Sick Days

I have been a mom for almost a quarter century so I feel as though I can claim veteran status when it comes to kids in school. I am not, however a veteran homeschooling mom as my older children were only homeschooled for a couple of years before they attended public school. Bookworm Beauty did just the opposite, she started in public school, migrated to a charter school and has now been homeschooled.

There are several differences between homeschooling vs sending the kids to school. We can talk all day about curriculum, the ability to work and soar at one’s own pace, the opportunity to have a more hands on education, and so much more. One of the blessings of homeschooling that seems to rarely be brought up is that of sick days. We have not had any sickness in our home for nearly two years. I credit some of that success to not having the kids in a cesspool of germs at school – although I know that isn’t the sole reason.

This year, however has been the opposite. It seems that just as one person is getting over the germ of the day, the next person begins showing signs. It is as if we have been playing piano rounds with germs throughout the family!

One of my greatest pet peeves is people hauling their germ-laden kids all over the place and keeping them in their normal activities where other kids are. I can not count the number of times I have taken my healthy kids to Sunday school only to have them sick the following Tuesday. Keep sick kids home so they can get rest, recover and avoid passing the germs elsewhere. It is that simple.

Schools are one of the few places that enforces their sick policies – to the best of their ability. I have to make the point that if our kids were enrolled in the local school, Bookworm Beauty would have missed so much school this year that there could have been a question about her attendance. It seems that whatever germ was being bounced around, it started with her. To be fair, she is the one that is the most active and involved in the most activities where she is exposed to more germs because other parents don’t keep their sick kids home, ahhh but I digress.

Many days, one of the kiddos would have had enough symptoms to have to be kept home from school, but they were well enough to resume a fair amount of normal daily activities – albeit slightly modified. The fact that they are homeschooled is a tremendous blessing this year. They have been able to focus on getting the rest that was needed yet still complete some school work throughout the day when feeling up to it. We have been able to maintain an almost normal school schedule at home even while the kiddos have been under the weather.

Truth be told, there have been days that no schooling took place. If one is still in the stage of needing complete rest, then she gets complete rest.

How do you handle sick kiddos during your homeschooling days?


Endless Science

I recently shared our experience with the owl pellet that the cats drug in. Funny thing is that when the neighbors realize that you homeschool, surprise science lessons are no longer left to just the cats.

Twice in the last week we have been blessed with really cool items to be cleaned, inspected and possibly saved for future reference.

Rodent – Kangaroo Mouse?
Owl Pellet – Rodent

My parents, which we are fortunate to have two doors down, brought up a skull that their dogs brought in. It is a pretty good size skull but we are not sure what it is yet. The kids have been able to use their skills to identify that it is a prey because the eye sockets are on the sides and that it is an herbivore because it does not have any front incisors. It is so fun to watch them utilize their knowledge to figure things out.

Skunk Skull
Skunk Skull

Then yesterday, some dear friends of ours brought two items for us to inspect. The first is a small, fully intact, skull. He had identified it as a skunk skull. The second item is another owl pellet. The Boy’s owl obsession is growing exponentially with the recent owl pellet dissection opportunities! The skull in the pellet seems to be in line with some sort of common rodent out here on the prairie such as a vole or a kangaroo mouse.

Every homeschool tends to have their thing, ours seems to be biology. It has not been something that we have set out to focus on but there are so many incredible opportunities to enjoy God’s rich world  surrounding us.

Homeschool Room Makeover

Have you ever experienced the ups and downs of homeschooling? There are weeks that we are jamming… as if some sort of cosmic happenstance exploded in our midst, placing us all in sync. The momentum grows as we rock and roll through those weeks!

Then we have those days… you know… those days where you feel as though you are pulling teeth just to get kids to crawl out of their beds.

Fortunately for us, those days are few and far between and are only days and not weeks! I have been greatly blessed with kids that enjoy schooling, get along great, contribute around the house (most of the time) and are just basically really good kids.

We seem to change our schooling environment a lot as well. I’m not sure if we are in line with the seasons or the lunar calendar or our general moods but we seem to spend weeks at the kitchen table and then suddenly we migrate to the living room for several weeks! While we actually have a designated schoolroom where we used to do most of our schooling, we really have not done much schooling in there over this last year.

After pondering why other areas work better for us right now, I realized that we simply needed a facelift. Our schoolroom table is too small for our growing kids to spread out their work. We had thought about putting individual desks in the room but decided instead to give each one their own desk in their room, away from household distractions. We have also outgrown the charts hanging on the walls. And then there are the walls. The puke-yellow walls that Bookworm Beauty so eloquently named, which were here when we moved in. Yes, the puke-yellow walls simply had to go.

Our schoolroom  is quickly becoming the happiest place in our home. We have brightened the walls with a new coat of paint. We have upcycled one of the bookshelves into a nice cubby system, freeing up valuable wall space. Lastly, we will be building the schoolroom table that I posted about a few weeks ago.

We are already feeling the gravitational pull of the schoolroom and are anxiously awaiting being able to get back in there.

I will post a reveal as soon as we are done. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, share your schoolroom makeovers…