Homeschooling When The Parent Is Sick

On a normal day with homeschooling, children do their lessons and mom/dad/etc, is there to teach new concepts, answers questions and whatnot. But what happens when you take the teaching parent out of the equation due to illness? Does school still happen? 

For the most part, that depends on the family. For my family, it does, but to a lesser degree. Thankfully, my children also have their dad who stays home (though doesn’t school) and I can adjust their lessons. For those who don’t have another adult home while you’re sick, this might be a good time to call in a grandma, auntie, babysitter, whoever you know can watch the kids, at your place or theirs, and don’t fret if homework doesn’t get done.

We actually started our homeschool journey with me being sick. Back then, the entire local school district-and our home, apparently-was hit with something called Norovirus. It was literally day 1 after I had pulled my kids from public school, and while the kids were fine-I wasn’t. 

Here I was, just one day into homeschooling, 7 months pregnant with kid #5 and hit with a virus that knocked me off my feet for a couple days. I think, because my kids didn’t know homeschooling looked any differently, it worked.

I sat in a recliner in the living room, alternating between sleeping and being awake (probably more awake with the number of kids home). Instead of working at the table, page by page through their books like I had planned, I wrote out one day’s worth of assignments on index cards for each child. I asked them to attempt all the pages before coming with questions.

This method still mostly works for us, though we don’t use the index cards. (I have considered it at times though.)

I think the main things to remember when homeschooling when the teaching parent is sick are these; you’re human, you have limits; you need breaks and so do your kids; rely on (or build) your support system and remember, this too shall pass.

Have you ever homeschooled through sickness? What are your tips?


Teaching 9/11 with Homeschoolers

One of the beautiful things about homeschool is as the parents, we choose the message we pass on to our children and especially with events like 9/11, that is all the more important. It was and still is a huge event for Americans. And while we do not live in fear because of what happened on that day, in the eyes of some children, the events of the day are terrifying. (Armed terrorist hijacked planes using them to kill and injure thousands of Americans, on our soil).

A resource I found awhile back explains 9/11 to children in a short clip with paper cut outs. It does mention religion towards the end, so if that’s not how you’d want to explain it to your kids, probably stop the video after the explanation of the fourth plane or shortly thereafter where it says a lot of people were hurt on that day.

The important thing is that it allows us as parents to judge how much we feel our children are ready to know. Teenagers are ready to know more. (There is a picture floating around Facebook saying that high school freshmen this year are the first ones who will be taught 9/11 as something that happened before they were born.) Younger kids definitely need it in smaller amounts.

A friend of mine put it a good way in that, his kids know that “bad men took over planes in ordee to hurt Americans, but we’ve fought back.”

How do you teach 9/11 to your children (if you choose to)?

Encountering Homeschool Bias

For the most part, I am used to people questioning homeschool and my choice to do so when they know me and it is their first time hearing that I do so. This most recent time was a different story…

I was on my way home and decided to swing into our local Barnes and Nobel because it is on the way and because we needed some things. Granted of course I grabbed more than what I told myself on the way in I was going to grab, but then when I had my purchases in hand, I made my way to the counter, waited in line and then walked up to the cashier when it was my turn.

She rang up my items and then asked about my discount card. I have an educator discount card through their store chain and that all showed up on her computer just fine, but then she asked if I was with one of the programs up here.

In Alaska, you can join with a program and receive funds for homeschooling your kids but havs to go along with a number of restrictions and requirements, which I have never been okay with. So we’re not with a program; we’re independent.

When this cashier heard this, she proceeded to say that because I was not with a program, I needed to show my lesson plan as well. I told her I had already turned in what was needed, she seemed skeptical and asked a few more questions but eventually rang up the purchases and I left the store ticked.

At home I checked their website and it said nothing about lesson plans, so I knew the requirements hadn’t changed since I had gotten my educators card.

Have you ever any sort of bias or restrictions due to homeschooling? How did you handle it?