Feeling unwell when you have children is never easy for any parent, but when you have the added responsibility of homeschooling to juggle as well as your sickness symptoms, it can be a real struggle to get through the day.

Although the first month of the year is very nearly over, cold and flu season still well and truly upon us and it feels like almost every family is being affected by one sickness bug or another, which is I thought I’d share some of my tried and tested homeschooling survival tips today help get you through the tougher patches:

If you are the primary person responsible for the housework/cooking/laundry alongside homeschooling, one of the best things you can do for yourself is release some of that mental load for a few days to allow yourself to recuperate. Any non-essential tasks can wait until you’re feeling better and, if you don’t feel up to cooking from scratch (who could blame you?!), don’t feel guilty if you and your family end up having a beige oven-based meal or two!

If you’re struggling to speak or need a little down-time to recover, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting your child up with a solo activity to occupy them for a while. Whether it be something practical like painting, drawing or handwriting practice, or a resource-based activity such as reading a book or completing some workpages, giving them some self-driven work to do will keep their brains ticking while you take a moment to rest; a total win-win. 

To keep your child engaged and focused, you may find taking a cross-curricular approach really helps you out; by tapping into their interests, they’re more likely to stay on task and that will make your life a lot easier. Say, for example, your child absolutely LOVES birds, but doesn’t like comprehension or maths tasks and isn’t being the most co-operative with you as a result. Instead of battling with your child and frustrating you both, pick a comprehension task that relates to birds – such as my recent lesson on birdwatching – and teach them about pie graphs by categorising different types of birds (endangered/common/extinct, migrating/non-migrating) and putting that into a pie graph before producing a report for you. Each child is unique, but nobody knows what they like better than you, so go with whatever you think will work for them; there is no right or wrong, here!

I appreciate not everybody will have a support network around them that will be able to help, but if you do have reinforcements you can call upon… call them! Whether it be a partner who can take a day off from work, a close parent-friend that can pop over for an hour, or maybe willing grandparents who are able to lend a hand, there’s no shame in asking them for help when you need it, especially when you’re poorly. Who knows – maybe even just having some company for an hour or so might be enough to perk you up and keep you going!

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so if you are on your own and really struggling to get through the day or your child is perhaps unwell too, don’t feel guilty if you fall back on screen-time to help. Putting on an educational documentary or TV show will be a much better option than cartoons, so try picking a subject or topic that has the best chance of holding their attention (dinosaurs, penguins and space are usually winners in my experience) and settle in on the sofa together for a while.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to explain to your child/ren what’s wrong with you. They may not be able to fully appreciate or understand how you’re feeling, but it might help them adjust to any changes in routine a little easier if they know the reason why.


With any luck, your illness will soon pass and you’ll be feeling more yourself before you know it, but if you’re in need of some extra resources or guidance, why not try my Homeschooling Happiness Haul, which is packed full of activities, topic-time ideas and music to help make your homeschool days a breeze?

Good luck and get well soon!