5 Homeschool Tips for When Mom Gets Sick

Homeschooling moms aren’t supposed to get sick, right? Wrong.

The bad news is whether it’s a quick-healing virus, major surgery, or chronic diagnosis, moms do get sick. The good news is this doesn’t mean that homeschool has to cease until she recovers. With a little bit of advanced planning, every homescho ol mom can be ready to keep things going when and if she find herself a bit under the weather.

mom get sick

1. Keep a book basket. Fill your basket with books and DVDs for whatever topic you’re teaching in science and history. Grab books from your own library shelves or check them out from the library. Most moms are able to read aloud no matter how bad they feel and if things are really going south, pop in a DVD. Pop in 5 DVDs if you must. Learning will happen and with minimal effort. If you never get sick, this basket will still serve as a great adjunct to your homeschool days.

2. Limit your subjects. Don’t worry if nothing else gets done but Bible and the 3Rs. Keep things easy and low-key. Fill in with the books and DVDs I mentioned above if you must.

3. Make room in your schedule for taking unexpected days off. This might mean starting your school year early or ending late, not taking as much planned time off during the year, or schooling year round. If you have a few extra weeks scheduled than is required, you won’t feel so guilty if you need to take time off.

4. Spend time now developing independent study skills in your older kids. Students in middle school and up (maybe even 5th and 6th graders) should be able to keep up with their schedule independently and not miss too much if you aren’t able to be as involved as usual. If your older kids aren’t working very independently, start now developing those skills.

5.  Let the older kids teach the younger ones. For your younger students, let the big kids help out. Older students will gain some great teaching experience (and maybe some patience and perseverance), and spending more time together will hopefully increase their sibling bond. 

More than anything, give yourself a break. No guilt is allowed when Mom is sick. And with these tips, you truly won’t have a reason to feel guilty anyway.

Marcy CrabtreeMarcy spent nearly 15 years as an Ob nurse, sometimes juggling homeschooling with the job she calls her first ministry. Grateful that her main ministry today is at home, she has been married to Tom for 16 years, and is Ben’s proud momma. Her homeschool style is delight-directed with lots of unit studies, lapbooks and notebooks. She is greatly influenced by Charlotte Mason’s love of  living books. If she ever writes a book herself, it’s likely to be entitled, Homeschooling by the Field Trip Method.










  1. Great advice Marcy! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Terrific tips, Marcy! I’ve implemented each of these at one time or another. It’s very helpful to have these ideas tucked away before we need them. Thank you!

  3. As our children are still young a sick mom usually just means a day off for our children as we do not need to report anywhere yet. And yes they get to watch educational shows or even a longer movie and spend time on Starfall or another educational site. But as they get older we will definitely need to be better prepared for mom being sick. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    • Marcy Crabtree says:

      it does seem to matter more as they grow older. but even having a book basket is great for the younger ones, to help keep them occupied. it sounds like that’s what you’re doing!

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