Our school year, so far, has been not the hottest thing going. I just went through a month and a half of a doozy of an illness. I watched weepy-eyed as all of my carefully laid plans shattered one by one. Play dates, field trips, and even our family vacation got the shaft. The kids stopped asking “how many days till…” because the answer was repeatedly, “Sorry. Mommy just can’t,”. Thankfully, it’s done now, and life can (hopefully) go on. It’s rough when your little people need you to take care of them, and you can’t even take care of yourself! And when you’re also their teacher, life can get really crunchy.
So- what did school look like for us while I was in and out of fevers, popping antibiotics like they were going out of style, and laying on the couch in severe pain? We did the best we could. Every sane moment, I would assign work for the older children, read to the little ones, and grade papers. I taught what I could from the couch. We listened to audio books together, the children read the science lesson aloud, and the older ones helped the younger. It wasn’t stellar, it wasn’t our best, but we kept going.
And you know what? I found that in the midst of those imperfect school days, a lot of real life learning happened. Not just book stuff, which is, of course, important. But how to put others first, how to lovingly take care of the ones you love. How to have a bit more patience. My older children learned to make lunch for us all. They had set aside their own desire to have some free time to go get their mom a piece of dry crusty toast or a glass of water, rock the baby, or help a little sibling with their writing. I would never have chosen to start out this school year with this kind of a bang, but I think we’ve been made the better for it.
*****I feel for you mommas out there with chronic illnesses. I know of many homeschool moms in that situation that are taking one step at a time, doing their very best for their children. With every struggle, with every day, they are pushing on and accomplishing all that they can, despite pain and hardship. I have heard one woman say that she did not know exactly how long she could keep going before she would be confined to a wheelchair, but she was fitting in as many field trips as she could until that day came. What love and sacrifice. I am in awe of you. Your little ones are watching you. And they are learning a lot.