Sick Day Education: Homeschool Ideas

Ideas for when the kids are sick enough they need to stay home, but well enough to keep learning.One of the homeschooling perks I’ve discovered over the past few years is sick days.

Sure we may have to cancel an activity or play date, but we don’t have to worry about how many absentees we’re accumulating. Since we’re not worried about accumulating absentees we can stay home and out of the public to avoid spreading the illness more.

Pending the severity of the illness, we don’t have to miss a day of education because of it either. The day can easily be rearranged for educational activities of a more sedentary style if needed.

While some sick days deserve a full stay in bed and sleep regime, not all do. Sometimes the kids have a fever and a few sniffles, but still have the energy to keep going. Other times, they want to keep doing things, but don’t have the energy to get up and go. That’s okay too! With a little creativity you can still easily have a full day of education without bogging down a brain stuck in a cold virus fog, or requiring too much energy or effort on your part. Here are some ideas for things we do when we’re stuck in the house for a sick day.

Sick Day Educational Ideas

  1. Documentaries. Netflix, Hulu, DVDs, Amazon Prime, YouTube, PBS, BBC, National Geographic, and the list goes on. My kids are always fans of anything related to Paleontology or China. If your kids are younger and not quite ready for regular documentaries, educational PBS shows like the Octonauts or Wild Kratts is a wonderful source of information. My kids know more about some animals than I do thanks to those shows!
  2. Books. Our house is always filled with at least 80 to 100 library books, plus the shelves and boxes of our own personal library books. Usually the routine when the kids are sick is for us to pick out a bigger book and we’ll snuggle in bed while I read to them, answering questions or having some discussion about the book along the way.
  3. Puzzles. If the kids don’t have a lot of energy a puzzle might be perfect for them. Putting puzzles together offers some fantastic educational skills, such as spatial reasoning, problem solving, and creativity.
  4. Art. Take some time for some art appreciation lessons. Learn about different artists or styles of art, then get some art supplies out and have the kids practice in the style of who or what they learned about. If the kids aren’t feeling too well stick with drawing, if they have a bit more oomph, painting or clay might be right for them.
  5. Science Demonstrations. Just because the kids are lacking on energy doesn’t mean they can’t observe or participate in some low key science demonstrations. Challenge them to pick up an ice cube with a string or stack liquids while learning about density.
  6. Virtual Tours. There are hundreds of museums and historical locations you can tour from the comfort of your home. Just do an online search for virtual tours and start learning about the world around you.
  7. Writing Practice. Whether you have the kids write letters to PenPals, write a report or do a bit of creative writing. There is always a fun way you can get your kids to practice their writing.
  8. Dioramas and Models. For the crafty kids, have them use scrap materials around the house and build something awesome. We’re currently working on a coral reef.
  9. Play Games. Board games are a fantastic way for kids to build strategy skills as well as teamwork and good sportsmanship.
  10. Free Play. If nothing else seems to be keeping their interest you can always fall back on free play. There is nothing wrong with letting the kids practice managing their own time and interests. Listening to the kids incorporate the lessons we’ve been working on into their play is a great way for me to see what they’ve picked up on and remember.

What activities do you do when the kids are having a sick day? Share your routines in the comments below.

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