Homeschooling Students
with Chronic Illness

Homeschooling is an awesome opportunity
for students with chronic illness!

Compulsory education in the public school system can be extremely difficult for a student with chronic illness, such as Lyme disease, chronic infections, and biotoxin illness.  Just waking up at dawn to get ready for school can be exhausting.  Then, making it through an entire day of note-taking, tests, and socializing without naps can be debilitating.  At the end of the day, hours of homework must be completed.  Many Lyme students find it impossible to perform well at public school with these excessive demands.  And healing can be impeded under these school stresses. So, what can parents do to help?  They can consider homeschooling!

Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states.  However, each state has its own set of homeschooling regulations that you must follow to avoid truancy.  But, it is easy!

Also, you do not need a teaching degree.  You just need dedication, motivation, and hard work.  Anyone who really wants to homeschool can homeschool.

Homeschooling takes much less time than you would imagine.  A curriculum can even be designed around everyday activities.

You can start schooling at home any time and at any age.  Some people start at the beginning of the school year.  Other people take their child out of public school mid-year.  The right time is when you and your student are ready, which can be now!

You can “do school” anywhere in your home and at any time of the day.  No need to wake up at dawn anymore!  Or even to get out of pajamas!  And you can work around herxes as needed.

Many parents worry about socialization away from the brick and mortar buildings.  However, homeschooled children actually relate well with all age groups, not just their own age group.   They will actually have more energy for appropriate socializing with friends.

Also, schooling at home provides opportunities for many activities and much community involvement that they may not be able to have time or energy to do with public school. 

And educational field trips provide creative experiences as well as socialization and communication opportunities.

With homeschooling, you are free to concentrate not only on academics, but also on the development of character and integrity, Christian worldview, communication abilities and social skills, thinking and learning skills, life and domestic skills, and ethics and morals.

High school is often a concern for many parents because the curriculum becomes more difficult.  However, many programs provide plenty of assistance.  Homeschool cooperatives can also be a blessing.

A homeschool transcript is needed to document high school work whether or not your child goes to college.  They are actually easy to put together and are readily accepted by colleges.  

Colleges not only accept homeschoolers, but they actively pursue homeschoolers.  They find homeschoolers to be independent, self-reliant, and mature.  Just the type of student who does well in college!

You should know the learning styles of our child as well as your own learning style so that you can select the best curriculum.  You can find out whether your child is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner by taking free learning style assessment online.

Also, you need to choose an educational approach for your curriculum.  Students generally prefer one method more than other methods. 

  • Traditional – textbooks and workbooks are used for each subject area.
  • Classical – based on the trivium concept of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
  • Unit Study – several subjects are presented around a central theme.
  • Charlotte Mason – involves living books, narration, hands-on experiences, interrelating subjects, fine arts, and nature.
  • Unschooling – encourages the student to follow interests in own timing.
  • Eclectic – any combination of the above methods.

A support group is highly desirable. You can find a local group through your state homeschooling organization, such as Christian Home Educators of Ohio.  They can help with choosing curriculum and getting started. 

Also, check out homeschool conventions for pertinent advice from homeschool veterans.  Great Homeschool Conventions organizes several conventions around the United States each year where you can learn more about homeschooling and check out curriculum from many vendors.

Please know that there is a huge difference between public school at home and parent-directed education at home.  For the former, you must still meet all school requirements including traditional subjects, assignments (although sometimes they will slightly modify them), attendance (even if you are herxing)., and method of assessment (aka grades).  With the latter, the parent and student can decide their own educational direction. in all matters, which is much better for students with chronic illness. 

By now, you are probably convinced that homeschooling can meet the needs of your student with chronic illness.  Generally, students with chronic illness are able to accomplish so much more through schooling at home than in schooling in a public building, and they get better much faster. Then, they can go on to success in college or in a career.

For example, Dr. Richey has homeschooled her three children with Lyme disease through high school.  Her son was admitted into Engineering at Ohio State University, and graduated with a BS Microbiology; he is now working at a pharmaceutical company as a microbiologist.  Her daughter graduated from high school at 16 yo and from Liberty University with a BS Psychology at 18 yo; she is now self-employed at her own ballet studio.  Her other daughter graduated from high school at 16 yo and from Liberty University with an AA Interdisciplinary Studies; she is now pursuing additional training for a theatrical career.  So, homeschool students with Lyme disease can be successful!  They just need an environment conducive to learning with chronic illness.

If you are interested in knowing more about homeschooling or if you need help starting homeschooling or if you need advice about transcripts, etc, then you may be interested in educational consultations with Dr. Richey.  Hourly rates are just $50 per hour.  Please contact her to schedule your educational consultation. 

I encourage you to try homeschooling!  I am sure that your family will be just as blessed as our family!



Let food

be thy medicine, 

and medicine 

be thy food.  

~Hippocrates

DANDELION



Your word

is a lamp

to my feet

and a light

to my path.

~Psalm 119:105

ECHINACEA



I will cure them,

and will reveal

to them the

abundance of

peace and truth.

~Jeremiah 33:6

LAVENDER