Has this ever happened to you? It’s Sunday evening and school starts in less than twelve hours and while you have a general idea of what the upcoming week looks like you also have a very good idea that you aren’t quite ready? There are the math drill sheets you forgot to photocopy, you just ran out of the baking soda needed for a science project, or perhaps someone has checked out all the library books you need to study the French Revolution! On top of this, you just aren’t feeling yourself. Perhaps you are fighting seasonal allergies or struggling with ongoing health issues. How do you manage homeschooling when you are not 100%?
My story begins in 2008. I just completed a 1/2 marathon and was the most fit I have ever been. However, I started not feeling well- mainly stomach issues, fatigue, and unexplained weight gain. For the next two years those issues increased and I realized that my health directly influenced all aspects of my life, including homeschooling, and that I needed help.
Desiring a more holistic and nutrition based approach to health I found a doctor that fit the bill. Through extensive testing I discovered I have several food intolerances- gluten being the biggest culprit. I also found out I was dealing with several gastro-intestinal issues including leaky gut syndrome, a parasite, yeast, and an improperly functioning gall bladder. Tests also revealed adrenal fatigue which explained why I lacked energy.
I was immediately put on a very restricted twelve week detox diet. Due to the nature of those health issues that diet turned into nine months. Thankfully I was a pretty healthy eater to begin with so this transition to a very limited diet was not a total shock to the system. However, I had to quickly adjust my views on food and the role it plays personally, within the family, and socially.
This past year I have been working hard to get my body back to optimal health. This has been primarily through diet and supplements. While there have been set backs I have also been encouraged by the increase in energy and feel like I have regained a spring in my step. My doctor and I continue to work through the issues that I have and I am thankful for the progress one step at a time.
Back to homeschooling and health. What do you do when you are not feeling well? Through my journey I have been able to identify some answers that have greatly helped.
1. My strength comes from the Lord.
2. Priorities: Homeschooling is in the top five. This is non-negotiable.
3. The art of saying no: I am quick to graciously decline invitations or requests of my time if it will detract from schooling.
4. Time management: Sometimes the health aspect of my life seems like a full-time job and as we know our roles as mom, wife, homeschool teacher, etc. are full-time jobs too! This skill is vital to your success and health.
5. Be consistent and disciplined with your health.
I leave you with my health journey “motto” that has helped sustain me especially on those challenging days where I haven’t felt my best. “From this day on, for you there is no such thing as a good day or a bad day. There is only a day of grace. And some days the grace of God allows you to enjoy what is happening. And some days the grace of God allows you to endure what is happening. But don’t think about good and bad anymore – just enjoy the grace that is present.”- The Nature of God by Graham Cooke