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Large Family Moms Homeschool Through Chronic Illness and Pregnancy

The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids have been asked often how we handle homeschooling a large family through chronic illness and/or pregnancy.

With 35+ pregnancies between us there are bound to be some that were laden with difficulties like severe nausea, bed rest, and more, right?

I have never had chronic illness myself, but I have had very difficult pregnancies. During two different pregnancies, when I had three or more children, I have spent up to 30 days in the hospital fighting pre-term labor.

After each of the hospital stays, which successfully stopped my labor, I was sent home to observe strict bed rest until the baby was due. In both cases, I had children who were in the middle of a homeschool year.

As always, homeschooling is done to the best of our abilities, and we work around everyday life. If, as happened with us this week, an emergency room visit is called for in the middle of the school day, we drop our studies and tend to that. If the goats get out and must be gathered up, we close our math books and do what is most urgent. If mom goes to the hospital, the schooling stalls for a little while, and then resumes as we gain our bearings.

Each time I was in the hospital, we had caretakers come to the house during the day while my husband was with me or at work. They did the best they could to have the children do some of their school work, but I knew I would need to do some backtracking when I got home.

I have found that the main thing that is important in dealing with illness or a difficult pregnancy during homeschooling is just to do the best you can and don't stress about the rest.

When I was on bed rest after my hospital stay, I would have the children bring their books to my bed and I would help them from there. We had volunteers who took the children to the library regularly, and I did lots of reading aloud.

I tried not to use the television as a babysitter too much, and when I did, I made sure they were watching educational shows or videos.

The bottom line is that when Mama is ill or debilitated, your homeschool will not be at its best. You get by. You survive. You put one foot in front of the other. You do what little you can each day, and then you do it again the next.

You aren't at your best, but one day you will feel better, and you will gird up your loins and ramp up your efforts and make up for lost time.

Be sure to see what the rest of The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids have to say about homeschooling through difficult pregnancies or chronic illness.


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  1. With our baby #8 born in November I was on bedrest at the end due to high BP. We also moved twice within my last month of pregnancy and were going through a major house remodel. I can’t figure out why I had blood pressure problems. :)

    With that said, I do think homeschooling can thrive in the midst of that — even though we weren’t doing much at all for regular bookwork. We were learning to work together as a family, my kids were learning invaluable, life long traits when it came to construction work w/ my hubby, and most importantly they were learning to serve others who were in need.

    It’s good for our kids to learn to be flexible! Thanks for this great reminder, Connie – especially that it’s important to do the best you can and not stress about the rest. Come to think of it – that applies to every day around here. :)

  2. Thank you to Connie and the 4 Moms crew! This was a timely word for me. Amid cooperative, conference and homeschool planning I am feeling a bit insufficient to the task while physically faltering (allergies, lung and massive exhaustion, but all is well). It is vital to remember that in sickness or health, the Lord’s grace is sufficient and He is shown strong in our weakness. Have a blessed weekend.


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