Thursday, February 25, 2010

For Those "Off" Days

I know somewhere I have seen a post or article about putting together a tub of activities for days when mom is sick. Homeschooling can still go on in some form even when mom can't get off the couch....or out of bed as the case may be.

But I can't find it now.

I'm thinking very hard about putting together a tub like that. Sort of an "emergency kit" for our homeschool. It would have to be filled with things they never get to do to hold their interest. Here's what I'm thinking so far.....

1. A new DVD or two. We don't have TV service right now or I would just let them watch TV. With no service, I'd have to think ahead. And they can be educational. Or not.

2. Some coloring sheets. Here is where a theme would come in handy, so let me interrupt my numbered list for a minute.

When I was a 1st grade teacher, my mother-in-law was terribly sick with cancer. We knew that there would be a day, most likely during that school year, when I would need to take off of work for her funeral. I had a huge "bears" thematic unit that we didn't plan on using that year so I made all the copies necessary and put it all in a tub underneath my desk. I told my partner teacher about it and showed her the lesson plans. It was a big relief knowing that my class would be happy and busy with a fun unit (and plenty of worksheets that I could get grades from!) without me having to run up to the school to make last minute lesson plans from the actual curriculum.


2. (continued) Coloring sheets on a theme would be best. And throw in a few new boxes of 8 crayons. Everyone wants to color with new crayons, right?

3. Children's book. If you have a reader, put a book in the tub. If the book is about houses, then the coloring sheets could be about houses too. The book could be the whole basis of your theme if you like.

4. New magnetic toys. There are sets about almost anything. (Those are great for church too!) If you found one on sale, or one about your theme...even better. They could play these on the fridge to keep the mess on the floor down to a minimum.

5. A dance CD. At the party store, you can find these on all kinds of music. You want something fun and peppy that they can dance to. Far away from you. They will need to let out some energy if going outside is out of the question.

6. Snacks. If your children are big enough to get their own snacks from the kitchen then you might not need to do this, but throwing some pre-packaged snacks in there is not a bad idea. And maybe some juice boxes or just paper cups so they can get water from the bathroom sink.

7. A paper folder filled with actual work for older chickens. Math worksheets, dot-to-dots, mazes, etc. You could make one for each child. Who cares if they are easy? Just tell them it has to get done. Not a choice. That'll keep 'em busy for a while.

Here's a great list of things you could throw together for a sick day.

I thought this was a great post on how to handle snow days, sick kid days, sick mom days, and sick family days. She hit it all!

Valerie at The Crafty Classroom found a jazzy way to homeschool in the car. Or, you know, on the go. When I first started homeschooling, I had a 3 year old and a 2nd grader and I was curious about these folks that made their kids schlep math work with them everywhere they went. Now I get it. The older they get, the more you need them to work in the dentist's waiting room or during a commute. Or even just somewhere else in the house.

What other things would you include in the emergency tub?


  1. I know you have rabbits, but I did not know you have chickens.

  2. playdoh, educational board games or puzzles, backyard scavenger hunt list, bendaroos and cleaning! Ha - they need to learn how to clean properly too don't they? And at least you would feel like something got accomplished when you were sick if all their rooms were cleaned up! : ) Hope you get to feeling better!

  3. Kathy, I do! Two of 'em.

    G--I'm not sick! Just thinking ahead! :)

  4. These are all fabulous ideas! Ones I wish I had implemented before this week, the week that the entire family has been sick, and some of us, re-sick. (I think we just keep passing the germs back and forth. It's all about sharing at the Green's house.) :)

    But, for next time I'll be ready. Thanks for the tips, Brenda.

  5. Oh I know what else! Put blank books (1/2 sheets of paper stapled together) and stickers and have them write sticker stories using stickers for the illustrations. Also, paint with water books are awesome. Include a few dixie cups, some cheap paintbrushes, or q-tips work well too on those books. They could paint up the whole book and the worst thing that could happen is the water might spill.

  6. Oh the sticker one is great, we used to do that all the time! Big Girl loves it : ) Big Girl also loves those sticker activity sheets from Oriental Trading Village ( you know the ones we did at her party ) That always keeps mine interested and I have an assortment of them left over from birthday parties!

  7. Oh I forgot about Oriental Trading!!! YEs, they have TONS of stuff that would keep them entertained.

  8. Oh Im so sorry. My illness was a 9 day one. Been back to being me for only a few days. But loving it. After all the ideas you have here. I ended up just letting them come up with what they wanted. Poor kids they trashed the house and were climbing the walls. Very little hs got done. So I hope to never be this sick agian. In Feb at that. LOL Im one of Suzannes friends and wanted to come ck out your blog. What a great family. Hope you feel better soon!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)