Homeschooling through Sickness

It’s January – the season of colds and flu. Throughout the year, parents and children contract an illness or a condition and some are more serious than others. Do you homeschool through sickness? The short answer is, it depends.

Cup of tea and muffins

A cup of tea and muffins can restore a bit of energy.

Last year was a bad year for our health. One of our children coughed for six months straight and she needed inhalers to get better. She also fractured her elbow. Personally, I developed adrenal fatigue (or insufficiency) and discovered I cannot tolerate gluten in my diet.

All in all, 2017 was a bad, bad year for health. And yet, we were able to get our school done. We took it slowly with some things like history and science. Even when they were sick, my kids loved reading, so they kept reading and reading to pass the time.

On days when I got a bit more energy, I made them do their math and we also covered Bible. I was never so ill that I could not drive them to their classes outside the home.

Learning never really stops. Even when the kids are running a fever and lie in bed completely weakened by an invisible bacteria, the fact that a parent takes their temperature and administers medication and fluids is a lesson in itself. When they become parents, they will have these memories to fall back on to treat their own children.

One thing I have found useful, although we do not want to abuse it, is educational videos. We have some DVDs from 3ABN called Kids Time. They contain Bible stories for children, as well as healthy recipes kids can make, music, and even science experiments. When I have been too sick to do a devotional with my kids, I let them pop in a Kids Time DVD and they get their daily dose of Bible.

Another thing you could do is let them watch Discovery channel or a similar program. Watching big structures being built or a show like Myth Busters can really help their science vocabulary. One drawback are the commercials. Some commercials are racy. Others advertise beer. Here’s your chance as a parent to point out to your impressionable children that we need to discern what is being advertised and why and how.

When I was at my lowest point with adrenal fatigue, I could barely get Bible, math, and English done. They practiced piano and violin on their own. For the rest, I just crawled around the house taking care of the most basic household chores and that was it.

Sometimes I got discouraged and felt it would never end and we would never catch up with the rest of our work. But as we persevered and I got better, we were able to forge ahead and get back on track. Grit, my friends, wins every time.

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