Homeschooling When Mom is Sick {Red Star Day}

Homeschooling when mom is sick

Homeschooling has become a little easier since we discovered My Student Logbooks. (You can read my review of the product or visit their site for more information.) The logbooks, along with our homeschool schedule, allow my kids to work more independently because they know what subjects they need to accomplish each day. The best part is that I only have to fill out the logbook once for the entire year!

Another benefit to using My Student Logbooks is being able to get school work done while I am sick or caring for an ill child. If you don’t have a logbook, don’t worry! You can still use these ideas!

Each of my children has a logbook with subjects listed down the side and next to some of the subjects are red stars. These stars let my children know what subjects to do when I am not available to work with them. Let’s take a look at the logbooks for my 5th grader, 3rd grader and 1st grader and I’ll try to explain how it all works.

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5th Grade Red Star Day

There are stars next to the following subjects for my 5th grader: Bible, spelling, math, history, vocabulary, health, typing and math drills. When I am sick, another child is ill that I need to care for or I have to be gone during school time, I declare a “Red Star Day”. My 5th grader will pull out her My Student Logbook and do only the subjects with red stars. Some of these “red star” subjects are ones she always does independently. Other “red star” subjects have some modifications made to them for “Red Star Day”. Here’s how it works.

student logbook 5

  • Bible: Instead of me teaching our Bible lesson to all the children, my 5th grader will read a Bible story of her choosing to her younger siblings.
  • Spelling: New spelling words are given on Monday so if “Red Star Day” falls on a Monday then she just reviews past spelling lists. If it is Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday she will do the usual spelling activity. If it is Friday, she asks her 3rd grade sister to give her the spelling test.
  • Math: My 5th grader already works independently on her math lessons so this is something she can easily accomplish on “Red Star Day”. If she has questions then she just puts it aside for another day.
  • History: Instead of doing our usual history lesson from The Mystery of History, my 5th grader reads a story from History Stories for Children to her younger siblings.
  • Vocabulary: She reviews all previously learned vocabulary words.
  • Health: This is normally done independently.
  • Typing: We use Keyboarding Without Tears which is always done independently.
  • Math Drills: Math Drills are done independently as well using Xtra Math.
  • She also has to do her usual 30 minutes of reading each day.

3rd Grade Red Star Day

student logbook 3

  • Bible: My 3rd grader will listen to the Bible story being read by her 5th grade sister. If the 5th grader is ill, then my 3rd grader will read the story to the younger ones.
  • Spelling: My 3rd grader still needs some help during her spelling lessons so on “Red Star Days” she skips her usual spelling lessons and plays Phonogram Candyland with her younger siblings.
  • History: The usual history lesson is skipped and all the kids listen to a story from History Stories for Children.
  • Vocabulary: Reviews previous vocabulary words.
  • Typing: We use Keyboarding Without Tears which is always done independently.
  • Handwriting: Handwriting is always done independently.
  • Math Drill: Math Drills are done independently as well using Xtra Math.
  • She also has to do her usual 30 minutes of reading each day.

1st Grade Red Star Day

student logbook 1

  • Bible: Listens to Bible story being read by older sibling.
  • Handwriting: Usually does independently and has an older sibling check work.
  • History: The usual history lesson is skipped and all the kids listen to a story from History Stories for Children.
  • Math Drills: He reviews his math facts with flashcards or the Math Fact Master app.
  • He also has to do his usual 20 minutes of looking at books each day.

Other Learning Ideas for “Red Star Day”

  • Bible
  • Spelling
    • Utilize apps on your mobile devices to learn and review letter sounds and spelling words.
    • Practice spelling words online at Spelling City.
    • Have siblings play phonics and spelling games together for review like Phonogram Candyland.
  • Math
    • Practice math facts using apps on mobile devices. We like Math Fact Master for quick and easy review. I’m sure there are lots of other great math game apps too!
    • Practice math facts online with Xtra Math or other online math games.
    • Have siblings play math games together such as Number Bingo, Fraction Bingo or any others you have sitting around your house.
  • History
  • Reading
    • Make good use of your library and check out some audio books for your kids to listen to while you are sick.
    • Have an older sibling read to the younger ones.
  • Grammer

The benefit to having the kids do school work while you are sick is that they stay occupied for awhile. I suggest having a few “Red Star Days” when you are healthy as a test run. Explain how it works then see how well they can do on their own. Perhaps you can make this a day to clean or organize the house so they know that you are busy but still available to explain this new type of school day to them. We had a lot of practice with “Red Star Days” while I was on bed rest and then recovering from giving birth. It was nice to know the kids were still getting school work done even when I wasn’t available.

And if “Red Star Day” is a disaster (as it sometimes can be for us)…. just take the day off!
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