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For Chronically Ill Children, Homeschooling May Be the Answer

by David Engle | Mar 19, 2020 | 2 min read

Illness owns the headlines these days. With the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic threatening long-term school closures across the country, many districts are preparing for home-based online schooling. But homeschooling is also an ideal option for students who suffer from chronic illness because it offers many conveniences that families dealing with illness need.

No More Absences
Having a chronically ill child in school poses many challenges. High on that list is the recurrence of absences. Whether those missed school days are the result of the illness itself or the numerous doctor’s appointments, excessive absences from school are difficult for everyone involved. Not only does it put an extra burden on teachers, it can create upheaval for parents or caregivers who have to constantly rearrange their schedules. Most of all, it’s a huge challenge for the student who is in and out of class and missing valuable lessons and work–all while dealing with their illness.

Homeschooling can eliminate these burdens. Because you can homeschool according to your own schedule, you can easily accommodate doctors’ appointments and care for your child while teaching him or her at a pace that works for you. No more missed lessons or homework–you do school at your convenience and when your child is feeling well.

Health Matters
Depending on the type of illness a student has, a cleaner and more controlled environment is essential for long-term health. Kids bring scores of germs and sickness into the classroom, spreading them around for any and all to catch. Exposing a chronically ill child to these conditions can pose a serious health risk.

Homeschooling means you can keep your student in an environment conducive to his or her condition–clean and comfortable to accommodate specific needs. The last thing you or your child needs is further illness caused by sick kids who attend school.

Learning While Sick
Your child’s illness may preclude him or her from participating in a traditional school environment, but it need not prevent learning at home. Not only does homeschooling mean your student doesn’t have to miss school when feeling sick, it also allows you to adjust whether today’s lesson happens from the couch or at a table or desk in the comfort of your home. Whether it’s through oral learning, reading, or online and video lessons, an ill student can still stay on top of their studies and not fall behind.

The Possibility of Financial Assistance
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), through its charitable arm called The Homeschool Foundation, offers several grants intended to help families of students with illness and special needs. The Lindsay Foundation also assists families with children who have been diagnosed with long-term catastrophic illnesses, have not reached the age of 18 years, and reside at home. Grants are awarded based on the child’s need, not the family’s income. To learn more about The Lindsay Foundation, email them at [email protected].

Having to deal with a chronically ill child comes with plenty of trying times and stress. Rather than adding a school environment to the mix, homeschooling allows you to focus on what’s important–the well-being of your child and the education that he or she truly deserves. An accredited homeschool program like Bridgeway Academy offers everything your child needs: a high-quality education in the form of online-based learning, live online classes, and traditional textbook learning customized to your student’s learning style and your schedules. For more information on how Bridgeway can help you and your child, call us at 800.863.1474.

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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