Sunday, April 17, 2016

Homeschooling Updates April 2016!

It's has been a long time since I have sat down to write a blog! I am back, and ready to update you on what is going on with our family!

Health Challenges.

First of all, my oldest son who is 9 years old, has been dealing with pain in his knees and ankles for about 3 years. We have seen so many specialists and doctors! We have also taken every test known to man. They kept coming back normal, and the doctors thought that the pains were the result of growing pains. However, after seeing my son in excruciating pain, and not being able to walk on some days, I asked to see a different specialist to get another diagnosis. Finally, we were referred to a rheumatologist, where he took more tests. We recently received some abnormal results from his x-rays, so the tests go on! The specialist is sure that he has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but has scheduled another MRI to be sure. She has prescribed something for pain, along physical therapy every week. We also found out that he is weaker on one side of his body, and has uneven pelvic bones causing one leg to be slightly longer than the other.  

As a mother, this has been emotionally exhausting. It is difficult watching my son not be able to walk on some days, and not be able to play and run like other boys his age. It has been difficult for him as well. He has asked me why he has been dealt this card in life? I used this as an opportunity to minster to him, and in turn, I ministered to myself. I just let him know that God hasn't given him this as a punishment, but for an opportunity to strengthen us. I showed him Nick Vujicic. If you have never heard of him, he is a man who was born without limbs. His ministry is called Life Without Limbs at www.lifewithoutlimbs.org. His story is amazing. Some of his hobbies include swimming, fishing, and painting. Nick has used his challenges to encourage others and to show that we are not limited by our circumstances. I encouraged my son that one day, he too, will have a testimony of how God has brought him through this situation. I promised him that he would be stronger for it (actually we all will be). I know that he has challenges, but I don't want him to live a life of limitations. The most difficult (and loving) thing that I can do, is to urge him to not stop! So, he has chores, he has school, and he gets exercise. There may be days when he is not able to perform as well as usual, but I still encourage him to do as much for himself as he can. Arthritis is a challenge, but not an excuse! Our faith, along with loving friends and family has helped us cope. We are grateful! Thanks to homeschooling, we can take breaks when we need to, alter activities, and never miss school for appointments. Another reason that I love homeschooling!

You can read more about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/juvenile-rheumatoid-arthritis/basics/definition/con-20014378

Socialization. 

We have been in our home for a year now! Since moving to a new area, I have been looking for opportunities to get my kids involved in activities. I found the answer through our local library. They love homeschoolers! They have everything from Lego Club, Art Classes, Math Club, Engineering Club, Homeschool Fitness Group, and a homeschool meet-up! My favorite activity is their Write Brite  group. The kids are writing and illustrating their very own books, and the library is going to actually bind them, making them into real books. My kids attended their first meeting where they brainstormed and developed a plan for their books. We have been staying busy, and I love it! It is great for the kids and mommy, too! If you are looking for fun, FREE ways to get your kids involved in activities, check out your local library. 



School Choice for Next School Year???

So, I have been trying to decide what to do about our 2016-2017 school year. I will have a 2nd grader and a 5th grader next year. I always determine our school option on a year-to-year basis. This allows me to pray, let God lead, and to determine what works best for our family. Of course, public school is never out of this equation. I have also been considering two different virtual schools. So,  next year we will...(drum roll).... NOT be returning as homeschoolers! We will be going back to our virtual school!  We will still be doing school at home, but just not on our own. It was a tough decision, but after feeling that we are still being led to homeschool, this was the best choice. I have really missed the curriculum, the teacher support, and the materials. My son is familiar with the virtual academy, but my daughter has never been apart of the virtual school world. She will finally be able to experience getting her shipment of school materials, and she is very excited! Georgia Cyber Academy, here we come! I think having the accountability and and support will be very helpful! I have never had 2 kids enrolled at the same time, so it will be an adjustment for all of us. Anyone who knows me, can attest to the fact that I love a good challenge. Hey, I homeschool...enough said!

What's Going on With Me?

Well, I am still working hard to promote school choice, and trying to educate others on homeschooling. I am writing, tweeting, Instagramming, and everything else in between! I am proud to be #3 on Top Mommy Blogs! I am most proud of being able to reach others, encourage them, and to give them a look into our REAL lives. I realized early that God didn't just reveal homeschooling to us, to use only for our family. As I wrote my blog posts, shared pictures, and shared ideas, I met so many people who needed the support. I still look to the homeschooling community and fellow bloggers for help, and it has been a blessing! I am happy to share my passion with others. I am also still going to be sharing videos about our journey, but I am going Live! That's right, we will be Periscoping very soon! So, look for us :-) I am really stepping out of my comfort zone with this one! I will also be working on executing my plan of starting a learning center in our home, where I can be a learning coach to other homeschooled kids whose parents are not able to be there during the day!  

As always, thank you so much for your support, for reading my ramblings, and for following our journey through life and homeschooling!

Love, 
The Kelly Family




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