Tips For Homeschooling When Mom is Under the Weather
Why would I want to do school when I’m not feeling well? Shouldn’t I just take the day off and rest? There’s no way I could stay focused. We’ll just make up the work later.
I’m sure these statements are not new to you, my friend. I know there are days when I don’t want to do anything. But I also know my kids need me.
Four Reasons to School While Mom is Sick
- To keep routine
I have been homeschooling for 13 years and worked in a preschool for 11 years before that. I know kids love routine! They like knowing what to do next, what’s expected of them. If we take too many days off our kids start to see that as a new routine or they will feel lost because they don’t know what’s going on. Are we doing school today? Are we doing school tomorrow? Is my assignment still today?
- Don’t fall behind in school work
I probably don’t need to explain this one. You don’t do the work, you have to do it later. It’s tough enough sometimes to just do the work planned for one day let alone adding another day’s work or two.
- State requirements
Some states require homeschooling to be done a certain number of days per year and hours per day. Doing at least some school on those days you’re under the weather can help meet those requirements.
- Keep kids active and involved
Depending on your individual children, leaving them to find something to occupy their time may not be the best option. Having a plan in place, activities to do, etc… can help give your students some direction while you’re down and out.
As I just mentioned, have a plan already in place. Take some time before your school year begins and have worksheets/ coloring pages printed, books/DVDs on hand, games on the shelf, websites bookmarked. It also helps to have these things accessible, ready to use when needed. You definitely do not want to have to search for something when all you want to do is lie down.
Things To Do
- Reading aloud or listen to audio books. These can be from any subject. Fiction, non-fiction, history, science, or whatever interests your students. Check if your local library has an app. You can choose from hundreds of titles for ebooks and audiobooks without leaving your couch!
- Review spelling words
- Practice penmanship- Write stories (then have your student read them to you), copy Bible verses, the Gettysburg Address, the Preamble to the Constitution, the beginning to the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, science terms, spelling words, poems, etc…
- Play games- Being under the weather is a great time to play games with your kids. Board games, print off word searches, crossword puzzles, word scrambles, puzzles, etc… The internet has countless options for free printables.
- Flashcards- Over the years I have picked up flashcards for space, presidents, states, bugs, flowers, birds, space, letters, numbers, shapes, colors, math facts, and more. Check your local dollar store, especially when school supply shopping is in full force. Learning Wrap-ups has some great resources.
Here are a few game ideas for using flashcards-
- Time your student and have them beat their time (especially math facts)
- If you have students around the same grade level have them race in answering the flashcards
- Students can quiz each other
- Have students put flashcards in alphabetical order, planet order, the order of when the states became states, etc.. depending on the flashcards.
- DVDs- Educational DVDs are another perfect way to keep your students engaged and learning. Choose subjects that interest your students or subjects that you may feel you aren’t very knowledgeable about. Our family enjoys the BBC Planet Earth DVD Collection.
I know we are careful with how much screen time our children have and especially with what they are spending their time doing and watching. There are plenty of good sites and apps out there for learning online. If you need to stay in bed or on the couch these can be useful tools and a great way to keep an eye on them. These are some of my favorites:
- Learning Games For Kids
- Vocabulary Games
- Quick Math – Mental Arithmetic on the App Store – iTunes – Apple
- QuickMath – Apps on Google Play
- Stack the States® on the App Store – iTunes – Apple
- Stack the States® – Apps on Google Play
- Khan Academy Kids | Khan Academy
Remember that when you’re sick it’s okay to take some time to rest and recuperate. But it doesn’t mean learning has to come to a complete stop. The ideas I’ve listed are not exhaustive, by any means, but should be a good starting place for you and your homeschooling.
Amanda Sims – Volunteer Contributor
Amanda Sims has been homeschooling since 2005. She and her husband, DJ, married in 1999 and are parents to seven girls and two boys. Amanda and her family moved to Texas from Colorado, where she was born and raised. She is actively involved in her church, enjoys reading, and loves to travel. Over her many years of homeschooling, she has learned the importance of schooling to the individual learning style of each of her children, schooling year-round, and teaching multiple ages.