We are so blessed. Sprite and I have incredibly good health and are very, very rarely sick. But a few weeks ago Sprite got sick — over 100 degrees fever and taking naps in the daytime sick. Not wanting to eat or get out of bed sick. (She’s fine now, thank you very much.)
During that time I started thinking about another huge benefit of homeschooling — sick days. With regular school, Sprite would’ve been seriously behind after missing four or five days due to illness. But homeschooling allowed us to be flexible, move our schedule back and even keep on learning during the recovery period.
Obviously when she was miserable, we didn’t do school. But on those days when she felt crummy but was bored to lie in bed, we could get quite a bit of school done.
Here are the adaptations we made:
- We moved to her bed for school. That way she could lie down and feel relaxed.
- We took frequent breaks from academics. This made the school day extend far into the evening. But it kept her from being bored too.
- We did lots of reading, finishing three to four weeks of our scheduled read-alouds.
- I modified some assignments to be completed orally instead of Sprite’s having to write down the answers. Talking was less strenuous than writing.
- But when her throat hurt too badly to talk at all, I just read to her. No narrations required. She simply listened.
- She spent more time on the wireless laptop, visiting some civil war sites I bookmarked for her.
- She listened to Your Story Hour CDs.
I had some second thoughts about what I was doing. I mean, if she went to public schools, she’d be home all day with no expectation to do any school work. Was I being mean? But then I realized that I was actually helping her to pass the long, boring days and distracting her from her discomfort.
I wasn’t a slave driver. We didn’t accomplish all I had originally planned for that week before her sickness cropped up. There were plenty of undone tasks on the checklist. But we also used our time and Sprite’s energy wisely.
So how about you? What do you do when your children are sick? How do you adapt homeschool?