Encouraging Kiddos to be Active

Ever since the invention of the television, parents have been having trouble keeping their kids active. It seems all they want to do is stare at a screen. When video games were invented, this problem was made worse. Not only could kids never miss their favorite shows, but now they had to make it further in the game than their friends.

How then do we get them to go play? 

kelly-sikkema-L1o1WQY5kp0-unsplash

While we can often get frustrated with our kids’ tendencies to sit around and do nothing, we need to do our best to not make physical activities a punishment.  We cannot expect them to go outside when told without complaining if we yell them to go outside. We also need to make sure we are setting a good example and going outside regularly too ourselves. No, you don’t need to go climb trees or anything extreme but take your work outside while regularly. You would be surprised how often they will follow you out there.

Help me with some specifics

One possible way to get your kids active is to create a game with a fitness dice. I have purchased two large cardstock dice from the Dollar Tree and written numbers on one dice and physical exercises such as jumping jacks, sprints, sit-ups and tuck jumps on them. I then covered them in packing tape to keep them in good condition and had the kids roll the dice to see how many of what activity they need to do. Five minutes of this will have your kid wore out. Another game that can be played is “how fast.” This game my dad played with me while on road trips or while we were on a walk. Basically, you call out an item you can see and the kid sees how fast they can run to it and back. It can be a tree, stop sign, flowers or even some of their toys.

Games are fun but what else?

Another option is to start having your kid work on his or her mile run every other day. A good place to start is to have your kid was a distance to warm up and then run a quarter-mile in intervals. It should be enough to get your kid’s heart pumping and breathing harder but not so much they want to throw up. Have them do the same intervals for a week or two and then challenge them to bump it up.

If you are able to, get them involved in a sport. Whether you sign your kid up for a neighborhood team or do something through the YMCA, a sport is a great way to get your kids active and they can learn things like teamwork, persistence, and dedication. We have had all three of our kids signed up for gymnastics and they loved it. It got them active, learning to control their bodies better and helped them become more confident in themselves. This year my daughter wants to sign up for soccer, my older boy wants to sword fight and my youngest wants to try everything. Sports can be an expensive way to go but take heart, there are inexpensive options out there. You just have to look.

What about a playground or nature trail

Playgrounds and nature trails are always a wonderful option. Even better if they are close to you. Often times, the difficulty is that people need to travel 30 minutes to an hour to get to a nature trail and this discourages them. Playgrounds can be closer but sometimes kids can get burned out going to the same one over and over again. I had four playgrounds within 15 minutes of our last house and I would rotate those during the month and hit one trail as well. It, of course, all depends on your time table and what you have near you as to what you can do with your kids, but playgrounds and nature trails are perfect inexpensive and fun ways to get our kids out and active.

Keeping our kids active and entertained can be a struggle at times but there are options. Some of the above-mentioned options may be a perfect fit for your family while others are just not possible and that is ok. We don’t need to do it all. Our kids do not need to do it all. We just want them healthy and happy. Start with one option, give it a try for a while and see how things go. Find what works best for your family and stick to a rhythm. The television and the games will always be a temptation, but we can at least teach them the fun of being outside as well.

rachel-ns-pic-canva

Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it.  As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.

New Year Ideas for the Kids

I tend to not set resolutions. I was never big on them and then as I got older and saw how quickly people seem to drop them, I decided New Year’s resolutions were not for me. The funny thing about that is ….

Every year I seem to pick something to focus on improving

This year, I want to focus on helping the kids learn to set personal goals and work towards them. This is no easy task as children rarely see their own faults and when we try to point it out to help them learn, it is not received well (can you tell I have tweens?). So how do we help our kids assess themselves and set personal goals that are attainable?

isaac-smith-Ij7h-m4nJ18-unsplash

First and foremost, we need to have our children think about

Continue reading “New Year Ideas for the Kids”

Passing on the torch

While most of my articles are full of encouragement and suggestions, this one will be different. I am a Mama who is reflecting on how her babies are growing up.

My twins are 12 years old and while they act like they still believe in good ol’ St. Nick, the past year or so they have been asking questions, showing they are suspicious.

__-drz-__-YZZz0_MfHto-unsplash

I personally do not look forward to the upcoming discussion, but I know their Christmas from now on will forever be changed and for the better. My babies will start sharing with others the joy of Christmas, the joy of surprising those they love with anonymous gifts.

After this Christmas, my two oldest will know that St. Nick is not a magical person but a feeling we carry within our hearts that we show to others in love. For now, though, I look at the presents around the tree and smile with the knowledge that it still holds a mysterious magic for them.

Next year, it will be different, but for now, we will enjoy the mystery.

Merry Christmas

Winter Weather Whining

I know I am not the only one who has already heard the “I’m Bored” cry this season. Between the cold, the wind, and the rain, it seems this weather is determined to keep my kids cooped up and going crazy. We are an energetic bunch. We are always moving and doing and playing, so when the weather keeps us cooped up, it can go south quickly.

johnny-cohen-sxzuj6npVGU-unsplash

Legos get thrown around.

Random toys go flying down the stairs.

Loud rough play spontaneously erupts

And the fights! Lord help me when the bickering begins.

So what do I do to keep

Continue reading “Winter Weather Whining”

Grace isn’t only for Others

There are many wonderful things about this time of year.

The crisp cool mornings

The beautiful lights and colors

The fun and cheerful songs we sing

The friends and family coming to visit

marcus-wallis-PzPLzNK61do-unsplash

This time of the year is one of the most joyful and exciting times and you cannot help but see the excitement everywhere. From the lights Continue reading “Grace isn’t only for Others”

Working in Time for the Activities

My kids are very hands-on kids. My boys especially but they all love activities and learn better when they can do activities associated with the lessons.

These activities could be:                      making pictures

building out of popsicle sticks

adding to an interactive notebook

or making a diorama

joanna-kosinska-6uBfxz_PTcU-unsplash

There are many options for learning activities but they all have something in common

They all take time and they all cost something

While these are not necessarily reasons to not do the Continue reading “Working in Time for the Activities”

Schooling together and Separately for Sanity

We do group time in my home but we do it how and when it is best for us.

I love how homeschooling allows this flexibility

andrew-ebrahim-zRwXf6PizEo-unsplash

I personally love the idea of a morning basket. Of starting the day off altogether, singing, cuddling, and spending time Continue reading “Schooling together and Separately for Sanity”

Thankful

This time of year can be such a joy. There are all the lights, the savory smells, families gathering to celebrate. Everyone is talking about what they are thankful for, how they are blessed and what blessings they have to come.

For some, this time of the year is hard. The sunsets earlier, they don’t feel like eating much, and the family never seems to have time. Seeing blessings and things to be thankful for can be a challenge.

Whichever you fall under, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection. I feel it is a great time to look back on the year and see how far you have come. Whether you have overcome many things, accomplished difficult things or honestly if you just made it through the year by gritting your teeth and pushing through, you have something to be thankful for. When you can look back at the past year and see your accomplishments, no matter how small they seem to you, it is easier to look ahead to the new year and try to set goals.

pro-church-media-p2OQW69vXP4-unsplash

This past year we have had many Continue reading “Thankful”

Keeping Creative Kids Focused

Some children have trouble staying focused because of age,

Some children have trouble staying focused because of energy,

but the ones I want to talk about are the creative ones.

markus-spiske-yftrRWzcSPU-unsplash

The mind of a creative child is a very unique mind. They are forever coming up with things to build, stories to tell, and places to run off to. They can be

Continue reading “Keeping Creative Kids Focused”

Super Scary Shakespeare in your Home

When I was in middle school, I was placed in a supplemental class called AVID. The goal of the class was to help teach quick-witted kids how to find key ideas in books and lectures, take notes, learn to present information and provide a rich learning environment for kids whose minds seemed to always want more. I hated keeping my binder in the one organized format they wanted us to use, it didn’t work for how my mind worked. I hated oral presentations, I am shy and turned red in front of everyone ever time.

I LOVED the play studies and poetry.

The average person cringes when they hear the name, Shakespeare. The old English, the complex storylines, the numerous characters, and long scripts. Often times it has been the same two plays that people have dealt with over and over again until they were sick of them. Often times, these plays were not fully read or shown to students but were just snippets of them. Shakespeare is not an easy writer to work into lessons with kiddos but it is one that is more tolerable if they get the full picture. Shakespeare’s plays are difficult sometimes to expose our children to.

It is doable though.

The first Shakespeare play I went to with my class was Midsummer Night’s Dream. I remember sitting in the audience totally transfixed on the story which we had been reading in class together. I was so excited about the play afterward I couldn’t stop talking about it. This is what I wanted to give my children.

matt-riches-OO8AEXFQtdI-unsplash

The past few months I have been doing just that. First, I picked up a copy of Midsummer Night’s Dream from our library. The copy they Continue reading “Super Scary Shakespeare in your Home”