Discussion Forums - Homeschoolers' Corner Homeschoolers' Corner

Topic: How do you do homeschool when you aren't feeling well?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: How do you do homeschool when you aren't feeling well?
Date Posted: 1/8/2008 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
Back To Top

I have a disc problem in my neck that's causing pain in my neck, back, and arm.  I've been dealing with it for over a month and it seems to be getting worse rather than better.  I'm taking 800 mg ibuprophen 3 times a day which takes the edge off, but if never goes away completely.  My doc offered my narcotics, but I'm still nursing my 2 year old a couple of times a day and don't want to take anything heavier than ibuprophen.  I am awaiting the results of an MRI. 

In the mean time I have to find the spirit and energy to motivate both myself and kids to work on school stuff.  We basically took the last month off, but I tried to get things going yesterday again, and we did a couple of subjects, but I just HURT!  Anyone else deal with pain while trying to homeschool? When we were done with school work, my older two went outside to play and my 2 year old took a blessedly long 3 hour nap, so I got a break.  But there's still all the cooking and housework and child care to go along with it all.  Argh!  I don't know if I can handle this alone.  DH is a prof, and just went back to work after three weeks off.  It was so much easier with him HOME!  It's difficult enough to adjust back to him working, even without the added pain.


Date Posted: 1/8/2008 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 237
Back To Top


You are not alone in this. Just remember - on your bad days,  your children are learning important lessons in caring and compassion!!

A search on Yahoo groups for "Chronic illness homeschool" turned up 3 groups. I was a member of Beyong survival for several years. They have a lot of resources available on their website. I have not tried the other 2 groups.

Subject: I have chronic pain/issues, too
Date Posted: 1/8/2008 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
Back To Top

I know how you feel.  I have chronic pain issues also, and have for three years.  I have psoriatic arthritis (auto-immune like rheumatoid), osteoarthritis (lots of degeneration in my spine), and polyarthritis, along with cervical kyphosis, fibromyalgia and pre-diabetes.

I only HS one child.  My other is in public school.  So that helps a bit there.  We also school year-round, so we can take off time when I'm in a flare and just go at an easier pace.  My DS does a lot of independent, self-directed learning during the hours when we're not doing our curriculum.  We're like "school-in-a-box" meets unschooling every day :-)

I rest often and keep up on my meds.  I have: Mobic/Meloxicam, a strong anti-inflammatory (Aleve & Ibuprofen don't cut it); Flexaril/Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant; Effexor, an antidepreesant (helps w/ the endorphin response to pain) and also Methotrexate for the psoriatic arthritis.  I'm done having kids, though.  I wouldn't get by w/o my meds.  I feel for you that you are stuck due to nursing.

I would just relax and take it easy for awhile.  This may just be an acute phase and you can always make up the school work in the summer.  Homeschooling is *not* a race - it's a journey.  Take breaks during the day when you can.  Nap when you are able.  Make sure your DH gets involved and doesn't make you do everything.  He could teach one subject or more, even on the weekends.  He could also help with household chores.

Another idea is to hire a "mom's helper".  I'm sure you could find a local HS'ed teen or pre-teen to help you take the load off.  Or if it fits your budget, hire a house cleaner every other week or so.

Just my thoughts off the top of my head...


Date Posted: 1/8/2008 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2005
Posts: 4,699
Back To Top

On Days when I just don't have it we use Alternative forms of education. Videos, Computer, read aloud, board games, art free play ect are all good for us. I have a subscription to Pokemon learning league  online thru Homeschool buyers co op. and I love this for days when I just can't do it. My 2 boys love it because it is computerea nd pokemona nd I love it because it I can actually assign topics and it is very education covering topics like scientific method, sentence parts ect. My Boys 7 and 8 find some of it rather hard but want learn even when they are trying. I also Like the Worksheet style for days that I know I may be to out of it to be very helpful. I copy or print 1 work sheet  or coloring page per topic we are learning in a binder, letting the kids workon them at their own pace thru the day. ! also work 2 days in as days that are My days. One is a general errand day Shopping and appt accur on this day. we do music inthe car, and a lot of math on these days, comparing products and such.

 the other is Friday free day. If we need to catch up on anything this is the day we do it. If not we havea relaxing kid led adventure. sometimes movie marathons sometimes walks to the park.

I also found getting the kidsinvolved in house keeping/cleaning 20  minutes a day was a huge help. I get them to pick up toys and laundry. I actually have boys that argue over who gets to "mop" It is just running a damp cloth over the kitchen but it really helps keep it looking clean until I or DH can get to  it to do athoutough job. Tubs get a 12 mminute scrub at bath time. The Kids love this. To  them it is a game or play. It isn't perfect by far but anything that helps make my jobs easier is good for me.


Date Posted: 1/8/2008 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
Back To Top

I've had my ds bring his books and we work on my bed before.  I also find independent things for them to do. Maybe something fun, you can pull out only when your feeling bad. 

How about build something from legos and come show me.  Care and compassion are things that are greatly valuable to learn. 


Date Posted: 1/8/2008 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
Back To Top

If you're facing not feeling well quite a bit of the time, you might look into a curriculum that is less hands-on for the parents.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 8:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 349
Back To Top

  I joined Spell time and Math time http://www.spellingtime.com ! Its a great program. You put the spelling words in that you want them to learn and they sign in everyday and do their work. Its fun for them and they learn. Math time you set what kind of problems you want them doing and that helps. For science you could look up some programs on TV or check out some CDs from the libary or movie store on just about anything, the decovery channel real good.

You could also get a online school, or hire someone to homeschool your child untill you feel better.  You could also get hubbys help and have him teach him a class or two at night. It doesn't have to be done detween 9 and 5. My husband and daughter help me. My husband is great with science and my daughter with spanish, so they also are a big part of homeschooling. This way he doesn't get board with just one person teaching him.




Date Posted: 1/10/2008 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
Back To Top

Some ideas: borrow documentaries from the library to watch. Or even join Netflix.com and order them online and send through the mail to you. It may be worth the cost!

Borrow audio books from the library and have them listen to books on CD. I don't know the ages of your children. Can the older children read aloud to the younger children? Can the older children more directly watch the youngers so at least if they are in the next room you can relax more? I am sure if you are worried or tense that will add muscle pain to your back! 

Can you teach more from a couch or bed while laying down? Do you own educational games and can they use them? Do local homeschoolers you know have some of those educational games that you could borrow?

I echo hiring a mother's helper. Around here they earn a fraction of what a teen babysitter earns (who is paid more as they are without an adult in the house and have more responsibility).

Perhaps also your children would like more of a scheduled structure to the day, even if it is different content than before your injury, they might feel more in a routine if they knew you expected X of them and they did it (then feel good about it). I know my kids sometimes when the day is too open-ended and after a number of days or a few weeks of that it starts to get more chaotic and less of a calm atmosphere.

Do you have local homeschool friends who can take the kids for some playdates outside of your home so your kids get out and don't get cabin fever?

Also lean on your husband for meal preparation and the housework. Someone has to do it and if you overtax yourself you will not get better and may make your back worse!! A back problem is not just YOUR problem it is your husband's problem and the whole family's 'problem' too.

I hope you feel better!!

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
Back To Top

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!  This week I've taken to getting the basics done (dishes and living room pick up).  I've been having my nine year old unload the dishwasher and I load it and hand wash the pans in stints as my pain allows. I point and have kids pick up toys, books, etc in the living room. DH will take care of laundry on weekends.  Dinners have been very simple (soup, pizza, etc) I've been sitting next to my kids and letting them do some work on the computer, and letting them bring in workbooks to do with me on the couch. I'm minimizing and scaling back to the basics of school (reading, writing, and math every day) and we can make up the rest with Dad on weekends, and hopefully later in a few months if my doc can find me some relief.  We are planning a trip with another hs family to the Discovery Museum next week.  I can sit on a bench and watch.  :)  The kids have really pitched in to help out!  Even my two year old seems understanding when mom can't play hard like normal.  She gives me pats and asks if my arm is hurting.... such a sweety!  We've been watching videos in the afternoons (Magic School Bus is a godsend!)  while little sis naps.  We went shopping Tues eve. and I filled the cart, but DH did all the bagging, loading, and unloading.  What a great guy!  So we are managing.  I reread that original post.  I think I must have written it before my ibuprophen fully kicked in LOL!  We are managing.... but it aggravating to deal with being less than all there.  If I end up having to have a procedure that will wipe me out for a few days we might call my MIL and ask if she can come help for a week.  

Thanks for all the advice and keep it coming!