Homeschooling with a Chronic Illness

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I’m a chronic migraine sufferer.  I’ve had them since I was a child, and according to my neurologist (and several scans), I will have them until the day I die.  This adds some unique challenges to homeschooling my children, but we are finding ways to make it easier.  These only work with school age kids.  I did things differently when mine were younger.

  1. We school year round.  We do a lot of special projects over the summer, but there is never a rush to get things done by a certain day.  When I’m ill I can take time off without worrying about falling behind.  We also have done school on Saturday’s in the past, although this year Wildcat asked that we do more school on weekdays instead.
  2.  When given the choice, I get curriculum that the kids can do with minimal help, or on their own.  Wildcat can do  Spelling You See, Daily 6 Trait Writing, and Critical and Creative with minimal help (or even on his own skipping the things he needs help with).  Sparkle Girl also does her  Spelling You See, as well as a Spalding phonograms program, and HWOT.
  3. I never gave up nap time.  When my kids stopped taking naps they started having quiet time in their rooms.  They choose books and toys to take in their rooms with them.  Zoobs, Magnatiles, and Legos are the main toys chosen.
  4. TV is saved for bad days.  I try to save movies, and TV shows for bad days.
  5. They know how to make basic meals.  Both of my kids can make sandwiches, and salads.  Additionally, I always try to have washed and ready fruits, veggies, and cheese for them to eat.
  6. My kids know not to do certain things when I’m ill.  They know not to open the curtains, not to yell, and not to bring me food.  They can tell if I’m sick immediately by whether or not the curtains are open in the morning, and Wildcat says I’m pale when I’m ill.
  7. I rest when I must.  I miss a lot more church than I would prefer.  This is because I’ve learned the hard way that, if I don’t get a certain amount of rest, I am much, much more likely to get a migraine.  When I am able I listen to past sermons while resting.
  8. I take full advantage of my good days.  We do science projects, play learning games, do fun math lessons and go out as a family.  I work to embrace and appreciate the good days, and that helps make the bad days better than they could be.
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