Wow, it’s almost the end of another homeschool year for us. Where has the time gone?
I had intended to write throughout the year about homeschooling with chronic illness but here’s the reality, I was sick.
That’s the thing, when you’re homeschooling with a chronic illness you have to pick and choose what you can do each day.
We moved just as school was getting started and my “new” house began to make me very sick.
That’s a story for another time but the result was that I was extremely fatigued, my pain level went back up to a 10 and I began having a tough time just getting through my days.
Of course, being the doer that I am, I continued to push myself to get the kids to their activities and outside classes but I also made myself go to my room and take a nap almost every day. This time around, I didn’t overwhelm myself with guilt. I knew I needed this in order to get through the rest of the day.
We got our basement worked on, we had sump pumps and drains installed because it turned out that the wet damp environment down there was the source of my demise.
What did my homeschool look like this year? In the exact words of my 8-year-old son, “Mommy, you didn’t do hardly any projects with me this year and it was boring.” Yep, he really did say that.
So, this past month I’ve been printing things out like crazy to do a lap book or two, I’ve been trying to read out loud to him and I’ve been scheduling in some simple things to make him feel like we actually did do some projects.
Book work alone is B – O – R – I – N – G, especially to an 8-year-old boy. Now, in my defense, my little guy had tons of time in sports this year playing basketball and lacrosse, his sisters played basketball out front with him and he has been helping to train our new puppy. We did yard work, worked on preparing our garden and even had a PE class with a group of homeschoolers in the area.
I look at our Lesson Plan book and hardly think he had a boring year, but since he’s the 4th child I knew what he was really telling me was, “Mom, I just want you to sit next to me and do something with me other than a workbook.”
That’s hard to do when overwhelming fatigue and brain fog are your constant companion.
There will be years when real life gets in the way of homeschooling. There were years for us when we did more school in doctor’s offices than at home. Then there were a few years where formal book work didn’t get done but we listened to audio books, watched movies and just tried to survive our illness with chronic Lyme disease.
I figured my kids learned more about the human body, nutrition, medications, interacting with doctors, and insurance companies than most adults had ever learned so I definitely counted those as real life educational experiences. Our main goal was to get better.
Now, my oldest is in school in the medical field and my second graduate is working with animals at an animal hospital.
Don’t despair if your school year doesn’t look like you think it should. Look at your life and see where real life learning is taking place. Listen to audio books, watch educational videos and spend time loving and encouraging each other.
Learning is for life not just for school.