everyday homeschooling blog


Aug 15, 2013

Build Time Into Your Day For Fresh Air, Exercise & Sunshine

MaryAnn Gaver

We fluffed up the pillows in the corner of our upstairs school room that September afternoon, and settled in to review the spelling list. Sun poured through those two windows warming the carpet and our three freckled faces. 

We opened the book and worked to pronounce those special sounds: scr as in scrape, squ as in squeak or squint. After about thirty minutes and some major fidgeting, I gave a big yaaawwwnn...and silently considered that this third-grade language lesson was not going exactly according to plan --

I knew that all three of us needed a break for some exercise and fresh air...

I called my friend Carolyn who also had two boys, and we decided to meet at the park so that the two sets of brothers could play some baseball while we walked a little. It was wonderful, and I was glad that we decided to get together. It energized our whole day. The twins slept great that night, and so did I.

I realize that it's not always possible to visit the park, but I think it's wise to make "outdoor time" a priority as best we can. My encouragement today is to see how you might  strategically build in some time for fresh air and movement during your upcoming homeschool days. In the blogs, Make It An Active Summer and The Exercise of Choice For Busy Moms, I highlighted some of the benefits of daily physical activity.

Even if you can't visit the park, simply going outside for a stroll or study break can elevate your mood and give you extra energy to get through the afternoon. A little sunshine each day always helped me during our eleven years of homeschooling.

Recently, I listened to one of the Great Courses called Optimizing Brain Fitness by Professor Richard Restak, Clinical Professor of Neurology at The George Washington University School of Medicine here in Washington, D.C. He says that we can optimize brain function by paying attention to what we eat, how well we sleep, and how much we exercise. These are great things to consider as we homeschool. 

And this is where fresh air and sunshine fit in. When kids are outside, they love to be physically active. So all of these things -- exercise, fresh air, and sunshine work to optimize our overall health.

I encourage you to decide when it's time to step away from the desks (or pillows on the floor as in our case) and have fun outside.

 Keep moving, and keep being a great mom! 

All the best. God bless you.