Several years ago, I wrote about bedschooling. It is like homeschooling, but you do it from your bed. When I wrote about bedschooling before, my younger kids were 6, and 8. Now they are 13 and 15. So, why are we back to this and what are we doing differently?
What’s Different Now?
Several months ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease. It is far worse than the fatigue I experienced in the past that made me bedschool before. I don’t just feel tired, most days I’m in actual pain. And moving around increases my pain. Yes, I can sit at a table, but the extra effort to do that increases my pain level if I stay upright for too long. I pretty much have to lie down and stretch out for a chunk of each day.
The other factor I am now dealing with is that my kids are teenagers. They have no desire to get up early and get their work done. They also often ask to wait to start their work until after they have made themselves lunch or worked on a project of their own choosing. By resting in bed until they come to me, I save the few spoons I have on bad days.
What are We Learning?
What am I actually teaching from my bed? Math, English, literature, spelling, and grammar are the primary focus of our bedschooling time. I keep a dry-erase board by my bed and pull it out to explain math. It works great for teaching new concepts. I have a small foldable lap desk that also stays handy that the kids can use as a desk when they choose. The books we use for the subjects I teach from my bed are on a shelf in my room. It is easy enough for the kids to pull them out and use them and put them back when we are done.
Most of those assignments are from ready-to-go curriculums that don’t require much effort from me beyond using the teacher’s manual to explain the next lesson.
What about the other subjects?
Wonderfully, they are each doing foreign language on their own. One is using Duolingo and the other is doing Getting Started with Latin and using Youtube videos to teach herself. I just remind them to do it, and thankfully I don’t have to teach those. I just check in and make sure it is going well and they are learning. They also can make art and read to themselves without me now that they are older.
One day of the week, I drag myself out of bed to teach biology. We are doing a dissection-heavy, zoology-focused semester right now. There is no way I am doing dissections near my bed, so that is a good motivation. In addition to that, a friend’s child is joining us for that class. Because it involves this additional child, it is on our schedule and something I can plan around. But honestly, some things cannot be taught while laying down. Dissecting clams is one of those things.
My choice for history this semester involves just sending my oldest videos over discord. Are you on discord? I feel like every teen and tween I know is using it to communicate with their friends, so why not jump on the bandwagon? For me, it makes it easy to send something I know my son will see and can easily click the link and watch.
Oh, and my youngest? I’m working on a plan for history with her that hasn’t come together yet. But I have a great plan… and we will get to it when we get to it. For now, she is spending a lot of time making art and cooking whatever she feels like making. Today she made blueberry chocolate chip muffins for the family. Nothing will make me forget we were supposed to do a lesson like feeding me fresh-from-the-oven muffins. She is rather brilliant.
How is It Different This Time?
The last time I posted about bedschooling, I mentioned that we had lots of activities outside the house. We don’t this time. We have a few activities the kids are in, happening on weekends and evenings so that my husband can take the kids if my health won’t cooperate. No one seems to mind this situation, so it is what is working for us now.
And honestly, that is the best any of us can do with homeschooling. We just do what works for right now. And when it stops working, we do something else.
Are you bedschooling while dealing with health issues or just because it is so cozy? Let me know in the comments! I want to hear what is and isn’t working for you!
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.