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How to Homeschool When Mom is Sick

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Homeschooling is hard enough, but when mom is sick it can be even more of a challenge.

Here’s how to homeschool when mom is sick.

Homeschooling When Mom is Sick - Tips for Keeping the Kids Busy

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When the Homeschool Mom is Sick

After more than a decade of homeschooling, I often take things for granted. How to scope out homeschool curriculum, how to manage working from home and homeschooling, and how to homeschool when mom is sick.

As the main homeschooling parent, I can assure you that none of that is easy and none of it comes naturally.

Homeschooling creates lessons that we, as parents, learn every step of the way.

When you’re not feeling good though, homeschooling can seem overwhelming.

Well, more overwhelming than it already is!

Here’s how I manage when I’m sick but the kids still need attention.

How to Homeschool When Mom is Sick

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Mom is Sick? Here’s How to Homeschool!

It’s hard to feel like a good mom when sick, but rest assured that you are!

Here are some ways to make things feel less overwhelming!

Break Out the Books

On those days when I wasn’t feeling well and the thought of trying to teach a language arts lesson was just too much, we would break out the books instead.

And by books, I mean picture books, chapter books, and every kind of book in between.

Those coffee table books with beautiful pictures?

They were perfect for days when I was sick.

Instead of having a structured day of lessons, we would read and look at pictures.

We’d talk about stories and the kids would practice reading to one another.

This was a great way to work on reading fluency and a chance for me to see where they needed practice – all while curled up on the sofa in a blanket with some hot tea.

Books Vs. Movies

There’s that age-old debate about which is better – the book or the movie made from the book.

Today, this day when you’re not feeling great, is the day to test that theory!

Choose a movie based on a book that you have read together and spend some time watching it.

For littles, it might be Charlotte’s Web.

For older children, it might be Harry Potter or The Hunger Games for your teens.

Not only will your kids enjoy the less structured time, but they’ll also enjoy the time snuggling and watching a movie.

Homeschooling When Mom is Sick


Imagine a day spent building with blocks and LEGO bricks!

My boys used to love building with LEGOs when they were younger and when I was sick, it was the perfect time to let them spend an afternoon building.

You could give them directed builds or let them build a kit, or give them free rein over what they build.

Sometimes it’s the least planned things that are the most fun and the most educational.


If your children enjoy working out of workbooks like mine did, homeschooling when mom was sick was not too big of an issue.

If you’re feeling under the weather, break out the workbooks and assign some practice pages.

From math workbooks to language arts lessons, there are workbooks for everything.

Our favorite and the ones that we used for many, many years were the Spectrum Workbooks based on each child’s grade.

They are fabulous!

Consider stocking up on a few to use on those days when you’re sick if you don’t normally use workbooks.

Create a Sub Folder

When I was teaching in the classroom, if I was sick, I had a substitute teacher covering my class.

That meant that a well-planned sub folder was a necessity.

Well, I carried that practice over to our homeschooling years and created a homeschool sub folder.

At the beginning of the year, I would create a folder filled with printable activities, a list of websites that I felt comfortable with the kids visiting to practice math and reading skills, science videos that they could watch, and a list of sick day activities that they could choose from when I wasn’t feeling well.

On those homeschool days when I needed to take care of myself first, that sub folder would come out and they would have activities to do where they’d learn, but that I didn’t have to be directly teaching.

Homeschooling When Mom is Sick

Let Another Adult Take Over

One thing about us homeschool moms is that we’re resilient.

And stubborn. When we’re sick, we try to push through even when laying on the couch seems like a much more appealing option.

However, we’re not helping anyone when we’re not taking care of ourselves.

The solution?

If the homeschool mom is sick, have another adult take over the lessons.

Or take over running the other activities.

If that means that dad takes a day off from work to run the homeschool lessons and care for mom, that’s what it means.

If grandma can come over and play games and watch shows with the kids while mom takes a quiet nap in bed, that’s what it means.

Ask for help.

Accept the help.

And take care of yourself.

Not only because you deserve it, but because your kids are watching.

Do you want to set the example that they should overextend themselves when they’re sick to try and take care of others?


You want to set the example that if they’re sick, they know they should rest and take care of themselves so they can heal.

Be the example you want to set.

Tips for Homeschooling When Mom is Sick

Homeschooling When Mom is Sick

Don’t be afraid to have a less structured day.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Don’t be afraid that you’re ruining your children’s education by not having an intensive hands-on building of Jamestown when you’re running a fever and coughing up a storm.

Your kids are going to be just fine.

Even if they spend the entire day watching cartoons or movies or building with LEGOs or eating goldfish crackers and cheese sticks.

I promise.

You’re sick.

You need to take care of YOU first.

Because the longer you delay taking the time you need to get better, the longer it’s going to be until you can give your family the 110% you want to give them.

Stay well, friend.

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