My box of goodies for when I'm sick

As I write this article, I am sneezing and blowing my nose every two minutes. Being sick is the worse. It's especially trying when it happens during a period that you have a lot to do.


By the way, being "sick" doesn't have to be physical. You could just be "sick and tired" and need a mental break. That's OK, too. ;-)

However, as the famous saying goes, "The show must go on." You just don't have to have the lead role all the time.

When a home educator is sick, they may not be able to offer the same level of instruction as usual. In this situation, it may be helpful to have some ideas for simple, high-quality instruction that can still provide children with the education they need. These activities could include: reading aloud, completing worksheets, reviewing lessons, and playing educational games.

Here are a few things myself and some of my tribe of fellow home educators use when we're feeling down and out.


  1. Stack and store some print-and-use freebies. There are plenty of places you can get them. For example, the Homeschool Blessing Bundle provides tons of high-quality downloads to those participating. It is a well-established one that is annually looked forward to, but it isn't the only method. Websites like Teachers Pay Teachers also have great freebies. Just narrow down your search to "free" for the course. You don't need something huge, just something that can give you a break for a day or so while you recover.

  2. Go back and review a previously learned topic. Come on, be honest--you didn't use every resource in that unit study you finished a few weeks ago. Well-written plans will often have "additional" or "extension" ideas. Go back to previously mastered material and let your student deepen their knowledge. Go back to things from last year and let them a review. It's better than OK, it is educationally beneficial. Plus, if it is something they are already familiar with, they'll need less hands-on help than working on a topic they are still grappling with.

  3. Grab a seat in an online class or two. You can find a high-quality short-term class your student can take with little to no notice. Check out Outschool ($20 for new sign-ups with my link) or Varsity Tutors (3 free hours for new sign-ups with my link).

  4. Let them play a classic board or card game. Do you know how much learning can take place when a kid plays a game like Old Maid, BattleShip, Clue, or something new and quirky like Taco vs. Burrito (an adorable game created by a 7-year-old). What was your favorite classic game? Kid playing solo? Try an online site like CoolMath or MindGames for some intellectually stimulating options. Or go offline with a Sudoku, Word Search, Wordle, or Nerdle.

What techniques have you used when you need a physical or mental break?

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