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From: Patti (
Subject:         Some encouragement...
Date: September 6, 2009 at 6:46 am PST

In Reply to: Needing serious advice here! posted by Jane on September 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm:

It is so difficult to balance all of what you have on your shoulders and see that you are still benefiting your children. There is a huge emotional toll as well as the physical and mental drain when you are caring for a dying family member and trying to keep all else going "smoothly".

Trust what your friend said. The hardest part is being able to turn off the emotional drain as you try to teach. We ran through the same thing for over five years. I did have the benefit of several siblings sharing the load. We could not have done it individually.

One suggestion I would make is to get the benchmarks that your local school (or any school)uses to judge if a student has accomplished what they need to know for that grade. Looking at that may not seem as overwhelming as looking at a major curriculum.

If your children are younger but know how to read, you can have them read science books and historical fiction (reading/history/science). Choose certain periods of time to focus the reading on. Easy grammar and Daily Grams are simple for grammar. Spelling was missed in our house. But when I did a monthly test for placement they still gradually improved.

Use your friends suggestion for math. Speed in add., subtr., mult., div., and fractions will be a blessing when you can allow more time. Triangle cards are perfect for them to do on their own.

A daily writing journal may help them as they go through the stress also. I would consider having them read an article or Aesop fable and rewrite it in their own words. Tell them to be creative, use a thesaurus and add new details to the fiction. For factual articles, they copy important words from the text and use those to guide them as they write a "better" article for you to read. Working on it daily and doing one a week will give them excellent writing practice.

When life hopefully balances out consider getting Institute for Excellence In Writing. It has helped me tremendously-I only wish I had it when my sons were young.

One key part of your day you do not want to skip is a daily Bible reading. It seems to put us in a better frame of mind and reminds us who we are to glorify throughout our day. It also gave me a reference to go back to if we needed an impromptu life lesson.

Keep it simple. Praise God for the privilege to care for such special people. He will give you the creativity and stamina to make it through. In five years you will look back and be amazed at how you did it all. That is when you say, "Oh yes, it was not me. It was God!"

Praying for you.


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