For today’s episode, I asked some of my fellow podcasters at the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network to share their best tips for homeschool sanity. I know you’ll enjoy them. But first, I would love to have your comments. I read and respond to every comment I get on this podcast. It helps me to know what’s useful for you and what additional questions you have that I can address in future episodes. It reminds me that I’m not just talking to myself. I realize that comments aren’t private though, so if you have a private concern, email me at psychowith6 (the number 6) at gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.
Teaching Tip of the Week
It has to do with what’s been going on with me for the past two months. I got out of the shower one morning and felt intense pain in my chest muscle that moved to my left shoulder blade. I read that I had an injury or strain of the rhomboid muscle that was causing the problem. Most likely that injury was caused from playing tennis (which I hadn’t been doing any of before the injury), carrying a heavy bag on that shoulder (busted – I had been carrying my computer in my purse on that shoulder), or using poor posture at the computer. That last bit was really a concern. I spend a lot of time at the computer writing for the blog, this podcast, Grammar Galaxy curriculum, social media, and for homeschooling. What I read told me that I could expect the injury to heal in 2 to 3 weeks. I started using my right arm for everything, letting my left arm rest. My husband was wonderful about massaging it for me. It hurt a lot after I would go for walks in the morning. Sure enough, three weeks later, the pain was gone.
I don’t think I had any days of no pain at all because as soon as my left shoulder healed, the right started to hurt. I was hopeful I could keep it from becoming as severe as the left. I tried to modify my activities. But the pain grew more and more intense to the point that there was no comfortable position for me. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to eat. I bought a massage pillow, which did help a lot. But if I wasn’t using it, I was in agony. I saw a chiropractor and learned that nerve compression was causing my pain. But I was still at the end of my rope. I prayed in desperation in the middle of the night. Rather than take the pain away, the Lord got my husband up (which never happens). He massaged it for me and more importantly, he encouraged me. He reminded me that God had been faithful in worse situations than this. That was the beginning of real improvement.
I started using a home TENS unit that made the muscles in my shoulder twitch. I iced it at the same time, which is an approach I learned from physical therapy for a different shoulder problem a couple of years ago. It helped a lot. But then I found a YouTube channel that made a huge difference. Dr. Mandell of the motivationaldoc channel explained that tight scalenus muscles in the neck and shoulder area could impinge on the nerves, causing pain. He shares a number of stretches that have reduced my pain dramatically.
At this point, you may be wondering how my shoulder pain is a teaching tip. Neck and shoulder pain as the result of hunching the shoulders forward and sticking the neck out to look at a computer screen or from looking down at a phone has become epidemic. If you aren’t using the computer or a device a lot, your kids probably will. Teach your children proper posture for computer usage. You can learn more about that from Dr. Mandell’s YouTube channel. Take regular breaks from devices. And stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. If I had done these three things, I wouldn’t have been in pain and really out of commission for the past two months. Even looking down at a traditional book can cause neck and shoulder strain. Let my experience serve as a warning.
Okay. On to today’s topic. The Homeschool Sanity Show is a part of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. Three of my fellow podcasters shared their best tips for homeschool sanity that you’re going to love. (Listen to hear them!)
Have a happy homeschool week!