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The hardest thing about homeschooling right now


Condessa
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It isn’t actually managing the logistics of energy and time to homeschool around my son’s medical care.  It’s caring enough to make it all happen.

I don’t want to hurry and make everyone do their schoolwork around appointments.  I want to cuddle them and watch our favorite movies and play games together and bake brownies and go on walks and basically never let them out of my sight.  I want to pack every moment of family together happiness that I possibly can into the days that I have them all with me right now, because I don’t know how many we get with everyone together and feeling okay.  I don’t want to keep them on task.

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I don't know what you're dealing with, but that might just be what your family needs right now.

My view is always that maths, reading and writing are skills that build year on year, so do need consistent practice - the rest is jam - especially in primary school.  So, streamline your schooling to focus on those basics only - and then spend the family time together.   Also think of how you are folding learning into the day.  Especially for your younger children, reading stories together is part of language practice, discussing a movie is narration, etc.

Edited by Hannah
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Our main focuses have been math, some current events I try to tie into history, and letting my kids stay active online with their friends. Some days we do more, some days we don’t.

If I don’t keep my kids comfortable, happy, safe, and loved, nothing else really matters at this time.

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Aw mama. I’m sorry. Balancing medical with trying to give your family a sweet and simple life is so hard. Don’t feel guilty if you are in a time where there have to stuff outnumbers the want to stuff. What you want is sweet and good and worthwhile. It’s okay to do school “light” because cuddled up on a couch with a good book completely counts. 

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I try to live a life of NO REGRETS. If I would regret not doing something, I do it, even if it seems a little crazy at the time.

So yes, if going to streamlined academics and having more cuddle time plus brownies is important and missing that is something you'd regret more than missing the academics, then do it.

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Sending lots of hugs your way.  I would look to do the cuddle time more into your day.  With what your family is going through and then throw the pandemic on top, that is probably what everyone needs.  Maybe tie them all together if you want to.  Watch educational shows.  Reading aloud or listening to audiobooks totally counts as schoolwork. 

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My kiddos were 6 and 8 when DH was undergoing cancer treatment. I'll be honest: that first year, we spent most of our days just hanging out at the hospital, watching movies and eating junk. His treatment was a long road (5 years), so once the situation was a little more stable and he was outpatient, we went back to "normal" school. But I don't regret that year off.

I know your situation is different, and I can't even imagine the emotional toll of dealing with a child's illness + managing daily life for other children. But don't feel guilty for taking the time to just be together. 

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Thanks, everyone.  We have been doing very pared-down-to-basics work ever since they found the tumor at the end of October and Ri had his surgery.  Part of the pressure on myself to not let things go like I want to is that this isn’t going to be just a season.  We’re going to be fighting this thing for their entire childhoods.
 

We got the results back yesterday from his first three-month check MRI, and there’s already some regrowth of the tumor.  Still small, not enough to be putting pressure on his nerves again yet, but we had so hoped he’d get more of a respite.  We have an appointment with the oncologist tomorrow to know what the next step is.

We did just make popcorn and watch Tudor Monastery Farm yesterday and call it history.

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I wish I lived next door so I could offer to come over once or twice a week to do writing or math or whatever during an appointment so you had less pressure on you and would feel comfortable just cuddling up with a book when you got home. I pray that you have friends or family that can step up. (((Hugs))) If you can afford a mother's helper or tutor for the things you don't want to do it, DO IT. You don't have to do it all. 

TBH your children will learn so much. We read things all the time to learn empathy or to walk in a protagonists shoes for awhile but instead you are living the book. I know you would prefer to snuggle up and read it rather than live it but we don't really get to choose much in life. The lessons they get on how to live life regardless of circumstances will be the ones to stick and sometimes that means curling up in a ball and having a good cry and resting and sometimes that means making time for relationship and games but then getting up, straightening your shoulders and moving on. 

(((Hugs)))

Edited by frogger
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9 hours ago, Condessa said:

It isn’t actually managing the logistics of energy and time to homeschool around my son’s medical care.  It’s caring enough to make it all happen.

I don’t want to hurry and make everyone do their schoolwork around appointments.  I want to cuddle them and watch our favorite movies and play games together and bake brownies and go on walks and basically never let them out of my sight.  I want to pack every moment of family together happiness that I possibly can into the days that I have them all with me right now, because I don’t know how many we get with everyone together and feeling okay.  I don’t want to keep them on task.

(((((Condessa)))) Then I think that's what you should do right now (cuddle and watch favorite movies and play games together and bake brownies and go on walks and never let them out of your sight). I think you should do that until you all get tired of doing it, and then you might find it easier to do schoolwork around appointments.

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Do sneak in the snuggle-on-the-sofa-eating-brownies days amidst the other days you get through the best you can.

We had so many homeschool days of pushing through curriculum, and there were good memories in some of those, but when I find myself wistfully remembering our homeschool days, I remember the time we ditched school and saw Tangled in the theater at a matinee when everyone else was in school, and we had to see the 3D version because it was the only one playing at that time. And the lanterns over the water scene was just so incredibly magical--I wanted to reach out and touch a lantern. And that's my favorite homeschool memory! "Remember that time we ditched school..."

It's ok to ditch school sometimes.

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DS16 completed something like 2 credits for 9th grade while I undergo chemo. DS15 also only did 2 credits for 8th grade that year. Both are catching up now. 

My teens also took a year off in 4th/5th grade when we switch from public school to homeschooling. They did nothing much other than read a lot and watch the PBSkids channel.

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Posted (edited)

Just updating after the oncology appointment.

He's starting chemo/immunotherapy in three weeks.  We're doing a clinical trial and hoping and praying he gets assigned to the targeted immunotherapy trial group, but it may be the traditional chemo instead.  We are taking off to go have a break and visit family that we haven't seen in a year and a half for a couple of weeks first.

Edited by Condessa
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44 minutes ago, Condessa said:

Just updating after the oncology appointment.

He's starting chemo/immunotherapy in three weeks.  We're doing a clinical trial and hoping and praying he gets assigned to the targeted immunotherapy trial group, but it may be the traditional chemo instead.  We are taking off to go have a break and visit family that we haven't seen for a year and a half for a couple of weeks first.

Thanks for updating.  I hope you get the trial and results you want.   Do you have a sense of schedule and whether it will be inpatient, outpatient or at home? 

 

37 minutes ago, Condessa said:

This is Ri.

Ri4.thumb.jpeg.6d36c5c3889e834b7130352900cd03c8.jpeg

He will turn seven next month.

He’s beautiful.  

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15 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Thanks for updating.  I hope you get the trial and results you want.   Do you have a sense of schedule and whether it will be inpatient, outpatient or at home? 

Outpatient.  If he does the immunotherapy, there will be more frequent hospital visits at first to monitor how he's tolerating it, but after the first few months it will be visits every four weeks in hospital and twice daily oral meds at home for 108 weeks.  If he does the chemotherapy it will be basically a full day at the hospital each week for infusions through a central line for 60 weeks.

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Oh, sweet mama, from all of us who have home schooled in the hallways of the children's hospital - take the time. ❤️ Even if you "lose" an entire year, putting your loved ones (and that includes YOU) at the top of the priority list will teach lessons no curriculum could ever give. 

I want to share that someone very close to me has had a wonderful, best-case-scenario, "shouldn't be this good" situation with immunotherapy. Hold the hope. 

 

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