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Lindsey Carter
04-10-2012, 08:36 AM
Iím feeling a bit overwhelmed. Iím finding homeschooling a dd with an autoimmune disease, a dyslexic son and a son just starting K along with all the things that being a missionary entail to be a bit overwhelming. Dd is more prone to sickness and often stays sicker longer. In the last 6 weeks she has had 3 viruses. This can mean doctors visits and/or late nights for mom with a sick kid. Then there are the 9 hour trips to the specialist (3 hrs travel each way and 3 hrs there). Nothing else seems to happen on specialist days as we are all generally worn out be the experience.

Then there is ds9 who is dyslexic (and rather distractible lately), which means I have to do almost all of his schoolwork one on one with him. I feel like he is in 4th grade now and learning to read is a major priority. As he is getting older and is dyslexic I tried a new curriculum for him. We are using Calvert's new Verticy program. The phonics and grammar is specifically for dyslexics and has been great, the online resources are excellent, but the core stuff is very school at homish (even though many of the text are the best as far as text books go if you KWIM). I thought that much more of it was audio based, but it isnít and has been much more time consuming than I thought. Most days getting school done with all the dc takes me 5-6 hours (granted part of this is do to ds being very distracted).

My K has no academic or health issues but is learning that FIAR, phonics and about 15 min of math or so is no longer an option and occasionally objects.

This is all combined with the things that living as a missionary in Japan entails like, living without a dryer or dishwasher, cooking from scratch, having to grocery shop every 2-3 days, me trying to study and take a Japanese class two evenings a week, help with some ministry stuff (people in need of help at the church, newsletters, driving people to church, etc.) and trying to keep some sort of cleanliness in my house has me feeling overwhelmed.

My dear mom wants to try to help and is going to see if she can do some school with the dc via face time or Skype (mainly reading to ds9 and helping him spell and answer questions). Iím not sure how or if this will work, but it would be great if it does.

How do you keep up with it all when you have special needs kids? I really want to get my dc in some sort of extra curricular activity as the only and I mean ONLY interaction they get with other kids is at church in Sunday school. Yet I am canít seem to keep it together with all that we have going on now! We havenít seen a dentist in over a year, my boys hair is to there shoulders because dh (has to come because I canít speak Japanese) and I can't find the time, I havenít had a hair cut in 9 months, we are late getting out the next newsletter, the kitchen is cluttered, the kids rooms are covered in toys, and my house is perpetually gathering dust and mold in a very rapid manner.

And of course everyone I know here thinks I should just stick my dc in school (like a dyslexic and a kid who is frequently in pain or sick would do well in a non-English speaking public school:eyes:). So Iím sorry to ramble on so. I have no other homeschool moms to talk and I know you other special needs hsing moms get what it is like. Any thoughts, tips, prayers or just and understanding shoulder to whine on is appreciated! I know that God who called me to this is faithful and He can do it. Iím just trying to figure out my part in it all.

Amy Joy
04-10-2012, 10:39 AM
Lindsey, I just want to give you a big hug right now.:group: I want you to know that you are where God wants you to be and your kids are learning way more than you might think.
We used to be missionaries in South Africa and life in general can just be harder in another country. We had to leave the overseas mission field when my hubby got an unknown illness. Now we homeschool in Canada, my hubby is bed-bound most of the day and i get overwhelmed too.
You aren't alone. Depending on your curriculum I think your mom could listen to your son read or give him spelling tests. How great that she would help you that way. :clap:
And if you or the kids need a little break, don't be afraid to take it.:group:

Esther-Alabama
04-10-2012, 10:40 AM
Could your mom record some of your ds's texts that you are sitting and reading aloud with him? That would be a huge help to me, I know.

I would probably DO the phonics and grammar from the new curriculum and then do FIAR with everyone. But if you cannot, then I'd ask your mom to record as much as possible ahead of time and use it when you read to him. Give him a small amount of clay to squish while she is reading to help with the distractibility. Smaller ten minute lessons with active time in between might help there, too.

Also, Lindsey....your are doing the best you can and that is enough. Praying for you.

Rachel Jane
04-10-2012, 10:44 AM
:group:

Christi in OH
04-10-2012, 06:31 PM
:group:

Wow. I think I have a lot on my plate some days. What an incredible experience that must be to be in Japan and seeing a new culture. I would just focus on the things that you think are most important, like the reading, let the rest go to the back burner for a bit.

Can you take a photo of the haircut you want for your boys to the barber shop? Might be a fun excursion. Maybe not, I have never been to Japan so I have no idea what outings are like.

I pray that you will have peace in your heart and find joy in your experience.

:group:

Tracey
04-10-2012, 07:27 PM
:group::group:

CINDY LB OH
04-10-2012, 08:07 PM
:group: Continuing to pray for you all Lindsey. You have SO much to shuffle; I can't imagine doing all the things you do on a regular basis. Know that you are in my prayers.

ShelleyW
04-10-2012, 09:36 PM
Lindsey, you have already read my ramblings so you know that we are in the same boat. More so than you probably know. We moved here to VA in Feb of 2011. Prior to that we were overseas for 8 years. I only had my 10 yo dd diagnosed with dyslexia a few months ago b/c we couldn't get her tested overseas.

We lived in Japan from 2004-2006. One of my favorite places in the whole world!! I think I only cut my hair 3 times in 2 years b/c I don't speak a lick of Japanese and I cut all of my kids' hair myself to avoid having to take them. I am totally serious. :roflol:

I have come to the realization that having a SN kid means you can't do everything everyone else does b/c of the time involved in therapy, schoolwork etc. Give yourself some grace and realize that there will be time for social activities later and they will still turn out fine. I really feel like my 12 yo and my babies suffer b/c I don't have enough time for them but my oldest is still doing great in school. She does complain sometimes about how much time I spend with her sister and brother but she does understand and I have tried to compensate in other areas like just letting her stay up a little later at night than the others to chat or even talk about school stuff.

I can offer no advice on the household stuff b/c my house is always a mess.:unsure: I try but I just can't keep up. I do have a dryer and dishwasher (and I have been without a dishwasher way too many times) but they don't get used as much as they should b/c I am way behind on everything. DH helps me pick up the slack in these areas.

I will keep you in my prayers!!

Laura F
04-10-2012, 10:52 PM
:group: I don't know if any of my suggestions will be helpful, but I wanted to say that I understand the stress of having to take care of 2 children with different special needs and a curious almost-kindergartener. (But I will admit to being very thankful for my dishwasher and dryer. :lol:) Is there anyone in your church who can speak English well enough to help you out with the kids? Like for haircuts, etc? I'm racking my brain, but the only homeschooler I know in Japan lives on Okinawa, so that doesn't seem helpful for you. I know another American family who lives farther south than you; they're missions-minded, but they've also bought into the Japanese system of child/daycare and public schools. :unsure: So I guess I'll just pray that God would provide you with some concrete help and extend His grace to you in a tangible way. :group:

Lindsey Carter
04-11-2012, 09:22 PM
Thanks ladies for letting me vent! Just sitting down, writing it out and thinking about things has given me a few ideas. I tried following ds9's curriculum as it is written and it isn't really working for us that way. Thinking through things gave me the confidence to change some things. After all, I just don't see much point in having a kid who can't read make vocabulary flashcards and write outlines! I do think those are good study skills, but not ones that he needs to learn this year. So I plan to read the text and do the discussion questions and do the science experiments, skip some of the worksheets and add in a few more go along readings. Hopefully Mom will be able to do a lot of the reading and discussing with ds9. She seems really excited to help out. :clap: I hope it works.

I do have an amazing husband who is a great help. Just this weekend he did 6 loads of laundry to help us catch up. :) I think some of the stress comes from a particularly busy 3 weeks with dh preaching 5 new sermons, and teaching Sunday School class and Bible studies, me starting to take Japanese class and starting a new school curriculum, plus taking care of a 4 year old for a week (while her mom was in the hospital), weekly visits to discuss our faith with a couple, and rounds of sickness. Hopefully things will settle down a bit and it will get a little easier.

I'm praying and working on just taking it one day at a time and one thing at a time and being okay with not getting it all done. I am just about the only stay at home mom I know. The only other ones at our church have newborns and plan to return to work or school as soon as they can get child care. The work culture in Japan is unreal. Work is your job and your social life and a full time job typical goes from 7-8 am until 7-11 pm. Saturdays are very often work days too. I don't really know anyone with extra time. We are the only resident missionaries in the area. This does create some of our difficulties as when we need help with the language we often have to wait (sometimes for months) until some one has time to help us. Everyone is just so busy!

As for the haircuts, I tried once to cut my ds hair when he was 4. He kept a hat on his head for about 3 months after that! :lol: It's a good thing that long hair on boys is stylish in Japan! :lol: One of these days we'll get some time and get haircuts! Even if I have to pantomime and use pictures (I'm getting rather good at it!) :lol:

I do know that I am right where God wants me to be. I'm learning a lot about what it means to trust and depend on the Lord and how to walk by faith and not by sight. There are times where I have great joy and hope and dreams for Japan, but there are also times when it all seems so impossible. Thanks again for the sympathy and prayers!

Jill in Monrovia
04-12-2012, 04:05 PM
Can one of your friends take care of the newsletter? Or your mom? Maybe they could do a "quiz" newsletter. We got one once and won a little prize, mail something from Japan to the winner. Or maybe do a newsletter from the kids perspective if you're having trouble with what to say. Another thought would be a "tie up the loose ends we asked you to pray about" newsletter. I hate when I never hear how things we're supposed to pray for turned out for the people.

Jill in Monrovia

Lindsey Carter
04-12-2012, 09:38 PM
Jill, my amazing dh finish the newsletter last night while I was in language class. :clap: I think we are just doing an e-version, so I shouldn't have 400 envelopes to address this time. :D But thanks for the ideas. I'll have to remember those for the future. :)