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Adapting Your Schooling for Health Reasons
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This was going to be the year! We were right on target to finish as I had originally mapped out back in July. (Trust me when I say that this never happens! I usually need to tweak a couple times throughout the year.) Then the cold and flu season hit our house. It hit so hard that our 5th grade daughter is out of commission with mono. Out went the schedule and in came some heavy adapting.

First, let me say that I feel incredibly blessed to have the privilege of homeschooling my children. I have incredible flexibility and know that here at home is the best place for her to rest and heal. Second, I am also incredibly thankful that the curriculum we use in our home, BJU Press, lends itself easily to adapting to my family’s needs. And, finally, I know our situation is temporary and I realize that many families have children with special needs and ongoing medical issues. I am not an expert in working around long term health issues, but I am willing to share what we are going to be doing for the next few months.

I spent this morning juggling a calendar and lesson plans. I have asked myself: How can we do a full day of school when I have about 2 hours max right now where she is up to schooling? How can I find the right balance of moving forward and her resting to heal? How can I change things so we can still make progress and learn? How do I let go of my need for things to look and go a certain way?

Below are the ways we will be embracing flexibility for the next 6-8 weeks.

Sleeping In and Schooling in Blocks – Our start and end times for the day will now vary. This means my daughter can sleep in as late as she needs. It also means that we may throw in a subject or two after dinner. Our goal is to do 2 subjects and then rest for a bit, and then come back for 2 more subjects. It means that on some days we will get more subjects in than on others. This will wreak havoc on my love of being roughly on the same day for each subject and planning, but I’m working to let that go.

Extended Break for Distance Learning Teachers – My daughter laughed when I said we were going to give all her distance learning instructors an extended break, with the exception of her math teacher. As I looked at how to shrink her schooling hours down time-wise, I knew cutting out video instruction would be one way to achieve this. We chose to continue with math through distance learning and she will be doing this as her first subject of the day. However, I will be leading her learning on the remaining subjects.

Read Aloud Learning – I’ve chosen to turn her Heritage Studies, Science and Reading all into read aloud activities. I will be reading the sections/chapters to her. We also will be working together to do the worksheets. Some worksheets we may do orally, others she may fill out. And some, we may not do at all and just discuss what I read. We will see how she is doing each day. Read aloud schooling will require me to slow down and relax a bit myself. I’m actually looking forward to this.

Bedroom Schooling – This by far will be her favorite part of our adapting. My daughter chooses to school at her desk because she says she focuses better that way. Right now though, she tires easily sitting up. Instead she will be cuddling in my bed to do some of her subjects. I’m a bit afraid she may want to set up permanent residence.

Permission to Not Do Everything – That question I asked earlier, “How do I let go of my need for things to look and go a certain way?” means I must let go of my preconceived ideas of how things should be. I figure it’s another chance to embrace change and flexibility. The reality is that we may not get through every worksheet, activity or even chapter. Or we may even school a little later in the year than usual for our daughter. The goal is learning and comprehending, not checking every box of completion. While I know this in my head, I battle every year to find a balance with learning and completing. Adapting the schedule for a sick child has just brought it to the forefront.

These adaptations are for a short season. We may realize we want to keep certain things and return to others. Either way, I know using BJU Press allows me the flexibility I need. And I know my other 2 children will be able to continue with their schooling while I provide extra focus on my daughter right now. I also realize that what I map out in July each year is just a rough road map. Where God leads us and how he leads us in our homeschooling, that’s more important than any calendar or plan I create.

Meet the Author

Debra Schroeder - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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