Family News Over the Past Few Weeks

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post!  I am so out of practice at writing regularly, having been so very busy during the last academic year, that I have decided to just sit down and write….anything!

I guess the biggest news is that Thomas Passed all his exams:

A* in Chemistry; A (or equivalent) in Physics, Maths and Engineering; B (or equivalent) in English Language (Yay!!!) and a C in Biology.  We did it!!  He passed English!!

He started college at the ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) on Monday and has thoroughly enjoyed it all so far.  He will be completing an Extended BTEC in Music Production, but he is basically able to learn anything they have on offer in addition to this.  He is already self-taught in bass guitar and regular guitar and has been offered the chance of learning a third instrument.  He has chosen drums…I see ear defenders in my future!  He has already attended a couple of guitar workshops and is just soaking in everything on offer.  I love to see him so happy and motivated with his life.

Things are not so rosy on the Charlotte front.  You may remember last winter we had a really nasty infection going round and round our family.  Having hardly ever taken antibiotics in their life time, the children ended up on all sorts for burst ear drums, loss of voice and so on…We found Thomas passed out on the hallway floor at 5 in the morning soaked through with sweat, mumbling incoherently, his temperature was so high.  Some of the children got the infection three times, but by March it seemed to be subsiding.  From about January, Charlotte had begun complaining of wrist pain and the doctor put it down to carpel tunnel syndrome.  By the beginning of summer, she was having severe pain in her feet, ankles, shoulder blade and hip joints, as well as feeling exhausted all of the time.  A different GP diagnosed her with something else and then something else.  She was becoming more down by the day, and Gary and I were becoming more worried by the moment.

She is currently under a paediatric consultant as well as an orthopaedic consultant and has had every blood test under the sun.  About a month ago, she was finally diagnosed with ME (Post Viral Chronic Fatigue) brought on by the infection at Christmas, which the consultants now believe was glandular fever (an infection known to cause ME).  It was under this back-drop that she sat her Law GCSE with splints and strong pain killers to get her through the 1 1/2 hour paper.  She received a C grade for her Law, which she was so disappointed with, she cried.  But I honestly could not be prouder.  She sat it, even though she felt rubbish and was in a great deal of pain.  I was just chuffed she passed!

Currently, we are all learning to live with this chronic condition, thanking God we home-school and can take it easy when necessary.  The tiredness has got so bad that she can hardly read for any length of time as she falls asleep, and you all know how much she has enjoyed reading her entire life.  So this whole condition is very debilitating for her.  Fortunately, she is blessed with a strong mental constitution and is battling it mentally the very best she can.  The poor girl is on painkillers pretty much around the clock, and has to balance work with play; activity with inactivity and eating healthily with the odd treat.  This is immensely hard for my girl who has always been like a turbo charged superman on speed 🙂

That said, we are all supporting her as much as we can so that she can have as normal a life as possible.  The twins were offered a job over the summer by the local Chinese takeaway, as well as their normal babysitting jobs.  Charlotte has chosen to do the Friday night shift, whilst Lillie will do the Saturday night shift.  This is so Charlotte can sleep in as much as she needs Saturday morning.  She is also studying for three more GSCEs in Maths, Classical Civilisations and Latin, and is currently three quarters the way through writing her third book (a book which is, thank goodness, based around fairy tale land, where not is all as it seems – I am so happy she has left her darker topics for now and is writing something a bit lighter 🙂  Although she did have one odd thing come up on her search history – how many bodies does it take to forge a sword from blood…sigh….!!)

Lillie is doing so well right now.  Last year was a particularly hard one for her, and by the end of it she had lost all interest in her school work.  After a summer break and some re-evaluation of her life and what she wants out of it, she is back to the normal, calm, solid persona that we all know and love.  Lil has decided to keep her creative endeavours as a hobby, and to work towards becoming a nurse (which is what she wanted to be for the first decade of her life).  We have decided that she will continue with her art (GCSE equivalent) until its completion at the end of December this year.  She will also complete her Level Three in Photography (A Level equivalent).  We have paid £500 for her to have a second year of tutelage.  She only has two more photographic projects to do and she will have finished.  Additionally, Lillie will be studying for her Maths GCSE and Religious Studies GCSE.

We have done some research into nursing and Lil would like to do a nursing degree specialising in children and learning difficulties.  To do this she needs six GCSEs and three A Levels.  By the end of 2018 she will have two GCSEs (English and Art), and she will take a further one in Religious Studies next summer.  This means she needs to take three more next year, which will be Maths, Psychology and Human Biology.  This is all with a view to take Psychology A level and Biology A level the following year, which when added to her Photography diploma, will give her all she needs for a nursing degree.  It’s wonderful to see her so enthusiastic for her future and working so hard to make it happen.

I’ll maybe do a separate post for Gary and I and the little ones another day, before you all fall asleep!  If you have read thus far, I congratulate you on your constitution!!



  1. I am heartbroken to hear your beloved wee ones have suffered so much this past year. You are my FAV blogger for older children’s curriculum and I have doc’ed just about every post that has come through my email for future reference! I homeschool my wee grandbabes and have been homeschooling since 1980 my own and others. We live in the Cleveland National Forest in East San Diego County, California. We all will be praying for you & yours!

  2. Glad that you have posted again and congratulations to Thomas and Charlotte on their results. Sorry to hear about Charlotte’s health problems and hope that she starts to feel better soon. Good to hear that Lillie has decided what she wants to do. Nurses are always in demand and it is good that she has planned out what she needs to do. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of you!

  3. I am so sorry for what Charlotte is going through. That is indeed so hard to deal with at such a tender age. We are praying for her. No wonder you have decreased your blogging. There is a great deal on your plate right now.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. Congratulations to Thomas, that’s a great set of results! I’m glad to hear he’s enjoying college too.

    I’m really sorry to hear that Charlotte has been diagnosed with ME/CFS, and at the same time I’m glad she’s been diagnosed – I’ve had ME for eight years and only got an official diagnosis letter and support a few months ago! I have been meaning to post about my fatigue management (although I have not had as much pain as it sounds like Charlotte is experiencing, that is really rough) and this is a good push for me to get on with that. I hope it can be some help.

    Has Lillie considered an Access to Nursing course? It may not be a better option than A levels but it’s worth exploring. When I was studying Midwifery, a lot of the other students had done an Access course and it seemed like their learning had been more targeted and relevant.

  5. Congrats to your older three on all of their achievements!!! My daughter is also thinking about a career in nursing. I am so sorry to learn about Charlotte’s chronic pain. It hurts so much to see our children suffer. Katie’s diagnosis changed everything about how we home educate. Chronic illness just changes everything. We will be praying for her and all of you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.