Topic | Hsing with health challenges…..

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  • my3boys

    I have a dear friend that has begun hsing during this school year.  She has enjoyed it very much, but due to some health issues, feels it’s time to send them back to ps.  She is very sad about having to do this, but feels it is cheating them that she can not do with them what she would like.  Add to the fact, that she is in alot of pain and probably doesn’t feel up to the challenge or just completely overwhelmed with her health right now to concentrate on the kids’ school work.

    I understand her reasoning…when I started hsing my oldest I wanted to do everything with him or for him (taking him to karate, community classes, etc and leading his studies), but I was working part-time and just hated it.  As a matter of fact, I held off on hsing him for at least a year because I didn’t think I could handle both.  Plus, I didn’t want the babysitter (my mom) burdened with the school work.  Fast forward 5 years and CM and I think I could manage.  Not saying that I would want it that way for me or my dc, but if I had to, CM has made that challenge feasible (sp).

    She didn’t necessarily ask me for advice, but I am kind of her ‘go-to’ person for some things re: hsing. So after a few emails I did try to encourage her by reminding her that her kids are so young (7ish, 5 and 3ish) and that they do not need that much (in the way of ‘school’ work).  Not trying to change her mind, but….well, I really don’t know what.  I did mention that if I had understood CM at that time that it would have made a difference in my choices.  I can see CM as a more doable mindset for hsing when things get tough??  Am I wrong?? I hope not:)

    Anyway, I know that this decision is theirs and theirs alone.  I know that I would not be able to help out that much if she took my advice and was completely overwhelmed and did it just because I thought it was a good idea, kwim??

    I think that at some point they may return to hsing (possibly after they are in ps and it’s just as challenging to ‘keep up’), but I’m not sure.  And, like I said, it’s not my call.  This couple is rather young in comparison to me and my husband, but they are good and mindful parents.  They are completely ‘there’ for their dc and want the best for them. 

    I guess I was wondering if any of you that have had health challenges would have any words of wisdom??  What made you press on hsing rather than taking the ps route, or did you for a time, then return to hsing?? I can not push my thoughts on to her, but I’d rather have some wise words to impart if the occasion arises.

    TIA….please pray for this family as they (especially the mom) face the a long road of physical recovery ahead and the changes the kids will face with ps.  Not trying to bash ps, of course, but they have thrived being home:(


    I had some temporary health issues last year when I was pregnant… not sure if it would be to the same scale, and it was definately temporary… 

    There was a couple of periods where I had to go for an IV daily.  My husband (who works nights) did watch the kids while I did that.   I was unable to walk for the most part without a cane (and that was difficult), and the doctor did not confine me to bed rest (but I think only because he knew that I had 3 kids at home… they were age 6, 4, and almost 2. – and no one to really help.) I was to stay with my legs elevated as much as possible – but at the same time I was to occasionally walk around to help keep the blood circulating.  My husband could not take time off work to help (although he ended up on disability for his own health issues for a small period of time during this.

    My son did a lot of work for making breakfasts… he had already been taught a lot of this – so he could make eggs in the microwave (I would take them out), make toast, and open juice.  We also did a lot of frozen waffles, bagels, and fruit for breakfasts.   My husband would often put on a slow-cooker supper when he got home from work… and I’d do lunch, which was generally leftovers from the day before or sandwiches.

    For homeschooling, I would sit on the couch with my legs up, and my son would bring the various books to read to him.  We have a portable table that he would use to do math.  I’d also do that for my daughter with working on reading.  In the afternoon, weather permitting, they would play outside while the toddler napped and I might nap.

    It is doable.  We did miss the nature walks that we did before – and haven’t yet started (I still find walking a lot harder than I’d like, and the baby is still only 8 months…)  

    Although I didn’t have the resource before – check out  – she has information on helping kids become independant learners.  Of course at the early years they aren’t very independant…  but they can get to be. 

    The main part of an education for a young child CAN be done with health issues.  Main things to work on are – some math (using something like Khan Academy, or Math U See, or teaching textbooks (haven’t used these) allows this to be mostly self-taught.); how to read (can be done lying on a bed or couch), and work on how to write. (again, depending on method used – can be fairly independant.)  Add in reading from a good book.  Do those 4 basics, and the kids will be fine until they can be even more independant and then add in stuff like history etc.  (of course, you may need to check the laws where you live on what MUST be covered…)   

    Add some classical music in the background, and a good book showing an artists pictures – and even more of CM’s ideas have been added with no real effort.   If there is a safe place that the children can play outdoors (fenced backyard) – that gets in some nature…. or possibly getting a bird feeder or other things for nature.  (or if nothing else, some nature videos is better than nothing.)

    I hope this helps.  Of course, if she decides she can’t homeschool, that is ok too.

    One other thought… if they can afford it…  there might be some homeschooling moms that could use a little extra money that could watch or even homeschool the children some each week – or a teenaged homeschooler that could be hired to come in some days to watch and work with the children (tutor them, so to speak).  I’d almost lean towards the 2nd option – having one come in a couple of days a week, and maybe another on a couple more…  with them teaching what the mom has laid out….




    First of all let me ask, Why do you think your friend chose to HS? The reason I ask this is because if she does not have that in her mind at all times she would give up even if she was not sick. I am sure there are many who have felt this way!

    I have health issues and have had them for a long time. For 2 yrs, I have struggled with adrenal fatigue, hormones, and hypothyroidism. I have tried many ways to get healthy. Following natural protocols. Still nothing! It can be discouraging to say the least! And when you are HS it can be a handful! I want to encourage her by saying that she needs to take it day by day. With small children, it is really a plus! A 3 yr old does not need to do school. A 5 yr old does not NEED to do school. The 7 yr old will survive on a few quality lessons. If she could possibly scale down the CM method, that would help. Seeing that she does not need to make sure she gets picture study plus music plus nature and on and on. I suggest that she focus on the most important things. For instance, does the 7 yr old know how to read? Or does he/she need more lessons in reading? If so, she needs to focus on learning to read. If she can afford, starting out with SCM Delightful Reading. If she cannot afford or he is a fairly good reader, let him/her practice on This is a great site! One that is not CM, but at this point in life we are trying to simplify! The site also downloads to print to practice reading and writing! Along with choosing quality readers with a message, such as Pathway or Abeka. This way she can so call “kill two birds with one stone” by learning to read and getting Bible and character stories all in one! Believe me I know about simlifying! Another way would to get some good quality cd’s to listen to. Jim Weiss, Jonathan Parks, Christopher Churchmouse, and books on tape are great ways for all children to practice listening skills as well as comprehension skills!

    I also encourage to get books, books, and more books!!  Sit down and have many read alouds! A book for history-how about the Bible? Don’t feel like having nature study? How about reading about nature? Again if the 7yr old can read, have him/her to read a quality book. As for copywork, he can use the Bible, a book they are reading, or a poem copy. If she feels she cannot “think” or is in too much pain to care (been there done that) then encourage her to look into Queens Homeschool where they have plenty of workbooks already laid out. Very gentle. And as a matter of fact, they also have packages to purchase.

    As for math, I would say the most important thing would to get those facts down! You can take a whole year practicing math facts so a child can know it front and back! This is an important foundation to lay before thinking about moving on! There are plenty of free math sites for practice worksheets as well as practicing online. Let me know if interested and I will send you some!


    Good grief! I was trying to edit my post and it got deleted!

    To the above I wanted to add…put a cd in while eating or taking a bath. Use educational dvd’s and shows ..not CM but you do what you have to do.

    There are some days I feel like throwing in the towel. But I think of all the reasons why I homeschool. Just thinking of sending them off to school wears me out! Especially is you have health issues. Get up early, rush to eat, send off on the bus..or get all the littles dressed to take older one to school. Dealing with possible bullies, kids who don’t like my kid etc.. My child being labeled ADD because he learns differently or has lots of energy. Him coming home to do homework, eat dinner, play a little, go to bed to wake up to do all over again! Me having to re-teach something he didn’t get in school. Conferences, plays, field trips, let alone the secular teachings make my head spin! I cannot imagine this with my health. As crazy as it sounds, HS looks easy when I compare!

    I am sure her children are learning very much in character lessons. This is just by being at home. Honey, mom doesn’t feel well today. Can you do this by yourself? A lesson in independence! Or, mom is sick can you take care of your little sister? A lesson in leadership. Can you help mom around the house, can you pray for me? A lesson in compassion!

    You can encourage her to try not to do it all! If she wakes up in pain, delay school a while until she feels better. Who says school should start in the morning? If she feels better at night, work then. Or take a little bit at a time. Do an hour here and there…take a break. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Take it slow. Try to enjoy the children. Lie around and just talk about things.

    I had so much more in my last post but it got deleted! Will write more as I think of some! I would encourage her to think about why she wanted to homeschool in the first place. And daily pray for strength to do so. It is not easy when you are well let alone when you are sick. If the determination is there, she can do it! And not worry that she is not making a difference. If she is real bad health, then I can understand where she might want to have help. If she has family around, maybe she can ask if they can pitch in. A grandma can tell what it was like when she grew up or when her mom grew up etc.. Her husband can pitch in by leading Bible.

    If you or your friend wants to PM me, I will answer your questions if I can!

    I will pray for you and your friend!


    I have to agree… when I was not doing well with health, the thought of PS was tiring… getting up at a certain time, rushing the kids to get ready… driving (wouldn’t be able to walk it) them all to the school) – picking them up at lunch (or paying for a lunch program!) picking them up – making them do homework (yes, my 7yo grandson who goes to school has homework) and everything else…. and with the various ages there would be one in school, one probably in K, and one in a preschool or daycare – so they would all have different times and schedules…   yes, there would be a bit of time with quiet in the house… but the rest would be SO hectic!     Much nicer to go on my own timetable when I was sick, and cuddle and read books.

    Oh, and although we all are CM here… one thing to keep in mind is that a lot of homeschools just unschool – letting the kids follow their own interests… and the kids (in general) do fine or even great.  I just reminded myself that on days that we couldn’t get anything at all done… that it wasn’t going to harm my kids at all if my son played with Lego all day and my daughter played with her toy kitchen…  I didn’t choose to unschool – but it was something that I kept in mind when all I could handle was lying on the couch snoozing while an educational(ish even) video was on the TV…


    Thanks to both of you for responding. 

    You have given me so much to think about and to offer her if the time arises.  If (and I’m hoping it will happen) she asks me for advice I will have some concrete answers for her.

    It seems that when you are new to hsing you can not ‘see’ what you can do during a crisis.  I don’t know what I would’ve done and I don’t know where I would’ve gone to for advice if I had needed it. Even my homeschool group does not have the same support offered that this site does, so I couldn’t have gone there either (working on changing that:)  When I thought about sending my son back to ps (many moons ago), I didn’t really have anyone who could’ve shown me a different way.  Maybe it was more my mindset at the time.  I will say, that I read every book I could get my hands on to really understand and to not just go through the motion (make sense?).

    Honestly, I am so glad those uncertain days are behind me.  I’m glad that I pushed through the hard days (especially in the beginning when I had a very traditional approach).  But, it seems if you choose to ‘give up’ (which I don’t like that phrase) then you may not reap the benefits or figure things out.  Does that make sense, without being judgemental???

    Thanks again.  I may pm you if I need to, thanks for the offer.


    Oh, and I was going to add that ps sounds incredibly exhausting to me as well.  When I was sick several years ago, it was horrible taking my son to school, let alone getting the littles up for it:(  But, at the time I really didn’t know what a Kindy would need:(  Now I do:)

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