Friday, April 21, 2017

Overcoming Homeschooling Challenges {Crew Blog Hop}

5 Days of Homeschooling with Epilepsy and Other Issues:
Overcoming Homeschooling Challenges

Let's face it.  Homeschooling when you have children with Special Needs present challenges most families don't have and don't expect.  We've previously discussed the Down Days.  We've also discussed Homeschooling with Doctor's Appointments.

Then there are days when we have meltdowns, Mom and Dad included.  There are days when we feel like we can't do this anymore or are we sure we even want to do this???  Wouldn't it be easier just to put your kid on a bus and let the Public School handle all of these issues and challenges we face daily?

Giving up would be the easiest route.  Letting someone else take control while we sit back and enjoy the few peaceful hours that we don't have to handle all these things.  Only then the phone rings asking us to come in because our child has had a meltdown and punched Johnny.  Or Emmalee has a migraine and needs to come home (yes this has actually happened to us).   So in the end, we're still having to handle all the things we started with.

Challenges happen every day in life.  Some challenges are huge and some much smaller.  Some seem huge when they aren't at all.  But all challenges teach us some important lesson in life though we may  not realize it until much later.

Each challenge presents a different result and needs a different way to be handled so I cannot tell you exactly how to handle the challenges presented to you personally but I can tell you what I do to overcome the many challenges I face in my days.

Pray.  Prayer always starts how I handle my day to day challenges.  Sometimes it's a quick prayer: "Father, please make this happen."  "Father, please allow things to go smoothly today."  Sometimes it's a more in depth prayer that lasts through out my day.  But no matter, prayer is always the best way to deal with my challenges.

Then I evaluate what's going on.  The baby is crying and whining all day.  Does he need a nap?  Diaper changed?  Sensory overload?  Should we cuddle or is touch too much for him as well? (Sometimes he cannot stand to be held and other times he craves it and doesn't realize that's just what he needs.)

Why is Laycie extra whiny today?  Does she need an extra snack because she's growing?  Did she even eat with her medication this morning?  Perhaps she needs some down time.  Maybe the task is too hard for her to complete yet.

All these things are challenges that I must determine and answer.  Sometimes the answer is easy.   Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to figure out.  Deduction and evaluation of my children is one way I handle our daily challenges and let me tell you, no one knows your children better than you do!

Then there are challenges of cleaning, teaching, keeping up with the Jones.  Well, first thing I did was throw out the competition with the neighbors, exes and other homeschool families.  This is my family and we have to compete with no one.  We do things on our time, in the way that best fits us and that's perfectly fine.  Sure I occasionally find myself falling back to the old way of society says but then I stop and remind myself that society is not important.  God and His plan for my family is most important to me.

Cleaning: this is managed by setting schedules which sometimes do fall to the wayside.  There are many great apps and programs to help you stay on track.  That one Lady has been a lifesaver to me at times and I'm fixing to get back to that myself.  You have to find what works best for you, be it motivation programs, or things that list the job task to task.

Teaching: When life is in chaos, this becomes another challenge.  I've suggested some ways to deal with teaching when you are facing these challenges in my previous posts for this blog hop.  Make things easy on yourself.  Teach curriculum  that allows you to educate more than one child at a time.  Use materials that simplify instead of over exert you.  Teach your child educational independence too, so they can do the work on their own and learn with minimal input from you.  Educators outside of Elementary to High School age don't hold our hands.  We're expected to do it all on our own with little input from them.  It's okay to let your child do the same if they are able.  It's actually a skill they'll use throughout their lifetime.

Organize:  I have a hard time with this myself but when everything is in it's place, it really does help our lives run smoother.  Keep your curriculum in the same place every day so it's easier for you to access.  This will make you want to teach and make learning easier for your children.  Same with the rest of the house.  When your children can find their clothing, they can get out the door for appointments faster.  When your kitchen is organized, cooking is more efficient.  You also have more time for family time and bonding with each other.

When challenges become too much, take time to reevaluate your home and life.  Take time off from school to relax and just be together as a family.  Go camping, or just to the park.  Change the pace.  Take a look at what small things you can do to make things flow better for your home and life and then make those changes.

Challenges face all of us.  They aren't the end of the world, though sometimes they surely feel that way.  Challenges just require us taking time to figure them out in order to overcome them.  Once we do, things fall into place again until the next challenge comes along and then you start the process all over again.

Remember with Christ you can do anything!

God bless,
Dana Lambert-Hodge

P.S.  This is the final post in the 5 Days of Homeschooling with Epilepsy and Other Issues series.  We hope you have been blessed by our thoughts on these topics and have enjoyed this glimpse into our life.  Please take a look at our other posts it the series and may God bless you in your journey as He has us in our own.

This post is linked up with the 5 Days of Homeschooling... Blog Hop
from the Homeschool Review Crew!

5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

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