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Homeschooling When Mom Is Sick

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The worst has happened. Mom is sick! What to do? You’re in luck. Here are some simple tips and practical advice for homeschooling when mom is sick.

To school or not school… that is the question. (Channeling my inner Shakespeare!)

Seriously though, it depends on how sick you are and what you feel up for. If you’re really sick, it’s ok to take a sick day or a couple of days. In other words, take the day off until you feel rested and able to get back to homeschooling. Call in reinforcements in the way of Dad or Grandma if you can.

how to homeschool when Mom is sick

Written by Erin of Nourishing My Scholar.

Keep in mind that many middle schoolers and high schoolers can do their normal work independently, with additional documentaries, and extra reading thrown in.

Otherwise, you may feel up to a few simpler yet still educational ideas.

Homeschooling When Mom Is Sick

Documentaries and shows can be helpful when Mom is sick. You can choose something based on current studies and interests. Or you can choose something just for fun. Here are a few of our favorites on Amazon Prime:

  • Liberty’s Kids
  • Wild Kratts
  • Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
  • Word World
  • Little House on the Praire
  • Dino Dan
  • Wildest India
  • Wildest Indochina
  • Planet Earth
  • Blue Planet II
  • Wildest Places Australia
  • Wildest Places Pacific
  • Galapagos Realm of Giant Sharks
  • Hummingbirds narrated by David Attenborough

Curiosity Stream is another great place for quality documentaries!

Educational apps can also be very helpful when mom doesn’t feel well. If your children have tablets, then you may want to look at a few of these:

  • Brain Pop
  • Duolingo
  • Brain Pop Jr.
  • World Book – This Day in History
  • Drawing Desk
  • EPIC!
  • Monument Valley
  • Teach Your Monster to Read
  • NASA
  • Bedtime Math
  • Pet Bingo
  • Stack the States
  • DragonBox Algebra

Board games and card games offer a wealth of educational benefits! Games are fun and can provide hours of entertainment! Here are 50 of our favorite games. But if you’re looking for a few easy lighthearted games, then you may want to try:

  • Sleeping Queens
  • Wildcraft!
  • Bird Bingo
  • Rat-A-Tat-Cat
  • There’s a Moose in the House
  • Story Cubes
  • Blokus
  • Mad Libs

When you’re too ill to muddle through a read-aloud, try an audiobook. Sometimes starting a new audiobook will keep my kiddos occupied for hours! They’ll listen while putting a puzzle together, building Legos, or playing with Play-Doh and kinetic sand. Here are 70 of our favorite audiobooks. Some of our newer choices include:

  • The Vanderbeakers
  • The Penderwicks
  • Wings of Fire
  • The Green Ember
  • Nurse Matilda
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • Escape from Lemoncello’s Library
  • The Wild Robot
  • Flora and Ulysses
  • Frindle

Puzzles, Legos, tinkering kits, and even workbooks are all great things to keep around for when Mom is sick. Anything that your kiddos enjoy playing and focusing on works. Each child’s preferences will be different. So keep a few of them on hand to pull out when you don’t feel well.

More Ways to Homeschool When Mom Is Sick

Remember that sometimes homeschool sick days happen, and it’s important to give yourself (and your children) grace as you heal. There are definitely lots of ways to homeschool–even when you’re too sick to carry on as usual. This article, How to Homeschool When Mom Is Sick, shares tips and ideas for particular subjects.

But if you’re too sick to make that happen, it’s OK if your kiddos play Minecraft, board games, Legos, or watch Wild Kratts or documentaries while you heal. You’re no good to anyone if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

As a homeschooler, you have an amazing amount of flexibility. Therefore, you can play “catch up” however you like or not at all. If a sickness lasts more than a few weeks, perhaps just call that time period a seasonal break. It will all even out in the end. Plus, when kids help their sick mom, they also have the opportunity to learn empathy and compassion and other real-life skills (like doing housework)!

Are you looking for natural ways to get some relief and to encourage your body to get well?

I’m not a doctor (and you should always check with your doctor before taking new supplements, changing your diet, or making other major changes), but I can share with you some articles with information I’ve found to be helpful when I’m sick. Here are some Natural Sore Throat Remedies you might find helpful. (After all, you’ll need to be able to call out to let your family know when you need something, right?!) Or if you’re looking for a super simple suggestion, try this Cold and Sore Throat Remedy that only uses ingredients you probably already have at your house.

If you’re suffering from an infection of some kind, echinacea is a powerful natural antibiotic. Or if it’s seasonal allergies that are giving you trouble, you might get relief with these natural remedies.

Tips for Staying Healthy

If we’re being honest, though, the best thing we can do is try our best to stay healthy. Not only are healthy habits a great example for our children, but they will help us all feel better, need fewer sick days, and make all of our days more enjoyable! After all, we tend to get more done and enjoy what we’re doing so much more when we all feel healthy and well.

You might try these 10 Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. Or, if you’re up for it, try making your own healthy fermented foods!


So tell me, how do you homeschool when mom is sick?

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Erin Vincent is a homeschooling mom to two intense kids. They are child led with a heavy emphasis on read alouds, games, art, nature hikes, and hands on science! They traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet farm life where opportunities for exploration in nature abound. When they're not homeschooling you'll find Erin curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book!. You can find Erin at Nourishing My Scholar.

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  1. Thank you! This is very helpful to me!
    When I am sick (which rarely happens, but still happens, I am not a robot), but the kids are healthy, I ask them to do some repetition of what they learned earlier. But as you understand, without my supervision they have a hard time doing anything at all. I think educational apps are a good way to keep them engaged so they learn by playing. Genius and easy!
    I will explore these resources in more detail and surely find something useful to apply on a daily basis!

  2. This is great! We were just talking about this last week. Definitely going to share this with the other moms in our homeschool co-op. Thank you!

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