Added: (Thu Mar 14 2002)

Pressbox (Press Release) - MARCH 2002 / Home-schooling one's own children can be a daunting task, but one that most home-schooling moms feel called to, even when their own health is fragile. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 38.4% of parents home school for religious reasons. [1] More than one in three people in the United States live with a chronic condition, resulting in the amount of those home-schooling and living with illness overlapping a great deal. [2]

Rest Ministries, a Christian organization that serves people who live with chronic illness or pain, recently announced an online community for home-schooling moms with chronic illness. More than 75 women currently participate. "Invisible illness can cause many to misunderstand our chosen lifestyles," shares Cindy Elliott, 43, from Texas. "Our group at Rest Ministries, Beyond Surviving Homeschooling, has an unspoken understanding of faith and grace. We recognize the very real limitations and frustrations which come with chronic illness, and the additional challenge these add to home-schooling. At the same time, we recognize that both the health challenges and home-schooling draw us closer to and more dependant on our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We have an unspoken language of three areas that each of us are intimately familiar with: our faith, our family and our illness... it makes all the difference."
Elliott, is joined by co-coordinator, Trish Chmelik, of Wisconsin who lives with fibromyalgia. Trish is a wife of seventeen years, and a home-schooling mother of three boys; ages 16, 14, & 8. Although home-schooling three active boys is not easy, she feels it is a calling from God for this season of her life. "God has given me the ministry of raising three Godly men, and He gives me the strength necessary to do the job," she shares. "I wish to encourage other home-schooling moms living with chronic illness to persevere in their calling. I want them to know that they are not alone."

To gain supportive friends, curriculum plans that take illness into consideration and spiritual sustenance, join Beyond Surviving Homeschooling at Rest Ministries.
[1] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education 1 Statistics, Parent Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program, 1999 (Parent-NHES:1999).

[2] Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge, a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.)

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