How to Homeschool Through a Work From Home Sick Day

If you’ve chosen to homeschool and work from home, then chances are there may be days of sickness. You could catch the flu, a head cold, or even find yourself dealing with morning sickness. How do you handle a work from home sick day when your children depend on you for homeschooling support? Simple. You create a plan.

Use these practical tips to occupy your children, keep them learning, and give yourself space to de-stress while homeschooling and working from home.

Plan for the Work From Home Sick Day

Before diving into my suggestions, I’d like to point out something that took me a long time to learn. And that is simply that children learn constantly.

That’s right. Even if you don’t watch over their math problem attempts or dictate their copywork assignment. And whether you use a full boxed curriculum, workbooks, or interactive notebooks, their learning experiences go far beyond those resources. 

Homeschooling also provides a unique perk to learning while giving parents just like you (and me) the ability to work from home. Yes, there are things to navigate, such as what to do when you’re trying to homeschool through a work from home sick day. But that’s where these practical tips come in.

By planning ahead for days of illness – or even morning sickness, you’ll feel prepared even if you feel like puking or just lying on the couch with a cup of tea.

Create a basic backup homeschool schedule

This isn’t your primary working homeschool moms schedule, but a backup homeschool routine that you can fall back on in the event you still have work to do but want to ensure your child is still doing something educational. Think of it as a “Plan B” for a work from home sick day.

This could look like doing a quick unit study, combining several subjects together, and/or diverting to books and videos to help alleviate the need to “teach”.

A backup routine may also mean switching up your resources to include less impact ones such as:

  • Games
  • Crafts
  • Working on your latest subscription box such as a Wonder Crate or Think Outside Box (use code GBxTOB to save on your first box)
  • Documentaries
  • Movies or Educational Programming such as PBS Kids
  • Outdoor time

Tip: When my kids were young, I kept a list of acceptable movie titles on my phone. I arranged them by subject, and also had categories for special occasion and holiday movies, including Valentine, Christmas, and Halloween movies for kids rated G. That made it easy to quickly find a suitable movie when I was under the weather.

Communicate with your spouse, children, and boss (if applicable)

Now, if you work for yourself, then you obviously won’t talk to “the boss.” However, remind yourself that you still need boundaries. Remember, don’t overwork yourself.

Prioritize stress relief, self-care, exercise, rest, and healthy eating habits for yourself. Consider these activities an investment not just in your own wellbeing, but in your family’s as well. In fact, not planning rest and not prioritizing self-care are common newbie WFH mistakes many moms make.

If you do have a boss, then clearly communicate to them that you may not be available for certain times due to your sickness. In some cases you may need a lighter workload or an extended deadline to complete a task.

When it comes to communicating with your spouse and children, let them know if or when you’ll need extra support. Create a system that puts all hands on deck to help take some of the pressures off homeschooling and working from home.

Set healthy expectations for your work and homeschool

Sometimes we expect too much out of ourselves and others regardless of what is happening in life. However, when there are many factors involved that can potentially hinder one another, there needs to be clear and healthy expectations set.

If you are dealing with any kind of sickness – mild to acute – there are things you shouldn’t push yourself to do. The same can be said of your children when it comes to homeschooling. In the midst of being sick, you may not want to require so much out of them that would inadvertently require more out of you.

Keep this in mind as you are working as well. Don’t expect yourself to work (or homeschool) with the same level of energy if you were not sick.

Take a small (or extended) break

Depending on the level of sickness, consider taking a small or extended break from homeschooling and working. Remember, one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling and working from home is the flexibility to make the best choices for you and your kids.

This doesn’t mean that all learning and working has to stop, but it’s saying that self-care and healing are priority. And that’s okay.

You may also want to consider outsourcing your homeschooling duties during this time with virtual courses and classes through an online homeschool program. For example, my children have really enjoyed their Outschool online classes.

And recently, they’ve been fascinated with Music In Our Homeschool, which offers a large library of music appreciation courses. These often include many links to music videos, printables, and singing games and lessons that align with their Sonlight homeschool curriculum.

If necessary, bring in some help. Remind yourself that if your children were in school and their teacher was sick, they would have a substitute teacher. That means you can have one too! When it comes to work, consider hiring additional help to get tasks completed.

Plan for a Work From Home Sick Day

So there you have it. When it comes to homeschooling and working from home through sickness, remember your priorities. Understand that while your child’s education is important, so is your health (if not, more important). Take time for the proper self-care and take the suggestions mentioned here to help you do just that.

Related: How to Work From Home and Homeschool During Coronavirus

I’d love to hear from you. How do you homeschool and work from home while feeling less than your best? Let me know in the comments below!

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