Having Friends Over to Play with Your Children

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
Recently a friend asked me how I motivate my children to do their routines when we have company. This can be a tricky situation when you have children with a 15 year age gap like I have.
When one of the children is having a friend over, I encourage everyone to get up early to do their morning routine. While a guest is here, I only ask them to do minimal things around the house.
What I find is that they are usually agreeable to doing what I ask them to do when we have company, but that is something that is easier to do now that they are older. When they were little, it was hard to motivate them to do things when we had a guest.
One area that I do remain firm is in cleaning up after a guest leaves. If one child has a guest, they are responsible for picking up the area they played in, but usually I notice that everyone pitches in to help since they are mostly in the living room area of the house.
I can remember some play dates where all of their toys were dumped out in their rooms. I learned to box toys up prior to a play date and only allow them access to a certain amount of toys at one time.
When we have a friend over, I like to have a specific activity or two in mind for the visit. That helps maintain the house a little better. Yesterday, we had a friend over. The boys played a video game in the living room for a bit. Then they played basketball in the driveway. Finally, we all went for a short fishing trip to the lake.
My house and routines stayed intact. We had dinner and cleaned up afterwards. It went really well. But it has taken years of practice on my part and learning things the hard way.
How do you handle play dates at your house?

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About Tami

Tami Fox is a homeschool mom of 6, who in age from 26 to 11. She and her husband have homeschooled for 17 years and have graduated three of their children from their homeschool. They are currently homeschooling 3 boys who are in grades 11, 9, and 6. They use hands-on learning and unit studies to ignite the fire of learning in their children. Tami is a homeschool author and conference speaker. You can contact her by email at Tami@TamiFox.com. Buy her book, Giving Your Children Wings at https://tamifox.net/giving-your-children-wings/.

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