Who Is In Charge Here

Please note: this post contains affiliate links.
Notebooking Pages Free Resources

Ten Days Rule CurriculumButton

When mommy suffers from a chronic illness, following a strict homeschool curriculum can feel like a Salmon trying to swim upstream.  It can be defeating when you are ruled by your curriculum – no matter what state of health you are in. But, for a mom with a chronic illness – it can feel hopeless, like personal failure.

Let Go

I’m a list maker. I enjoy planning my homeschool days – and I enjoy making my list of things to do – and checking them off. Having a curriculum saves me a ton of time and energy! It has been a  God-send for our family this past year to have a structured, organized curriculum to follow. With 3 boys at 3 separate stages of the game – I was running myself ragged trying to plan and organize for everyone.

Having a curriculum to follow has taken away the guess work for me. I know what we have to do and what we’ll need to get it done. The problem is that without flexibility – I could really stress myself out over it.

When I look at the full curriculum – I can be overwhelmed. It helps to know that at the front of my text book for Trail Guide to Learning – It reads “To be used as a guide- be sure to tweak it to meet your families individual needs” – OK, that’s not a direct quote. I like to paraphrase. That is what the paragraph at the beginning of my curriculum means.

Be Flexible

It’s a novel concept and one I am ever so grateful God hit me over the head with. If something isn’t working – change it!

If the curriculum says to read pages 10 – 15 of “Wonderful Biography Such and Such” and your children learn better by hearing the full story, then discussing it –  go ahead and read the whole book!  

Be A Rebel

 Do it your own way.

The only way I have survived homeschooling with Rheumatoid Arthritis over the last 5 years is by letting go of what I (or someone else) think our homeschool should look like – working within the parameters of what our homeschool actually looks like – and being O.K. with it.

Some days that means we curl up and read together in mommies bed. Other days it means we bring our clip boards outside to get fresh air and sunshine while we do a nature study or Bible time – or even math! You can actually do math outside – it is possible. You can even use acorns, shells, or rocks to do it. I promise.

I have dealt with daily pain and lack of energy – and three little boys. They are active little critters. Boys don’t like to sit still for long periods of time. I require them to have some semblance of discipline – but let’s get real people – I don’t want to fuss at them all day long about it. I have had to loosen up on many fronts. Once in a while (or every few days) we put down the books and count sea shells instead.

Be Creative

Play-dough is not a part of my curriculum. But, I have a little boy who cannot sit still without having something to do besides listening to me teach. Play-dough is a solution to that problem. If your children are particularly restless and you are able – drop the plans for the day and head off on a nature walk to find some inspiration. It may be that discovering and observing that tiny sweat bee on that little weed – is just what your child needed to get excited about reading. Make observations and then go home and look up what you saw.

Have confidence!

You know your family better than anyone. You understand their needs more than anybody else on the planet. (Other than their Creator, of course) He has given you instinct and the ability to nurture – use it in your homeschool. The curriculum is not what is best for your children – you are what’s best for them.  Learn to use it as your guide.  It isn’t a road map you must strictly adhere to for fear of being lost. There are many paths that will bring you to the same end when it comes to teaching your children.

Trust God

The only one who knows and loves your children more than you do – is Christ. He will lead you through the storm – if you only trust Him. If you begin and end with the Word of God – hand Him your failures – and listen for His voice – you will see His mighty hand on your homeschool and in your home life. I would not be capable of teaching my children without the guidance, wisdom, and grace of God. Where He leads me – I will follow

No matter what the curriculum says!

Remember WHO IS in charge

God bless you in your homeschool adventure, 

Kelli Becton is a homeschool mother in an active family of 3 boys. She and husband Mark live along the Gulf Coast of Florida where they spend as much time as possible exploring the great outdoors. They seek to deepen their relationship with their Creator, and know Him better, by the close study of His handiwork. It is her goal to encourage homeschool families to grow and learn together with Christ at the center of their home and studies. Kelli is a published author who has had several magazine and newspaper columns. She currently writes as the Port Charlotte Outdoor Recreation Examiner at Examiner.com and blogs about their homeschool life at www.AdventurezinChildRearing.com 




Enjoy All of the 10 Days of Ruling Your Curriculum series..



Please note, this post contains affiliate links. See disclosure for full information
Notebooking Pages Free Resources


  1. Rebecca and Kelli. I am so enjoying these posts. I have only read the last two. Kelli what a fantastic post. Some people wonder why I school year around. I miss days of homeschooling because of my health. This has been as much as a learning experience for me as it has been for my children. God brings such joy in learning, I only need remember to listen and obey.

    Rebecca, what an inspiration you are to me. I so enjoy your thought provoking posts and your guests you have. I look forward to what God brings forth through you.

    • Kelli, One thing I know…. I do not know everything. I love sharing with and learning from other people. I am blessed to know you…and pray for you daily! I pray this series is a BLESSING to all who read it….it has been to me…and there are still more days to come!

  2. Yes! Don’t let the curriculum rule you!! I also suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia and migraines. There are days that I can’t do a whole lot with the kids. My husband was the one who said do what you can. Don’t stress yourself out and make things worse on you. I am loving this series!!

    • Joy, it sounds like your husband is a great leader for your family…..giving good direction, supporting you and loving you through all things! I am thankful you are being blessed by this series…that is why I chose this topic…I know so many struggle in various ways…and there are so many out there, who can provide insight! Thank you for joining!!!!

  3. We do the same thing, Kelli. Right now we are only on Chapter 16 of our History because we kept reading other books in each chapter, but I am ok with it because the girls are learning. It’s not always the way I would like it to look…but it’s the way it looks because this is how and where my girls and I need to be right now.

    • Theresa, that made me giggle….I realized the other day…we have half of our Science and History remaining (and only two ‘official’ days of school)! Two years ago, I would have been so stressed out and I would have felt like a failure. This year, I see how not pushing…not stressing has given our entire family more time to enjoy reading and learning! Part of that…is due to your desire to share your world with others…and Kelli, as well. You have both spoken to my heart through your blogs and I am forever indebted.

  4. Great post. I completely agree that a curriculum is simply a guide. I also had a son who could not sit still while we read aloud. I remember reading church history to him while he threw a ball up & down, catching it with his baseball glove. Doing something helped him pay attention.

    • Kerry, I received a few reports on one of my children…that they were making ‘poor’ choices at school. I never received a clear definition from any of the teachers who stated that. Now, I see…he needs something in his hands….to help him. He can run around the field and juggle while I read….and he ‘gets’ what I’m reading….if I try to make him sit and do nothing…that’s exactly what he comprehends…nothing. Our boys are active….don’t you think? They were made that way!

  5. Kelli, I can relate. I don’t have quite the degree of problems you do, but thyroid disease certainly can make things difficult. Even when my levels are “normal”, I can tell a huge difference between my health and the health of the moms around me. (Remind me to find a new endocrinologist soon.)

    Moms 15 years older than I am run circles around me. Granted, they’re getting more sleep than I am because their kids are all sleeping through the night. Still, a 32 year old woman should be stronger than I am. It’s frustrating, to say the least. Thanks for your encouragement and your wonderful example! Love you!

  6. Another great post. Being flexible is key to any successful homeschool. At least that is my opinion. lol

  7. Amanda @ The Pelsers says:

    Great post Kelli! Having depression can be similar sometimes. If I’m having a bad day, we adjust as needed.

  8. kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing says:

    Thank you all for reading my guest post – and for your encouraging words! I’m thankful for Rebecca and for all the moms God puts in my life through our homeschool blogging – you bring me encouragement, ignite creativity, and guidance – thank you!

  9. Thank you all for this great post and great series. It is beneficial for me to hear how others have struggled with health issues while homeschooling. I completely agree with being flexible and not to let curriculum rule the homeschooling process. What wonderful advice.

  10. Well, God certainly directed me straight to this post today. I NEEDED it. I also suffer from chronic illnesses and have felt such defeat in the area of homeschooling. I feel like I am letting everyone down when it’s really all I can do physically and emotionally to drag myself out of bed. We are going to start POE for next year. I have all the materials I need, just need to get organized. Thank you for sharing and for making me feel a little better. 🙂

    • Robin, I am so thankful this has helped you! I am so sorry for your illness and your feeling of defeat. I do believe we all go through that…. I wanted this series to reach out and help anyone….Moms with health issues, children with health/learning difficulties, gifted children…etc. I knew I could not cover all of it and reached out to others who could….I know everyone who supported this ten day series is blessed by your words!

  11. This was so needed today. I also have a chronic disease. I am currently pregnant too which makes my health problems more severe. I have been trying so hard to keep up. It is good to be reminded to let go of our expectations and relax. Just do our best.