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?
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
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.
Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children’s books. Whether it’s pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children
Don’t miss the rest of the posts in the series!