Homeschooling and Knitting and Managing the Pain...

Dealing with chronic pain can be a difficult thing to handle as it affects literally every area of your life without apology.  Sometimes all you pray for is an hour with no pain just to regain your sanity.   That is why keeping your mind active and focused on other things is imperative.  There are times when it is impossible but I make an effort to keep my mind busy…this blog came from my desire to help others find treatment options, to find a common link when experiencing severe chronic pain and, honestly, to busy myself during those times I need to keep focused.

For me, I have three children which keeps me active as well.  We are a second generation homeschool family so I also have teaching that causes me to focus outside the pain whether I feel like it or not.  The two eldest are both in an on-line High School program and will be graduating this year so I am basically done with their day to day teaching.  It was a little tough to turn over their education but it has worked great.  They have councilors, advisers and tutors which gives them a lot of resources.  If I weren't ill, I could have done this all myself but you have to be practical about what you can and can't do.  I am still able to keep track of their progress and help to motivate them and am, of course, their biggest cheerleader!  
The program we now have them in is wonderful because it is completely accredited and lets them go at their own pace.  If our 16 year old son keeps on pace, he will graduate with his sister this year and will be entering college two years early.  That gives him a huge advantage.  He is our brainy one so the schoolwork isn't exactly taxing.  He is going into computers like his Daddy and will work in our family IT Consulting business.  I think he is ready to just move things along.
Victoria working hard at school.
Both my husband and I were homeschooled graduates so the decision to homeschool came naturally to us.  We wanted to give our children the best education we could possibly provide and also be there for them throughout their lives.  Our children will never say their parents didn't spend enough time with them.  We are a close knit family and we love it.  They have lots of friends and activities outside the house but they always know our home is their safety net and a place of refuge in a very trying world.  

Our youngest son is 11 and has just changed to an on-line curriculum as well.  I used to be a 100% hands on teacher, very old-school, but with changes in the circumstance of life, you have to change your 'rathers' to what is possible.  I am still an active part of his schooling and sit with him as he goes through his lessons on-line to help explain and add to the teaching but all the lesson plans and basic instruction comes from the on-line curriculum.  
Samuel taking a more relaxed day at school.
I was a little shocked but it has been wonderful and I couldn't be happier.  With being sick, these on-line curriculums give the best of both worlds.  I am able to continue to control their education while not having to put as much time and effort into the planning and full instruction.  That is good thing when I am having bad days.  Our youngest is extremely excited that he has Mama's undivided attention for schooling now so we are doing all kinds of fun Science experiments and writing assignments.  He even got to put one of his required reading books on Mama's Kindle this week.  Any book is more fun to read on the Kindle

We are not the kind of people that believe everyone should pull their children and teach them at home, but for our family, this has been the right choice.  It has given the children a lot of time with us.  We believe that their being with me during the illness and able to help with the therapies make it easier for them to handle.  So many times when illness occurs our first instinct is to protect the children from the painful realities but in the long run, we felt that was destructive.  When we were honest with our children and then in turn, got them involved in my treatments, they had a feeling of empowerment.  They felt they were doing something to help and it made it easier for them to accept and process.  Most people are shocked at how well our children have weathered everything but we believe it is from involving them and giving them a way to act on all those feelings.

From this experience, our daughter who is almost 18, is going into a Natural Alternative Pain Management career.  She runs all my treatments now and has been my primary care giver for a few years now.   Through this we have discovered she has a talent for being a caregiver, although she didn't want to be a nurse for a lot of reasons, but this path was perfect for her.  When I first got sick we agreed we would pay her a salary for being my caregiver instead of bringing in someone else.  

Victoria loved the idea since it gave her so much freedom to still go out with her friends and enjoy her actives but maintain a paycheck.  It was a win/win situation for both of us and led her to an exciting career of her choice.  She is compassionate and understanding and is going to be great at working with other people with chronic pain.  Her schooling will start in late fall and since we have moved to the city, will only be two blocks from the house!  It will be nice to keep her home through her continuing education.

Well, I must go and help the children plan for a Kid's Retreat they will be going on soon.  This will be our youngest's first time away from home.  I think he would be nervous but because both his older brother and sister are going as helpers, he is excited.  I am sure it will be harder on Mama than it will on him!  What this does mean is Josh and I will have a whole weekend to ourselves!  This has never happened since we were married!  I am praying I have a good weekend so we can enjoy the time together!  I have to admit, though, I'm going to miss our babies!

Have a good Thursday!
May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,