SummaryWhen a family medical issue arose, The Hogan’s prayed and researched. Seton Home Study had it all: Catholic, accredited, and an all-around great education.
Blood sugar over 400! Lord have Mercy!
My 4 year old woke up not acting like himself one morning. He had been wetting his pants more often and woke with a pungent smelling breath. I knew as a resident doctor at Via Christi Family Medicine that this meant type 1 diabetes. As he was not critically ill, we went to Mass and then checked him into the hospital to do further testing for confirmation.
That was Thanksgiving weekend 2006 when our oldest child Matthew was indeed diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 4 years old. Benjamin was 2 years old and Mary was 6 months old. Matt had been in preschool at our parish school and loved it.
However, a move was in order due to a new job. January of 2007 meant a new school, new teachers, and a new medical problem to take care of.
The family transitioned just fine, but Matt’s love for school did not. We were confused as to why he was so unhappy. He used to come home singing and repeating the spirited games they had learned. We wondered, did the change of attitude have to do with his diabetes?
His new teacher was quite nervous about it. My mother, a former preschool and kindergarten teacher, came to visit and went with him to school one day. She helped us realize that the new pre-school had a lot more “sitting” rather than active learning with song and activities.
As a busy boy with lots of energy, Matt needed more time to get his energy out and social interaction. We finished the semester with Matt coming home stating how many grams of carbs were in the snack at school rather than singing songs and dancing.
As 2007 had been a very busy year of transition, we needed a summer vacation! The grandparents were dying to keep the children for a week, so my husband and I planned a getaway trip to Estes Park, Colorado. Driving there we had some time for conversation. I told him I was worried about Matt going to school in the fall. Some of my friends had been doing home school I told him.
My husband is very traditional and conservative, so I was not sure what his reaction would be. Would he reject the idea and “freak out”. Instead he listened and we discussed what home school might mean for the family. He is very into computers, so I asked him to help me research the best home school curriculum.
In the meantime at grandma and grandpa’s, even though my parents are educated and caring people, former teachers themselves, Matthew’s blood sugar did “freak out”. Sugars were 300’s and 400’s when 100’s that are normal!
We began praying about it and researching. We looked around online for Catholic Home Schools. We realized Seton Home Study had a great online presence with online support if needed. The curriculum was well developed which would take out any guess work as to what the children would be expected to learn.
Seton had the whole package: Catholic, accredited, and an all-around great education! On the drive home from Colorado I called a Seton counselor.
She answered all my questions and was very friendly. We wrote down the pros and cons. The pros side of the assessment had things like flexibility, more active playtime for our active boy, more time with siblings, Catholicity we could be excited about, better monitoring of the diabetes, and more family time in general.
We decided to give it a try, after-all it was just Kindergarten….
Ten Years Later
Now, I, Matthew Hogan, will help finish the story! I just finished 9th grade! My brother Ben finished 7th and Mary, who also has diabetes, finished 5th grade. Our “littles” Jacob and Danielle are 2 and 5 years old. They hope to be Seton students someday too.
We know home schooling is a little different from the mainstream, but we thrive on it. While my mom started us down the road of home schooling, it has been dad who has done most of the work! Another thing “different” about our family is that my mom works and my dad stays at home.
My mother is a family practice physician with a very busy clinic. So, my dad is the one who stays home with us kids and runs our schooling schedule. He always seems to know when we need a little help or when we need to work out the problem ourselves.
After ten years, I feel extraordinarily blessed to be in a school as great as Seton Home Study. All the benefits Mom mentioned, like spending more time with family, being more active, and taking better care of my diabetes has been very beneficial.
But as kids, our favorite part is that though we work hard on our “homework” during the day, we have more free-time in the evenings. As we have gotten older we have begun to appreciate more of what Seton gives to us. We have come to love the high quality religious education that Seton offers. We are building our faith in Jesus and becoming well informed Catholics.
I know for sure that my diabetes has been much easier to care for at home than if I had been in regular school. Sometimes I have to check blood sugar when I feel low. I may need a snack immediately.
This has to be very disruptive of regular school days when there are 20-30 other kids in a class watching you be “different”. At home, with my dad, and my brothers and sisters, I am just “me”.
Our Homeschool Hero
But none of this would be possible if it were not for dad staying home and helping us get through a rigorous curriculum, which continually challenges us to do better and strengthens us for the future.
I pray that God bless the great people who have helped us at Seton Home Study School and God bless dad, our home school hero.