· ·

5 Really Good Reasons to Cancel Your Homeschool Day

Are you struggling with knowing when it’s okay to cancel your homeschool day?

Do you feel like if you cancel the day just once, your kids will want to cancel school every day, you will lose all control, and your homeschool will fall apart?

There are many benefits that come from you being in the drivers’ seat of your kid’s education…but it comes with a lot of pressure to maintain a disciplined schedule.

I love the idea of a disciplined schedule…my years in the Army probably have something to do with that.

If I planned to do 5 days of school this week…well then, doing 4 days of school would be a failure in my eyes.

It has taken some time (and a bit of relaxing on my part), but I have started to feel more confident in my authority to throw the pencil down and take the day off.

5 Reasons to Cancel Your Homeschool Day

1. Your Child is Sick

Child is sick so homeschool day is cancelled

You really don’t want this to be your kid talking to their college roommate:

“Homeschooling was terrible! I would be stuffed up with a cold, sore throat, and coughing. But by mom would say, ‘Well, your hands still work. No reason you can’t take your spelling test today.'”

If you would not send your child to school because of how they feel or look, it is okay to cancel the entire day.

I know you might be looking at them sideways all day and thinking, “Hmmm, he looks better now. Maybe we could still knock out that assignment.”

Or you may be thinking, “Hmmm…I could put on that documentary to watch or read that assignment to him.”

Fight that!

When your child is sick, take off the teacher hat and stuff it in your closet for the rest of the day.

Love on your kid, enjoy taking the day off with no worries of an “unexcused absence,” and just spend the day together.

But, what if my other kids feel fine?

If your kids are independent with their assignments, by all means have them carry on with their day.

But, if they are at an age that requires you to be spend hours with them to accomplish their work, just cancel the day.

If you are still running school, you are not taking care of your child.

Instead of teaching the planned lesson, encourage your children to show love and care to their sick sibling.

Have them read books, make cards, or bring them something to eat.

Taking care of and showing compassion to someone when they are sick is a life skill that your kids will likely need some day.

2. You’re Sick

Homeschool mom cancelling school because she's sick

The idea for this post actually came from seeing several other homeschool bloggers posting about all the ways to still do school even if you’re sick and feel terrible.

I just kept thinking that is such a terrible way of showing self care to your children. And completely unnecessary.

If you are genuinely sick – respiratory or digestive struggles – you have my permission to cancel the school day without an ounce of guilt!

Remember, when a school teacher is sick, a substitute teacher is brought in. An emergency lesson plan full of busy work is used to fill the day and ward off anarchy. When the teacher returns, the planned lessons continue.

Instead of trying to fill your kids’ day with busy work that doesn’t require you to stand up, tell your kids that they are going to learn how to take care of their mother today. 

Have them bring you things (tissues, cough drops, gatorade, etc.), make their own food, clean up their own mess, and give you peace and quiet to rest.

3. Unexpected Field Trip Opportunity

Homeschool boy on a steam engine

You may see an event on your Facebook feed one day and say, “Oh man, I had no idea that was going on tomorrow!”

Or a fellow homeschool mom might text you and say, “I just heard about this today! Do you wanna go?!”

There are some homeschool moms, who would have no problem turning any event like that into an educational field trip and counting it as a school day.

Or you may be like me…very aware of what the curriculum says needs to be done every day and not wanting to get “off schedule” with lessons.

Do not allow your curriculum to hinder awesome educational opportunities as they come up – that would be much more “school” than homeschool!

So the next time you come across a great field trip, cancel your homeschool day and go for it!

4. Awesome Weather

Homeschool day cancelled because of first day of snow

During the time you are homeschooling, there will be awesome days of weather:

  • The first good snow
  • The first crisp fall day after a sweltering summer
  • The first warm day of summer after a blustery winter

Your kids will want to run outside and have a snowball fight, play in piles of fall leaves, or go pick spring flowers.

These days (especially the first snow) are like magic to your kids.

Exercise your ability to cancel school, throw open the front door, and let your kids enjoy the best parts of childhood.

Better yet, make it a homeschool holiday!

Tell your kids that the first snow day, first fall day in the 60s, and the first spring day in the 70s will be a homeschool holiday.

Your kids will likely learn a lot about weather, seasons, and temperature reading as they eagerly wait for the weather to turn!

5. Bad News

homeschool mom comforting crying child

The family dog has to be put down.

A close family member is diagnosed with a serious illness.

Unfortunately, bad news tends to come around.

The best option might be to carry on with your day and distract yourselves with work.

Or it might be to throw your plans out the window, pile the kids on the couch with you and a blanket, and just feel all the feelings.

A good friend of mine who homeschools had two devastating losses in her family in less than 2 years.

She told me that she was so thankful to be homeschooling so that she could attend to her children’s emotions and moods as they came and went.

She said she couldn’t imagine having to send them to school everyday with all that they were going through.

I hope your family never faces that kind of tragedy, but if it does, know that you are well within your rights to meet the needs of your children however you see fit.

The math problems and spelling words will keep, but their little hearts will not.

The Bottom Line on Cancelling Your Homeschool Day

Are you afraid you'll lose all control and go off the rails if you have an unplanned day off of homeschool? My type A personality understands you completely. Check out my top 5 reasons to cancel your homeschool day! I know your kids will be so happy you read this!

There is a lot of freedom that comes with homeschooling, but sometimes it is too much autonomy to handle.

When is it okay to cancel the day without being a lazy teacher and a sham homeschool?

If your child is sick, you are under the weather, an awesome field trip opportunity suddenly presents itself, your dream weather finally comes, or your family is in mourning…cancel your homeschool day!

You have my full and non-judging permission to exercise your right as the principal of your homeschool!

Did I miss anything?

Tell me in the comments what you would cancel school for!

Want to make sure you remember this the next time you’re in doubt? Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board and share with your friends and followers!

Read Next:

Worried about socializing your homeschooler? Looking for ideas to help them make friends? Been there! Let me save you time and money by sharing this awesome strategy I developed to get my children connected in a solid group of friends. It works!


  1. Hi Lauren! What about preparing to move? I know that sounds like a dumb question, but should we be trying to modify and maybe do half of the classes or should we just scrap it and work/travel for house hunting, etc.?

    1. Hi Kim! Great question! I actually moved a little over a year ago and we took 2 solid weeks off of school to deal with all of the things. The move was at the end of September and I remember thinking how very thankful I was to not be dealing with homework, projects, and tests (if they were in public school). We could completely focus on moving, unpacking, and settling in. It’s just my opinion, but even if you did manage to squeeze school in, it would probably be “checking the block” and not a lot of true learning. Worst case scenario, you have to work a little more into the summer – but your family will enjoy the peaceful move 🙂 Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *