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  • Writer's pictureKate

So now you're ill but want to feel like you're still Doing Education?

As mentioned previously, one of the Crow Wood CIC households is in quarantine with coronavirus symptoms. We're all OK-ish- but some feverish and definitely not up to doing "proper" work while others are fine to carry on as usual.

But it's still a school day, and some of the 6 of us are needing to get on with education or work. Putting on the Disney films is going to cause meltdown in the lockdown if only half the kids are allowed to watch them and the others are told to carry on with the History workbook.

So what to do?

Luckily, this issue comes up a fair bit in home education. When one person is poorly, the whole household can't just shut down- otherwise, with 4 kids going down with bugs in rotation, we'd never get anything done in the winter, coronavirus or no.

1. The poorly person can go to bed. Or stay in bed. or sleep on the sofa. They don't have to be doing anything much- the well people can keep checking on them and providing food and drink and calpol as necessary: Constant access to TV and games isn't necessary. If someone is ill, they're likely to need a lot more quiet rest than usual- and too much stimulation from interesting stuff on TV can disrupt that. So don't feel bad for not providing continuous entertainment!

2. Reading can definitely be educational- online or offline. If they're well enough, older kids can go down Wikipedia link rabbit holes or get distracted from symptoms reading every back cartoon from XKCD; any fiction book from The Gruffalo to The Odessey qualifies as education for every age group- it just depends how you're looking at the text (and the illustrations).

4. Sitting outside or by an open window can be really helpful for someone not too ill to manage it. If someone is poorly but able to potter about, pottering outdoors is a good plan if possible. Even if it's just 10 minutes, a bit of fresh air and sunshine can be a really good idea- so if everyone else is busy working in the garden, a blanket and a comfy just outside or inside) the door can be great for someone not able to join in any more than that, and help them feel included.

5. Documentaries, tutorials and lectures were made for this: Even if everyone in the house starts watching, you've still achieved education for everyone!- but taking into account point 1 above as well.

iPlayer has loads of documentaries available, with the advantage that unlike YouTube adults don't have to concentrate too hard on making sure there aren't inappropriate links or adverts or autoplay queues- Yay the BBC!

The Royal Institution has all its Christmas lectures online free. The favourites in this house are the Peter Wothers ones, because Explosions...

Marquee TV has a 30 day free trial to watch loads of their stuff, including from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House, Bolshoi Ballet and more.

OK, so it does involve YouTube (so make sure your kids are prompted on online safety), but we love Crash Course.

Obviously there's loads more to be going on with than just this stuff- games from Minecraft through cool math games (it says "math" in the title so it's got to be educational, right?!?), but what we're saying is, education doesn't have to look like workbooks- and nor does it have to stop completely, even when you're a bit under the weather.

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