Thursday, July 30, 2015

Juggling Health and Homeschooling

Summer is flying by faster than I could have ever imagined. I am somewhat in denial that it is just mere weeks before we start our next school year. One thing that I have learned about juggling health and homeschooling is that your best laid plans often do not resemble reality. I had great intentions of continuing a subject or two throughout the summer due to not quite finishing them last school year but it has not happened. As the summer began, I realized how much everyone needed a break away from the structure of school. We all needed to kick back and relax, sleep in, play hard, enjoy hobbies, and just not worry about a set routine. When I talk about routine, I use the word very loosely. With appointments, procedures, etc., we pretty much work our schoolwork around any given day. My kiddos that deal with ongoing health issues cannot help that they miss many school days due to not feeling well, doctor's appointments and hospitalizations. It is not fair to hold those lost days against them. Summer and school breaks need to be enjoyed by EVERYONE. After all, what is "normal" completion of a subject? Growing up, I often times remember not finishing our textbooks during the school year. I know that my kiddos are already ahead of where they need to be because of the fact that we homeschool. Over the years I have come to realize that academic excellence, at the cost of missing out on childhood, or pushing a child beyond their personal limits is not in their best interest. I am grateful that one of my medically complicated kiddos loves to read ALOT!! Even when she is feeling horrible and is unable to focus on normal schoolwork she reads. Some of the greatest minds of our times learned most of what they knew by reading. On the good days we rejoice in academic progress and accomplishments and on the not so good days we "live life".  Education is not just about academics, rather it is sense of community, family, responsibility, and so much more. My non medically challenged kiddos have learned about sacrifice, patience, and how very precious life really is.

Another point that is worth asking, "What is NORMAL?". For so long I prayed and wished for more of a normal life until I realized that our live was normal. Everyone has their entanglements and ours just happens to be, medical. God doesn't make mistakes and time and again I find myself telling my kiddos that they are PERFECT just the way they are. Yeah, they may have health issues but that is not what defines them. They are special, unique, gifted, talented and God has amazing plans for each of them. Through our trials we are strengthened and grow more into the persons that God created each of us to be. Back to normal. Normal one day may be sitting inpatient in the hospital. Normal may be running around, laughing, and enjoying the simple things in life. Normal may be complaining about chores and how hard and frustrating schoolwork is. Normal may be crying and having a "pity party day" wondering "why me?". 

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~John Dewey~

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