If you have children, it is inevitable that they are going to get some kind of sickness during the school year and that means the whole house gets in… hardly sparing mom in the wave of germ assaults, sleepless nights and constant care of her loved ones.
A few years back was the first time in many years that sickness hit us so hard that we were all out and down for more than two weeks. It was this experience that made me realize the importance of ‘planning for sick days' or months in some cases. (Since many homeschooling mommas continue to have babies until they are in their 40's… you may also want to use these tips for maternity ‘leave') For a mom, like me, who takes great joy and pains to carefully plan and execute these plans to the fullest degree, sick interruptions (or any interruptions for that matter) can really leave you in a state of dismay, feeling as though the whole year is ruined because it didn't go as ‘planned'. Planning for such interruptions can really make you feel accomplished, regardless the kind of interruptions.
As I mentioned, it was an experience a few years ago that brought my ‘used sale finds' into a kind of ‘Einstein' moment, you know the genius idea that becomes the epiphany of all epiphanies! A few months prior to this huge sick wave that crushed any normality in our routine, I attended a local used curriculum sale and found a great many visual finds. Imagine my delight, when I found a complete set of Creation Mini-Series 6 DVD Pack, as well as The Century of Warfare. I thought I had hit the jackpot, but didn't realize just how important these finds were for my school year. These were so crucial, that we were able to watch all of the two series and still other items during our entire bout of sickness. These became the teacher to all of us, as we all found a spot in the living room and curdled up for the long weeks… learning amazing things about creation and our history in wars.
From that time on, when I'm planning my homeschooling year, I look for items that can be the teacher for me, no lesson plans needed and no additional assignments, other than discussing what we learned from our ‘substitute teacher'. By don't just look for visual resources, but sure to also add audios to the list, as there will be times when you just need to close your eyes and heal.
Here are some tips for items you may want to keep a look out for at used curriculum sales, on ebay or just purchase for such a time as sick days:
- Moody Science Classics: 19-DVD Set
- Wonders of God's Creation, Vol. 1-6
- Jonathan Park: The Adventure Begins (Jonathan Park Radio Drama)
- For the Temple: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem, Library Edition
- Don't forget to use the DVR to find some great history, science or even literary aids
When looking for items, rather at a used sale or for regular purchase or off your TV, consider subjects your family will be studying that year. If you are doing World History, you will want to find resources to compliment that study. If you are studying American History, again, you will want to tailor your purchase to enhance their regular studies.
Then my last tip for planning for homeschool sick days, is to consider some assignments that will be easy for the children, so you are not needed to accomplish them. You will keep these assignments for when they are ‘beginning to recover' but not completely at the stage of returned health, giving you time to recover as well.
Here are a few suggestions that can be critiqued to the age of your child or the level of learning for each one:
- draw a picture to illustrate something that you learned about – adding a description of what it is (a word for young ones – up to a paragraph or two for older ones)
- in-depth learning of a subject that interested them – internet time to find out more information that can be given as an oral report
- thinking of questions, they know (or think they know) the answers to and writing them down – use these for further family discussion to learn more of what they learned
- find the places that were mentioned on the map
By planning for the expected ‘unexpected' in life, you can be more relaxed with what is going on with your family and being the wife and mother they need you to be and letting go of agenda that was planned and allowing for a detour in life to bring learning and peace to your family.
Believing that these tips will prove to be ‘good things' in your home school planning and prayerfully, you won't need them!
Do you want more tips on planning for your home schooling? Check out iHomeschool Network Planning Guide and share it with your home schooling friends!