Friday, October 11, 2013

When YOU are too Sick to Teach

It's that time of year again. Allergies, colds, and flus, oh my! This past week, we've all taken turns fighting off a lovely cold and stomach bug. Just as the kids were getting better, of course, I came down with it. Due to their illness last week, we're already a couple of days behind in our Sonlight curriculum, but now that I'm sick? We're going to end up a whole week behind! Time to panic.

Or not.

We all know that one of the perks of homeschooling is that we get to work at our own pace. The other is that we can take advantage of other learning opportunities! So what if we're sick? So what if they're sick? We may not be able to sit at the table and pour over projects and books, but that's okay.

What can we do if WE are not able to teach?

* Netflix/DVDs--While I'm definitely not an advocate of letting the TV babysit your kids on a daily basis, every once in awhile it isn't going to hurt them. And with DVDs and programs like Netflix, you have control over what they watch. There are plenty of educational cartoons, documentaries, etc. And I'll bet we can find a show that relates to something we're studying.

*Books--Whether they snuggle with you or find their own little corner, books open other worlds. Fiction, non-fiction, picture books--they all have potential for learning. Keep a fresh stash from the library, add to your own library regularly, maybe even keep a few "new" ones back for special occasions like this.

*Games--Board games, card games, video games, etc. Each has their own educational benefits (or CAN have their own benefits). Some require adult supervision, some don't. Some can be played with other siblings, some are solitary. We can invest in games and have our own arsenal to dive into when need be.

*Let them be the teacher--If you're well enough to sit up on the couch (or lay on the couch even), let them tell you about what they've been learning. They say mastery comes when they can teach someone else. Let them explain their math problems, talk about their science experiments, etc. You may not be moving forward, but it does reinforce previous teaching. 

*Call on family--The other day, I literally could not get out of bed, couldn't stay awake, but my husband had to go to work. We are blessed to (finally) be near family, so hubby called up my mother-in-law and asked her to take the kids. Now, I know they didn't really do anything "educational" that day, but I know that the kids got out and had a good time with their grandmother. I also know that in the past they have done educational things like visiting parks, baking/cooking together, etc. 

*Learn through play--With any child, but especially with young children, they learn as much through play as they do from regulated school work. So don't be afraid to turn them loose outside or in their playroom/bedroom to just enjoy a day off. 

So, don't panic if illness steals a few days. Remember that half the joy of the home school journey is to train well-rounded children. Curriculum isn't the end all, be all of training and learning. Diversity definitely has its place.

What do you do when you're too sick to teach?

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