Schedule - Simplifying RTR during illness

Including getting a later start using "English From The Roots Up" or "God & the History of Art"
Post Reply
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 7:56 pm

Schedule - Simplifying RTR during illness

Unread post by Eve »

I struggle with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and 3-4 weeks ago had a seizure (surprise to all of us). It is just a small glitch in my brain, but I am on medication for 3 years now, and I can't drive for 6 months. This just seemed to be the breaking point. I am learning in a very hard, emotional way, that I need to simplify the way we do things (and I thought we were already simple with Charlotte Mason!)

We are currently doing Rome to Reformation. Help me. How do I do this???? How do I simplify? What would be the bare minimum of Rome to Reformation?? Do I skip the art and music? How much of this should I or could I expect my kids to just do independently? They are ages 12, 10 and 8. (8 year old is finishing up the first grade curriculum... although doing some 2nd grade math. He is the one that needs the most one on one although the others need help now and then in Math & English especially, and we have always done science and history together.

What are your suggestions for bare minimum that will still teach them what they need to know IF by any chance they must go to public school (I hope not... but just in case?????)

struggling, and needing your prayers as well for wisdom and discernment,
Hi I am a Mom of 3 currently ages 12, 11 and 8 in Oct of 2008 . I LOVE Homeschooling and enjoy My Father's World tremendously. We are finishing up RTR this fall.
Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Unread post by TriciaMR »


Not specific to RtR, but have the older ones teach the younger one math. Now, before you think I'm crazy... When I was in college and would do a study group, if someone didn't understand a concept, I was usually the one to explain. I found once I explained and did a few examples, my understanding would increase considerably.

I have a friend who has older children do one subject a day with the younger ones (they aren't using MFW). Sometimes it's math, sometimes it's english, etc. She does monitor what they're teaching (usually with one ear from the kitchen), but she has said the younger children sometimes learn better from the older ones.

Just a thought.
Praying for you to have wisdom, too.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Oh, Eve, I can so empathize. My husband was sick most of last year, when I had planned to do all of RTR. One of his complications was also seizures. That was very scary.

Because I spent most of the winter in the hospital with dh, RTR did not all get done last year. We are in the last week just now. But at the end of last year, I realized we were just where God wanted us to be. Ds still tested well last spring, and our family stayed close.

Here's what we finished last year:
* About half of history, read-alouds, Latin roots, & Bible.
* The science is neatly divided into two topics for the year, so we finished one (the human body), which was plenty I felt for a year. All the medical issues in our family were just bonus info on the human body LOL!
* Grandma read the Galen biography to ds, and I did the facts-of-life book with him at the end of the year.
* We skipped the music, but we ended up listening to it a lot the next year during lunch etc & actually will complete (and have enjoyed) all of it.
* Most of ILL, but none of Writing Strands -- tho I still had him writing easy things like what he learned at co-op.
* Almost a year's worth of Singapore math.
* I'm sure I'm forgetting things -- I'll add them here if I think of anything important...

Two things really helped me.

(1) Let people help. Whether it's housework or school or errands -- let people be blessed by blessing you. My son spent a day with a couple different homeschool families & experienced their schools. He did some school with grandma (especially precious since it turned out to be her last year of life). People from church & work & family all did little things that helped keep our home running. In fact, I encourage you to make people aware of your most pressing needs regularly (we used CaringBridge & it was helpful in keeping people updated on our needs). If something was really urgent, I often would leave messages for two or three people who might be good for the task, hoping one of them had a spot in their schedule.

And I know that at another time, we will be blessed with a chance to help someone else in need.

(2) I allowed my son, or all my children really, to be more independent than I usually prefer. Kids understand when they are needed, and they grow from it. My oldest son recently commented that he felt a lot more useful last year when we needed him :o)

My youngest son does *not* prefer to work by himself, as he is very social, but he did it. On his own, he would read, make his vocab card, do some of the ILL lessons & Singapore lessons, write, etc. There was also book basket, including quite a few videos he could watch.

On Sundays, I would make out an assignment list in a notebook, in case I wouldn't be around. Ds preferred a daily list of assignments, but that took too long and became a problem when he tried to do Wednesday's work but hadn't finished Tuesday's... So I made a weekly list for each subject and ask him to do one thing on each page per day. No matter what interruptions there had been, he would just do the next thing. I would transfer any undone thing(s) to the next week's list. I would also have a page for subjects he could only do if someone was available to help him.

Maybe something in my musings will be of use to you during this hard year. I will pray again, also.
P.S. I bought SOTW audios, which helped a bit.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell »

Eve, (((((((((((((((((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

I'm sorry you are going through all this. God is not surprised. If I were in that position I would be feeling a bit defeated. I will pray that God lift your spirits up. I totally agree with Julie's advice of letting others help and in letting kids be independent. She has been through this and has a wisdom that many of us lack.

How can you do that tbough? Julie gave some good ideas but I have some too. I'm going to brainstorm as I type. Not all the ideas will work for you as I don't know all of your situation


If I were in this situation, I would turn to these people:

1. Church friends. Think outside the box here. Are there older people who like to visit with kids the ages of your kids? Could they come over and just visit. It would be a rich experience even if it wasn't about Rome!

2. Homeschooled families. If you are in a co-op or an informal group take advantage of those people. Parents could teach your children even just one subject. Homeschooled teens could teach, tutor, clean house, do laundry, shovel snow, mow the yard, and read to your kids. They could work with your kids in just about any subject. And, newly licensed teens would love the chance to log some extra hours behind the wheels to shuttle your kids to soccer or pick up some groceries. Public school kids (whose schedules are tighter) might be able to help too. Many of the schools these days require a certain number of service hours. This would surely count. Teens might even like to plan a Roman feast for your kids.

3. Neighbors. Okay, they may not homeschool but they could help with cooking and such. I guess you have to have a special relationship with such neighbors and it's hard to ask for help, but don't refuse any offers.


1. Your kids' ages might not allow a lot of teaching among the children but you could try. Another option is to use this time and put up the work books and buy (or borrow) some educational games and let them play. My kids have learned state locations, addition facts, spelling, etc. through games. Perhaps you can even find a Rome themed game.

2. Rely on videos for some of the teaching. That's okay. We've enjoyed the This is America Charlie Brown videos (okay, that's not Rome) and Drive Thru History (which includes Rome), and Standard Deviants (for a bit older kids). My kids also like the Little Bear videos. They are about the USA too, but that's okay. And, there are the Grammar Rock and other "Rock" videos.

3. Similarly, rely on the internet. If you find that you are resting a lot, perhaps you could get a laptop instead of a desktop and you could find some videos, internet games, or other activities to reinforce your learning. You can have that homeschooled teen surf the web looking for resources if you don't have the time or energy.

4. Also, check (okay, have a friend check) your library for books on tape or CD for the read aloud books or some of the book basket chapter books. We've done that a lot. That's fine. If there is a book not on tape, you could always have a teenager read it and tape it. Have the older two read to the younger.

God is not surprised (even if you were). Do the bare minimum and take double the time if you need. Let the extras slide and catch them years from now.

Praying for you
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Unread post by cbollin »

Just a few other ideas to tag on

I’m assuming the 12 and 10 y.o are in the science in RTR (and not Apologia General) They can be in charge of that and be more independent on doing it. When my oldest was 10 she loved trying to put together the Body Book and reading the Astronomy book and setting up those experiments. Some of the books in RTR have internet linked resources. Perhaps you can just supervise the older ones while they use those kid friendly places??

Can dad do the Bible in the evenings before the day’s lesson? In other words, on Sunday night can he do the Bible for Monday’s lessons with everyone?

Read alouds --- oh wait…. There’s that link that has the Dangerous Journey. Here it is
that’s one of the read alouds in RTR – just pick up the book and watch along. A big public thank you to Answers in Genesis for providing that video.

Hang in there, Eve! It will ok for your older children to have to try to go through the teacher’s manual on their own. If you are using Spelling Power they can take turns reading spelling lists to each other.

Unless the older children just want to do the art history book, that can be eliminated if needed.

This might be a season to use something to help with meal planning and grocery list shopping. One popular website called has a free weekly menu planner and grocery list. It might be helpful to use something like that to have meals ready to make. Just an idea to try to simplify life as well and let the kids help more.

(hugs) and prayers.
Post Reply