I was thinking I need some encouragement from you wonderful, understanding ladies!
Here’s the thing.
I’m so tired!!! Six or seven years ago I had Mono and I’ve never been the same. I get tired a lot; but lately, it’s almost unbearable. I have several things going on that contribute to this, and I wondered what some of you would do.
Just to list:
I have an 18 yr old son with Lyme disease and maybe mono. We’re looking at at least a year to get better we hope, but in the meantime, he can’t even take a walk with us for sore muscles–he’s always been a very strong, muscular, exercising guy.
I have a 10 yr old having major anxiety and panic attacks every day.
I have a husband that’s an airline pilot by default and we’re hating it, but don’t know what to do to keep him home. That’s been going on 3 years.
I have a 12 yr old daughter that would like to control the universe.
I have an 8 yr old son that is very sensitive to stress around him–which is plentiful lately. And he misses Daddy terribly.
He also has recently not found the pleasure in reading that he had before and can’t seem to pay attention when I read to him/them. And my 10 yr old just can’t listen, because she has to see things.
Everyone’s behind in math-some very behind.
So, we’ve been having school for 4 weeks now, and we can NEVER get it done. We haven’t done half of what I’ve planned in a day yet. I really don’t plan too much, so that’s not the problem.
I can’t get up before them in the morning, and now my 18 yr old can’t either. I had him teaching science to them, and he’s had to stop that for a while because it wears him out.
I’ve actually thought lately that I would find some way of schooling that doesn’t involve me! That isn’t possible and it’s really no fun either. But I’m wondering if I should get them a pile of workbooks or something.
Oh, I get migraines too, and so the other day I went to the bookstore to get a couple workbooks for when I just can’t lift my head. So I started out to get several, and I got disgusted. I did get two, but I bet I never use them.
So how far behind can we get before I worry. I mean, my 18 yr old was always very far ahead and easy to work with. So I’ve never had this experience. I mean he’s 5 years older than the next sibling, but she’s only in 6th grade and she’ll be 13 in a couple months. She isn’t doing nearly the work my oldest did even when he was 2 or 3 years younger than she is. I generally don’t like to compare, but it’s getting ridiculous.
I just have to move so slowly, and it seems that nothing is getting done. The kids don’t seem to know anything! They can never give me even a passable narration. My 12 yr old knows what we’ve read, but she never puts herself into it–you know, just facts. The other 2 just have no idea what’s been going on during our reading. I think they need to read everything themselves, but my youngest cried today when he had to read just a page from the Oxford First Ancient History because he couldn’t tell me anything about it after I read it.
He hit a tough spot in his daily personal scripture reading a few months ago, and it seems to have affected his love of reading.
Maybe I just need someone to tell me that they won’t end up totally stupid and have no idea what’s going on around them ever!
Sorry to go on and on, but I knew you all would understand if anyone would.
I’m SO sorry this is happening. It is so hard when things outside of homeschooling make homeschooling hard.
We had a very tough year two years ago when our youngest was diagnosed with brain cancer and I was at the hospital with him a lot. My husband was laid off but was working as many odd jobs as possible to keep us afloat. And we were SO tired due to lack of sleep and stress.
I’m going to offer a suggestion that we used at that time and worked wonderfully. My kids loved it, had a great year and learned a lot. It truly was one of our best years.
Focus ONLY on the have-to’s. It sounds like for you this would be Bible, reading comprehension, math, maybe copywork or other writing. That’s all!!!!!!!!!!
Then let them choose what to learn for the rest of the time:
Science (anything on their own-nature study, bug collecting and observation, birds, magnets, simple experiments, etc),
History (living books, fun books like The Art of the Catapult),
Music (making or play instruments or just experimenting with them or just turning on a classical music CD and mentioning who it is),
Art (anything on their own-colored pencils, markers, watercolor paints, drawing, coloring, pom pom animals, etc), Foreign Language (anything on the computer or thru video tapes),
Home Ec (baking, cooking, house cleaning, helping younger siblings, etc),
PE (biking riding-you can sit on your porch-, running, backyard soccer or baseball),
Anything else you or they can think of that would be educational and they would enjoy.
I would not require anything. Just let them know that they have to do SOMETHING productive with their time and let them pick (and then have them either report to you or write it down so you can see that they are doing something). You could even sit down with each one and make a list of options with them and then have them choose each day.
This would allow you to rest, take it easy and only worry about what was absolutely necessary. They will be fine. They will learn. It may prove to be your best year yet.
I’m praying! Hang in there!
Art, I do not have the same problems as you exactly but our school got way off track because of circumstances. We moved to the US in 04 bought a house in MS and just prior to moving in found out it was full of mold, this was in August, we could not live in the home as it was dangerous – so we ended up paying mortgage and having to rent a place while it was renovated. None of the repair was covered by insurance and it took everything we had to repair the home to the point we could move in. During this time our school stuff was in military storage and they would only deliver everything, and we had no room for everything and so school was done in a very minimal way – just reading, a bit of math and writing. Having just arrived from England, the girls were horribly disoriented and the mold thing caused all kinds of insecurities to surface for them. We moved in at the end of February 2005 – we were so happy and started to get settled. However in August 05 Hurricane Katrina came to call and took our home and most of our stuff, except some things we had in storage – we had evacuated but a new nightmare started, we moved so many times during that period it made my head spin – all our school stuff was gone, furniture, a lot of our clothes and while husband had to stay in Biloxi, we were moved to a base house in Arkansas until he could join us in January. This put a lot of stress on us as a family, the time apart was very hard on us all, and the girls insecurities got worse. Eventually we were able to move to where we are now in the MidWest because my daughter with Cerebral Palsy could not get specialist medical care in the hurricane zone anymore – so we moved into an apartment here, while we waited for our home to be finished, we had chosen to buy a new home as we did not want to face another mold problem – it came ready in the summer and we moved in. We arrived here on January 5th, and on the 28th January I got the call to say my mum had died unexpectedly in England – the girls and I were completly shattered by this – we were all so exceptionally close. We had to go to England and spent a couple of months getting her affairs settled. When we got back we set about replacing our school things, insurance took a long time to pay for the hurricane losses, but thankfully they did pay and we did have flood insurance also which helped. Then one of my daughters got a serious concussion and was suffering terrible headaches and dizzy spells, many days she could not do school and so there were more delays. Through it all I just kept them reading or read to them and we did what we could. In 2009 my daughter got very ill with a gastrointestinal illness and she is still struggling with that today – she has been in hospital many times, unable to function many times and in pain a lot of the time – they are trying to get it all under control but it is a long process. Emotionally both girls and the family have been through the ringer in the last years – faith and love is all that has kept us going – hubby and I decided early on in all this, the health and well being of the girls had to come first, and if they graduated late so be it – education can be finished anytime, emotional health and physical health cannot wait. So we have had many ups and down, many stops and starts – we are still standing, though somtimes I am not sure how – also during this time we lost my husbands mum and my dad – so there has been much heartache and pain. My daughters are now 19 and have at least a year and a half before I would consider they will have done all they need to do to graduate – I get lots of wierd looks from people, who don’t understand why they are not in college or at work – but we don’t care – our daughters have to come first and the education will get done, just not at the same time as everything else. During this time we were hit with another terrible event which shatterd one of my daughters and has made her illness much worse. I pray daily for the strength to get through and to do my best by the girls. Their safety, well being and health is all that matters to us – everything else is secondary. Do I worry – yes I do – I wonder how we will get things done – I wonder what they will do in their futures, I don’t know if college is in their futures and neither do they yet – my daughters health is still fragile and of course her sister (twin) is so worried about her and has her own cerbral palsy to worry about – will she be able to drive etc. It has been hard, but we are still standing – the girls are lovely well mannered girls who care about everything and everything. They read and write really well – are behind in math and we need to play catch up in history a bit, especially the daughter who is ill. I have to have faith that we are handling this right – there was no guide book for all this, no one to tell me I was doing the right things, with my mum gone, I had lost my best friend – so I soldiered on and have done the best I can – you will do this too – they will not end up totally stupid. My daughter’s doctor told me my daughter was a beautiful speaker who had so much knowledge of books and horses, and was an all round delight – that encouraged me – it may not be enough to get her into college, and we likely cannot afford it anyway – but I felt good hearing it. Your children will be fine and so will you. The feelings you are having are normal, and I understand better than you know – bless you and your family – keep the faith – with God all things are possible – remember??? Husg and sorry if this is more info than any of you wanted. Linda
Wow Linda – I don’t think I’ve heard your story all in one place before. You have done amazing!
Thank you for sharing that, Linda. Thank you for reminding us of what is really important and to trust in God to guide us.
art, I am not a seasoned homeschooling mom, but I was thinking along the lines of a light schedule such as 6boys1girl suggested, but to make a schedule for each child for them to be responsible for doing each day, either with a time schedule or time boxes. You could customize it for each child as you see fit and give it to them. This way they have something to go by and they know what is expected out of them.
I haven’t had a chance to be on the forum for awhile, and I haven’t been able to read all of the responses, but I wanted to say that I’d keep you in my prayers.
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