Monday, August 6, 2007

Homeschooling through Difficulties

I had decided to homeschool our 5 children (ages 10 months - 9years) old last May. In August, we spontaneously put in an offer on a home and put our current home on the market. We closed on the home in October and worked for a month on fixing it up. We moved in November. It was hectic, but we made it through. I was looking forward to having some down time and really focusing on school. Just weeks later, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in her life and had a mastectomy on Jan. 5. She started chemo in February. She was the full time caregiver for my mentally handicapped sister and for my father who suffers from many ailments and cannot feed himself or get up out of bed. My siblings and I had to cover them 24/7. Fatigue and exhaustion hit me hard and I thought it was due to the stress of my mother's illness. We soon discovered I was expecting my 6th child. We were elated. But the "morning" sickness hit me with a vengeance all day long. And I was soon overwhelmed. Then the spouse of my husband's coworker passed away, putting a lot of extra work on my husband's shoulders. His agreement to help out more with the kids seemed impossible to keep.

I never regretted my decision to homeschool. My children have been able to come with me to care for my parents and that is an experience better than any they would receive in school. My father fell ill when my oldest was in kindergarten. He constantly complained of stomach aches before school. He was worried about his grandpa and wanted to visit him when I did during school hours. There were no stomach troubles this year. ( At least for the kids) There were fewer arguments between my children. And I had the time to sit and talk with them more than I had in previous years. Oh sure, there were many hectic moments. And I did have to let go of a lot of preconceived notions of homeschooling.( Much work was done on our bed when the baby napped and I rested with my feet up.) And I was blessed with finding a wonderful homeschooling group. With all its challenges, I have found homeschooling much easier and much more rewarding than I ever thought.

My mother is finished with chemo and recovering. My father is still ill but has much to teach us and share with us before his time on earth is over. I am happily over the "morning' sickness stage and am now feeling the first movements of the baby. And the "official" school year is ending. Although, our learning will continue into the summer months. I thank God for all that He has given to me.

Contributed by Kathleen (June 2005)

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