Homeschooling on Bed Rest Part 1 of 4

Over the next 4 weeks we have a series about Homeschooling while on Bed Rest. Hope you enjoy the wonderful tips that Miriam has brought to those of us who find ourselves needing to be on bed rest while still homeschooling. Thanks Miriam!


There are many reasons why one may find themselves on bed rest – a sudden accident or illness, surgery recovery or a troubled pregnancy are a few. Rarely are these scheduled. Having been on bed rest several times now with lengths of time varying from weeks to months, while homeschooling children, I thought I would pass along some helpful advice on how you can both be pre-prepared for and survive such a time.

Be Organized In Advance:

In Your Home – Organize your home so that everything has a place and are grouped with similar items (hats and gloves have bins near shoes and coats, your baking supplies are all together in labeled canisters in a cupboard and foods organized in your pantry according to use, such as soups, pre-packaged meals, snacks, pastas). Give each of your children their own bin to put their special treasures that are special to them (in other words, they don’t want to share) or wouldn’t otherwise have a home, like birthday party goody bag items or craft projects. In this way, when you ask them to put away or assemble together items, they immediately know where to look for them. Similarly, should a friend offer to help straighten up for you and ask where to put things away, it will be both easy and obvious.

For School – Organize each subject in its own bin or drawer. Completed work should also have a folder for it to go directly into at the end of a day. Larger items can be photographed and stored in a reporting document ready to be given to your portfolio or support teacher. In this way a friend could assemble the work in an afternoon for submission. Having documented weekly or monthly completion targets will help you or anyone else helping you know what you are working in and need to be completed. If your need for care level is at such a point where you need to go stay with someone else, this will greatly help you (and them) be prepared.

Time – Front load your work load for the beginning of the year and the beginning of each term, leaving more elective topics for the end of the term. Doing so gives you more flexibility over what you can cover and over possible time constraints.

Train Your Children:

Ask Your Children to Put Away Things – Train your children to put things back into the places you’ve created for them. Although they may not be consistent, if the time comes when they need to be called on to help, even young children will be familiar with where everything lives and be able to contribute. Ask the children to use a digital camera to assist you with being your eyes, if necessary while on bed rest, to ensure chores are accomplished. If you end up being cared for by someone else in their home, you will be particularly grateful you have instilled this habit in them, so you do not feel an excessive burden to them.

Train Your Children to Be Self-Sufficient – Be proactive with enabling your children to be self-sufficient care-takers of their own homes at all times and regardless of their gender. Set up an age-appropriate timeline for your children to mark their own school work, operate a microwave, make their own bed, sort, wash and put away laundry, sew on buttons and fix small holes, follow a basic recipe (and later, more detailed holiday meals), boil water, wash dishes and even change the oil in a vehicle. By this I mean that they should be familiar enough with these tasks if called upon – not that they may necessarily do them on a consistent basis or without supervision – but they should be familiar enough with the tasks and with what your expectations look like. The more they become capable of before you find yourself on bed rest, the more helpful your children will be and better your family will endure the time of bed rest.

Create Areas of Specialty – Establish one child as a specialist in a particular area, such as bathroom tidiness or serving food. These areas of specialty should rotate to other children routinely, but establishing specialty areas empowers your children and prevents power struggles.

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