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  1. #1
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    Question Homeschooling Special Needs Kids, When Chronically Ill

    The two boys that I have decided to homeschool both have special needs. They both have ADHD, dyslexia and other learning issues. That in it's own right has been quite the challenge. The additional challenge is that I have been ill for nearly two years. I've been diagnosed with all sorts of things, such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and all sorts of parasitic infections. Most days, I'm in a lot of pain, extremely week and fatigued, and my brain seems to have gone on vacation. It's days like that when I wonder, "how on earth am I going to get my kids to focus on anything, when I myself can't focus on anything?" It's really hard on us not to get discouraged and feel like giving up. My kids get so frustrated when they don't understand something, and the frustration increases when my mind goes totally blank, on something I normally would be able to figure out. Does anyone else suffer from chronic health issues, and still manages to homeschool? I know of one other lady who uses this program for her grandson, who suffers from similar health issues. She and I chat from time to time on another forum. How do you cope with your own health and frustrations, as well as special needs kids? What makes things easier on you and your kids? What makes things worse?
    Crying Eagle

  2. #2
    Senior Member MamaMary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CryingEagle View Post
    The two boys that I have decided to homeschool both have special needs. They both have ADHD, dyslexia and other learning issues. That in it's own right has been quite the challenge. The additional challenge is that I have been ill for nearly two years. I've been diagnosed with all sorts of things, such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and all sorts of parasitic infections. Most days, I'm in a lot of pain, extremely week and fatigued, and my brain seems to have gone on vacation. It's days like that when I wonder, "how on earth am I going to get my kids to focus on anything, when I myself can't focus on anything?" It's really hard on us not to get discouraged and feel like giving up. My kids get so frustrated when they don't understand something, and the frustration increases when my mind goes totally blank, on something I normally would be able to figure out. Does anyone else suffer from chronic health issues, and still manages to homeschool? I know of one other lady who uses this program for her grandson, who suffers from similar health issues. She and I chat from time to time on another forum. How do you cope with your own health and frustrations, as well as special needs kids? What makes things easier on you and your kids? What makes things worse?
    Dear CryingEagle,

    First of all, I am so sorry that you are going through health problems. I admire how much you are investing in your children as you choose to homeschool them while battling through this.

    I have four sons, three of which have significant processing issue's. I find that when we are stuck that sometimes I need to stop, take a break and slow down. I also find that doing less is best. We may not finish the number of lessons that a typical learning child would, but because we slow down they remember information as it sticks and stays put.

    One of the greatest gifts of home education is the flexibility to make it work for us. I would say to do school when you're feeling strong and then take a break when you feel tired or foggy and then pick it up again for a short period of time and then take a break and so on.

    I hope others will chime in with idea's. We're Better Together!
    Mary, Child of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ! Wife to best friend and Mama to her four boys 91, 96, 00, 02, Homeschooling since 1998! Come visit us on our blog! http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MamaMary/

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much Mama Mary. It's good to have them work on the computer. It gives me a chance to rest, or take care of other things. I'm still finding that the boys seem to be in such a rush to get everything done. "Slow down", does not register with them. I think that is another reason behind some pretty low scores on their work, is because they are running at super-sonic speeds. They would much rather be running around outside, or playing video games. They think "If I get a days work done in one hour, that means I get the rest of the day off to do whatever I want!" They seem to have huge issues with logic and reasoning. Although they surprise us time and time again, with some pretty bright ideas. Reading and writing are our hardest subjects. Amadeo had a tendency to tighten up his lips when he reads aloud. I've been watching him do that all week. He has a good strong voice, but he tends to mumble and stutter a lot, and he talks really fast. (Because of this, he was forced into ESL for 8 years! They called his speech problem a fluency problem.) Alex, gets so confused while reading he makes up whole new words, when he gets stuck, or even on words he knows! They get so mad and frustrated when I try to help them figure out new words. The tantrums they throw, can be frightening at times when they get tired, bored and frustrated. Alex is more likely to come back and try again when he has had time to cool off and regroup himself. Amadeo, is the one who will just give up completely, and become discouraged and depressed. Heck! I get a little depressed just watching what these guys go through and how much they struggle. I thank God every day for the freedom and flexibility with homeschooling. We no longer have to worry about choking down a curriculum that is way over their heads. Little by little, we will find new and fun ways to fill in those missing pieces. My prayer for them is that they will go out into this great big world, educated and prepared for whatever comes their way. They're smart kids, capable of great things. We just need to get their self-esteem up, and make them believe that just because they learn a little slower, and differently than all of their peers, and even big brother, they are not retarded and doomed to failure! Thanks again for the kind words of encouragement. God bless you and your little ones, my friend.
    Crying Eagle

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CryingEagle View Post
    The two boys that I have decided to homeschool both have special needs. They both have ADHD, dyslexia and other learning issues. That in it's own right has been quite the challenge. The additional challenge is that I have been ill for nearly two years. I've been diagnosed with all sorts of things, such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and all sorts of parasitic infections. Most days, I'm in a lot of pain, extremely week and fatigued, and my brain seems to have gone on vacation. It's days like that when I wonder, "how on earth am I going to get my kids to focus on anything, when I myself can't focus on anything?" It's really hard on us not to get discouraged and feel like giving up. My kids get so frustrated when they don't understand something, and the frustration increases when my mind goes totally blank, on something I normally would be able to figure out. Does anyone else suffer from chronic health issues, and still manages to homeschool? I know of one other lady who uses this program for her grandson, who suffers from similar health issues. She and I chat from time to time on another forum. How do you cope with your own health and frustrations, as well as special needs kids? What makes things easier on you and your kids? What makes things worse?

    I'm sort of in the same situation.

    I have an only child who I pulled out of public school a few months ago. He is very bright, but has social issues and Autistic tendencies. He can be quite a handful for teachers to deal with when things aren't just right in his "world". Let's just say this year- he and his teacher didn't mix well. The problems just were too much to handle. I decided that I was done trying to convince a round peg to jump into a square hole 10 months out of the year.
    I've also been dealing with chronic health issues for the last 5 yrs. A lot of it is due to neck problems, and the rest is a mystery. The majority of the time I'm either fatigued or woozy (for lack of a better word to describe it). I don't drive - so that leaves my husband to have to do all the outings and field trips.

    There are days where I don't feel like being upright- let alone teaching. And there are days that I feel like we are accomplishing almost nothing due to my son's resistance to being taught what I think is important for that day.
    Then there are days where everything clicks and we get a lot accomplished and have fun doing it.
    I was still getting the weekly newsletter from his previous class, and even with what seemed like a lot of goofing off to me- we were still getting ahead his previous classmates in most of the subjects. It showed me I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

    Also I have read a lot on unschooling. I think right now we are falling somewhere between very relaxed homeschooling and unschooling. My son knows we are required to do 4 1/2 hours a day of "school" every day, but I'm not pushing the issue with a lot of things for now. We do the Time4Learning lessons some days, other days we come up with other things to do. Some days he picks his own things to do that I count as "school". We don't really stick to a set schedule either, but I am trying to make sure we somewhat follow the state standards for his grade level.

    Sometimes I do get frustrated because I forget I am not dealing with a typical child, and I have to take a step back and try something else and go in a different direction. I try to make a list of what I want to accomplish during the entire week instead of planning daily lessons and activities.

    I'm sure it will be different in a few years when he starts doing High School, but for now I've decided not to be too concerned if we skip over something he is resistant to in order to do something more interesting.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Morrigan's Avatar
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    Hello Crying Eagle,
    I am somewhat in the same boat also. My daughter is 10, and was diagnosed with ADHD mid 2nd grade. Nightmare, to say the least. Yes, kids with ADHD really are quite intelligent, it's just in a really offbeat way/manner. My illness is supposedly bi-polar 2. I also have Hypothyroidism. Currently, I am not taking medication for either condition. I need to stay alert, so I can teach my daughter. I pulled her out of PS, after repeated attempts to talk with the principal about tests, etc. that simply were not working for my DD. The Principal was always"unavailable",repeatedly. In other words, I wasn't worth her time, and my child doesn't matter to her. She'd come off the bus crying because her classmate got yet ANOTHER "A" and DD only got a"C" or *gulp* worse. I pulled her out at Thanksgiving break, and we worked on thin workbooks for about 2 weeks then we signed up here. It's been hard, DD thought we'd actually be lying in bed doing this! OMG!?! I totally think there may be actual "processing issues" going on here with DD, but they don'y don't think so. Yes, she took the Weschler3, and all, they were LOW but still in the range of "normal" for ADHD. You can google CAPD, you'd get some new insight. Central Auditory Processing Disorder, sure sounds like my kid! Send a mesage if you want to talk, I'm best reached by email @ megawomega@gmail.com
    Blind Sheep are exactly that...blind!

  6. #6
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    I am really sorry to listen this that you are facing health issues, its really difficult to mange the thing in the same old routine while suffering with health problems, i dont have any experience of such situation but i think you need to settle down the things as soon as possible, consult your doctor and take positive decision to fix the problems.

  7. #7
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    I am glad I found this thread even though it is a little older. I was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia after having it slowly set in over the past 3 years. Some days, I am almost as good as I was and can do some local field trips or shovel snow and other days the basics of living are a real struggle. I feel grateful though for homeschooling because I think I would feel worse if I had the stress of being at the mercy of the school requirements like getting the bus at a certain time or homework due the next day. Sometimes, talking on the phone to make a dr. appointment is too much stress for me to handle. I feel for you dealing with similar health issues and the special needs of your kids to boot. My kids aren't special needs, but sometimes their level of activity overwhelms me on a bad fibro day. Fortunately, my husband has started to get more involved in homeschool and is even helping me with a blog about our homeschooling. He wants me to have something to do along with homeschool while I am coming to grips with the fact that I probably won't be returning to the career I had.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jpenn's Avatar
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    Hi Liz,

    Glad to meet you. I have had fibro for 20 years. Got it just a few months after I got married. It does change life some days, and other days I am fine except for the constant fatigue. I have been homeschooling the last 6 years, but I only have one child. I taught for many years with fibro and some other issues, so I can understand how you feel.

    Best wishes to you!
    Joyfully,
    Jackie

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