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How to Survive When Homeschooling with Fibromyalgia

30 Days of Homeschool Encouragement and Inspiration

Note: A Special Thank You to our Sponsor at the End of this Post!

Homeschooling with Fibromyalgia is hard.

Living with fibromyalgia is already a challenge. Homeschooling with Fibromyalgia is a whole other beast! Sometimes we feel so frustrated, not understanding why we’re called to homeschool with this sometimes debilitating disorder.

I definitely love homeschooling. So much. Flare-ups, however, make me think twice once in a while. The combo can be brutal.

We’re in good company though. Do you know who else had a mission to carry out while dealing with a chronic condition?

Paul.

He went out on his missions, doing God’s work, all while suffering from his own physical ailment.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:8-9.

At least we’re not staring down all the hardships he faced, right?! We can do this!

If fibromyalgia is the thorn in your side while you homeschool and live life, I’m with you on that!

Today I have six ideas to help you survive and thrive while homeschooling with fibromyalgia and experiencing flare-ups.

HERE’S HOW TO SURVIVE WHEN HOMESCHOOLING WITH FIBROMYALGIA

HOW TO SURVIVE WHEN HOMESCHOOLING WITH FIBROMYALGIA

1. Live in prayer

It’s important to remember to constantly be in prayer. While this is true for all of us, homeschooling with Fibromyalgia takes this importance to the next level.

Prayer reminds us of who He is and His power. He can change and heal us, but even if the healing doesn’t look the way we would hope on this side of heaven, prayer changes our hearts and our minds, keeping us close our healer and provider.

On the same note, try keeping a gratitude journal. You could always keep a prayer journal and add gratitude bullet points inside that as well. Review it on the hard days because it’s so easy to miss our blessings or forget them.

2. Have unit studies on standby

These are so much easier to make work for multiple kids and ages. With only two kids (and they’re relatively close in age) I can still feel stressed about how much there is to do! I can’t imagine how much more that multiplies when teaching whole handfuls of kids! Being able to teach them together, is so much easier, of course, and it’s much better for the days that I just don’t feel like I can keep going.

When homeschooling with Fibromyalgia, I recommend having an emergency unit study on standby. Have everything ready that you may need, and the papers printed so it’s just ready to rock’n’roll. Think of it as your unit study emergency box.

Another option is an online unit study. Online unit studies considerably cut down any prep work and you can just keep a small box with any activity items that you would need. You can have an older sibling manage those projects or simply skip any of the activities.

One last idea is “gameschooling.” If you haven’t heard of that, basically build up a little arsenal of games that are educational or develop certain skills. The Brain Quest game and Clue are two of our favorites, but the possibilities are endless.

3. Take the learning outside

Consider taking a walk and doing your school that way. Exercise helps a ton with fibromyalgia. It doesn’t have to be crazy strenuous; it can just be as simple as a walk. In addition to that, sunshine and being in nature can totally improve your mood.

To take school outside, stock up on clipboards from the dollar tree, and consider nature studies or listening to audiobooks on a Bluetooth speaker while you walk as a family.

4. Have a YouTube or Netflix documentary day.

YouTube and Netflix are the power tool when you’re homeschooling with Fibromyalgia!

If you were in public schools like me, surely you remember the days where we watched movies on the giant TV on the cart thing. Obviously, they don’t lug around the big television anymore, but I’m pretty sure they still have some movie or documentary days… and so can we.

YouTube and Netflix are almost always available, and it’s an easy method to manage straight from your bed. You can even cuddle up together!

Just plan a playlist ahead of time using your favorite channels and maybe some questions that you can ask or have them write about afterward.

5. Year-round homeschooling

This is an ideal scheduling method for parents homeschooling with Fibromyalgia.

We use year-round homeschooling because it’s super flexible and allows for a lot of mini-breaks throughout the year. It’s easy to swap out days and it’s also great for people that have to stick to a schedule with their curriculum without deviating.

We’re pretty flexible and eclectic, but if you have something that can’t be changed or skipped over, this is a great way to still get in all your days but take some days off throughout the year during flare-ups.

6. Freezer meals and meal planning

This can be a lifesaver on the hard days. If you spend a single day preparing a few freezer meals, you’ll be good to go for the next month or two. On those hard days, you won’t have to worry about what to make or how long it will take. Consider teaching older kids how to make them from the freezer for you (yay for life skills)!

Meal planning is also a huge help if you’d rather try that. When you know what’s going on for the week, you can prepare everything in advance. Like chopping vegetables or preparing pre-cooked meats. This will make it easier to throw dinner together on the nights that you’re exhausted.

Just a little planning to survive when homeschooling with Fibromyalgia

That’s all you need when you’re homeschooling with Fibromyalgia… prayer, planning ahead on the good days for the bad and taking a break from school when you need it.

I know planning isn’t necessarily fun, but just one day a month of planning some meals or some backup lessons as mentioned above, and you’ll be all set for the hard days. Keep praying and keep focusing on the blessings you’ve been given and know that you’ll get through this!

*****

Jill Camacho blogs at Autism Homeschool Mama.com She is a Christian, veteran, mom to two boys, and creator of social skills & homeschooling resources.

*****

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How To Survive When Homeschooling with Fibromyalgia

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13 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas Rachel!

  2. Thank you for your great ideas! I have Fibro and have been homeschooling 2 boys for 7 years. I’ve been discouraged lately and wondering how to go on. You helped remind me I’m not alone in this journey. Done the bedschooling when I was bedridden for a year & the years of recovery…love the term you coined. I just added some educational games to my Amazon wishlist…that’s a wonderful idea. I kept thinking something’s gotta give, and I don’t want it to be homeschooling my treasures. God reminded me about freezer meals and crockpots just yesterday. I’m not up to prepping beyond a week, but feeling prepared for the week makes a huge difference, because evenings are the hardest. Thanks for reminding me to pray, too. Even a quick, “Lord, you’ve got this. I’m in Your hands today. Give me patience and flexibility and the ability to be light hearted for my boys’ sake.” God promises to use our weakness for His glory…we just need to keep our hope alive and watch how He shapes our kids’ characters and grows their compassionate hearts because of having a mom with chronic illness. May He bless you with a low pain, lifted heart kind of day. May I share my tidbits? Something I began this year is Yoga with Jesus on youtube to start our mornings with stretching and a meditation on a verse or worship song…double tasking lol. I light a candle and turn down the lights and it calms me and my boys and centers our thoughts on Christ. Another youtube wonder I just discovered is Christian meditations with peaceful music or an hour loop of verses read aloud, God’s promise verses. I put this on as I sort laundry…which takes about 20 minutes for me so it’s double tasking, too. 🙂

  3. Hi Erica! So sorry you’re going through a flare up. Praying you’ll feel better soon, and that the Dr. will give you the dose of medication you need to ease your flare-up.

    Glad the post was an encouragement to you!

  4. Thank you so much for this!!! I don’t have fibromyalgia, I have MS and right now I think I going through a little flare up. I’ve been flare-free for a few years now, but with us moving to a different state and me being able to see a neurologist for awhile my medication has been ratioed dramatically. These are great ideas through, I really liked the bed schooling. Lol that was great.

  5. Meagan, I’m so sorry to hear about the health & pain issues you are struggling with. Praying that your homeschool year will go well, and that God will give you strength!

  6. I don’t have fibro but I have other very painful conditions, as well as other stuff, all of which requires medication management and bi monthly long-distance dr appts. It is hard, especially when you never know when something freaky will happen and you get left without care. This will be our first year homeschooling so it was a blessing to read this, just realizing that others are out there struggling in similar ways. I just appreciate the share of your heart.

  7. So glad that you enjoyed the post, and found it encouraging. Yes, prayer is the key to making it through those hard days, isn’t it?!

  8. I love this article. I have fibromyalgia with chronic pain and I am homeschooling. I completely agree with your post. There are days I lay down while home schooling. Having a lesson plan, youtube videos and workbooks comes in handy for those flare up days. I love homeschooling and daily prayer gets me through.

  9. Hi Claudia! Glad you liked the list — hope the many ideas will be helpful to you!

  10. This list is amazing….I am getting on board with these things. Thank you!

  11. I think these tips are great, even for those not living with a chronic condition. I think every one of these would be good for us!

  12. I do not have fibromyalgia, but different chronic condition and I have been homeschooling for the past 16 years. I agree with all of the above recommendations. At one point my children called what we were doing “bed-schooling.” Planning & doing a little extra on good days makes all the difference on bad days. One fun thing for older students to have ready is a few movies & movie activies.

    There are plenty of lists of movies based on History/ Historical Figures on the internet. Take a little time to check these out & see what matches up with what you are studying this year. Ask your students about accuracy of story, costumes, language, setting, etc.

    Practice their persuasive writing skills by writing a movie review. Look at movie reviews online and figure out what makes a good review to get beyond “It was good. I liked it.” Record your student giving his or her review vlog style, to practice speech skills. If you have more than one student you can record them reviewing the movie together like the old Siskel & Ebert “At The Movies.” show. Check out movie reviews at YouTube to find some good examples. There are even some done by kids 🙂

    Movies are great for practicing summarizing skills.

    Watch a movie adaptation of a book, an old movie and a reboot, an animated movie and its live action counterpart, or two movies in the same genre for an easy compare and contrast activity. The assignment could be as long as an essay or as short as a Venn Diagram.

    Check out Brave Writer’s free guide “Brave Writer Goes to the Movies.” This short guide helps you to teach your students how to make deeper observations about movies as literature in terms of plot, setting, irony, characterization, etc. Movies can can be great examples of just about every type of literary device.

    It is pretty easy to find comprehension questions for classic movies on the internet. On a good day, prep these for a few movies you know are available (streaming or you already own.) Not every movie is for every child so be sure to check movie reviews on a site like kids-in-mind.com so you know what to expect.

    I enjoy using movies in our homeschooling journey. It feels like a treat on a bad day and with a little prep work on a good day I can feel like we are not losing ground.

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