Unfortunately, illnesses are a fact of life, which means that anyone who homeschools will eventually find themselves having to try to face the difficult task of trying to continue to do so while you’re unwell. With the winter months – and the uptick of bugs and illnesses that tend to emerge as a result – on the horizon, it seemed pertinent to provide a few tips that can help you navigate this challenging situation…
Reduce your planned schedule as far as possible
As soon as you become aware you’re feeling under the weather, it’s time to consult your schedule and see what you can eliminate. It’s best to cut back as much as you can and focus on the core basics; and remember, you’re not fully canceling these plans, just postponing them until you feel a little more like yourself.
Utilize available materials
There are so many helpful materials available to parents who homeschool, ranging from worksheets to YouTube channels dedicated to educational topics. These materials can be extremely helpful when you’re feeling unwell; your kids will still be able to learn, but there are less activity and involvement required on your behalf. It can be helpful to create an up-to-date list of possibilities that you keep to hand so that if you do become unwell, you don’t even need to search for options – you can just consult your list and know exactly where to turn.
Encourage independent work
Independent work is beneficial in and of itself, making it a great choice if you’re unwell and not able to participate as much as you would usually. There’s no need to do anything complex with the idea; just give your kids an idea or instruction – such as “draw a horse” or “write about an event that made you feel really excited” – and let them work by themselves until it is complete. While this idea does tend to work best with older children, it can also be effective for younger ones too if you look to set lots of smaller tasks rather than one long one.
Focus on recovery
Finally, perhaps the most important tip in this list is to focus on your own recovery. It’s natural that you will want to continue to homeschool as much as possible, but giving your body time to rest and recuperate is genuinely important. Try to keep other areas of life, away from homeschooling, simple during this period; turn to others for support if possible; you could ask a family member or find trusted nannies who can watch your kids while you take a nap, and if chores need to wait an extra day, then that’s fine. Ultimately, giving yourself the opportunity to rest and drink plenty of fluids is actually the most time-efficient thing you can do, as you’re all the more likely to feel better sooner.
Realistically, homeschooling, while you are unwell, is all about doing what you can at the moment, and hoping for a swift improvement so you can get back to normal – and hopefully, the tips above will help you to achieve both of these goals.