This is what I have been for part of this past week – a sick homeschool mom. Most days this week I just pushed through at a slower pace. However there were two days in particular that I knew I better rest. My oldest son was also sick on those two days. The other children had their share of sniffles, and we were all sucking down vitamin C chewables.
On sick homeschool days, for me or the children, we have a few activities that we enjoy.
- Watch educational movies – This week we watched the Diary of Anne Frank, a documentary on Auschwitz, and several History Channel shows on World War II weapons (can you tell what we’re studying right now ;)).
- Read Alouds – I’m a read aloud junkie. I know there are methods, names, and programs for having a strong read aloud time as a homeschooling base. For us, it’s naturally what we do. One day this week I didn’t have a voice to read aloud; that was the day that we watched educational movies. The following day I was very tired, but I had a voice. We left the house a mess and everyone snuggled up while we finished reading I Have Lived One Thousand Years. Here are some of our favorite read alouds.
- Creative Time – I have always given our children a large amount of daily creative time for personal projects and study in their individual interest. This produces homemade robots and boats out of card board, paintings, gifts for others, and a lot of unplanned learning and fun. If I have to take a sick day on the couch the kids can have extra creative time. They are still learning, and life still goes on.
For you moms with little ones just know that as your young homeschool children get older they will increase in their ability to accomplish independent work. My 9 and 12-year-old boys can still read their Bibles, complete math and copywork assignments, and do their chapter book reading – even if I’m down on the couch. One of the many reasons that our family homeschools year round is to allow ample room for real life – the sick days, the mental health days, the load of the van and spend a day homeschooling in Washington DC days.
I know that moms can feel additional pressure when they’re sick; remember sick days are not an everyday occurrence. You will find that if you give yourself a few days to get better it can help you get back in your groove faster. It models for your children how to deal with real life situations, and it fosters family concern and care for one another. These are great life skills in my opinion!
This time of year I receive many questions from other homeschool moms about sick days. Just this week I had two moms ask about homeschool mom sick days in the Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling Facebook community. Here are a few of the wise answers from other homeschool moms.
“We don’t finish every textbook, nor even every literature book if interest has waned considerably. And Mom takes sick days when the children play! They are learning self-sufficiency, and maybe a little about caring for others (me, and helping with the little ones). Depending on how sick I am, I do have them do a little reading and so forth. It won’t hurt them to do some “homework” with dad– but I wouldn’t keep them up until 11:30 trying to get in a full 4 1/2 hours (my state requirement)! That’s why there are more than 180 days in a year.” – Elizabeth
“We call our sick days (or days that we really need to take a breath) “docu-days”. Netflix has a great selection of educational videos.” – Angela
“Pray and let the Lord lead you in the ways that are right. We can not offer our best if we are not at our best. The joy of homeschooling is that our children are learning all the time in all different ways. Sick days give us an opportunity to teach our children different character qualities and to learn life skills that are just as important as book lessons. EVERY Situation is an opportunity to learn, even mommy sick days.” -Ali
“With a family of six, and little ones who are not really schooling now, and just the fact that life happens we decided to school year round. I found it too stressful to try to rush things to get it all done and keep the hours we are required. Schooling year round opens up more flexibility to take sick days off or errand day (although here I can throw in school related things and count it as a school day)! Homeschooling has become a lifestyle for us and when 4 o’clock hits it does not mean school is over, when ever a teaching moment comes up we are “doing” school whether it is 7PM or 3PM on Sunday afternoon!” – Brandy
Tell us, what are some of the ways you handle sick days?