4 Things You Can Do When You Just Don't Feel Like Homeschooling

Everybody knows that moms don’t get sick days. This is doubly true for homeschool moms. Not only do we have get to wipe noses, change diapers, cook meals, and keep the house in some kind of order when we’re sick, we also have get to be the teacher for one or more children while we’re feeling crummy.

When a homeschool mom is sick

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I’ll be honest, there are days I just don’t feel like doing school. I have fibromyalgia, and life with a chronic illness means that I never know when I’m going to get up just feeling bad. Even if you don’t have a chronic illness, moms can catch colds or the flu or a virus just like anyone else.

Homeschool moms can also get pregnant (and often seem to do so at a greater rate than other moms). By the time I was pregnant with Rachel- my youngest- I was homeschooling the older kids. It was pretty hard to get motivated to homeschool on mornings when I woke up feeling awful.

And when homeschool moms wake up feeling yuck, we can’t call a sub. Or call for the magic yellow bus to stop by and take the kids to school for the day. (Believe me, I’ve contemplated trying both some days.) So, what’s a homeschool mom to do when she just feels too bad to “do school” for the day? Here are some ideas that will keep the kids doing something educational with a little less physical involvement from mom.

Ideas for a sick homeschooling mom

Have a D.E.A.R. day.

I love to read, ya’ll. I’ve tried to pass this on to my kids with varied results. But everybody loves reading when they can change up a normal, ordinary school day and make it a Drop Everything and Read day.

Have everyone pick out a favorite book or several and read, read, read. If you feel up to it, cuddle on the couch and read aloud. If you have older kids, let them take turns reading out loud. Reading good books is an activity that is never wasted.

Point the kids to some fun, educational, online games.

Although sitting in front of a screen all day every day isn’t a great idea for kids- or us for that matter- there are some pretty fun, free, educational games available online. A day when mom is feeling yucky might be the perfect time to change things up and let the kids play for a while.

Here are some sites you can try:

  • Math Playground has math games of all types for a variety of skill levels.
  • Math Is Fun has some great free printables for math, but there are also many games and puzzles that kids can play as well.
  • Starfall is a site for early learners. There are letter and reading activities as well as some basic math. You can join and get more games, but many of the games can be played for free.
  • Sheppard Software has a huge variety of games for ages and subjects. There are some great geography activities, but there are also math, language arts, and science.
  • PBS Kids has some great activities for younger kids. There is even a parent app that you can use to see what your kids are doing on the site.

Turn on a show.

Watching YouTube or streaming shows is another activity that might not be the best thing for kids to do on a regular basis. But mom’s sick days might be a good time to look for some educational videos to watch.
Netflix and Amazon are our two streaming video resources. We don’t pay for television, so- other than an occasional local network channel that we can get if the weather is right for the antenna to work- we watch Netflix and Amazon. You can get streaming video for free as part of your Amazon Prime membership. There are many free documentaries, nature television programs, kids educational programs on both Netflix and Amazon.
YouTube also has some educational channels with some really good learning videos. Homegrown Hearts Academy has a great post for using Netflix and a post about using YouTube in your homeschool.

Take a break.

Okay. I’m not condoning choosing not to do school work any day that you just don’t feel like it. If that were the case around here, we would probably be homeschooling in name only. In reality we would never get anything faintly resembling school work accomplished. But…there are days when you just need to take a break.
It’s okay to take a periodic break when mom is sick. If you feel like you need permission for that break, here it is. I’m granting it. 
The fact is, my friend, that homeschooling is a lifestyle. It’s not something that we only do for a designated time during the day, five days a week. In real life, people get sick. Work goes undone. Things get off schedule. Real life homeschooling means that we take that in stride, take a break, get well and then go on with our regularly scheduled homeschooling.

Moms might not get sick days, but there are some things that homeschooling moms can do when they just don’t feel like carrying out the normal homeschooling plans for the day.

What happens in your homeschool when you’re sick?

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