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homeschooling when husband has cancer


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My husband was diagnosed with stage IV renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) this summer and just started treatment. We have an 8th grader at home...just curious how many of you have home schooled during an illness like this, and how it went for you? Did you modify at all? We are doing school, but remaining flexible around doctor appointments.

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My best advice is for you and your daughter to spend as much time with your husband as you can, and to "cover the basics" with your homeschooling whenever you're able to do that, and to try not to worry about it when school has to go on the back burner for a while. You can always catch up on schoolwork later on.

 

Considering your husband's diagnosis, the most important thing you can do for your daughter is to let her have as much time with her dad as you can, and to keep her stress levels as low as possible. The last thing anyone in your house needs right now is to be at each others' throats over things like school -- and when someone in the family is ill, tempers can flare so quickly over nothing, just because everyone is so worried.

 

I'm so sorry about your husband, and I hope he is able to beat the cancer. :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

I agree with doing what you can when you can. Don't make school something that will increase the family's stress level. Prioritize your school subjects. Consider it fine if you do math and writing if those are the things that are important to you. Watch educational videos. Go with interesting history and science selections and just enjoy reading them. It will all turn out the same it the end. Don't worry about getting behind.

 

Wishing your husband and all of you the very best. :grouphug:

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Read and do math. Nothing else right now. Just focus on being together (all of you). Hugs and prayers your way :grouphug:.

 

:iagree: We HSed through my son's cancer treatment, and the first 6 months we did the basics and spent our time together doing fun stuff and making memories. The flexibility was necessary, because there were days we spent all day in the clinic waiting for blood or platelets and so on.

 

:grouphug: Be gentle with yourself, and know that time as a family is more important, and your dd will catch up if she gets behind. I know what is is like to focus on what you can control, but really do not worry about it.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: Praying for your family.

 

Honestly, in that sort of a situation, I would actually delay the official start of 8th grade until second semester and then run your school on a calendar year rather than starting in the fall. There's no rule saying you have to graduate your child in June rather than December.

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Read and do math. Nothing else right now. Just focus on being together (all of you). Hugs and prayers your way :grouphug:.

 

:iagree: This is what I would do along with making as many great memories for your dd as your dh is up to it. We have had so many things happen in our family in the last 2 1/2 yrs and twice it meant putting school totally on the back burner for over 3 months. We are doing school consistently now and the kids are gaining.

 

Praying you have many more years to make those memories with your dh.:grouphug:

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:grouphug: I don't have experience. But I think I would focus on family life and relationships over school. If your homeschooling routine helps keep it. If it detracts from the important things right now, for any of you, drop it. That's what I would do anyway. :grouphug:

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I'm going to differ here.

 

Kids need to keep living as normal lives as possible. Your son needs as much stability as possible because it's scary for a kid to have a parent with cancer. Keeping things as routine as possible helps that tremendously. Of course you can be flexible, but do keep on with school to the extent you can. Ditch any tendencies you have toward A+Ivy League homeschooling (unless that is calming to you and your ds) and instead aim for "just fine." You can make simpler choices for him, such as a textbook approach for science or history or literature (gasp) when you might have preferred something richer, but try as much as possible to keep your ds on track. Next year is high school. Make sure he's ready. It will be emotionally challenging for him. Make sure he doesn't have to cope with the additional challenge of falling behind.

 

Ask for help:

Get help from friends who might keep him at their homes when you need to accompany dh to treatment and supervise his school work.

Ask friends or relatives to invite him on something fun with their family.

Make sure ds keeps up an active life *outside* your family. He will need that for refreshment.

It's great if there is a coach, music teacher, youth leader, uncle, Scout leader, etc. who can keep lines of communication open about the cancer and how your ds is feeling. He may not feel free to share all those feelings with you or dh depending on how each of you are feeling. (It is totally NORMAL for members of the family to be feeling different things, some numb, some sad, some angry.... and they don't always mix. It is so helpful for each member of the family to have a personal support network outside the family as well as communication that is as open as possible inside the family.)

Let people know your needs in terms of providing meals, helping with cleaning, etc. Other people can do those things. Only you can be wife and mom.

 

I would tend to save "flexibility" for days when dh is feeling pretty good so that you can do something fun together. Plan for stuff that ds can do independently for days when your attention may need to be on dh.

Edited by Laurie4b
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i'm so, so sorry, Lisa. I hope treatment knocks that cancer OUT!!!

 

I broughht my mom home to live with us, and she remained in my home until she took her last breath. She had end stage dementia, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, parkinsons, so it was a ton of work. I started off doing only the basics (my kids were younger) and after awhile I had to stop schooling altogether. With Hospice and nurses coming in, constant hospitalizations, etc. It just got very difficult.

 

What do you thik about out sourcing? some online stuff, some cd programs, etc. Stuff your son can do completely independently while you check his work?

 

IMO, life lessons are the most important.

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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Wow. I am overwhelmed with your responses of "hugs" and encouragement. I went to bed shortly after posting this last night...had no idea what I would wake up to. Thank you!

 

Right now everything is as routine as possible - she's learning and "being a kid". I am grateful we are still home schooling so she can have even more time with her dad during this season. And I am learning to take the pressure off myself and focus on the basics with her - remembering that it's "okay" to do just that.

 

I have homeschool friends nearby that are happy to help with "whatever" we need, so when the time comes I will definitely ask for it (meals, a place for dd to hang out, whatever).

 

Thanks again for everyone's sweet encouragement. I am blessed!

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As the wife of a kidney cancer survivor I wanted to give you a virtual hug. It is a difficult time for all involved. I was not homeschooling at the time but it was stressful on me. The kids were little when my dh was diagnosed so I think I was the only one who felt the pressure. They just remember daddy was sick for awhile. To continue rambling, I would put family first and focus on the basics of homeschooling. Anything else is gravy.

 

Most importantly, make sure you accept help that is offered. No need to be a martyr. Make sure you take some time for yourself to keep you balanced.

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