How to Handle Sick Days when Homeschooling

Everybody has sick days, whether they are school age or adults having to work. When sick, a person doesn’t feel well enough to concentrate on his work. He “squeaks” by, just trying to get through the day. The body needs time to recover and does this more easily when resting. It’s no different for homeschooling families. They need time to rest. However, there are things that can be done to work learning into the day.

Skip the formal work

Unless a child is well enough to concentrate, skip the formal curriculum. It’s not necessary to push schoolwork just because the child is at home. More than likely, she won’t retain what she learned that day anyway, making it a wasted day. It’s better to allow her to rest and pick the work back up when she’s feeling well enough to really understand and retain the information.


One of the aspects of homeschooling that is so appealing is the ability to make a customized schedule. Homeschoolers don’t have to worry about getting doctor’s notes or explaining to a school why the child was absent. The work can be doubled up another day, or completed on the weekends or holidays. This takes pressure off of forcing a child to work when ill. Many times, it just isn’t appropriate to try to force the work to be done when a child is severely ill. Most states simply require the parent to record the sick days and move on.

Light load

Sometimes, it may be possible to get some schooling in. He may feel well enough to complete work in a subject that is easier for him. Reading is a great activity when recovering from an illness. Art or playing educational games online may be easily completed. Playing board games provides an opportunity for family time while teaching educational concepts. Most include some time of reading or math skills without requiring a lot of effort. The more work that can be accomplished on a sick day means less work to have to make up later.

Change the environment

Often, a sick child may not feel like leaving his bed. Or, maybe getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine will help her fell better. Homeschooling can take place in any room or any environment. Setting up a picnic in the back yard with light school work is a great way to get some school work completed while placing the child in an environment that can help her heal. Changing the routine may also boost her mood, which works wonders in helping a child get back on her feet.

There are many ways in which we learn, it doesn’t have to come from a school book or curriculum, or from a set schedule. Knowing the child well enough to know when he’s capable of completing some work or when the day is better off being skipped is an advantage that homeschooling families have. The work can always be completed another day. Creative ways can be found to encourage learning through other activities that won’t tax a recovering body.