Heart of Dakota Blog

Homeschooling Multiple Children During a Health Crisis

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Dear Carrie,

We’ve loved homeschooling with Heart of Dakota for years now, but my second son was recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic. I feel we are in a health crisis right now, and I have multiple children My oldest is 9 years old and works fairly independently in Preparing. I’d like to keep him moving forward, as he is doing so well and is loving his year. Our 8 year old son (diabetic) is on unit 15 of Bigger. In attempting to start my 5 year old in Little Hearts…, I’m overwhelmed. I also have a 2 year old. I feel they are each placed correctly. But, a lot of my time is now spent managing my son’s blood sugar, preparing meals, and such. Even though we truly enjoy Heart of Dakota, I’m struggling. What should I do? Thanks in advance for your advice!


“In a Health Crisis Mom of 4”

Dear “In a Health Crisis Mom of 4,”

A diabetes Type 1 diagnosis is a big life change, and you have to give yourself a chance to adjust! My grandpa and father had diabetes later in life, and my nephew was diagnosed with Type 1 when at 14. So, I can glimpse a little bit of the adjustments you are currently going through. I also see that you have a two-year old at your house, so you are one busy momma!!

Your 10 year old son can keep moving forward in Preparing Hearts.

Thank you for sharing about each of your children!  It sounds like you’ve placed them well.  I agree that it makes good sense to keep your Preparing Hearts child moving forward. That child is more independent and the routine of doing the guide consistently will continue to be good for him.

Your 5 year old has several good options to slow down the pace in Little Hearts.

Your 5 year old can definitely slow down the pace and wait to do Little Hearts… full-speed. You can downsize to doing phonics, math, handwriting, and the Rod and Staff workbooks from Little Hearts daily. Or, if you prefer, you can do Little Heart’s two-page plans half-speed. This can be as simple as doing the left side one day and the right side the next day. Either way, this would get your school time down to about 45 minutes a day for your kindergarten child. I did find with a couple of my own boys that doing Little Hearts half-speed worked for us for a season. It kept things changing and fresh too. I felt like I was still moving forward and had the option of going to full-speed whenever I was ready.

Your 8 year old can slow down the pace to half-speed in Bigger Hearts until you both adjust.

For your Bigger Hearts child, you can definitely shift down to half-speed for a time. This will help as you adjust to the new medical needs at your house. You may even find that slowing down will help your Bigger Hearts child produce more careful work. As you adjust a bit, you can slowly move your Bigger Hearts child up to full-speed. You can just keep your 5 year old at half-speed for the rest of this school year.

Slow steady progress is still progress forward!

Take heart that even slow, steady progress forward is still progress! It is amazing how much you can get done through the years if you just keep slowly moving forward. That has been my encouragement through the years, and I hope it can be yours as well!



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