Secular Schooling, Love, Family, Friends, Playing, Cooking, Baking, Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Music, Dance, Traveling, Reading, and Volunteering


all while living with Chronic Illness

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coming out of a major flare

Sorry for not updating lately, I have been in a major flare the past two months. I hope I am coming out of it but am still recuperating. Looking forward to getting back into blogging!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mila and Hambone

I just found another book trying to explain to young children about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The first is "Why Is Mommy Staying in Bed Again Today?", and the second is "Why Can't Sharon Come Out To Play?", discussing pediatric Fibromyalgia. To order check go to Fibromyalgia Treatment Center.

My oldest son is starting to ask questions about why Mommy is still sleeping, and why Mommy can't do this or that? It is so hard to know what to tell him. Do I tell him I'm sick, do I tell him I'm tired? I just don't know what to do.  

Grocery Shopping with a disability

Here are some tips I've come up with for grocery shopping with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

For numbers 1-5 do these on separate days so you don't get too tired or have someone else help you.

1. Clean out refrigerator to make room for what you are going to purchase.

2. Make a menu schedule for the week.

3. Write down a grocery list according to area - baking, soups, produce, deli, frozen, etc. (this cuts down on wandering around the store in a fibro fog haha).

4. On your calendar write down what day you are having what, which cookbook/recipe, and page number. This way whomever is cooking knows right where the recipe is.

5. Get ads, coupons, grocery list, and re-usable bags together and put in car.

6. Drive to the store and park close to the door, *don't forget the items from step 5 Wink!

7. If having a bad day use the electronic wheelchair at the front of the store, don't be embarrassed when it makes that beep, beep, beeping noise as you are backing up.

8. Make sure they bag frozen foods together and anything that needs refrigerating.

9. Have a bagger help you out to your car and unload your groceries.

10. Once home take in the frozen foods and those that need refrigerating. If you have the energy unload the rest, if not take a break and finish later!

11. Yay, you did it!!!

Does anyone else have suggestions for making grocery shopping easier?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I feel like I am ready to pull my hair out!!! How in the world do you decide what books to use for read-a-louds for your children. There are so many book lists I am completely overwhelmed and I am just looking at PreK-1st! I 've looked at lists from:

-Ableside Online
-Simply Charlotte Mason
-Living Books Curriculum
-Oak Meadow
-Winter Promise
-The Well Trained Mind

And of course numerous books that have more book lists! So what I am trying to do is to go through these sites and some books and try to find the books they all have in common. Then I am going to make a list of the fairy tales, story books that I want to purchase and then a list of books to check out from the library. Once I compile this it should be smooth sailing for the next couple of years...of course until another book list comes out :-)

Friday, May 28, 2010


How do we create a harmonious society out of so many kinds of people? The key is tolerance - the one value that is indispensable in creating community.
~ Barbara Jordan

I am deeply disturbed by some of the forum posts I see on some of the homschooling forums I frequent (not Secular Homeschooling). There are ignorant, intolerant, racist, bigoted people that post things that I cannot even believe people think, let alone believe are okay to post. I am starting to understand why non-homeschoolers have a bad taste in their mouth's for homeschooling. 

I am starting to think that when people say homschool kids are unsocialized they mean they are unable to socialize with mainstream children because their belief system is drastically different and they believe it is okay to spout off their nonsense to anyone that passes by. I think public school kids at least know they should hide their intolerance and bigotry a little better!

So how am I going to combat this in my own home:

1. Talk about how people are different and that diversity is a good.

2. Have them learn about different religions, cultures, lifestyles.

3. Travel to other countries

4. Discuss intolerance and the problems it creates in society and in the history of the world.

5. Volunteer

6. Have a wide variety of friends and acquaintances.

This will be my one true test as a parent. If my children are not tolerant and kind than I have FAILED as a parent. 

Quote found at

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mommy Is Too Tired To Play

I saw this book on another Blog and thought it was very appropriate. It makes me sad though to see my life written in a book. Maybe some day there will be a cure.


I checked out Cathy Duffy's Approaches to Learning from the library and have just started to look through it. She has a quiz for Approaches to Learning and it gives you a personalized score based on what homeschool approach may work best for you. I was actually quite surprised at my scores:

Traditional - 14%
Umbrella Program - 18%
Independent Study - 29%
Classical - 65%
Eclectic - 67%
Charlotte Mason - 87%
Unit Study - 91%
Unschooling - 91%

To be honest I haven't even really looked at Unit Study and am surprised Unschooling was so high (even though I grew up an unschooler.)

I was asked the other day on the Secular Homeschool forum if I was going to unschool my children. I think I got so caught up in looking at curriculum's that I hadn't looked deeply at my thoughts on unschooling. I am not even sure how people define unschooling these days.

The way our family did unschooling was that I would find a topic I was interested in and I would check out as many library books as I could on the subject. I would read and read and read until I moved on to another topic of interest. The only real sit down academics we did were math and my mom would just work on a few things with us at a time.

I remember deciding I wanted to learn cursive and my mom bought me a workbook at the grocery store. I taught myself how to write cursive in several days because by God I wanted to learn and so I taught myself!

We also took lessons in art, piano, violin, and french. My brother was a star athlete and I was a very good ballerina. We made lots of friends through our extracurricular activities and no one ever worried that we weren't socialized :)

We also spent hours playing outside and building forts. It was a wonderful childhood and I hope I can create a beautiful childhood like that for my children.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays

We just bought Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays and Blue LOVES it! It came with a CD and a 62 page booklet filled with all the songs and instructions for the fingerplays,. The twins like the songs but are still a little young to really appreciate the fingerplays but they enjoy watching big brother do it and they dance to the beat. Well worth the money and this is definitely a set I would give as a gift. I am going to have to check into the other Wee Sing titles.

Math for Preschooler

I have been researching math programs for my preschooler and have finally decided on RightStart Mathematics. I love how it works with many different types of learners since I have no idea at this point how my children learn, and want a program that will hopefully work for all three. I also like that it can be started before children are able to write well since I hope to start the concepts used in it soon.

Blue is starting to be interested in counting and numbers and I would like to help him by using the concepts used in RightStart, from their website "the beginning level math lessons are best started at age 5, or even sooner, before the child develops a reliance on counting strategies. An early start also helps the child understand quantities based around 5s and 10s."So even though I probably won't start doing the lessons yet I would like to personally review it so I can help Blue use their counting process.

Growing up I did not particularly like math but during college I learned to love it! Had I not been worried about my GPA I would have continued Calculus and who knows where I would have stopped :-) I really want my children to enjoy mathematics and be able to go as far with it as they would like.

Has anyone used RightStart with a 3 1/2 year old? Did you actually do the lessons or just the games and the counting process used in the curriculum?

Friday, May 21, 2010

First Post

Wow, there is so much anticipation for the first post, should I introduce myself, say something really deep and profound, jeez the possibilities are endless...I guess I will just start with my hopes for this blog.

I hope to chronicle our journey homeschooling while living with chronic pain and fatigue.

I grew up as an unschooler because of my health problems: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) also know as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I went to public school for kindergarten and part of 1st grade, but when the fatigue became debilitating my parents pulled me out and homeschooled me until my freshman year of high school.

When high school rolled around I really wanted to attend public school and see what it was like. I made it through 9th and 10th grade and then was unable to attend 11th because of the severe fatigue. I was able to go through a distance education program the school district had so I was able to do my school work at home. After that year I was able to return for my 12th grade year and graduate with my class.

I struggled physically through college and part of a masters degree program, but felt more prepared than my fellow students because I knew how to find information and was used to teacher's not feeding it to me. 

My Family

I met my husband, Outdoor Man, at a bar, yes, you can meet people at the bar LOL! We've been married for 10 years and have 3 amazing children Blue our 3 1/2 year old son, and our boy/girl twins Yellow and Red. They have brought so much joy to our lives but it is definitely the hardest thing I have done. Physically I am at my limit and hope it starts getting a little easier.

Let the adventure begin...