Homeschooling Through The Flu: Three Things We Do To Cope
Before I forget, be sure to enter my giveaway of a Heritage History CD!
My daughter has been sick with the flu all week. An illness in one of my children does throw a wrench in my homeschool plan, especially since we combine as many subjects as possible. It doesn’t mean I give up on everything, though! We do a whole lot of adjusting and end up learning quite a bit along the way. Here are my three steps for keeping on learning when someone isn’t feeling 100%, and what we were able to accomplish this week.
#1 Set up a comfortable spot
In our house when someone is ill I institute “The Sick Couch.” What is the sick couch, you ask? Well, I cover the couch with blankets and pillows and the sick child is entitled to lounging on it all day and eating their meals on a tray. It has several benefits–it gives them some special perks to enjoy and encourages them to rest, not to mention it does keep at least some of the germs in one area.
For subjects we do together little brother and I met with the feverish big sister near (but not too close!) the sick couch and found we were still able to learn quite a bit. I recommend having supplies in an easy-to-move caddy (ours are from Target’s dollar section) and making sure everyone has a clipboard. These don’t come in handy just when someone is sick–they’re also great for school by the Christmas tree or out in the fresh air or while camping.
#2 Work in spurts
Be flexible and time your studies appropriately. If she was feeling particularly down or in need of more medicine I would just let her rest. Whenever she felt up to it we’d do something that required a little focus, stopping whenever necessary. So instead of working to finish our schoolwork in the early hours of the day we worked in spurts all throughout the day and it really added up.
#3 Be flexible in subject matter and delivery style
This isn’t the time to practice grammar or long division, but there are many subjects and ways to learn that do make sense. Even when one of the kids isn’t feeling well they can listen to a story read aloud. We use good literature as the starting point for all our studies, so we can touch on main subjects easily.
It is a great time to fit in the “extras” you might not have time for in a typical week of reading, writing, arithmetic, and extracurricular activities. Take the time for all the reading aloud you would like to do on more hectic weeks. Fellow fans of Charlotte Mason can spend extra time on artist and composer studies. And the educational games you just don’t feel like tackling after a full school day fit nicely.
Here’s the rundown of what we accomplished during a fever-filled week:
- We enjoyed our current much-loved audio book from the Little House series (Little Town on the Prairie).
- We read American Kids in History: Pioneer Days and learned how to tie a square knot
- We finished up our study of invertebrates. A Christmas gift of the Smithsonian Natural History book (thanks Aunt Alice!) gave us hours of eye candy reviewing all the invertebrate groups we’d studied so far. We spent the extra time to watch YouTube videos of the amazing things an octopus can do. This one really blew our minds and we had to watch it several times and share with Dad:
- We use (and love!) Harmony Fine Arts. Using the ebook on my tablet we could click through and do picture study right from the couch. We also read about our composer of the month in Lives of the Musicians and listened to his music during rest periods.
- Believe it or not we also did nature study from the couch! Our focus area is birds so we read from the Burgess Bird Book and our Birds of Maine Field Guide, watched videos and listened to song clips from All About Birds, and completed a coloring page from Cornell (using it like a notebook page to record what we’d learned) all from a warm and cozy spot by the fire.
- We broke out some of the new games the kids had received for Christmas. (You’ve Been Sentenced and Catan Junior were the favorites.)
- From her “sick couch” my daughter also worked on illustrating her recent Write Shop story and wrote a letter to a friend.
Not only was I happy to be moving forward in our studies, especially since we’d only had two solid days back after a long Christmas break, but I think it kept cabin fever at bay for all of us. Engaging our minds and having something to focus on was actually a blessing throughout a long week inside our own four walls. Now if little brother or I succumb to the flu I may have more opportunities to perfect my “homeschooling while sick” technique!
Thank you to the wonderful hostesses with fun link-ups on Fridays. Be sure to join the fun and see what other homeschoolers are up to!