Simple Ways To Get Moving With Your Kids

The following is a post from contributing writer Mary Prather.

 

Does exercise (aka gym class or physical education) ever seem to come in last in your homeschool?

At varying points in our homeschool experience, it has (I am sad to say).

I’ve discovered that it’s not so much about giving them a physical education, as it is about ME being a good role model for them, exercising with them, and encouraging them to try a variety of things to better their health, not to meet some kind of requirement.

We have done these simple things during our day to stay moving, and inevitably those days where we are moving everyone is happiest.

It was Plato who said:

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.

  • Take a Walk!    Yes, this is simple, but I’ve found that walking with my middle grades child leads to some of the best talks we have.  While we are walking we are sharing about our day, frustrations, and more.  I’m also challenging her to run sprints between certain mailboxes, see if we can walk farther than we did yesterday, and in general teach her about staying fit and healthy.   Don’t underestimate the power of a good walk.
  • Ride Bikes.   Last year I made it a priority to get two good bikes for my kids.  They were both hand me downs, but with a little work at the bike shop they were in great condition.  The kids love biking and sometimes I will even send them off together on a bike ride through our neighborhood (they are big enough for that now) in the middle of the day. (Oh, I wonder what the neighbors think!)
  • Get a Basketball Hoop.  This was one of our best investments ever .  You can play games like Horse and Around the World to make it more fun.  I frequently tell my 8 year old son to “go outside and shoot baskets” if he is fidgety or antsy.   Many times, I join him.  Sometimes I see his sister sneak out to play with him.  There are always neighbor kids in our driveway, too, which is always a good thing.
  • Go on Nature Hikes.  Kill two birds with one stone; a great hike can also be nature study.  Talk and learn while you walk.   Last year we did an entire study on trees and incorporated many nature walks into our unit.  We homeschool so our kids don’t have to look at the same four walls each day.
  • Join the YMCA.  This was a wonderful investment we made early on.  A membership gets us discounted classes and activities, as well as access to a full gym, tennis courts, and an indoor pool.  Our YMCA has a referral program to cut down on dues, too. Many branches offer scholarships to families in need.  The YMCA is often deserted in the middle of a day – a perfect time to take your homeschoolers!
What about you?  Do you stay moving with your kids?  Do you notice a difference when they have had some physical activity in a day?
Mary is a homeschooling mom of an 11 year old girl and 8 year old boy.  She is a musician, reader, and lover of all things education!  Visit her at Homegrown Learners.

Comments

  1. Great blog post. I wanted fitness to be part of our homeschool so I use a video called Prayfit. Although it is geared toward adults, the exercises that my 5, 7 and 8 year old can do. It is a short 33 minute workout just enough to keep them busy and get some good exercise. It has been very beneficial on the rainy days as well. You can check out the website at http://www.prayfit.com The DVD’s are available at Amazon and sometimes you can find them at Walmart.

    • Thanks for sharing that resource, Becki. I’m finding we all do what works for our own families — again, the beauty of homeschool. Thanks for reading today!

  2. LThis is so helpful! I often feel like more exercise would help our crazy days!! How many times a week or days do you try to move around?? ;) I’m trying to set a minimal goal for our movement. Thanks!!

    • Amanda — we shoot for a little bit each day — even if it’s just doing Wii Fit together or shooting baskets together!

  3. Hi, my kids who are 7 and 5 are a bit like my dogs. They are much more settled, calm, happy and able to learn once they have done something in the fresh air. We live in Dorset, uk, so beach walks and country hikes are easy for us and we swim once a week with other home ed kids and all the people that have come for a bit of peace look askance at us! Who cares my kids are having a ball.
    They also chat alot when we are walking so it think it therapeutic for them as well. Love this post.