Homeschooling Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

This usually busy season of life has been slowing down dramatically in our family because of a certain tiny, new baby brother or sister that is growing inside of me making me feel like doing nothing (other than sitting/laying around).

I was sitting on the couch the other day, feeling nauseated and exhausted as usual during this first trimester, when I looked up and saw three of my children sitting at the kitchen table.  It was evening, after dinner, and most of the messes had been diligently cleaned up by them with my husband checking in on their progress.  Emilia, our eight year old, dressed in a pretty pink nightgown was working on decoding a secret code pen-pal letter she had gotten that day.  Matthew, our sweet four year old, with the hood of his shirt pulled up on his head, was concentrating hard on a lego creation.  Tommy, our recently pacifier-free two and a half year old, was also at the table having a before-bed snack.  I think six year old Jonny was still working on cleaning up some stuff in his room.

I remember sitting there realizing that I’ve been in a sickly fog since I found out we’re pregnant.  I hadn’t taken the time to really “see” the kids lately and I miss it.  Frankly, I haven’t taken the time to really “see” much of anything lately.  Things that I normally enjoy (coffee, chocolate, desserts, decorating for Christmas, blogging, reading…and pretty much everything else I like to do) don’t sound fun or good at all right now.

I am thankful that Thanksgiving celebrations came soon after I found out that we’re pregnant.  I could go to the family gatherings and not have to worry about much.  The kids played with their cousins and I relaxed.

Now that it’s between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I feel like we should be doing at least some school daily, even if it’s not something that I feel like doing at all.  So, I’ve tried to make it easier for me.  I’ve been plopping my sorry self on the couch and reading their Apologia Science and Mystery of History to them.  I’ve also been having them bring their other subjects to me when they need help.


And many days, I turn on a movie for them and take a nap because that’s how I’m coping right now.  My house is also messier and the food isn’t always on the table when my husband gets home from work.  But, the good news is that this won’t last forever.  This is how it’s been with each of my other pregnancies and we’ve always survived “sick and tired mommy” during the first trimester.

So, until I’m feeling more like myself, we’re trying to take it easy.  Slowing down, if you will.  The kids will be fine.  The house will be fine.  My husband will be fine (even if he does have to order a little more pizza than usual…and clean more…and take care of me…and…he’s pretty great) and I will be fine as well.  Just give me until mid January…or a bit later (oh my…that sounds very far away right now!)  Then, Lord willing, things will go back to (semi) normal.

This is life.  This is homeschooling.  You roll with it because that’s what you have to do.

So, how do you homeschool when you’re feeling sick for a long period of time?  I could use some more ideas.  🙂

Heidi Vriesman headshot 3Heidi Vriesman, a follower of the Good Shepherd, is a rather spontaneous wife to her detailed husband and mom to their (going on) 5 children ages 8 and under.  She has a BA in Elementary Education and was fairly against homeschooling until the Lord worked on her heart.  They’re now
in their fourth homeschooling year. You can find her recounting their days in word and picture at  She’d love for you to stop by and say, “Hi!”

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  1. Hahaha! That is the glory of homeschooling. You can set your own schedule!

    When I was pregnant, I had the sick feeling but I never got sick so I just pushed through it. But when I do get sick, school is cancelled for the day. I call it, learn through play day!

  2. Ahhhh! Thank you! A woman who understands my world right now! Thinking I need to write an ‘ode to my couch’….that is where I seem to live right now. School is going to be a little touch and go…but I whisper such prayers of thanks when I hear them all sitting down working hard or playing well with each other while I’m crashed out. ‘Tis but a season, but some days it feels like it is going to be a very very very long season!! So thankful for all the slack (read: everything) my husband is doing right now! Our kiddos match up in ages exactly, so I think I really do truly feel your pain!! Thank you for “normalizing” this less than normal time for me! 🙂

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