Sunday, December 4, 2011

Health Care for Homeschooling Moms

I have been really sick this week.  I am a real toughie and don't get sick frequently but I think this year has been a long one with life being really busy.  As usual, what I do in life and experience becomes part of what I write about. 

I realised as I lay on my bed and then the couch this week, that getting sick can be a challenge for any mom.  And especially a homeschooling mother, as you aren't given the daily reprieve of sending your children to school.  

How do you cope?  

Here are some of the strategies I use to cope when I get sick.  They are not fail proof, but they have worked well in our family.

Give Your Children Responsibilities
They are quite capable.  Don't feel bad.  I know as mom's we often feel guilty lying or sitting still but if we plan on getting better, let them do it.  You are always serving your family - it's good for them to serve you too.  (including your husband)

Lower Your Expectations with Food
My boys are being taught to cook,which they love but they are by no means experts.  So what if you have to eat simple meals like fried eggs on toast, baked beans on toast or mince and mash?  Just make sure everyone is eating lots of raw vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, baby tomatoes - the ones they like:) and fresh fruit during the day. 
When Friends Offer to Help - say YES!
Don't be shy! We all love to help our friends, so let them do something in return. They wouldn't offer if they didn't want to.

I know that sleep is nature's best way of healing the body.  Drink lots of fluids but REST.  Take vitamins but still you need to REST.  We often take all the meds and then continue to run around because we start to feel better.  Don't let the meds lie to you, you still need to REST.
 Let Your Children Pray for You
We read to our children about how Jesus healed the sick.  Let them lay hands on you and pray.  I believe that children have the faith we often lack.  You would be amazed at the difference my children's prayers have made in my life.

Homeschool the easy way
Homeschooling can still happen even if you are sick.  I personally don't like the children to stop just because I am sick.  I find that it can get more challenging if they don't, because they get up to mischief and they start having a go at each other.

This is what I do:

* Read aloud time is extended - I read if I can, otherwise I get the children to have turns.

* Computer work:  I have a few really great computer programs which we use for History, English, Anatomy and Mandarin.  So any of these can have them learning with the least amount of supervision.

*  For little ones, bring toys into the room you are resting in and CLOSE THE DOOR.  Let them play in the room with you.  

*  For the more easily distracted children, let them work on the bed next to you.  Nothing motivates a child more than knowing someone is watching. (at least in our house it works that way)

Don't stop extra curricular activities if you can help it, as they need to get out.  Ask someone in your group to help.  Give them a call! You might not be up to it, but believe me your children are - and hopefully they will use up some of that energy before they come home.
 *  Get your husband to get some good quality educational videos or audio books.  I have had my children watch some amazing nature videos - different learning medium and they loved it.  Audio books are an excellent resource for keeping play quiet. They are usually so enthralled by the story, they don't want to miss a word.  The result?  Quiet play.  Lego is great for this.

* Focus on  your core subjects - don't try and do everything. 

Home school when you can.  I often sleep late when I am sick.    Have a chat to your children the day before and let them know what you expect of them.   Let the children spend the first part of their morning doing chores and some quiet free play in their rooms where they won't disturb you.

Encourage and Thank Your Family Frequently
Tell them how much they mean to you for what they are doing.  I know the cynical might say, "well I do this every day and no one says anything to me".  But this is your opportunity for positive reinforcement.  Your children need to know that they are helping you.  Most children get quite concerned when mommy is sick because "mommy never gets sick".  Reassure them and encourage them.

Your husband will be stretched and will need you to tell him what a great job he is doing.  From grocery shopping or even the fact that he made it through the day in one piece:)  Let him know his value.  You will be building him up and your appreciation will motivate him even more!

I would love to hear from you.  
How do you cope when you are sick? 
Do you have a special strategy that helps you cope?  
Why not leave a comment and share some of the lessons you have learnt through these times.


  1. Of course my boys are eager to send me off to bed because they hope they'll get the day off, but they have lots of Computer learning they can do if I'm not well. :)
    Praying for your speedy recovery.

  2. thanks, spent my first day at the beach today so definitely feel great! But thank you. Had to take my own advice;)

  3. Tyla was reading to me tonight. One of the comments she read was brilliant: " Laughter and rest are the best medicine... quote from a doctor!!"

  4. Great advice! My kids are all still very young, so lowering my expectations and accepting help are biggies! :)

  5. hi, I really love your is practical and encouraging. I have just finished my first year of homeschooling and I think I have burnout! I also run a smal Montessori pre-school at my home in the mornings, so this year has been a challenge. A good one, i do not regret my decision, I am just praying that I am a it more relaxed and fun this year. My poor girls (13 and 9) lacked fun!!

  6. Thanks Nicci for your lovely words. I hope you find time to enjoy your children and have fun with them. I was reminded again today how though we can be present physically with our children, we can be absent emotionally and spiritually - and they pick it up. We might think we are hiding it but they know. Hopefully this holiday will be about restoring balance and finding a place of rest and joy!

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