Homeschooling When Mom Is Sick

Homeschooling when Mom is sick is a challenging scenario for most families. There’s no substitute teacher we can call in if we aren’t feeling well. You might be able to take a day or two off, but what happens when Mom is sick for more than a few days?

The truth is that we don’t want to take long breaks from homeschooling because learning slows down. When we aren’t moving through the usual daily routine, kids can become anxious, bored, or develop a kind of “cabin fever.” When your homeschoolers don’t have any structure for their days or activities to busy themselves with, they can make it really difficult to get rest for Mom.

So what can you do when Mom is sick? Homeschooling when Mom is sick is doable with the help of some great resources and support. Keep reading to discover how we do it.

Homeschooling When Mom Is Sick Picture

There Is NO Substitute Teacher

The reality is that when Mom is sick, everything slows down and sometimes just comes to a complete halt. Life and learning limp along until Mom is back to 100%. We recently discovered just how true it is!

After the holidays, I got sick and everything about our usual routine became challenging and borderline impossible. There was no substitute teacher or substitute Mom to step in and save the day with fun activities to keep Emily busy and learning. Instead, I had to get creative about how to keep our homeschool going while I recovered.

It is really hard to homeschool when mom is sick, but it can be done. Check out some of my favorite tips to help keep your family learning while you recover below.

Homeschooling When Mom Is Sick Picture

Tips For Homeschooling When Mom Is Sick

When Mom is sick, field trips get canceled and science experiments are out of the question. Fortunately, technology can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping the learning going while you recover. Here are my tips for homeschooling when you’re sick:


It’s no secret that we regularly incorporate screens in our homeschool lessons and activities. I believe that great videos and interactive learning games can be incredibly helpful for teaching new concepts, practicing a variety of skills, and getting the most up-to-date information about a topic. Even if you usually shy away from screens in your homeschool, consider adding them to your toolbox when you’re not feeling well. 


I can’t put on my scientist hat and lead Emily through a science experiment or get in the kitchen and bake something when I’m not feeling well. Crafting and other activities are at the bottom of the list of things I feel up for when I’m sick. However, there are lots of great homeschool printables Emily can do independently while I’m sick. 

This is also a great time for subscription box activities that don’t require help from Mom. We love doing subscription boxes together as a family, but they can be a great way for Emily to learn independently when I’m not feeling well. Discover our Ultimate Guide to Subscriptions for some fun activities your kids can do when you’re not feeling well. 


Great books are a big part of every unit study here at The Waldock Way. We love reading books aloud together and snuggling up on the couch together with great books to read independently as well. When Mom is sick, it’s the perfect time for kids to explore a variety of fun and interesting topics through books. 

Check out my Ultimate Book List for Every Subject in Your Homeschool to get some ideas for your shelves. Then, don’t miss my monthly book list for with picture books, chapter books, read alouds, and graphic novel suggestions for every month of the year. 

One Player Games

Even if you’re homeschooling an only child, games can still be part of the day when Mom is sick with one-player games. One-player games are often great choices for strewing and filled with opportunities to practice problem solving and develop critical thinking skills. 

Some of our favorite one player games include Cat Crimes and Kanoodle. These are a great resource to have on hand for homeschoolers whenever Mom needs a break.

Discovery Decks

Banish mom guilt with our Discovery Decks. They’re perfect for homeschooling when mom is sick. Each deck focuses on a topic your kids are naturally curious about like space, animals, and interesting inventions. Check out each of our Discovery Decks for learning you can outsource using educational videos focused on interest-led learning.

Each deck comes with questions like “Why do people fart?” or “How do animals become endangered?” and a QR code kids can scan to find the answers with educational videos from creators like Dr. Bionic and Sci Show Kids

Nothing May Happen At All

The most important thing to remember while homeschooling when Mom is sick is that nothing may happen at all. If your homeschool grinds to a stop and kids watch lots of cartoons or raid the craft supplies to create paper messes all over the table, it’s completely ok. If video games become a regular activity and lots of time is spent doing nothing at all, it’s ok. 

Give yourself lots of grace and remember that while it’s a challenge, this too shall pass. You’ll get back to your regular homeschool routine and the world won’t end even if learning takes a backseat while you heal. Remember, there’s no such thing as your child being behind in homeschooling.

Homeschooling When Mom Is Sick Picture

Homeschool Resources And Support 

Homeschooling when Mom is sick is difficult. I’ve got lots of homeschool resources and support for moms you can turn to when you need to focus on wellness and self-care. Check out these resources for more tips and tools.

Remember, I’m always here for support too. We started The Waldock Way to help other homeschool families feel welcome and supported on their homeschooling journey. Reach out in the comments or send me a message for more tools, tips, and encouragement.

One Comment

  1. Kristen Hall says:

    How ironic that this is published while I’m currently sick! My kids have been working on math through Kahn Academy and out of workbooks, reading to each other, painting in watercolor books, doing cursive and geography pages, and practicing the piano.

    I’m grateful my husband was able to work remotely this week so he checks on them in between meetings and reviews their completed assignments.

    Of course, they’ve played outside and had plenty of creative inside play time too.

    Man, I’m ready for this to be over. I miss hugging my kids!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *