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pacing & the chronically ill child

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    pacing & the chronically ill child

    Does anyone out there have experience working with a sick child?

    My oldest son is 14. We learned last summer that he does not have allergies, as we had been thinking, but actually has been suffering from serious sinus infection -- possibly for years! After months and months of doctor's visits, we finally seem to be making some progress with some alternative therapies (radical elimination diet, among other things...).

    It's his lethargy that's driving me completely bonkers.

    On the one hand, I know he doesn't feel well, and I've tried to adjust our pace. On the other, I'm concerned about passivity becoming a habit. (And of course, I want some summer vacation, too.) And at this rate, we'll be schooling the whole 12 months with very few breaks -- or we'll have to just leave off material. Also, I feel more pressure this year, since, in my mind at least, the stakes are higher with him entering his high school years next fall. And! It stresses me out that there are so many parents out there saying it took their 14 year old child 3 weeks to complete LCI. Let me just say that we took, a-hem, considerably longer.

    Any suggestions? Please!

    I've been challenged by "passive" students and they didn't even have a good reason, like sickness! I always felt stressed because my 2 sons never did enough work in high school. They each did about 1/2-3/4 year of Latin and their 10 page college applications were their biggest writing projects. On the other hand, about the middle of junior year, they each developed a great interest in reading the classics and discussing great ideas. ("Did you do your assignments this morning?" "No, I was reading Plato's Republic. Did you know he thought...?" !!!!) They are now both happy and successful college students in a great books liberal arts program. Of course it's not always smooth sailing. Once I got a call: "Hey Mom, my paper is due in 3 hours and it needs to be twice as long. Any ideas??" Anyway, while you want to keep working at making them get their schoolwork done, the real goal is to impart a love for learning, a desire for the truth, a respect for the wisdom of the classics, and a reasonable facility with comunication. So make sure that what he does study is really worthwhile even if he doesn't do as much as you'd like. To take several years to do LCI and II in high school and enjoy it would actually put him ahead of the majority of graduates!


      What a kind response. Thank you for a little perspective!

      Since I posted that message, we've had significant improvement in the sinus department, as well as in attitude and energy. Hallelujah!

      My son is a very diligent and (I'm trying to find a loving, positive word here...) conscientious worker. I think when he wasn't feeling well, he was overwhelmed by his work -- it's hard to just start when you know, for instance, that your Algebra is going to take three hours to complete, partly because you have to blow your nose every three minutes, and your head hurts, and then you just have to do another 30 problems tomorrow! (Gotta love that Mr. Saxon.) All that boy wanted to do was lounge around reading Hornblower. Which is not a bad way to spend one's time, but....

      I wish I'd trusted in the "less is more" approach a little earlier in the game. I think it would have helped to just sit down together and say, look, what are the most important subjects, and how much time do we need to spend to do them justice and then just stick with that. But when your child is ill, well... one becomes anxious!

      Again, thank your for weighing in. Very much appreciated.

      Last edited by Nicole; 04-07-2006, 07:45 PM.