Homeschooling with a Chronic Illness
This is not to be taken as medical advice, I am sharing my experience. You know your body and your life best.
I don’t want to say that no one had faith in me, but rather concerns I would tire out too easily. I have Fibromyalgia (as well as a whole bunch of other illnesses) and the fatigue that comes with it can be debilitating. However, I knew my daughter needed this more than I need my rest. The thing about homeschooling is it’s quicker than regular school, it’s far less stressful and honestly, easier for me. We usually finish by 1pm and then I hit my bed.
We did online public school last year which I absolutely HATED as did my daughter (stay tuned for another post about that!) and it was just so much work and so stressful and she wasn’t learning anything, I knew we needed a change. She’s in 7th grade, but academically she is all over the place and it’s something that regular or online school just can’t give her. We’ve tried. She’s smart as a whip, but her brain is wired differently – the “one size fits all” traditional school wasn’t working.
So, how do you homeschool with a chronic illness? You make a plan and then put it aside. You want to have goals for what needs to be done for the school year, but you can’t always go by a set schedule every day. At least I can’t. I tried. It doesn’t work. I have my long term goal and now am taking it one day at a time. That may not work for everyone with a chronic illness who is homeschooling, but it works for us right now. I can’t think too much ahead because then I start worrying and stressing and then nothing gets accomplished.
What about the bad days? Well, the Lord has been gracious to me and I’ve only had one really bad health day (where I had her do worksheets) since we began in September. That’s pretty good considering I’m basically housebound at this point. Everything wears me out. I’d be lying if I said school didn’t tire me or cause pain, it does. Every. Single. Day. I pray a lot.
I wish I could give you a magical plan or step-by-step to follow for successfully homeschooling when you have a chronic illness, but I don’t. I just know it can be done because I’m living it right now. If you feel called to homeschool your child/ren and have a chronic illness, don’t let that be the reason to decide against homeschooling. My health is so overwhelming sometimes I had to really set it aside to do what I thought was best for our daughter. I had to try to make choices leaving my illnesses out of the questions. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take into account your abilities or disabilities. I think it’s easier when you have an older child because there is a lot they do on their own, so my daughter could work on things if I’m incapacitated for a day or two. Plus the flexibility of homeschooling helps take the pressure off getting everything done right away. You can relax, it’s okay, I promise.
Take it hour by hour. Pray a whole lot. Love your child/ren.
If you are homeschooling with a chronic illness and would be interested in doing a guest post please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org