As I’ve mentioned previously, our youngest son has been battling a condition known as Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome for the better part of three months. It’s disrupted his home life, blown his school attendance out of the water, and generally consigned him to a never-ending rotation of doctors, specialist, chiropractors, shamans, witch doctors, faith healers, and boogeymen.

Yesterday was the first day back at school after their winter break for most kids in Western Australia, and Master 8 had his heart set on joining them. He’d set a personal goal of having his vomiting under control enough to attend: CVS it can be managed, if not completely eliminated, at least until some magic point where he ‘grows out of it’. All he needed to do was have a run whereby he stayed vomit-free between 8am and 3pm, and we were all set to send him back. His bag was packed, he was full of chatter about catching up with friends, he had a project he’d been working on he wanted to show the class…

Yeah, you know where this is heading.

Last night, we gathered on our bed and had us a family meeting– Master 8, his Mum, and me. And we’ve decided that it’s time to formalise the teaching arrangement that’s been forced upon us over the last 12-odd weeks. From now until the condition clears, at the minimum, we’ll be formally home schooling him. Even if he went back to school, the chances of him passing Year 3 were touch and go. More time away will only confirm the need to repeat. At home, he’ll get the attention, focus and targeted goal-setting that will give him the best chance to continue his education with the minimum of disruption. 10 puke-breaks a day are more easily accommodated when you’re sat round the kitchen table with your Mum.

There’s a lot of running around to be done: associations to be contacted; permissions signed; forms and letters and probably blood, sperm and third-eye aqueous humour samples to be given; but it’s the right decision, and gives him a chance to have a normal schooling life that takes his condition into account.

Thankfully, he’s a boy with a sense of adventure, and he’s set himself to see the possibilities in the arrangement– ‘school schools’ don’t hit the zoo, the beach, the museum or the public libraries anywhere near as much as home schools do, so he tells us….

Sometimes, wanting the best for your children makes your chest too tight.