One of our older children has had one problem after another and been in the hospital six times in seven months. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes almost two weeks at a time. The constant calls, visits and coordination of care can take a real toll on a family. Between times, we have about a zillion doctor appointments and discussions with providers on the phone about things all. the. time. I think he's going to be ok EVENTUALLY, but we're doing a lot of stupid treatments, and still others that sorta work, and others that don't really.
Well. He has the best of care, but I don't really want to blog about it out of respect for HIS privacy (Um, you read my blog... you know I have no issues with my own...). I just mention it to frame the story so that I can talk about how it affects our homeschooling.
It's shot! It's terrible! We've put the hours in, so I've fulfilled the letter of the law, but I see stacks and stacks of stuff NOT DONE. And sure, sometimes it's great to linger over a lesson, or do something else entirely. But honestly, we're only about halfway done, and the school year ends/begins on July 1. The kids are going to want to take a break SOMETIME this year.
They homeschooled all summer. I pretty much turned my homeschoolers loose and let them learn about whatever they wanted during that season. And yes, they did learn. And I'm all for that "discovery" thing. But to me there is a balance, and it's totally been shot to poopie-land over the course of the year as a whole. I had given them that time over the summer reasoning that there is plenty of time to get down to business later.
There wasn't. I can't tell you how much emotional energy it takes to battle insurance companies and yap with this doctor, that doctor, the other nurse for the whoosie-whatsits and then have to tell the public school YET AGAIN that this child will be out. Sorry. They've actually been very understanding. If you have a doctor's note, you can miss as many classes as you wish. NB: you will also pass said classes. I only wish I were kidding; this is an open secret. But thank GOD for some of those people at the public school being willing to work with our family because I cannot *imagine* how badly things would turn out if they didn't. I'm going to take the grace they have offered and thank them for it. Profusely.
In any event, I'm wondering if other families have been through this sort of thing before. Do things get better? And I wonder, what if they don't get better? What if this is a "new normal?" I cannot imagine putting the children into the local elementaries... and yet, I cannot imagine going through another year of this.
I hope to really, REALLY homeschool through the summer with perhaps a week's break in there somewhere. I start to wonder about sinking money into the five-billion dollar "leasing" of the DVD curriculum at this rate. School by TV doesn't sound bad at all compared to "school during times Woodjie and Rose are quiet and Mom doesn't have to be on the phone and Elf and Emperor are BOTH ready to listen."
Arg. If you've ever been through something like this before, I'd love to hear a little about how you managed it, especially if you also had younger children at the time.
Little side note that has little or nothing to do with the rest of this post: It's come to my attention through the Apples and Jammies blog that it's time to enroll in Pizza Hut's Book It program for next year. You get a free itsy pizza each month for students ages 5 -12 if you register here. We didn't enroll for this year because of the AFA boycott (we wind up spending $25 every time we go, free pizza or not!), but we will this coming year. :)