Tag Archives: parenting

POTS UPDATE ON SARAH

IMG_8094

A great deal of progress has been made since I last posted two months ago about Sarah’s POTS’ saga.  The purpose of sharing our journey is to get the word out about POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) and dysautonomia.  We also want to share any treatments that have worked for Sarah in hopes they may help others on this journey.

First of all, we’re very happy to have found an Electrophysiologist (which is a subspeciality of cardiology) who treats POTS.  This new doctor is only about an hour from our house so we’re very glad to have found him.  We met with him for the first time in February with subdued hope that he would be able to treat Sarah.  So far, after seeing him only twice and following his recommendations, Sarah is so much better!  Let me explain…

During our first appointment, this doctor informed us that she was drinking way too much water.  Whoa!  Wait a minute!  Everything we read and have been told up to this point (for the last six months) has instructed POTS patients to increase water intake!  Of course, she has been increasing her salt intake also during this time, but apparently by drinking so much water, she was simply flushing it right out of her system.  He also told her to begin drinking Gatorade because she needs the electrolytes.  This was revolutionary for Sarah!

We immediately stocked up on Gatorade but also found an organic sports drink on Amazon that is on order, along with the salt tablets that the doctor suggested.  Now, the Gatorade and decrease in water alone have not been miracle cures; however, they have single handedly aided more in her recovery than anything else aside from the Florinef!

She has had far less fatigue and her stamina has increased incredibly so.  She is still experiencing heart palpitations and the doctor has ordered a 24 hour heart monitor for her to wear for two weeks.  We should receive that any day now.  I think that will tell the doctor in greater detail exactly what she is experiencing.

Her former cardiologist ordered a post-event heart monitor but it only captured tiny snippets of cardiac information, so I feel this will be far more telling.  Sarah is off the Atenolol, which was disastrous.

Also, another disastrous drug for Sarah was Corlanor, which the new doctor prescribed.  She only took one dose, but its effects almost sent her to the ER.  We had a very scary few days.  As with any drug, some work for some patients and not for others.

We met with the doctor a few days after the bad episode and were apprehensive that he would simply write out a new script for another potentially disastrous drug. We prayed he would have wisdom to know how to treat our Sarah and I believe he did.  That was when he ordered the heart monitor.  I am thankful that he is digging deeper to seek to understand rather than gloss over her symptoms.

Before meeting with the Electrophysiologist, I prepared a cover letter to the doctor along with Sarah’s medical history and recent lab work results.  In the letter, I stressed the importance of obtaining treatment for our daughter and if he felt that he could not treat POTS, to please let us know prior to her appointment.  I stated that we did not wish to waste his time, nor ours.  We’ve seen enough doctors in the last six months and cannot afford to run in any more circles than absolutely necessary.  Included in her medical history was a chart with all of her diagnostic testing she’s had done (CT scans, etc.) so that he could clearly see the larger picture.  I believe the more information any doctor has (especially a specialist), he is in a better position to accurately treat the patient.  (not to mention, this prevents redundancy)  Yes, we have requested medical records from previous doctors, however, we have become keenly aware that often times, things fall through the cracks.  So, we take it upon ourselves, in the interest of trying to obtain effective and thorough treatment, to deliver as much information as possible.

So, I said all of that to say … After the doctor read through our little package that preceded our visit, I’m certain he understood the importance of attempting to find treatment.  I do believe Sarah is finally in competent hands…finally!  Her last cardiologist flat out told her that he could not treat her for POTS, which is why we had to find another doctor.  So many doctors, even specialists, know very little, if anything about POTS.  Since our family has never encountered a situation like this, it has been very frustrating.  I don’t think one could truly understand unless you walked through it.

POTS is not necessarily a common illness, however it is estimated that between one million and three million people in the U.S. have it!  Wow.  Sadly, it is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. It has been called the “Invisible illness”.  If you looked at my daughter, you would see a beautiful young lady, inside and out.  She’s lovely.  Sarah is our only daughter and she’s so very special to her mom and dad!  A priceless gift!  We always tell her she’s so beautiful!  (because she is, even if she rolls her eyes, understanding that her parents are naturally biased!)  But, to look at her, you would think she is just fine.  However, POTS is a dysfunction of the autonomic (things that function on their own) nervous system.  So, all these functions are happening on the inside of the neurons and axons … all invisible to the eye.

In reality and every day life for Sarah, there are lots of things happening!  When she gets up, she feels dizzy sometimes.  She’s often nauseated because the digestive system is also impacted by POTS.  She eats gluten and dairy free and is very particular about what she eats, but problems still persist.

The fatigue has improved with the advent of Gatorade but she still has limitations.  Sleep is a big problem.  Perhaps the greatest problem at the moment is the heart palpitations and sometimes heart racing.  Those are scary symptoms for anyone, let alone an 18 year old.

Lately her joints and muscles have really been bothering her and per the new doctor’s advice, she will see a rheumatologist in May.  Often she will use essential oils on her joints to ease the pain.

I’ve only outlined the most prominent symptoms at the moment, there are seemingly countless others.  There is virtually no part of the body that POTS does not affect.  It’s all very mysterious in a way, like a maddening puzzle to solve.

We are, however, very encouraged these days to be on a good path after so many dark days!

I just want to encourage you to never give up hope if you or someone you know is sick.  Keep knocking on doctor’s doors until you find someone who knows something!  I used to think doctors were experts in all things.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Often through this ordeal, I have felt like they must be handing out medical degrees these days!  There are excellent doctors out there … it just may require a great deal of work and patience to connect with them!  But don’t give up!

My belief is that God is healing our Sarah bit by bit every day and that one day, she will walk out of this phase – completely healed!  Some days are dark.  Some days give us such hope.  But no matter what we see, our faith encourages our hearts to keep putting one foot in front of the other and press on!  Our miracle is just around the corner!

 

 

{Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor.  Nor do I play one on t.v.  Any medical advice is for informational purposes only.  Do research and seek out professional help for your particular situation.}

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under POTS

Sorting & Organizing Ideas

145

Salvation Army donations

As I’ve been unpacking and sorting boxes, I have come to realize that I hold onto things far beyond their usefulness.  My mother grew up in the years following the Great Depression and was certainly trained to reuse things and not to waste anything.  This translated in saving YEARS worth of magazines that ‘One Day’ she would reread.  That day never came.  And now, I wonder if I don’t have some of the same ‘Great Depression’ tendencies, on a much smaller scale albeit.  So, I question the usefulness of each item as I unpack and try to find new homes for things as we settle into our new house.  I, too, detest wasting anything that still has life remaining.  We are consistent contributors to Salvation Army and Goodwill, for sure.  I always have a current box of donation items waiting in the wings until it is full enough to drop off.

These are the questions I must continually ask myself –

“Is this currently serving a purpose in my home?”

“Will I likely use it in the next year?”

“Could someone else use this more often than I do?”

“Would I miss it if it were gone?”

Last December we moved 1,000 miles so I am very familiar with having to make these tough choices.  And sometimes they are difficult because we cling to our possessions so tightly, it seems.  I’ve grilled myself as to why this is lately and have only come up with the notion that I love deeply, but perhaps that love and affection is often misplaced on things or memories.

Take, for instance, a recent sorting of cards, letters and kids’ artwork … Some of the cards and letters are so special to me, especially since some of the senders have passed on.  Those will be placed in the scrapbook, however, some of the senders I had to pause even to recall WHO they were!  But, I saved every card from select years apparently.  Fortunately, most I tossed.

I have a solution to coral all these fond memories.  I am making a scrapbook for each child that will contain all of their precious artwork.  This way, we can look back on their treasures easily, instead of them getting buried in an old file, where no one will see them.  (Eventually, these albums will be theirs to keep.)

I’m making scrapbooks for old letters and cards as well.  For years I have struggled with what to do with these sentimental artifacts, so I am very excited about getting these organized in a format we all can enjoy!  As I sat on the floor rereading old letters I sent to my husband over a decade ago, I realized what treasures these will be to look back on.  They were personal, of course, but yield a glimpse of the stage our relationship was in at the time and document our deep and enduring love for one another.  Those are the treasures to keep!  I think our children will even enjoy reading them after we’re gone.

Some decisions as we sift and sort are easy ones to make!  (such as the iridescent marbles I saved in a gallon size ziploc!)  That’s an easy one!  I don’t need them.  In fact, those may be the very marbles I am losing on a daily basis!  Maybe it’s time to donate those to charity!  Haha!  As much as we have parted with over the last year in preparation for our move and then facing the harsh reality that not nearly everything we thought would fit in our 26 foot Uhaul with a trailer attached!  We left a lot behind with our neighbor!  (Bow Flex, antique table, and the list is nearly endless)  In the end, there is not a single item that I can say we miss!  As painful as the process of organizing may be, the end result will be far more rewarding!

The above picture is not even all of what we’ve donated post-move!  I counted 25 boxes for the first home pick up and this was the second pick up, which also included an artificial tree and two toy Christmas trains.  (My younger two are 16 and 17.)  The Salvation Army worker asked if the trains were operational.  To which I acknowledged they were.  He smiled and said, “Oh, wow, these are going to make some children very happy!”  🙂  The satisfaction in knowing that something that would have been collecting dust in our storage room would provide enjoyment to others is very rewarding.

I can think more clearly without clutter.  As a full time homemaker, fewer items in our house means less work for me to keep up with those things!  Please do not think we are minimalists because we are far from that.  My ‘Girl Scout mentality’ (Be prepared!) does not allow for sparse living.  However, I am quick to toss items in the donation box if I have no use for them.

The flip side to organizing is being extremely selective about what we bring into our home!  I have been asking myself ‘Do I really need this?  Where will I use it?’ more and more.  And then most times I find myself placing it back on the store shelf.  Just because it’s cute or may be useful does not mean it needs to come home with you.  That is a lesson for us all.  Americans are great consumers, but maybe we should consume a little less.

For some reason, my husband and son love bringing home fliers, business cards, little newspapers.  This is needless clutter!  Unless you’re actually going to use this information, don’t let it stay.  And certainly, don’t allow it to accumulate in piles around the house.  This is why I open the mail over top of the trash can.  I toss or shred it and only keep what I must.  Paper clutter multiplies while we’re sleeping.  We must be watchful and vigilant!  🙂

Happy Organizing and may your home be a place of rest and peace always!

~Amber

Leave a comment

Filed under Organizing

Life in Transition…

007

We’ve made our big move … 1,000 miles south to the Sunshine State!  We’ve been here in the land of the perpetual vacation for six weeks now and are glad to be back!  We lived here for a decade before, so this is not a totally new experience.  We are currently renting a 1,500 square foot apartment, which is very nice, I must say.  It is, however, much smaller than our former 2,600 square foot home.  It has three bedrooms and two baths, so there’s plenty of space in theory.  It’s just that we haven’t rented an apartment in 16 years!  Our two teens (ages 15 and 17) will be very glad to transition into a house, that’s for sure.  The interesting (and sometimes annoying layout) of our apartment is the 17 steps we have to walk up to get to our living space once you enter our front door!  When you have lots of bags of groceries, this becomes a little cumbersome.  You have to really want to come up or down to actually put forth the energy to do so! Haha!      

One of the criteria in finding a suitable apartment was that it must have an attached garage to house all of our “stuff”!  Well, this one does and, oh my goodness, is it ever jam packed!  Despite selling and giving away furniture and household items, and being forced to leave behind furniture that wouldn’t fit in the Uhaul, we managed to pack a 26 foot Uhaul pulling an additional trailer.  I honestly don’t know how we had so much, but somehow it accumulates over the years!  It boggles the mind considering I’m a consistent purger and organizer.  We managed to pack our little garage here as tight as possible and have only opened the door a handful of times!  Don’t open the door!  🙂  Something may fall out!  Haha!  

We have put an offer on a house so we’ll see if that works out.  It’s a nice, three bedroom house with a pool, which we’re all excited about!  I, for one, am looking forward to the daily exercise.  My husband and I are downsizing a bit and nearing the empty nest stage so we don’t want a large house.  We’re really trying to reduce monthly expenses and concentrate on the things that really count.  While three bedrooms will be smaller than what we’re accustomed to, the total square footage of the home is 2,300.  So, it’s not a tiny house and it has an office space, which my husband will be required to share with his quilter/scrapper wife!  😉  Concessions must be made.  Haha!   Most of the houses we’ve seen are 4 bedrooms, so we’ll see what we wind up with.  It would be nice to have that extra room.

The one constant in our lives is the homeschooling train continues its journey down the track.  Our 17 year old daughter will graduate in May and our 15 year old son will complete 9th grade.  That is the blessing of learning at home … there’s no new school or peer group to adjust to.  We’ve already located a very nice library and have our handy, dandy tickets (or library cards) to “free resources paid by our tax dollars”.   Our daughter is all registered to take the ACT test in the spring so she has been studying the big prep book for that.  She’s a smart cookie, so she should do very well.  Just a decade ago, we were walking this road with our older son, our first homeschool graduate!  I remember thinking on the night of his graduation, that I finally felt confident that I could do “this”!  And, so we have!  … I should be graduating any day now…. 😉      

Last Sunday we visited the fourth or fifth church since moving here and I think we all have decided it’s a keeper!  So, thankfully, we will visit this church again this Sunday!  We all really liked the way the pastor integrated so much Scripture and stories from both the Old and the New Testaments, and made it so compelling and relevant to our lives.  He held even my teen’s interest with his great articulation, sense of humor and delivery.  We liked the praise and worship and it’s somewhat close by.  All in all, a win-win for our family!  And, here I was about to give up hope…      

Transition is tough but this time around, it hasn’t been bad at all.  I think the reason for that is that God truly ordained this move and living closer to our grown son makes it all so very worth it!  We have probably seen our older son 15-20 times over the last 6 weeks, which is more than we’ve seen him over the last 5 years!!  Can you imagine the joy that resonates within this mother’s heart?!  And when he texts asking about a favorite recipe….Ah, it does a mother’s heart good!    

We all cannot wait to be finally settled, reunited with our boxes in the garage and make “heads or tails” of the things that made the 1,000 mile trek!  It’s so close we can taste it now…But, not quite!  Patience…

Life in transition continues, but before long, this quilter will have a rotary cutter in one hand and a piece of cotton in the other.  Such joy awaits!

2 Comments

Filed under Family, Moving

Sowing and Reaping

406

My son and I had a little chat about the topic of sowing and reaping yesterday.  He’ll turn 15 next month, which is very hard to fathom.  My baby’s almost grown!  He has expressed some personal concerns lately, which led to this discussion.  I explained to him that if you desire a different harvest, you have to plant different seeds.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” ~ Genesis 1:11

If you want a life of peace, love and joy, you must plant those kinds of seeds.  If you plant seeds of anger, hatred and violence, you cannot expect to reap a harvest of peace, love and joy.  It’s a kingdom principle: Everything reproduces after its own kind.  I explained to my son that you can’t plant tomato seeds and expect to harvest a pumpkin.  It’s not going to happen.  I asked a rhetorical question that I really wanted him to ponder:  “What kind of life do you want to live … 5, 10 or even 15 years from now?”  The seeds you plant today will dictate the type of harvests you will reap in the future.  If you want a successful future, you need to plant seeds of responsibility, punctuality, hard work, prayer and studying the Word of God today.  This applies to all of us.

“My son, attend to my words;
incline thine ear unto my sayings.
 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
keep them in the midst of thine heart.
 For they are life unto those that find them,
and health to all their flesh.

 Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.” ~ Proverbs 4:20-23

What goes into the mind comes out in a life.  We must be careful what we place before our eyes and into our ears.  Before long, we will begin to express those very things.  As Proverbs says, we must guard our heart will all diligence.  With every ounce of self control, we must not conform to the evils of this world but follow Christ’s example in all things.  We will only know what it means to follow Christ if we engage in His Word on a regular basis.  We must make steady deposits of the Word of God into our souls so when temptations, tests and trials come (and they will come), that we are able to withstand them.  Conversely, when the tests and trials come and our account has a zero balance of God’s Word, how then will we ward off the evil one?  God’s will is not that we live defeated lives, but rather that we are able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to conquer sin in our lives.

What seeds are you planting today?

If you desire to have positive, uplifting and encouraging thoughts, you cannot constantly dwell on negative, contentious and pessimistic lines of thinking.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever thingsare just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  ~ Philippians 4:8

We must be deliberate and intentional regarding the influences in our lives.  In the end, they will produce a harvest.

The question is – Is it the harvest you planned?

7 Comments

Filed under Christian Living

Buried Treasure

We’ve been looking for a few things since we returned from our big trip visiting our older son almost three weeks ago (and recovering from our accident).  I knew we’d eventually find them, but today was a true red letter day as I found all three!  Yay!

Because I’m so ridiculously Type A, I write out a “To do” list every day generally.  Well, post-accident I get tired really easily and am combating pain, so I have to take it easy (which is so hard!); and most days I feel like I’m merely chasing my tail as my to-do list spills over to the following day.  But, today I accomplished one task anyway!  I organized our master closet.  It wasn’t horrible; it just felt that way.  Out of control.  In the process of corraling the dirty laundry, winter clothes, shoes, etc., I found the three items we’d been searching for!  A postcard from our trip that we bought for our neighbor; my husband’s dearly loved flip flops; and my elbow brace.

When you find something that’s been missing for a while, somehow it validates one’s mental capabilities.  It does for me anyway.  It reaffirms the truth I cling to:  I am not going bonkers!  Trying to keep up with everyone’s “stuff” can be a mother’s greatest challenge and particularly when you’re busy!  You know, the unspoken assumption is that mothers know where everything is in a household at any given point in time.  I’m not sure how we got burdened with such a thing, but it’s true.  Whenever anyone is missing something, they turn to me for answers. (Whhhyyy?)  🙂

After sifting and sorting through our closet, I began to fill a bag of donations for the Salvation Army once more.  We’re always purging it seems, so it’s pretty amazing that we still have more to part with.  It really should be the standing rule that if I buy three new shirts, I part with three.  Things have a way of sneaking into our house and somehow it’s easier to bring things in than carry them out!  Why is that?  We like to amass stuff, but we’re far more hesitant to part with it.  The thing is holding onto things that are unnecessary only leads to more clutter and disorganization.

Another area I will be conquering soon is boxing up last school year’s books and papers.  As a longtime homeschooler, we can quickly clutter up a space with all of our textbooks, teaching aids, educational DVD’s, notebooks, pencils, highlighters, etc.  I have to remind my Type A self that educational clutter (within reason) is OKAY and is a sign of good things happening around here!!  Haha!  As my kids are getting older, I bear in mind that it won’t be this way too much longer, so enjoy the ride!  😉  That said, we do have a designated area for school stuff, even though they may not always land there.

The kids have unpacked their suitcases and their rooms are actually tidy (as of this writing anyway!).  Haha.  They are teenagers, afterall.  My daughter showed me how she’d organized her dresser drawers so nicely the other day and I thought someone else’s daughter was speaking to me, for sure!  My daughter?  Wow.  She must be growing up!  😉  She did a super fantastic job and is learning how nice proper organization is.  She can actually find things now instead of digging through piles of clothes on the floor!  And, as for my son… Well, a little parental bribery works like a charm!  If he wants time on his tablet, he has to take care of his chores and clean his room.  Once it’s been inspected, he can have the tablet.  It’s a wonderful motivator!  And he even takes care of most of his laundry himself.  My daughter has been doing her own laundry for several years now, which is very helpful.  I think I’m working myself right out of a job … But, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?  😉

And, so, here’s to optimal organization on an ongoing basis!  Have a blessed day!  🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Organizing

Doctors, doctors, and more doctors…

If I had a dollar for every doctor’s appointment our family will endure over the next stretch, I’d have a nice little stockpile of cash!  There … That’s my complaint for the day.  Now, that I’ve expressed my disdain for my suddenly busy schedule, I must add that I’m very happy that our family is on the road to recovery from our recent auto accident…however slow that recovery may seem at the moment.

This morning, I took my darling daughter to the ear, nose and throat Dr. as she’s had an ear infection (not related to the accident) and the antibiotic ear drops she was using were affecting her hearing.  Thankfully, the Dr. said the infection has cleared up and he suctioned out some build up. (yuck!)  The good news is that she can hear perfectly once again… especially when I tell her to do her school work!  Haha.  Yes, we’re attempting to get back on track with our school work this week to finish the school year strong!  Last week, we all were in such pain and on meds that nothing got done.

This afternoon, my son, daughter and I have our first round of physical therapy.  So, we’ll see how that goes.  We met with the orthopedic Dr. on Tuesday and he referred us to physical therapy three times a week.  I bought this gel called Biofreeze on Amazon and my husband and I used it for the first time last night.  It works wonders!!  It’s my new best friend!  It is strong so you only need a dab.  (We learned that the hard way! Haha!)  It really helps sore muscles and joint pain.  I also recently bought an all natural muscle relaxer called Formula 303.  We haven’t tried it yet, but I plan on it soon.  We all detest the way the prescription muscle relaxers make us feel so groggy and out of it.  It feels like someone hit you over the head and then you’re supposed to be able to function?  I don’t think so.  🙂

Yesterday, my husband and I went to see our primary care Dr.  I am happy to say that she was compassionate and kind this time, which is my biggest complaint about her.  I’ve had the worst experiences with female doctors.  They just seem to either have a condescending attitude or no feelings at all.  Just treat me like a human being, please.  That’s all I ask.  Not a number.  Not a file.  Just a fellow human being, please.  Anyway, I digress… She’s sending me for three x-rays, plus a referral for my annual mammogram.  Oh, joy!  It is that time of year.  (My mother died of breast cancer at age 53, so it is especially imperative.  Of course, every woman over the age of 40 should have mammograms annually.  Even the orthopedic Dr. reminded me of such, which I’m grateful he did.  Because with everything else aching and such, it did slip my mind.)

Four out of five days next week will be consumed with medical appointments.  I also have a follow-up appt. previously scheduled with the dermatologist about the precancerous cells they found on the mole I had removed from my cheek in March.

We’re all still very achy, especially our necks and backs from the auto accident.  I’m very hopeful that the physical therapy will help a great deal with that.

The police report was finally available from the accident.  It was an interesting read, for sure.  The driver of the SUV, who plowed into a sedan that then hit our SUV and sent us into a mini van (and pushed it through the intersection), was, in fact, drunk, as we’d heard.  He received five citations.  He and his passenger were air lifted to a shock and trauma unit hospital.  The remaining nine of us were carried by ambulance to a local hospital.  Quite an ordeal.  I’ve only had one other car accident in my life and it was nearly 20 years ago, with mere scratches on a bumper.  But, back to those injured in this four car collision… I’ve been praying for their healing…even the drunk driver.  I’ve been praying that they will accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, if they don’t already know Him.

I’ve also searched for the good that could possibly come out of something so devastating.  So far, I’ve come up with three definites:

One – Twenty minutes before the accident, we stopped for some groceries after being away from home for nine days, and moved our daughter from the right side of the third row of the SUV to the second row.  We put all the groceries in the third row where she was.  Had our daughter still been riding in the third row seat at the time of impact, she would’ve been severely injured.  (She’d been riding in the third row for nearly nine hours!)  We were hit directly in the tail gate as well as the right corner bumper.  It’s just one demonstration of the mercy of God and His hand over our lives concerning this accident!

Two – We were not hit directly by the drunk driver, even though the impact was still severe and at highway speed.  The small car behind us was totaled and completely sandwiched.  Thankfully, the driver and his passenger are okay.  (at least as far as we know)

Three – We will recover from our injuries.  We know that it could have been far worse.  Despite the pain we feel today, we will move beyond our aches and pains.  We definitely feel like God protected and shielded us from what could have been catastrophic injuries.

And, so, despite all of our appointments, we are grateful for good medical care and the beginning of the road to recovery.  I’m thankful for the peace that surpasses all human understanding… that no matter how difficult the path, God still walks with us.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

9 Comments

Filed under Health Stuff

Mixing It Up

After you homeschool for a while, it is easy to fall into a rut, especially toward the end of the school year.  We’ve been on this homeschooling journey for nearly twenty years now and I’ve learned that mixing things up a bit can be a real shot in the arm for both parent and student!

If the kids are getting ancy and finding it hard to focus on school as the weather warms up, why not take school outdoors?  Have the kids pack up a few books, pack a picnic lunch and head to a nice park!  Sometimes a change in venue brings renewed passion and helps to finish the year strong.  Another thought is to take some school work to the library and let the kids work there.  When they’re finished their work, then perhaps they can browse for books and/or movies.

Even changing rooms can be helpful.  For instance, we have a screened in back porch.  Sometimes the kids like to do their school work out there while they listen to the birds singing.

What about reading books aloud to the children even if they’re old enough to do so themselves?  Or what about writing math problems on a dry erase board to make things a little different?  If the kids are learning fractions, why not head to the kitchen and whip up a batch of cookies or brownies using measuring cups?  Fractions are everywhere!

Maybe you live near the beach or the mountains?  Get outdoors and enjoy nature while you discuss nature and its beauty! Collect shells, leaves, rocks and bugs, and research when you get home.  My kids love taking pictures of nature.  Developing the natural curiosity children have is an awesome thing!  Encourage questions and the wonder of childhood! Have the kids write a paper on what they learned.  Education and learning often happen best outside the normal classroom.

We’ve often supplemented our learning by borrowing educational dvd’s from the library.  This can really help to alleviate boredom.

Field trips can be great fun too.  If feasible, “Take your child to work days” can be neat experiences for your child and spouse as well.  Additionally, finding a mentor or apprenticeship program for older students can be a great blessing.  For example, if your student has an interest in becoming a nurse, perhaps she could “shadow” or observe a friend in that vocation.  A variety of exposure to different vocations can be very useful in selecting future careers.

By now, perhaps you’ve thought of some ways you can spice up the last few weeks of the school year.  I hope that your creative juices have begun to flow and that the Lord blesses all of your educational efforts!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Homeschooling, Homeschooling