Home education with acute and chronic sickness

Over the years I think we have managed the home ed through some astonishingly tough times. My illness, hospital admissions and Avila’s frequent hospital admissions, and other things that are sent to try us. Throughout it all there is the hovering guilt, “I am not doing enough with them…”

I have read the excellent little ebook See I Told Me So last year or sometime earlier so I know that keeping the children educated even through a really long term problem is possible. I know single mums who have home educated even through the divorce process and of course my friend who kept up the home ed through a year of chemo.

But my situation is slightly different. My illness is long-term and it is getting slowly worse. There are more things to deal with all the time and the process of keeping on top of the children’s education is harder on me than it was.

The way I have managed things this week is to do what can only be called “skeleton HE”. The children have done stuff that doesn’t involve me moving around too much. The workbook based stuff has been straight forward enough. I can’t read anything aloud so we have gone to Story Nory for some traditional tales such as The Snow Queen and something else I can’t remember.

There are what the children call “funny people” on the BBC schools sites and Heleyna still has More.Starfall which has the massive advantage that the computer does all the talking. Then Ronan will get books and read them either to the girls or just have a quiet reading time.

We’ve done music and Songschool Latin because I don’t need to speak or move around for any of that either.

Thankfully now Ronan is old enough he and the girls have done some unsupervised cooking and  craft. They clear up after themselves and they do an end of day tidy up before TV and play computer time.

I have managed to do small bits of housework but to be honest Iona has taken over a lot at the moment. As soon as I move around even a bit the coughing and wheezing starts.

I think Charlotte Mason’s insistance that in the “pre-school” years the children need to learn how to learn, how to form the right habits of learning and taking care of themselves, is very wise. You never know when your children will need to show their independance and trustworthyness – if you haven’t done the training in the gentle days, the difficult days could prove to be far worse than you would otherwise have to deal with.

Four the last 5 days I have been on a liquid diet. Soup and yoghurt mainly. Anyway ages and ages ago I ordered some FibroResponse to see if it really would do anything. It arrived yesterday. Marvellous, I thought, perhaps it can start work straight away. Well the tablets are the size of bricks! Even on a good day I am not sure I could swallow. The makes obviously hadn’t figured in the swallowing difficulties so many of us have on a “good day” let alone when it’s all gone to pot. ROFL!

The boys are hoping to engineer a way of grinding them down. Fun for all. They do get good reviews so here’s hoping.

Unfortunately my lack of breathing ability (and sleep) have caused me to cave on my new year’s resolution of “No More Doctors”. Sigh.

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4 responses to “Home education with acute and chronic sickness

  1. Prayers coming Shel. Maybe you can find a mortar and pestle used for herbs? At our pharmacies there are also ‘pill cutters’ which chop tablets up into smaller sizes for those that need halfs or quarters. I don’t know if these would be too big for a little device like that. Maybe your kids can find one at the chemist’s (I think you call pharmacies) and figure out if they’d work?

    Just to amuse you, last night I dreamed I was with a large group of tourists in a London train station and I was telling them that we could save money by sleeping at your house on the floor when we did the tour of Birmingham. The train was ‘open air’ and made entirely out of sofas and ottoman foot rests in various shades of brown. The countryside was nice as we zipped along the track, but I woke up before we got to your house! My concern, as I woke, was whether you had enough floor space for all of us, mind you. I thought we might if someone slept under the diningroom table! I’m not sure what that means except I really wish I could get over the pond to visit you all again.

  2. So sorry you’re having a particularly hard time. Wanted to thank you for this post though, so timely as have just got back from 4 days in hospital with a condition that’s manageable but ongoing, and means I feel pretty permenantly uncomfortable and wiped out.

    But life keeps going, the kids keep going and God helps us do what he has planned for us. Thank you for the encouragement that it is possible! Praying things improve for you soon x

  3. Clare I am glad it’s helpful.
    I think it’s one of those areas that doesn’t get a lot of mention

  4. If what your using isn’t helping I recommend checking into T3 supplementation. Research is slowly catching up but is showing that Fibromyalgia is closely linked to thyroid issues: http://www.drlowe.com/geninfo/hypothes.htm
    I started taking Thyrogold this week, and just after 1 week my fibro is gone! Just thought I’d share that. I honestly know what its like to homeschool with chronic illness. Its tough.

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