So what do we do when the kids are sick – I mean we are already at home so does it make a difference? Yes, it does. We do have sick days. Just because we are educating at home does not mean we have to keep “learning” if everyone is sick and miserable – really who wants to concentrate when they are burning up with a fever or trying not to vomit. Sorry Sick Days exist. And no, I don’t worry that we are not doing enough – sick days are sick days, they are days off, not days to try and explain some complex new concept. Give yourself a break and have your sick days, when everyone is feeling better that topic/ concept will much easier to work through/ understand.
And that applies to me too (the stay-at-home parent who does the day-to-day home educating). Have you ever tried to explain a new Maths concept when you are full of flu? I did once and it did not go well because if I feel miserable I tend to have no patience and I am not the best at explaining, helping or guiding the kids with a new concept.
What we do on those sick days depends on what is wrong and who is sick.
My son is really happy curled up under a duvet watching TV for most of the day but his sister finds TV overwhelming and only manages 1.5 hours a day. So with her we have found books tend to work best but if she has a headache or feels like vomiting then actually audio books are my answer. She went through a stage last year where she struggled with headaches and we found the best thing for her was lying in a dark room just listening to a story. She loves the audio stories and it is actually very relaxing to just lie there and listen. With my sons recent bout of flu she convinced him to try an audio story and it actually worked like a charm – he ended up falling asleep while he listened – he had been resisting going for a nap even though he really needed it.
If they are Not too sick then they both tend to do what they consider “easy activities”, for my son that is often drawing or some sort of building (in the photo he is building with something called Polydron) and for my daughter that is often writing in one of her books.
But whether it is documentaries, reading, audio books or a light activity we definitely leave new topics/ new concepts alone until everyone is feeling better.