Do you need to move more in your homeschool day? I sure do! Homeschooling and mothering are awesome for many reasons…unlimited free time to exercise is not among them. 10,000 steps are recommended daily for health, keeping weight in check and giving you energy…
How are we supposed to fit that amount of walking into our day when we are homeschooling?
Sadly, I don’t have a magic wand to make time expand or call a fairy godmother around to watch the kids while I take a walk alone, so I needed to get creative!
When I started homeschooling I found myself moving less, eating more and seldom reaching that daily recommended goal of 10,000 steps. It took a few clever hacks to realize I needed new ways to move more while still giving my homeschool duties and my children the time and attention they needed.
I use a FitBit to measure my steps through the day, but whatever you use, these tips will help you increase your steps, add more movement to your day, and possibly have your kids asking you why you have so much energy! If you can make movement a natural part of the day, you will find yourself easily racking up those steps (and badges/rewards) before you know it!
1. Take a Nature Hike
Whenever the weather invites you, grab some notebooks and pencils and a poetry book or nature guide, and head outside with the kids for a walkabout in the woods, at the park or the nature center. What better way to encourage your kids to get healthy than getting active together?!
2. Get Outside for a Sound (or Color or Shape or I Spy) Walk
Don’t pack yourself down with nature study supplies, simply get outside to move with an intention. Ask everyone to find as many colors, shapes, or sounds as they can. Share and race to each to throw in some fun. Play ISpy as you traipse along together.
3. Jog Before School Begins
This is how I manage to get many of the steps in my day. It happens before school time for me. While my kiddos are busy with breakfast or a little screen time, I can make a few quick laps around the neighborhood before the day really gets going.
4. Move While You Read
A revelation, I tell you! I love to cuddle on the couch when we are doing morning time or sharing a read aloud but some days I find my energy gets zapped if I do, so I started to pace around the living room while reading. The children are fiddling around and listening so I move, too!
5. Have a Laundry Marathon
Talk about turing lemons into lemonade. We all have lots of laundry. Make a game of it to see how many times you can run up and down the stairs to put a load in, take one out, fold and deliver clothes to each room in the house. Sometimes it really makes my day-and my steps!
6. Do Some Stairway Math
Try some active learning like Julie over at Creekside Learning suggests in this post about practicing the multiplication facts on the stairs. Or get moving up and down the stairs as you count forward and backward, skip counting and the like. See how many times you can go up and down.
7. Jump The Spelling Words on the Trampoline
My daughter is massively motivated to practice her spelling words when I am happy to jump on the trampoline with her. She will yell out the answer while I quiz her on the words. She spends more time on spelling practice now than she ever did before just to see me jump :-).
8. Take a Field Trip
With warmer weather comes more days to take advantage of a homeschool schedule. Get some field trips scheduled and get moving! We just went to the zoo recently and racing from exhibit to exhibit-plus not sitting down at the playground-gave me my steps before we left for the day.
9. Post-Dinner Neighborhood Stroll
Later sunsets mean more time to move so why not use the time after dinner to take a family stroll? We love getting the kitchen cleaned up, maybe grabbing a little sweet treat and walking together after dinner. It is a nice way to have the kids reminisce about the day with Dad and spend some time as a family.
10. Review or Test Day Recap Roaming
When I was in high school there was an infamous English teacher that gave each senior their final test in AP English by walking the entire school building while going over the highlights of the year. Why not use some activity with your kids one on one for review or testing? I bet they would be happy to try a different format and you would get in those precious steps. (There is evidence that movement helps recall, too!)
So how are you going to get those steps in? Don’t get discouraged just begin slowly. Start thinking of ways you could move instead of being sedentary. Involve your children and let them encourage you! I would love to hear how you keep on the go when there is so much vying for your attention. How do you get in your steps? Leave a comment so we can benefit from each other’s ideas!