It’s a cardinal rule that moms don’t get sick days. It’s even more true for homeschooling moms. It’s hard to relax on the couch and take a sick day when you know that there is school work that needs to be done. There are ways, however, to still do something productive in your homeschool when you’re feeling less than your best. Change things up and try one of these for your fall back plan.
Watch educational videos.
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly finding cool educational videos I think the kids would like or that go perfectly with something we’re learning. The problem is that we don’t have time to watch them very often in the midst of our regular school curricula and activities. When you come across a video like that, save it or make a note of it in a file. Then you can quickly access those videos next time you’re having a sick day.
You can find lots of great documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I love the Drive Thru History videos that take kids to real life places to talk about historical events. You can find the Founding Fathers episodes for free on Amazon Prime, and there are many of the other Drive Thru History videos to rent on Amazon as well. Khan Academy is another great place to find videos. You can find science, art, history, and more.
Listen to educational podcasts.
I’m a huge podcast fan, but I don’t always listen with the kids. There are some great podcasts that kids can listen to, however. Some are specifically geared toward kids and some have family-friendly educational content that the whole family can enjoy. You can find a list of stories, science, and history podcasts for kids here.
Have a DEAR day.
Some of my kids love to read on their own for pleasure. Others need to be encouraged. When you’re not feeling well, encourage independent reading by having a Drop Everything and Read Day (DEAR). Kids can read library books or books from your home library. If you feel like it, have a read aloud time. Older kids can also read aloud to younger kids or take turns reading aloud with each other. Reading is never wasted time – even if kids are reading what some call “twaddle” and not great living books. Reading can build vocabulary and comprehension as well as help kids to develop focus.
Assign older siblings to work with younger siblings.
If you have a mix of older and younger kids, have the older kids work with the younger for the day. Older kids can teach actual lessons, help younger siblings with workbook pages, read books aloud, or do a craft project with the littler ones. This working together is actually beneficial for the older and younger siblings. The older kids get the opportunity to practice some organizational and leadership skills, and the younger kids can keep right on learning even if you aren’t feeling up to working with them.
Encourage kids to have a games and puzzles day.
Games and puzzles provide lots of opportunity for kids to learn. Board games teach critical thinking and often math skills. Puzzles help kids look for patterns and also encourage higher level thinking. If you have kids who are old enough to play by themselves, encourage board games and puzzles for the day. You won’t have to be directly teaching, although you may need to feel well enough to help kids work out instructions or disagreements about game play.
It’s not always easy to homeschool when you aren’t feeling well. And sometimes you just need to take a break and know that homeschooling gives you the flexibility and freedom to do that when you need to. But sometimes you can pull out one of these ideas and keep learning going on a sick day.
How do you cope when you don’t feel like homeschooling?