Homeschooling Your Child When You Get Sick

Homeschoolers don’t need to throw in the towel when feeling under the weather. In this article, one homeschool mom shares her ideas to keep lessons going while taking care of yourself.

Every homeschooling parent knows how hard it is to manage a household in addition to homeschooling. If we add on a parent who isn’t feeling well, the idea of homeschooling suddenly seems like a terrible one. What do you do if you wake up feeling sick and all you want to do is hide under a blanket for the rest of the day?

Take time off.

You work extra hard all year. If you’re sick, take the day off. Do it without guilt because your “schooling” happens every minute of every day. Homeschooling happens on weekends and weeknights and all those moments in between. Take the time you need to heal without feeling guilty. Your child will benefit from the time off too and return to “school” refreshed.

Engage help.

If you have the luxury of calling a grandparent or a friend to help you – do it.

Most people are happy to be called because they never know how best to help you. Just like teachers keep a substitution list for emergencies, put together your own emergency list of go-to people. Ask them in advance if they can be on standby. Explain what you expect from them on such days. Some people like to bring in their own ideas like taking your child out to a museum or their home for the day. Be sure you have all the details organized in advance so that this outing can take place on a whim!

help from grandma

It may not always be easy to get someone to replace you or to take your child for the day, or even for a few hours. What do you do when you’re the only option your child has? You can still survive the day. See the next point.

Always have an educational bag-of-tricks ready.

Since you can’t be as readily available if you’re lying on the couch, have some go-to activities that are not usually part of your day. The novelty will keep your child engaged for a longer period.

Here are some suggestions. Each of these activities can be done with your child within arm’s reach.

Audio stories. There are many apps available that are either free or very affordable offering audio children’s stories for all levels.

Technology. If you don’t often include TV or tablets in your schooling, bring these tools out while you recover! You don’t have to feel bad about this as there are many educational TV shows, apps, and videos found on TV or online. Bookmark or keep a list of shows/apps/videos your child is permitted to use on your sick days.

Books. Keep a basket of never-seen-never-read before books at your child’s interest level. These fictional mystery books teach kids to solve problems involving math and science.

Educational board games. Board games require another person present, so it’s great to keep some on hand if someone else is looking after your child or if your child has older siblings to help set-up and monitor the game. This is a great reading game that is active for kids.

Parental rest is important. You might feel like you need to run your day as you always do even if you’re sick. But, you will not be at your best, and your child will feel it. Remember that even school teachers take the day off and school is very different with a substitute teacher. If you start to feel guilty about taking the time to recuperate, keep in mind that your child will appreciate a change of pace just as much as you need one.

Drink lots of tea and pick up where you left off when you’re better!


About the All-Star Blogger

GabriellaGabriella Volpe is a homeschooling mom of a child with special needs, a certified teacher and the homeschool consultant for families of children with special needs. She knows first-hand what it means to struggle with educational planning for a child who does not fit the system and is limited by resources and products intended for children without disabilities. She helps parents find ways to adapt and modify the curriculum so they don’t have to spend hours figuring it out on their own. She also helps after-schooling families of children with special needs navigate their way around the homework hours. You can find her at