Sick Days

So far today’s menu has included: 3 cups of hot tea, 2 tall glasses of orange juice, 2 pieces of toast and honey, and 2 bowls of chicken and rice soup. You guessed it, I’m not feeling well! I honestly can’t tell at the point if I’ve caught a cold or if I’m merely having an excessively bad reaction to the pollen floating around. I have bad allergies anyway, but when it gets this bad, who knows?

When head aches, stuffy heads, tummy aches, or some other ailment invades your house, what does school look like? For us it depends on what part of the week the sickness happens, who exactly is sick, and how sick they are! Sometimes my husband teaches a few core subjects if I’m sick. If only one of the girls is sick they may have a break while their sisters keep working. Sometimes sick-days are just the way we have to go and no one gets any work done. The beauty of homeschooling is the girls don’t get behind just because they “miss” a day of school. We choose to school year-round so we have more flexibility when the inevitable craziness of life creeps in.

Today schooling looks rather relaxed. Rose has a science class she attends on Wednesdays and already completed some of her other schoolwork before leaving. She’ll finish some more when she gets home in a little while.

Beth also has bad allergies and between the two of us we’ve managed to go through a large brand new box of lotion-covered tissues in less than 48 hours! (Why we buy in bulk at Sams.) She’s been feeling rather crummy today as well, but managed to get in some reading and a lot of coloring.This girl could color all day long!

Grace spent some time outside examining a funny looking bug, hiding Easter eggs around the house and the hunting for them again, and colored with her big sister. She told me the bug, “…looked sad.” after she had spent some time with him.

Yes…there was some television watching in the form of Thomas the Train and Miss. Spider’s Sunnypatch Friends. (And I don’t feel guilty or mind admitting this fact!)

No…we didn’t get everything I had planned done. 

Last year I would be very stressed over not getting everything done I had planned. You know what I’ve learned? It’s okay. The world didn’t end when we didn’t finish everything up. I think my Christmas adventure taught me even more about grace in homeschooling.

I don’t follow the unschooling path which is popular right now. We are structured and our days are full with learning and activity. I love it when all the boxes on my checklist are filled in, but one day off now and then which isn’t planned isn’t a big deal. In fact I feel now that homeschooling has made sick days easier. When a child misses class because of sickness they typically miss instruction which is harder for the teacher to find time to give. I remember this all to well from my full-time teaching days. I could give my 7th and 8th graders the notes, but the verbal instruction and application to go along with it was much more brief. We don’t have this problem.

What do you do when sick days happen? No matter how you answer that, remember the most important thing to do is extend grace to yourself and your children. The world won’t end. The work will be there tomorrow. It will all get accomplished.

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