I can’t tell you how many times over the last year I have sobbed myself to sleep while considering putting my kids in public school. I didn’t want to, but I had no choice. Life with a chronic illness left me unable to teach my kids (or so I thought).
Moms, can I assure you that is a LIE! Satan is whispering in your ear again. He’s trying to steal what God set before you. Now it’s time to send him packing! I promise there are some simple changes you can make that will let you ROCK homeschooling with a chronic illness.
Digital Curriculum Saves The Day
When things got really bad for me we had been using several wonderful curriculum programs. Unfortunately they were also teacher-intensive programs. Teacher-intensive + chronic illness = BAD IDEA! I had to figure out a better way to help my kids without pushing myself too hard.
Digital curriculum offers the advantage of full lessons without you having to teach them. I’m not talking about online public school. That is legally not considered homeschooling. It also means you lose a significant amount of control and are beholden to someone else’s timeline and requirements. That’s pretty much the opposite of what you need right now! What I’m talking about is an app, website, video set, or computer program that you are in control of and that teaches your kids.
A good digital curriculum will allow your kids to work independently. Your kids can build their skills while you rest. I mean, you aren’t just going to just sit there and ignore them, but you aren’t doing the heavy lifting, either. Your job is to guide them. You get to answer questions, re-explain confusing bits, and encourage your kids.
A few of my favorite learning websites are:
- Zearn: This is a 100% FREE math curriculum. It is online and covers grades K-5 with complete lessons. You can read my full explanation of why I love it here.
- ReadWorks: This site offers reading comprehension practice. You can choose the grade level and then find articles and stories for your children to read. ReadWorks is also a FREE website.
- Red Apple Reading: While ReadWorks builds reading coprehension, Red Apple Reading teaches kids how to read. It is game-based and my kids had a lot of fun with it.
- ABCmouse: ABCmouse is probably one of the best known learning websites around. It is geared toward younger chidren. If your kids are 8 or younger, this is a fun option.
The Power Of A Good Book
Raise your hand if you were that kid who always had your head buried in a book. I totally was! It should be no surprise that I grew into an adult who loves to read. That love of a good book can really come in handy as you learn to navigate homeschooling with a chronic illness. Reading out loud to your kids can be a key part of keeping your homeschooling going!
The BEST part about using read-alouds is that you can do them anywhere. That’s why it is perfect for homeschooling with a chronic illness! You can read to your kids while resting on the couch. If you’re having such a hard time that you can’t even get out of bed you can just keep a collection of books (and snacks for the kids) right there in your room!
A cool thing about reading aloud is that it’s not just for studying literature. You can use them for every subject! Science can be taught with interesting books on topics that excite your kids. Use historical fiction to teach history. Studying geography? Get some books about kids from other countries. Even if you’re having trouble with your voice, there are a ton of stories available as audio-books now.
Netflix Is Your Friend
Have you ever had one of those days when even the most basic of tasks is beyond you? The kind where cereal is on the menu for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner? Even simple read alouds are just too much. On days when you just. can’t. even., Netflix is your friend.
My kids call these bad days ‘Netflix School’. We watch educational shows for the day. Y’all, we live in an AMAZING time. Just about anything you could want to cover has some sort of show to stream. Now, how do we keep our kids focused on what they are learning?
The Exhausted Homeschool Mom’s Toolkit
Like most kids, mine can tend to just ‘veg out’ in front of the TV. That is, unless I give them something to help them focus. The Exhausted Homeschool Mom’s Toolkit was born from this need. I’ve put together a pack that will help you on those days when using the remote is all the more work you can do!
In the toolkit you will find lists of shows to watch (broken down by streaming service). I have also designed refection pages to help keep kids focused on what they are learning from the shows. The best part is that there are pages to help little learners clear up through teens. Whatever age(s) your kids are, the Exhausted Homeschool Mom’s Toolkit will work for you. Then you can just go to your favorite streaming service, put on a show, hand your kids their page, and let them learn.
You CAN Homeschool With A Chronic Illness
I know how you are feeling, ladies. You feel like your health is destroying your dream. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s a LIE! Be creative. Make some changes to make things work. Show yourself some grace. Use the Exhausted Homeschool Mom’s Toolkit. Whatever you do, don’t let Satan use your health to steal your homeschool!
Be sure to read all 3 parts in the Life With Chronic Illness series.