5 Ways for the Homeschool Family to Stay HealthyJanelle Knutson
Homeschooling has provided many benefits to my family but one area we have struggled in is staying healthy. It’s easy for me to get preoccupied with training the hearts and minds of my children that I neglect my family’s health.
A few years ago I discovered that several of my kids and I have food allergies. As I learned to cook allergy-friendly meals I became motivated to take better care of the bodies God had given us. Here are five ways my family is staying healthy while homeschooling.
It sounds too easy to be true but one of the best ways to get healthy is to start moving. Physical activity is important for our bodies and our minds. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Grab your kids and take a walk outside or turn on some music and dance around the house. There are lots of ways to get moving whether you are stuck indoors or can get outside.
All that movement can also count toward school hours. You can sneak in some learning while your younger kids are moving. Teens can keep track of the hours and activities they do in a simple PE log and count it as an elective course.
Whether you count it as school time or not, getting physical activity in each day is good for you and your kids.
Set Out Healthy Snacks
The more my family starts incorporating physical activity into our day, the hungrier we get. I’ve found it helpful to set out healthy snacks that the kids and I can eat in between meals. If the healthy snacks are already prepared then it is easy for us to grab some while we are doing school work.
My favorite go-to healthy snacks are baby carrots, celery sticks, sliced cucumbers, string cheese, trail mix, granola bars and any type of fruit. Setting out health snacks makes it easier to avoid the junk food hidden in the pantry.
Plan Ahead for Meals
The last thing I want to do after a day of homeschooling is worry about dinner. It’s tempting to order a pizza, swing by a fast food restaurant or throw a frozen meal in the oven but I don’t want to do that every single night.
Planning ahead is the only way I can get healthy meals on the table. Meal planning, bulk shopping and preparing food the night before allow me to feed my family food that fuels our bodies.
A healthy family is a well-rested one. Making sleep a priority is important for good health. Going to bed at the same time each night, establishing a bedtime routine and getting as much sleep as possible can give you and your kids more energy during the day and help you all focus better during school time.
The benefit of homeschooling is that you can create your own schedule. If your family loves staying up late then allow time to sleep longer in the mornings. Determine how much sleep you all need, what time you want to wake up and then work backwards to see what time you need to get the kids and yourself to bed.
Decrease Your Stress
Stress takes its toll on the body. A busy schedule, a frustrating curriculum, a disastrous house and numerous other life circumstances can add unwanted pressure to our lives. Finding ways to decrease your stress levels will increase your overall health. Perhaps you need to break the busyness cycle, change curriculum or look for better ways to balance housework and homeschooling. Make a list of your top stressors right now and then pray about how you can decrease the load you are carrying.
How does your family stay healthy?