Apologies, this is probably one of those posts which is of interest to nobody but me.
I have come to the conclusion that home schooling is God’s way of ensuring the grass does not grow under my feet. His way of making sure I do not become too complacent. Maybe even His way of preventing me getting stuck in a rut. One can’t you see, when one has to change direction constantly to keep up with the needs of their family or (in this case) with the needs of oneself.
Many, many people have emailed me over the past three years wondering how on earth I managed to school as I did. My answer has always been that I have 6 extra hours in my day to school plan, and organise and then execute said plans the next morning. Those extra hours, created by an insomnia I frankly wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, gifted me with time. Time to research, time to pull together a full and yet fun home-made curriculum for my five children, time to blog about it and meet all you lovely people and time to be on the computer when it had absolutely no impact on those around me or my relationships with them, because they were, y’know, doing what normal people were doing – sleeping.
But something has changed, and that something is me. I have changed. I now sleep very, very well thanks to my doctor’s prescription. I forgot to take my medicine Sunday night – the first time since the brilliant Doctor figured out what was wrong and got it sorted. That night I was awake all night, with my mind racing, exciting me with all the possibilities of life. In some ways it was good to have me back. Ideas rushed through this very overactive brain of mine all night long. The night was lit up with potential and promise. In other ways, it was exhausting, and when I got up the next day it was with an aching head, aching body and feeling absolutely terrible. It shocked me to realise that this was really how I had felt my entire life. I just didn’t know any different and so just got on with it. Now I know differently. Now I know what it is to feel normal. To not have aching joints, heavy eyelids, fuzziness in a brain which whizzed at top speed. I’m not sure I even knew what it felt like to not have a dull head ache all. day. long.
But since I have slept, since that wonderful day the doctor told me she knew what would stop the racing, that she could give me that ‘off switch’ I had longed for all my life, I have felt well. Not just well but exuberant. I am pain-free. There is no heaviness. I have no need for caffeine, sugar or food to get me through the day. Life feels, dare I say it, easy, rather than everything being a struggle. There is, as is so often the case, a down side. I have lost 6 hours of every day, 42 hours a week. That amounts to almost four extra 12 hour days a week, which is an incredible 182 extra 12 hour days a year. And it is showing in the sheer amount I am not able to do anymore. I have thought about stopping my blog. I have thought about putting the children into school. I have thought about just not taking the medicine. Something has to give.
I am very blessed to have a husband who is support extraordinaire. I am able to garble seeming nonsense to him which somehow he unravels and makes sense of and even comes up with a few workable ideas. He was clear. I was not stopping my blog. I was not sending my children to school. And I was not, absolutely not, going to stop taking my medicine. So what have we come up with?
The way we home school is very time intensive so we decided we needed to reduce the time required behind the scenes. This will probably take the form of using curriculum somebody else has written. I need to do a bit more research for this but we have decided it won’t be a one curriculum fits all. Each child will be assessed for their individual interests, strengths and weaknesses, and curriculum chosen to suit them. There will still be some project based learning but my guys need more than that.
If anyone has any to recommend I’d love hear them. I have planned and bought resources up until Christmas, but after that I’m open to any ideas….