Thursday, February 2, 2012

C.C.'s Homeschool Day in the Life of a Mamma with Fibromyalgia

I've been reading the Day in the Life series at Simple Homeschool with much interest. I know that every homeschooling family does things differently. We each have to do what works for our individual family. I love to see what others do and am many time inspired to try different tactics or adjust a suggestion to something that might work for us.

As a woman living with fibromyalgia (a disease characterized by chronic widespread pain [my major pain areas are back, hips, and legs] as well as a host of other issues - brain fog, depression, sleep problems, fatigue, migraines, gastrointestinal problems, etc.; the two biggest difficulties in treating this disease, in my opinion, are that the symptoms are different for every person and the so-called fibromyalgia medications don't work for everyone, they don't help me at all!), I never know how I will be feeling when I wake up in the morning. Thankfully, our 12 year old daughter Damaris is very self-motivated. We chose Alpha Omega's Switched On Schoolhouse curriculum since it does much of the teaching and grading for us. I still check all of Damaris' schoolwork and am available to help her if she needs it. I do a lot of things from bed depending on the day. Some days I spend all day in bed. Other days I can be up and about more often.

Here's what today (Thursday, February 2nd) looked like:
8:00 - Russ leaves for work. I wake up briefly to tell him goodbye and then go back to sleep for a little while.

8:20 - Damaris wakes up, gets dressed, eats breakfast, and starts a load of laundry since today is one of our two weekly laundry days.

9:15 - I wake up and open the bedroom door to let Damaris know I'm awake (I love that I can reach the door from bed!). She comes and gets her computer out of our room (we're temporarily living with my parents so the layout of our stuff is different than when we're in our own place) and starts her schoolwork at the table in the kitchen. She starts with a 7th grade Bible lesson about Obstacles to Growth. While she does this, I spend time in bed reading email and Twitter on my tablet. It takes a little while for my body to wake up so I've figured out this is the best thing for me to do.

9:40 - Damaris comes and asks for help with a question in her Bible lesson. I was just finishing making the bed so I go to the kitchen to help her. While I'm in there, I get some breakfast and Damaris makes me a cup of coffee (she knows just how I like my coffee!).

I come back to the bedroom and do a bit of stuff on my laptop while I eat breakfast. Damaris starts on her 7th grade History and Geography lesson about Anthropology - Seeking Food.

10:00 - Damaris comes and gets me to help with a question. While I'm up, I show Damaris which load of laundry is next and she switches them out. I do some Facebook stuff and answer some emails. Damaris continues with a 7th grade Language Arts quiz about Affixes, Biography, and Sequence, a 7th grade Math lesson about Scientific Notation, and a General Science I lesson about Structure of the Atmosphere.

11:15 - I take a break to get a shower while Damaris continues with her school lessons. She also does a one minute quick writing session using One Word. She puts it in her SOS journal for me to read later.

11:45 - Just as I'm about to get some lunch, the mailman arrives with the much anticipated W-2 we've been waiting for so we can finish our taxes. Damaris gets herself some lunch and I spend the next couple hours finishing our taxes (we're moving back to Texas in a couple of weeks and will definitely need that tax refund).

1:15 - I make a phone call to locate a missing piece of paperwork I need to finish our taxes. Damaris does her PE on the Wii.

1:45 - Damaris practices her piano while I finally eat lunch.

2:15 - Damaris reads a book in her room and works on the book report she writes for each book she reads (she loves to sit in the space between the wall and the bed in her room). She also switches out the last load of laundry. I start working on reserving a Uhaul and finding a storage unit in Texas since we'll be staying with some friends until we find a place of our own.

2:45 - Damaris does one of her weekly chores, her least favorite!, cleaning the bathroom. She is such a help with the household chores especially since I became sick. I continue working on moving details.

3:15 - Damaris gets her shower and gets dressed (she'd normally put on PJs, but we have small group tonight). I'm still pounding away on moving details.

3:45 - Damaris gets some free computer time (she really enjoys her friendships on Ravelry, a community for knitters and crocheters). I'm finally done with moving details for now so I check her schoolwork before turning on some Netflix and starting to write this blog post.

5:15 - Russ gets home, changes clothes quickly, and we run out the door to the store, the library, and to grab some dinner at Subway before small group.

6:30 - Small group - we're studying Ecclesiastes right now. Damaris and I both knit during small group (it's a very calming and relaxing thing for both of us and we also count her knitting as her art for school).

(I took this picture once we got home so I wouldn't interrupt small group trying to take her picture there. She is currently knitting the Harry Potter House Unity Scarf.)

8:15 - Home from small group. Russ gets on his computer to do some Facebook, etc. Damaris checks in on Ravelry. I work on finishing up this blog post. Russ and I watch tv while we're both on our respective computers.

8:45 - Damaris starts her nighttime chores, brushes teeth, cleans her face, etc.

9:00 - Damaris heads to bed after telling us and my parents good night.

(Obviously since I'm posting this before 9:30, the following haven't happened yet, but this is what happens on a normal night.

9:30 - I start prepping for bed by eating a snack so I can take my meds which I cannot do on an empty stomach.

9:50 - Meds time.

10:15 - Put the computer away. Brush teeth, etc. Read until I get tired.

10:45 - Go to sleep.

I hope you enjoyed a day in the life with me! I'd love to hear how other families with a parent with a chronic illness deal with homeschooling. Or if you have questions or suggestions for me, I'm a pretty open book so ask or suggest away. Thanks again for stopping by!


  1. I didn't realize this blog was going to be from your perspective....I thought Damaris was going to do it....

  2. yeppers, it's a look at the homeschool day from the parent(s) perspective although it would be neat to have Damaris do one too

    Oh Damaris!!!!! B-Ma just gave you an idea for a blog post. :)

  3. That is great that she made coffee for you, how sweet! Good luck with your move! You know, the symptoms you listed made me think of my sister. Was it hard for you to get a diagnosis? It seems like no one takes my sister's pain seriously. I'll have to tell her about this.

  4. Thank you for sharing! Mylife is entirely different with a toddler and newborn, but at least I don't have to deal with chronic pain. Have you tried any natural/alternative methods? Meds don't work well for everyone. Maybe this page would be helpful:
    I've also learned that MSG can be a trigger for fibromyalgia sufferers, it's nearly in every processed food on the store shelves.

  5. Jenny, thanks for stopping by and commenting! My mom also has fibromyalgia so when I started having symptoms, we had a pretty good idea what it was. I was blessed to have a doctor who knew about the disease and believed me when I explained what I was going through. There are many doctors out there who don't believe fibromyalgia is a real disease. I hope your sister can find a doctor who believes her and wants to help her.

  6. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Anastasia! I'll have to look into that site. I have tried several alternative methods without success. I am currently eating gluten free and have had relief from most of the gastrointestenal issues so that is a step in the right direction. Just wish it helped with the pain and migraines.

  7. Wow, that's a full day! You're so blessed that Damaris is such a help.

    I don't have a lot of experience from the chronic illness homeschooling viewpoint. Back when I HSed my DD (part of 4th and all of 5th grades), I was perfectly able-bodied, and it was still a challenge at times, so my hat is off to you, mama!

  8. Thanks friend! If Damaris wasn't so self sufficient, I don't know that I'd be able to keep homeschooling.

  9. [...] of this post were edited from a previous post C.C.’s Homeschool Day in the Life of a Mamma with Fibromyalgia What do you think of this post?Educational (0) Interesting (0) Funny (0) [...]


I ❤❤❤ to hear from my readers. Please leave a comment.