Saturday, July 8, 2017

Homeschooling While in Pain and Other Contemplations

When I started this blog, I didn't really know how much of my life I would share. I knew that I would write about our homeschool experiences but I didn't know how in depth I'd go into my own personal life. I knew I had some very sensitive things that I could share (don't we all??) and that I'm not too shabby when it comes to writing about these things. I know that my experience in raising a child with special needs is something that would be read with I've coped, how I haven't coped...But I also feel that gut-feeling which tells me that now isn't quite the time to share a lot and to wait a while until God tells me the time is right.

I guess I'm describing this because I've just had a really stressful seven months. It consisted of figuring out if we were going to continue renting our home or buy, and if we did buy we'd need to move to a different town as ours was not affordable to us. Then we spent months looking at homes. And getting our loan ready (which has been the hardest loan we've ever tried to get!). It was so exciting and yet so stressful. I stopped exercising and stopped drinking water, literally. I have no thirst drive. (Stay with me...) We finally found our house and spent a very, very stressful month securing the loan (I think the mortgage guy needed to know how many times a day I went to the bathroom--that is how crazy loans are nowadays!) When we finally closed escrow, my joy was almost too hard to contain. After we sold our home seven years ago due to Tiny B's probable death, which the Lord spared us was heartbreaking. I loved my home. So when we walked into this home I couldn't believe it was ours. I couldn't believe this blessing. It was so unbelievable that I hadn't even told anyone we were buying. I couldn't bear the thought of it not happening.

But it always seems that I can never get away from troubles for too long. (It's like fhat for everyone, right?) Anyway, I started passing a kidney stone upon closing of escrow and I spent around seven weeks in agony. I knew what was happening as I've passed around two a year for the past twenty-seven years. I knew I had probably caused it this time due to my not drinking water. Trying to unpack, finish out a homeschool year, and passing a painful stone while having two young children is hard. Two weeks ago I finally had to have surgery. Turns out I had a large stone and a stricture in my ureter from letting too many large stones pass where I should've gotten them removed. The reason I didn't get them removed: a stent I have to have in my ureter after the surgery to allow the ureters to heal.

I'm on Day 9 of The Stent and it sucks. Like, really really sucks. The pain is worse than a stone for me. 

I give you this backstory to demonstrate how I have truly not been the homeschooling mom I want to be. When I was a teacher I had hard bouts (don't we all?) but I still was able to always do a very good job. Even when I had a one pound baby growing inside me who I knew was not going to live, I was able to do a really good job teaching 6th grade. But for some reason, teaching my own children is harder during trying times. But God has sustained us. I remember hearing this from Heidi St. John at a homeschooling conference, that God would sustain us through the hard times and that the children would still learn, and yes, I can say this is true. 

It's important for me to clarify here that finding a home and having a kidney stone and surgery is not what I'd truly call "hard times." I don't believe they are truly hard times compared to other struggles I've faced in my life (don't we all face these struggles?) I've got hope for our future...I'm so stinking excited about our home and me joining our company and our new town and homeschooling! I am not suffering a tragedy.

But it's been really trying. Two months of pure pain really eats away at ones mental clarity and not to mention one's homeschooling. But I did the best that I could do. And I'm pretty sure God is proud of me. 

A few days before my surgery, during a particularly painful stone day, I took out the Mother Goose Time box to do an Invitation to Create with Tiny B. I wanted to show you how I did this in the midst of pain, and without any patience or mental clarity. I hope you can see the beauty in these pictures of this excited little girl, wearing her Ariel dress, who is still learning despite her mom's medical problem, by the grace of God.


The goal was to build a sandcastle using the given materials. In the Invitation to Create, you can choose how much guidance you want to give. The thought is just to let them create and not interject your ideas at all. 

This is hard for me sometimes, particularly when I want to be the one painting and gluing and creating. 


I envisioned her pasting her sand colored paper in the shape of a castle onto the blue paper. Then she'd use the shiny blue paper to create an ocean. And she'd top it off with sprinkling real sand onto the top with glue...

As you can see here my vision did not happen. My vision isn't supposed to happen and that's the point of it! Ha!

She did get stuck in a few places. She was tired. She asked for guidance so I gave it. Educationally, it wasn't what should have been done according to the goals of the project. But she was tired, I was in pain, and we worked together and enjoyed this time together. She still learned, and truly, we accomplished a lot in this short time. 



Afterward she went to the board and started to vocally narrate a story. (That's the MGT Storybook of the Month at the bottom). I listened to her beautiful story and my heart was touched by this little girl who God has been teaching alongside me for the last seven months. I'm so thankful for all of this--this home, my children who love to learn and be taught by me, and the excitement I have for things coming up for us. 

I thank God for holding our hand through this not-as-easy-as-I'd-like-it-to-be time. 

*I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in  sharing of experiences, resulting from our personal use. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

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