Do You Have a Mommy Backup Plan?
I just spent the last few days on what seemed like my death bed only because I cannot remember being that sick in a while. Under normal circumstances, I would have taken some medicine and called it a night each night that I just slept hoping to feel better the next morning. The only problem is that normal circumstances do not always apply when you are a homeschooling mommy.
As a mommy to 11, 9, and 6-year-old children, whom I have not yet taught to completely fend for themselves, they endured my sick days right along with me. I was a homeschooling mommy without a backup plan when I stumbled through the door the other day and headed to my bed for a full recovery.
Even today, there are remnants of sickness still swimming around in my head, but nothing compared to the shambles I felt like I left my family in, because I don’t have a backup plan for when mommy is not available. Fortunately, my husband jumped in and served where he could. The only thing is that this period got me thinking about the need for a backup plan, because I may not always be available.
I saw three areas that would have helped me these past few days as great tools in my backup plan and to be more organized.
I use to be a great meal planner and somewhere along the way, I fell off of “the shopping list” and have even been guilty of shopping by the aisle where you walk and grab what you think you will need some time that week. I had gone grocery shopping last week, but everything I bought (fresh and scratch cook here) had to be prepared. If I had followed through with the cooking part of my shopping, then there would have been meals ready for while I was down. Although I do not prefer frozen, I do know that frozen can still taste delicious once thawed as I often do that with soups I make.
If your children do not already follow a daily chore system, then now is the time to implement one. We used to follow one daily and lately, my children’s chores have been completed at my request rather than them having a set daily schedule. I see something that needs to get done and I ask them to do it. At the moment it is effective, but in the long run does not nurture any real discipline or responsibility in my children for maintaining our home. I pulled out the old chore charts they used to follow. I will be updating them next week and until then, they will get back on track with what they used to do daily without me having to ask or remind them.
Sick school schedule
I thought about this (and am still thinking about it) before putting it together. I wanted the schedule to be fun, but not too much fun where my kids would be secretly hoping mommy would get sick just so they could enjoy sick-day fun. We need a plan for school. Currently, all three of my children still depend on me to instruct them in most if not all of their subjects. I am fine with that right now. They do have independent work they can do, but instruction from mom does come into play somewhere in the day.
What I have come up with for a sick day schedule is 30 minutes reading, which they do daily; art (drawing, sketching, etc.) that does not involve gluing, painting, or cutting until we get back on track with our chore system; cleaning or straightening their chest of drawers; and possibly some computer/media time. For now, I think that is a good mix, but would love some other suggestions.
I do need to revisit this area for when one of my children is sick and there are group lessons (ex: history, science) to cover and some of the students are not present in class.
Do you have a backup plan for when mommy is not available?
I am a home schooling mom with a chronic illness that has been with me over ten years now. My children, also, need me to direct them in certain areas that we study. Having said that, however, I always keep nice boxes with lids and label them “inbox” and another for “outbox” for each child. In each “inbox” I have a daily schedule written out corresponding with the time of day on the top inside each box. These inboxes are updated regularly as we proceed into different levels of of our studies. These inboxes allow for totally self-sufficeint home school days. Examples include Math Drill worksheets, Copywork, Scripture cards to look up and read verses, books in each box to be read independently a minimum of 30 minutes each per child. I have history paragraphs copied from Usborne books for the kids to paraphrase ( this means the children are writing and incorporating reading comprehension simultaneously!). This is just a small sample of what you can put in a sick mommy day inbox. I add Latin flash cards, vocabulary worksheets taken from classical roots, and creative projects with minimal mess. At the day’s end all completed work is in each child’s “outbox”. I keep several days of in and out boxes since everyday is unpredictable regarding my health. The children are always proud to show me work they have completed by my beside! You can enjoy the flexibility of homeschool especially when you are ill. I hope this gets your creative juices flowing.