Recently, our family has been plagued with strep throat. We can’t seem to shake it. We’ve enlisted antibiotics, shots, essential oil treatments, deep cleanings. I even called my vet to see if our dog might be a virus carrier. Last week, I stayed in bed for three solid days.
One of the disadvantages of homeschooling is that when mom gets sick, there is still a household to run with people in that household surrounding her, needing food and attention.
How Do You Handle Homeschool When Mom is Sick?
1. Modify School Work: The three days of my illness, we had school on my bed. My boys did some math practice, phonics work, reading lessons, and we reviewed our memory verses. I read books when my throat wasn’t burning. My three-year-old brought all of her toys to keep me company, too.
2. Television is not the Enemy: I’ve learned to add documentaries to my Netflix Queue while I’m browsing, and this came in handy during my illness. My kids watched more television than usual, but they watched some educational shows during this time along with a few of their favorite cartoons, too. Their brains didn’t turn to mush like I always warn them. I reminded myself to chill.
3. Routines Pay Off: Because we have a general rhythm to our day, my kids were able to keep a sense of normalcy around the house. They willingly grabbed a stack of school work at 9:00. They complied with their rest time at 2:00 because that’s what we do. I was able to get more rest, and my kids had a break from each other.
4. Practice Independence: My kids enjoyed making their own lunches and breakfasts. They also loved serving me: bringing water or a snack to me if I needed it. They generally entertained themselves with only occasional intervention from me.
5. Play is Learning Too: My kids played with Legos, blocks, cars, dress up costumes. I let them make a fortress. They knew I couldn’t help them and didn’t bother me about it. I reminded myself that long stretches of free play were just as much a part of learning as book work (one of the main reasons we homeschool in the first place).
6. Enlist Help: One of my homeschooling mom friends offered to come and get my kids for the afternoon if needed. Plus, my husband took off a half day of work to help. He also sent me to bed as soon as he arrived home on the other days, taking the second shift so I could get more rest.
Through these few days of sickness, I learned a few practical things about myself. I need more audio books at my disposal. My throat gave out on me, so I missed spending time reading with my kids. I also learned that my children are growing up, and they are more than capable to make their own lunches and breakfasts (and help little sister make hers, too). I’ve been working on this with them, but they are ready for more challenges.
Most importantly, I felt a deep sense of gratefulness for my everyday life. I live a simple life, but it is a full life. Being absent from it for a few days helped me realize just how much I love spending engaged and intentional time with my children every day.