May has been rough on my vocal chords. April left me with a nasty cold that turned into a sinus infection and a windy first few days of May ensure that I am also being blasted with pollen every time I step outside. In the morning, I cannot talk above a whisper. Once my voice warms up, I cannot talk without coughing. It is hard to talk, therefore it is hard to homeschool, but somehow, homeschooling is still happening. Here's how:
Audibooks Save Read Aloud Time
I usually read aloud at least an hour a day. I read the Bible, a history lesson, and a literature selection to everyone. I read picture books to my four and six year olds in the morning. I read bedtime stories. I read math lessons and science lessons when I need to.
When I can't read, there is a huge void in our homeschool day. My oldest, who is twelve can pick up a little of the slack, but not all of it. Luckily, at the beginning of my cold, I picked up the first audiobook of the How to Train Your Dragon series. We had not listened to an audiobook as a family yet, so I wasn't sure how it would be received, well let me tell you it was a resounding success! Everyone in our family from age four to almost forty loves this series. The narrator, David Tennant is a former Shakespearean actor but you probably know him from the TV series Dr. Who. I think it is his Shakespeare experience that really makes this audiobook series shine, because his range of character voices is excellent.
Speaking of Shakespeare, I planned on starting to read Julius Caesar with my son in May, but it's hard to teach Shakespeare with any grace if you are whispering and coughing the whole way through. Luckily, my library carries audiobooks on it's e-site so I was able to check out this all-star version of Julius Caesar. How could I have homeschooled while sick ten years ago?
If it weren't for the library, I may have cashed in on Amazon'sfree two audiobooks offer...
The Internet Saves Math Time
Luckily, it's May so I don't really feel pressured to teach too many new math concepts, but it is still important to practice math. Xtramath and the math games onABCya gave my kids a chance to drill math facts and play with the math concepts that they have learned in a fun and entertaining way. No one complains when I assign reinforcement math games on ABCya instead of starting a new lesson.
Documentaries Save History and Science
I had the kids read or look at science and history book and picture books during the day, but most of their instructional time happened via screens. We watched Born in China on day while I was recovering and I called it a school day after having the kids narrate a few things that they learned. (But did the snow leopard have to be the one animal that died? My cat-loving daughter was heartbroken!) A library DVD rounded out our history for the week. Since we just finished reading about Hercules in D'Aulaires Greek Myths, I put on the Disney version for fun on day when it was 98 degrees outside. ("That was really different than the story you read mom." "Yes, I know.")
Art and PE Take Care of Themselves
On my sick days I can pull out the art supplies and later send the kids outside and art and PE take care of themselves.
And that is how I homeschool when I can barely talk. How do you homeschool when you can't talk?