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?


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