Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ketchup Day

When life gets busier than normal, or the kids get sick, or any number of other things happen that put you behind at home, it can be helpful to take a "ketchup day." In Homeschooling at the Speed of Life: Balancing Home, School, and Family in the Real World,  author Marilyn Rockett says it's a time to "set aside the normal routine, at home and away from home, and be flexible" as you catch up on chores that desperately need completion.  She coined the term because on a ketchup day, she served a simple meal that included ketchup.

So what do you on a ketchup day?

Mrs. Rockett says that you'll want to list all nonemergency tasks--the ones that never seem to get done, and use your extra time on ketchup day to work through some of these items (arranging books on the shelf, sorting coupons, cleaning the porch, etc.). She suggests you routinely and intentionally plan for ketchup days, and involve your children, or trade off with a friend so you can have a few hours to catch up by yourself, and then your friend can too.

Beyond ketchup day, there is also an SOS day. Mrs. Rockett refers to this as a "Saving Our Sanity" day. She writes, "If you're the mother of babies or toddlers, or if you simply are overwhelmed with clutter, you may need numerous SOS hours or even an SOS week or month. Nevertheless, it's possible to bring your house to order, piece by piece."

She suggests you think of an SOS day like a teacher workshop day. "It mentally moves the time to a priority and encourages you that real relief is ahead. You know that the clutter is temporary, tamable, and tolerable when you have a plan to deal with it."

Don't worry if your kids miss out on their normal homeschooling on a ketchup or SOS day--although you could do the basics, if you want. They're learning about life in a family and mastering some valuable lessons about home--which is the central part of homeschooling. Think of it as an ongoing unit study.

We're off to an SOS day, which may also include ketchup!

(linked to Works for Me Wednesday)


  1. That is part of the reason I send Lil Sara to Daycare once a week, it gives me some much needed quiet time to catch up on things around the farm and or book work for my business...It also affords her some children to play with...The down side to country life for kids that do not have siblings close in age (big sister is 18 and recently moved to the city so just me and the toddler now) or even cousins that live in state is how isolated they are from other kids.

    Enjoy you SOS day and don't forget to stop and enjoy a few moments peace just for you, even if it is just a quiet coffee/cup of tea with no little hands tugging at your arm saying "mummy come here"

    Blessings Kelsie

  2. It's so funny because I was just thinking about this. I have been home with my children for 5 years. I have recently gone back to work part time. I was looking around my home seeing how it has suffered. So I have decided to set a day a week, if possible! To clean and organize my house. I figured I make a fun day out of it and get the kids involved.