Teaching our children to become healthy individuals is an integral aspect of both homeschooling and general parenting. While we know that we should incorporate physical education and health courses into our homeschool curriculum, we also need to make sure we take a unified approach to helping our children learn how to pursue physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental (specifically home and organizational) health.
Suggestions for Family Activities
While there are distinct health needs for each stage, there are also times when a family should explore healthy growth as a unit. Here are some suggestions that work across all of the ages and stages.
- Pick one healthy habit to work on each month, alternating focus on the various aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental.
- Utilize the YMCA for health and exercise classes.
- Learn a new sport as a family. Pickleball and badminton are great activities that can be enjoyed in your own backyard.
- Start a garden or raise chickens, working together to provide some of your own food.
- Guard family rest time. Make sure to schedule in regular times when your family pulls back together to be a family and truly rest.
- Enjoy family game night.
- Help the family as a whole understand that being angry, frustrated, restless, distracted, or emotional is not a sin! The sinfulness comes when we respond poorly to our feelings. Work together to learn how to process through feelings in a positive way and how to recognize needs in one another.
- Encourage communication from everyone. Encourage talkers to really think about what they’re saying and communicate real information. Help those who tend to be more quiet to find other outlets such as writing, drawing, engaging in physical activity, or other creative outlets.
- Watch for signs of emotional and mental struggles. Carrying a specific stuffed animal into the living room, for example, might be a sign that a child needs some extra snuggles or alone time. Encourage family members to be aware of each other’s signals.
- Keep a family calendar visible and updated to keep all family members on the same page.