What happens when homeschooled kids get sick? Does schooling continue? Can courses be skipped? And most importantly, are there rules about how many days kids can take off from homeschool?
Like most things about homeschooling, the answers to these questions depend on individual families and individual approaches to homeschooling.
Some families, for instance, are just naturally more rigid in their considerations of logging hours and recording school days than others. Although nobody may be watching, it is still very important to these families that work gets completed on time, and that students not fall too far behind the lesson plans.
On the other hand, some parents allow sick children to take time off, or just instruct them to complete whatever school-work they feel they can do while being sick (think less strenuous activities like reading in bed or watching a DVD from the couch).
Still other families carefully help students compensate for lost work because grades depend on it. This is especially true when state laws dictate the number of homeschool days, or when homeschoolers are enrolled in programs which require a certain number of assignments per week/month. It can be very important in these cases to make up lost work on weekends or vacations, and submit all requirements once the student feels better.
And, finally, out of necessity (mom may be sick, too) or belief (other kids get sick days off), some just skip school altogether.
Depending on the philosophical approach to education and the type of work assigned, there are many different ways to handle sick days. Here are a few ideas, though families must always do what works best for them:
Carry On: Attempt to continue with the routine with as little interruption as possible. Results in less disruption to the regular work load, though work quality may suffer since students aren’t well.
Lighten the Load: Require some work, but not all. Courses deemed more important — even critical – are completed, while others get the day off with no make-up.
Adopt [Temporary] Different Approach: Curriculum-users turn to unschooling for a week. Organized schoolers drop schedules and use relaxed methods for a few days. Online learners turn to print books instead. And so on.
Skip School and Reschedule: Take days off and compensate by doubling-up on later lessons or scheduling school during vacations and weekends.
Skip School and Forget It: Take needed days off and find peace in the decision, knowing that several days off probably won’t matter anyway.