At-Home Activities for People with Chronic Illness

Many people with chronic illness are too ill to work or attend school, even on a part-time basis. That doesn't mean that your personal growth has to end because you are largely home bound.  You may be able attain your goals from the comfort of your recliner. Here is a collection of resources to help you to continue your education, learn new skills, or embark on general self-improvement projects. Some of these websites teach marketable skills or allow you to work toward your degree. You can develop the skills you need to get paid work that you can do at home on your own schedule.  While we understand that everyone is at their own stage of illness, we hope that you can find something here that meets both your interests and physical capabilities.  

Educational Opportunities Taken from HomeCollege

Kindergarten - High School Education

For children and teens that physically cannot attend a brick and mortar school, there are several FREE options online that will allow them to progress through their education.  These are full time schools that are paid for by your tax dollars when you enroll (the money going to the brick and mortar school is diverted to the online public school of your choice). Students in kindergarten through 12th grade can enroll in these programs. Full time online education is a good option if homeschooling becomes necessary.  These programs are FREE.

College Coursework or Materials

There are a variety of opportunities to increase your education or learn new skills online.  These websites provide FREE educational opportunities that you can use at your own pace at home.  This can be useful in vocational rehabilitation, if your illness necessitates a change in your line of work.  Try these until you find something that you like.  You don't have anything to lose, and a lot to gain!

Coursera FREE for many courses. A world of online college classes, including an MIT or Stanford education for free...but without the diploma.

edX  FREE.  Over 500 courses from a wide variety of colleges and universities.  Choose something that is interesting to you and get started!  

Udemy Online courses that provide real life skill building.  Some courses are FREE, while others have a small fee associated.

University of Fashion  FREE or monthly/annual subscription.  This is great for anyone looking to learn all about fashion design. The school comes to you at your convenience and works on any device.

Excelsior College  Cost involved.  This fully accredited university will take life credits, exam credits, courses form other accredited schools and its own courses and exams to give you a wide range of degrees.

iTunes U  FREE. iTunes U is a vast learning resource offering free educational content that you can download to your computer, iPad, iPod and iPhone. Podcasts are available from universities around the country on a wide range of topics.

US News and World Reports: Best of Online Degrees  If you decide to invest in an online college, check out their reviews in US News and World Report first.

Computer Programming

Linux Foundation  FREE.  Linux is the computer operating system used by the Internet.  Many online jobs require knowledge of Linux.  The skills needed can be learned from books and free courses.

Codecademy  FREE. This course teaches about web design and making your own apps.  Many companies are looking for people who can do these things!

Udacity  Pay for credits.  Opportunities to learn web design, programming, and iOS apps to name a few.

Stack Overflow FREE. Question and answer platform for computer programmers and those wanting to learn computer programming.

TutorialsPoint FREE. In-depth tutorial for a variety of computer related topics.

Other At-Home Educational Opportunities

Khan Academy    FREE unlimited access.  This site provides excellent videos for learning any subject. They have units in math, science, art, computer programming and so many more. In addition, they have videos for test preparation for the SAT, MCAT, NCLEX-RN and many others. Check them out to learn a new skill, broaden your horizons, or prepare for a standardized test.

DuoLingo   FREE unlimited access.  Thirteen language options are offered on this site and include Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish, and Norwegian. There are other free online language programs available if you don't like this one.

American Sign Language  FREE. Learn to sign from this amazing resource.  Videos are included showing the signs and teaching you how to communicate with non-speakers.

First Aid and CPR Certification    FREE.  You can learn these skills in a completely online program. Complete with quizzes, you can gain certification in first aid and/or CPR from the comfort of your couch.

Brain Pickings FREE. Inspiring blog that will inform and help with personal growth.

Luminosity FREE. Brain games and brain training to improve memory and concentration.

Investopedia FREE. This site teaches you about financial trends to help you become a financial guru.

Memrise FREE. Learn something new every day in small lessons designed to keep you engaged with languages and vocabulary.

Psychology Today FREE. Improve your own mental health by reading a variety of articles about psychology.

Spreeder FREE. Online speed reading course that helps improve reading comprehension as well.

TED FREE. Ideas worth spreading about working smarter, what success is, and a wide variety of other interesting topics.

Project Gutenberg FREE. More than 50,000 free ebooks!

Freebooksy  FREE. A list of free books that you can download and read at your convenience is a great option for those who find a trip to the library takes too much energy.

Amazon's Free Kids Ebooks  FREE.  A list of free books that you can download and read at your convenience.  This is a great option for families with an ill parent or child in lieu of making a trip to the library.

SkillShare    FREE 14 day trial. Learn any skill via videos, projects and correspondence with the teacher. The price after the free trial ranges from $20-200 depending on the difficulty of the skill and number of lessons required.

Crafting from Your Bed or ReclinerCupcakes

AllRecipes FREE. You can find recipes on almost anything, or type in your list of ingredients and get ideas of what you could make for dinner tonight.

iMORE   FREE.  This site lists many good DIY and craft apps for IPad: Pinterest, Etsy, Makr, and more.

eHOW FREE. Learn a wide variety of skills with step-by-step instructions by experts in the field.

wikiHow FREE. This is an interactive site in which you can learn from others' experience or add your own tips to help teach others how do do something.

HowStuffWorks FREE.  Broaden your horizons with answers on a wide variety of topics.

Instructables FREE. DIY site with videos and instructions to build all sorts of things.

Digital Photography School FREE. Great tips to improve your photography skills!

How to Make Jewelry  FREE.  Try your hand at making a variety of beautiful pieces to enhance your look or start your own small business.

Appcrawlr. FREE for most apps. This has a variety of crafts, health and fitness, games, books, medical, sports and other categories for you to explore.

Craftsy. FREE to join and for some courses.  Online classes from the craftiest people around. You can learn a wide variety of new hobbies on this site. It has an app for both Apple and Android.

Favecrafts.  FREE.  Crafting in a variety of areas including jewelry making, needlecraft, painting, and wedding crafts to name just a few. Check out this site for unlimited access to 1000s of crafting ideas. They have a free Crafts for Kids page. 

Free Online Sewing Class For Beginners. FREE.  This site includes a combination of written tutorials and videos to help you learn to sew.

Creative Live.  FREE and paid.  This site has a good variety to learn music, crafting, photography, art & design and more.