Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and homeschooling. There's a combination that's only for the stout of heart. Or perhaps for those with a masochistic streak.
Homeschooling isn't for everyone. That's especially true for the CFS community who must avoid stressors and stimulation wherever possible. But some of us were committed to home education before we got sick. Others actually find it less stressful than having the kids in school. They don't miss the chauffeuring, special projects, or worrying about problems at school.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can manifest in a wide variety of forms. Your symptoms may be different from mine. You may have a higher or lower energy level. Somebody drowning in a crash has different needs than someone who's gradually improving. But some things are basic.
So for the CFS home schoolers out there, let's try to keep your flimsy string of energy from snapping and your CFS brain power from winking out. Government and school board requirements must be met. Schooling requirements vary from place to place. Some requirements are strict. Some are flexible.
Beyond that though, be gentle with yourself. Use DVDs and CDs and public broadcasting. Use every labor-saving device you have access to. Streamline your lives.
Small children don't need a lot of academics. Older children can do a lot on their own. And some older children are really good at helping their younger siblings. In fact, some older kids love it. Take advantage of this. Build closer relationships amongst your children at the same time as you're taking care of yourself.
If you must schedule a set number of hours a day for schoolwork, build in rest periods. After you've done arithmetic, take a 10-minute break. Have a child read on their own, or color a picture, or ask your older child to read a story to your younger one. Meanwhile, go lay down for ten. Come back for another half hour or so. Then have another rest.
And if you're in a major crash do the smart thing. Proclaim a school holiday while Mom (or Dad) is in the process of piecing themselves back together.
It's a marathon, folks. Keep your eye on the big picture. It's okay if you miss some days. Or weeks. What matters is whether or not you can continue. And that won't happen if you burn yourself to a crisp.
It's your time, and your home. You can shape your day with your needs for rest in mind. Don't hesitate to make this choice.
I spent 15 years losing the battle against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Three years ago, I found treatment that worked for me, and now I am making a comeback.