Hello! I’m new to SCM. We did more of a traditional school setup last year with my first grader and preschooler. This year, I have discovered CM/SCM and am so excited to give it a go. I have a 2nd grader, K, preschool and 6 month old:)
My 3 year old was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (eye cancer) a month ago totally out of the blue. Her treatments are a 3 hours drive one day, once a month for a few days. Her side effects are minimal and she’s doing well overall for now.
My question is, has anyone ever done CM/SCM through something like this?
I’ve listened to podcasts, read books, scoured this site, and I’m about to order our books. But I’m nervous that this new approach to school will be too challenging for us in the season of life. Thoughts?
Thanks for reading!
Homeschooling can absolutely be done with illness/medical challenges! One thing to remember is that you are in charge of your school calendar. Take those days off every month and decide if you simply want to extend your school year a bit into June, or do the occasional Saturday learning, or want to not worry about the calendar. Another option for the kids at home while you are handling the medical things is to have school assignments overseen by whoever is caring for them.
My background: Mom of 10 kids age 1-18, always homeschooled. The biggest medical challenges started with my 7th child, who is 7 years old now. He was born with a number of medical challenges (spina bifida, hydrocephalus, chiari 2 malformation, bilateral clubfeet) and has developed others along the way on top of the care for those (including osteoporosis). It has meant a NICU stay, spinal cord surgery a couple times, 7 brain surgeries, and many many more – we’re about to schedule surgeries number 23 and 24. Add in literally hundreds of doctor appointments, hundreds of therapy appointments, and more.
Homeschooling has worked well through it all. We have the flexibility to do learning any time of day, any day of the week. We don’t take 7 hours to get through one day of learning like the public school. It is so much more streamlined. Sometimes daddy or grandma oversee lessons/practice if I’m gone with my son. His work can go on the road with us if needed. Or we school year round and take 1 week breaks more often and a shorter summer break. Or I work with kids in the afternoon after appointments, or schedule appointments in the afternoon and finish school work by lunch.
Also – praying for your family through this challenge! Sometimes life is enough learning. My kids have learned as much by being set loose with a guideline to ‘read something from this shelf, write something, and get outside in nature’ as they have in sit down lessons in some seasons.keribugParticipant
Thank you so much for your response! I do believe that we are blessed to be able to homeschool and not have to worry about a school’s calendar among other things. I know a lot of people aren’t going through something like this, but I was hoping someone could understand the situation.
Can I ask if you have always leaned towards the CM approach? I guess my biggest concerns are about starting something totally new to us during all of this. But SCM seems so lovely that I can’t imagine doing anything else this year.marmiemamaParticipant
I’m so sorry to hear about your little one’s diagnosis but praising God for treatments that can help her, and for the flexibility of homeschooling. I agree with Tristan that homeschooling, particularly CM type learning can be done along the way. One of our daughters has a cleft lip and palate and has had over 10 surgeries and dozens of appointments since we brought her home from China when she was 5. In those early years I brought all 5 of our kids to appointments, packing bags with readers, handwriting, nature drawing, etc. Or as Tristan suggested, we’d either take that day off or it was a very light one. Doing CM was never a problem surrounding those surgeries and appointments.
For myself, however, I have had five surgeries within the last two and a half years, four of them on my spine, so any kind of homeschooling has been challenging for me to accomplish. But, when mama is the one with the illness, it’s been a little challenging for me! Tristan, I’m going to message you…your son’s surgeries sound similar to some of mine.marmiemamaParticipant
Tristan, I realized I can’t really message you privately on here lol! It’s been a while since I’ve been on these forums! I saw that your son has Chiari, which is one of the conditions associated with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I was diagnosed with EDS two years ago and have needed four spinal surgeries (and a small shoulder surgery). While I don’t have Chiari, I have had three spinal fusions and recently had a tethered cord release this May. Does your son have EDS?TristanParticipant
Marmiemama – No, Mason has Spina Bifida, some of his vertebrae did not close around the spinal cord, he was born with an opening in his back and the spinal cord and nerves in that area exposed (and nerve damage happened in utero from the exposure). He had a closure 7 hours after birth. He is paralyzed from the hips down, with some incomplete nerve damage higher than that (core). He’s also had one spinal cord detethering so far. The Chiari is related to the spina bifida. He has scoliosis so rods or spinal fusion may be in the future, as things progress. We shall see. The brain surgeries relate to the hydrocephalus, he has a shunt to drain excess fluid from the brain to his abdomen where it can be absorbed by the body. The shunt has clogged/failed 6 times and needed replaced. Lots of other surgeries on legs/tendons/muscles/hips/eyes/etc.pigottchristineParticipant
I am so sorry for your little one’s diagnosis, and will be praying for her complete response and recovery. Although our circumstances are quite different from yours, we have found homeschooling, especially Charlotte Mason homeschooling, to be the only way we knew how to keep education going, and keep our family together, in the midst of illness (in our case, I am the one who is dealing with illness – metastatic ovarian cancer). There were many days when all I could manage was to pray with them, read aloud to them and make as many opportunities for outdoor play with them as I could…and it is amazing how much they seem to have gotten from what I thought was so little. I hope your experience with CM homeschooling is as joyous as mine has been 🙂
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