Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homeschooling Thankfulness -- A flexible schedule

Once upon a time I thought the hardest thing about homeschooling was going to be choosing curriculum. Over the years I've found that our biggest challenges come in trying to get everything done.

Our circumstances might be a little extreme. Lauren's health is really quite stable now (as opposed to when she was younger), but she still has a lot of doctor's appointments. When our days are packed with appointments, I'm particularly thankful for the way that homeschooling allows us to have a flexible schedule.

I have some control over when the appointments are scheduled, but not much. Her monthly transplant labs always have to be drawn early in the morning (between 7:30 and 8:00), and that hospital is at least thirty minutes away from our house. If she were in a regular classroom, she'd definitely be late on those days. For some of other appointments (allergy, GI, cardiology), she'd miss an entire half day of school in order to see the specialists for her follow-up care. I cannot imagine spending half a day sitting in a doctor's office and then trying to help Lauren catch-up on schoolwork she missed.

Instead, we usually pack up some of our homeschool assignments to work on while we're away from home. Tomorrow morning, I'll wake Lauren up early to get more labs drawn. On the drive to the hospital, we'll either listen to our new Maestro Classics CD or an episode of The Brinkman Adventures (both upcoming review products). Recently, we listened to a wonderful audiobook version of Pollyanna while we drove back and forth to appointments. In the waiting room, I'll pull out this week's read-aloud so that we can squeeze in a few pages here and there. On the way back home, Lauren will likely start working on some independent work and a math practice page. It's not the same as a regular morning at home, but we'll still get a lot of work done.

For longer appointments, I'll take an entire bag of schoolwork -- partly to fill the time while we're waiting and partly so that we don't get behind. If I took off of school for every appointment, we'd never get anything finished.

In addition to all the regular and specialty doctors' appointments, Lauren also has regular occupational and physical therapy appointments. Over the years, I've been able to incorporate a lot of her therapy "homework" into our days. I'm not sure she would've been able to sit in a classroom all day, finish her homework, and do therapy if she had been in a regular school setting.

At various times, we've set up a balance beam in our living room, a scooter board in the play room, and even a swing hanging in the garage so that we could squeeze in some extra physical therapy work when it wasn't nice enough to play outside. Many of our school activities doubled as fine motor practice for occupational therapy, especially when Lauren was younger. It was another way that we made the most of our time.

It isn't always easy to juggle Lauren's sometimes crazy medical schedule with my plans for a regular homeschool day. Even on the craziest days, I'm thankful that our school days are flexible enough that Lauren isn't missing out on instructional time simply because of a check-up with one specialist or another.

This post about Homeschooling Thankfulness is part of a larger Blog Hop sponsored by members of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. I've included the links to eight of my friends who are participating this time around. If you'd like to read even more homeschooling related posts, you can click on the button below to find the links to all the participants.

Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool ~ Homeschooling with Excessive Energy
Lexi @ Lextin Academy ~ The Homeschool Dad, CEO
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles ~  Organizing Your Home and School
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm ~ Homeschooling Thankfulness
Melissa @ Mom's Plans ~ Historical Field Trips
Karen @ Tots and Me ~ Making Geography Fun
Adena @ AdenaF ~ Mnemonics 
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Lego Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family ~ Record Keeping

April Blog Hop

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  1. I'm so sorry your little one has such a struggle and so many dr appts! But it is so nice to not deal with the stress of missing school and making up work. The flexibility does reduce stress and I'm so thankful for that! I love that we can homeschool on our own schedule around the visits that we have from family or the trips we take to visit family. When grandparents come to town we can drop everything and the kids can play. Then we pick right back up after they go back home. The flexibility has also been great since my husband is in grad school. If he's going through a stressful time we can scale back on school.

  2. I know with homeschooling setting a schedule is important but allowing for flexibility when life throws you a curve ball is important too. I enjoyed reading your post..



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