Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting it all done, well, enough of it anyway

Funny, that after writing about selflessness and giving all, I found myself in a position of inability to give anything! At 4:30 Sunday morning I woke up with a bizarre, extreme pain that left me shaky and nauseated.

After I walked around a bit it settled to slightly manageable and I waited for the local urgent care center to open. Apparently, a fairly common strained muscle either from overuse or sleeping weird had interrupted my restful night so abruptly. I spent Mother's Day (after returning from the doctor) resting and being waited on hand and foot, but in too much pain to truly appreciate it.

Monday, while only slightly better in the pain department, saw me off to jury duty. I actually got selected for the jury and spent a long day weighing someone's guilt or innocence.

Today that pain has persisted at a fairly moderate level, but I don't want to lose any more of the week, so we attempt to jump into homeschooling. And, I was reminded of some of the lessons that I learned while homeschooling with bouts of morning sickness, pregnancy, and newborns. And, made up some new rules along the way.

Thought these might help others on one of those days you want or need a break:

- Determine what MUST be done. My kids are all months to years ahead in math, so we skipped that today. We skipped some of the oral reading that I know we can pick up again next week. And, we just stuck with essentials along with some extended outdoor work and exploring.

- Spread your day out, or pack it in and finish early, depending on your preference. When not feeling well I prefer to work for an hour, rest an hour, work, rest. We finish later, but can still get quite a bit of high quality school time in our day.

- Get the kids working. My kids generally have quite a few chores and responsibilities, but these couple days they have done even more, and willingly! It is very sweet to see them clamber over each other getting ice water for the little ones in order to help me out.

- Pull out the educational DVDs. I just happened to have gotten Drive Through History: Rome at the library. I had heard of this series, but never watched one. My kids all enjoyed it although I had intended it mainly for my 6th grader who is studying Ancient Rome currently. Entertaining, informative, and fairly quick moving, this gave us all something to talk about and helped teach the kids when my physical strength struggled to get it all done.

- Choose the low stress activities you will all enjoy. I love reading outloud, even when I don't feel well. We just picked up God's Smuggler from the library, so we jumped into the first chapter of that and had some great conversations already. Especially interesting, since Brother Andrew is Dutch, and my two older girls just came back from the Tulip Festival with Grandma and Grandpa.

- Relax and talk or just be together. With so much to share from jury duty yesterday, we spent some time just talking about our judicial system, my experience, the physical court building, and all that I learned and participated in. They couldn't be there with me, but they could still benefit from all that I had seen and heard.

While it was not our typical school day, it got enough done, and we will gradually pick up where we left off and gain our momentum once again.

I need to remember that life is mostly about life, not about basic math facts.

It is more about character than fourth grade spelling.

More about caring for others than science experiments.

We can make up those other things next week, or in June if necessary, but this day (along with all the life lessons it contained) is already gone and I might have missed it otherwise.

That is what worked for us!


Kris said...

I hope you're feeling better. That doesn't sound like a fun way to spend your Mother's Day.

Joy @ Five J's said...

So sorry you're not feeling well, but I do love your list. It's great that homeschooling allows us to be so flexible. I've had many days when your suggestions would have really helped had I put them into practice.

Anonymous said...

I'm in my 8th year of homeschooling and nothing was more difficult than last April when my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I was a wreck. But God was so faithful . . . . we did just what you said. Enough! I still don't know how I got through that time. Well, I do - it was Him alone.

I hope you're feeling better!!!

Home School Dad said...

Great post. This not only works for sickness, it works for grieving. Used many of thos suggestions last month when my brother passed away. I hope you feel better soon!

This is such an excellent post you should consider submitting it (or another post) to the home school carnival, that I am hosting next week. There is info on how to submit on my most recent post.

Frugal Finds said...

I hope you are feeling better soon!!!

5intow said...

Thanks for the well wishes, each day gets a little better generally.

Yes, Kris, not a great way, but it still reminded me of the amazing family I have, and gives me lots to reflect on as the days go by.

Joy, flexibility is definitely such a great asset in homeschooling. It helps us learn even through non-academic situations.

Cheri-Beri, nothing more difficult that watching a loved one going through serious illness. You reminded me about the most important key to getting through those days -- relying on Christ's strength, time table, and priorities rather than my own. Thank you for pointing that out.

Homeschool Dad, so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. I can't imagine the emotional pain, but glad to hear you are making it through and still plugging along. I will definitely send this in for the carnival!

Thanks for your kind words, Frugal Finds. I hoped to encourage others and instead find myself encouraged in return.

Thanks again everyone! May your days be as productive as they need to be. :-)

Jenny said...

hope you feel better soon :)