the dinner table cleared of books, papers and projects every night.
  • Put a time limit or firm completion date on projects.
  • Have a designated place to store supplies and make sure that everyone puts stuff back.

And everybody helps clean up.

tlryder blogs about homeschooling at


9 thoughts on “Ankle Deep In Craft Paper

  1. Great post! My children used to have tons of paper and crafty overflow when they came home from school. I see my daughter goes through the same thing with her children. There are pretty painted rocks sitting on the windowsill as I type this. 🙂 ~Cindy, Visiting from Ultimate Blog Challenge on FB.

    • Cindy, thanks so much for stopping by! There’s another subject. How do we decide what to keep and what to let go of those kid projects? Pretty painted rocks can stay forever, but eventually the pasta Eiffel towers have to go. . .before the mice move in for a snack!

  2. I have seriously thought of homeschooling but wondered where I would find the time never considered the space in the home for the dedicated activity. Great information here thanks for bringing the thought back to the forefront of my mind.


    • Wyneatte, it does help to have dedicated space but you don’t have to have special space. Many people homeschool at their kitchen/dining room table and other places around the house. There are probably as many different ways to fit homeschool into our lives and houses as there are people. 🙂

  3. Good rules! I need to implement them for myself and my husband we have so much going on that we have little project piles all over. Yep, its time to get off the computer and get cleaned up!

    • Kirsten, my husband and I are projecty people as well. I don’t know about you, but sometimes we want to leave things out so we remember to do them. It’s fine as long as the projects get done and don’t end up just lurk there collecting dust.

  4. Lol. This is awesome! We started homeschooling this year and the boys are always creating something. I’m like “more projects? Aren’t you sick of school?”

    It’s a ton of fun though, watching them be so creative. We have a specific home school space so it’s rather easy clean up and keeping stuff organized but I loved your post, all the same.

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