Mrs. Robinson

Last night I began to mop the floors and was quickly reminded that my lungs can’t handle such a large task. I used to mop all the time and now the kids do it. Yesterday I forgot that I can’t do those things and I began, and quickly realized I am still sick. You see, I have had a few day to rest and do things that were slower paced and easy. And I have not gotten heavy-hearted (my heart literally feels like a sack of stones) or gasped for breath. I actually forgot I wasn’t feeling well. I looked at my blog post from yesterday and saw that I posted about what I am going to do in the future when the kids graduate. Wow, I am thankful for the outlook, but it’s the first time I haven’t been afraid to write about something more than a few years out. I am not well and still waiting on the specific prognosis/diagnosis for one problem… and awaiting surgeries for another. My pain is so great that I wonder if the devil inserted an imaginary vice in my back to compress my spine. I should get an answer this week as the results of my chest CT scan come in. I am back to reality and I’ll not post again about anything more than a year or two out. But it was nice; for a few days I forgot I was sick. I hope that the doctor tells me things are fixable and I have a long life ahead of me. And I hope that I get the surgeries and feel wonderful afterwards. And I am so positive that it will happen that I forget to stop dreaming of the day when Chris and I can enjoy our life together when the kids are grown and gone. I forgot to stop having dreams of going to school and I forgot to stop dreaming of serving women and single moms who are homeless, abused, or addicted. For a few days I forgot to stop dreaming.

It’s good, no, it’s great to forget. But I am the kind of person who feels more secure and confident when I am aware of what’s going on, and prepared for it. I don’t like being blindsided with anything. I am obviously sick. There is something wrong, my x-rays came back abnormal and I can’t breathe. Fine. Using my Google MD degree I took to the internet and read every possible scenario and I feel a lot better knowing that it could range from COPD all the way to small cell lung cancer. I feel prepared and I and feel validated in my feelings. When I need to forget about it for a few days, the Lord affords me the rest and when I need to remember and cut myself some slack, the Lord is my strength. He carries me.

Chris and I spent some time talking about what would happen if one of us were to become a single parent while the kids are still young. A young mother in my Gainesville Florida homeschool group died last year after a very quick battle with cancer. She was diagnosed and then gone in a matter of months. It was so upsetting and as cliche’ as it sounds, it just didn’t seem fair. It didn’t seem real. We moved away right before she passed so I was not able to take the family a meal or offer any comfort, but I was informed by another mom in the group. I wondered what she had planned for her children? I know she fought the disease. She left the state to seek treatment and to fight for her life so did she even have time to plan for her children’s future? I never got to ask these questions. But I’m asking them now… what do I need to do to prepare the kids for their future schooling. There’s no way they are being sent to school if there’s a way around it.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that we works towards independent learning. If there’s a fun project that the kids need me for, I’ll help them. But usually, they do just fine on their own and they are pretty young. My younger two, more specifically still need me in the areas of phonics, reading, and math and so I am very hands-on.

Years ago a curriculum was created by accident by a woman named Laurelee Robinson. Laurelee died suddenly after an illness that lasted less than 24 hours. She was homeschooling her children, ages 12, 10, 9, 7, 7, and 17 months. After her death, her husband continued their homeschooling by developing a program entirely based upon self-teaching. It’s called the Robinson Method and is available from Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. The “method” could be used with any curriculum, but lends itself well to the one Mrs. Laurelee created. Dr. Robinson explains his method and some of the key points are this… no TV; no sweets; formal school work lasting for 5 hours, 6 days, and 10 months; school first, since the first 5 hours are the most productive; phonics, the children learn to read phonetically; lots of good books; Saxon math; an essay a day, after completing mathematics, the child writes a one-page essay about any subject that interests him; college level science, yup, college level science; and constant recreational reading. Many of these can be expanded on, but I am trying to keep the blog fairly short. We don’t do a lot of these because I am here and we do unit studies and lots of hands-on projects. But if I were to leave the earth, I would want a set of guidelines that worked for us and I would borrow some of these. I am currently putting together a 13 year program that my husband could pick up if I got too sick or left earth. Laurelee Robinson had no idea she was going to die when she wrote out an entire school career’s worth of curriculum. I am going to do the same. I hope to be here for 13 years, but should I get too sick and should no cure be available, my kids will have a plan in place. There are many other issues to consider, but this is the most important.

I like being with my kids. I like when we have days filled with playful art and science and history and reading and writing and it all flows naturally. I love homeschooling and the lifestyle we get to live. I am so grateful for the many years we have had to do life this way. I will be grateful for every moment I get whether it be only a few more or a many, many more. The Lord is my peace. And I am confident that He will take care of our family just like He has done all along. My husband had a ticking time bomb in his neck a few years ago, and due to a twisted turn of events, his aneurysm burst. And he was close to death, twice. And he lived and no longer has that time bomb in his body. I trust my Lord because He has proven Himself to me when He didn’t have to do a damn thing else for me.

Whatever my family’s future holds, I know it’ll all be okay. We have a massive snow storm coming our way at 3pm today and I am pretty excited about it. We still have almost a foot of snow on the ground from the last one. It’s my first year in KC, MO and I am loving the cold weather! I grew up in Jersey then moved to Florida and stayed there for 13 years. I missed the cold. So have a wonderful day, I know I will!

Love,

Jackie

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