On our trip to Arizona this year, I had some moments of clarity and proudness as a parent.
We homeschool and have for starting my 6th year now. As homeschool parents many of us struggle with how to fit it all in and how to make sure we are giving our children a well rounded education. So many of the homeschoolers I know and talk to when I work our local convention neglect physical fitness. Most of us, myself included, add a park play day or a single class such as swimming or dance , that meet one time a week and call that our P.E. While that is fine and I think it is fantastic and necessary for the kids to have time outdoors, with friends and in classes, I think that we as homeschool parents need to stop fooling ourselves that this is really any form of physical education for our children.
The thing is, I don't think we are doing well by our children, doing what most of us homeschoolers are calling ‘PE.' I think our kids need more. I think we need to actually educate our kids about taking care of themselves and their bodies. We do this in other ways, like teaching them to shower, wear deodorant, etc., etc. I think that at this time in history, with obesity becoming an epidemic, we need to do more. We have so much technology and so much that requires very little movement of our bodies. I think we need to teach our kids about healthy movement and simple fun ways to keep your body healthy and active.
Our family started a PE program late last summer. I had felt guilty the 4 years that we homeschooled prior to that. I had felt guilty but not enough to do anything about it. Then 2.5 years ago, I started losing weight and getting fit myself. I have to say that I felt great (still do). I loved feeling fit and the confidence and strength I was able to see in myself. I realized it was time to pass that on to my children. I also realize that if I didn't teach our children the habit of being fit when they are children, they will have a much harder time with finding and/or accepting this habit as adults. Now, I am not talking about fitness boot camp for kids. I am talking about simple exercise and fun games that grow strong children who feel great about themselves.
We have been using Family Time Fitness for 1 year now. I have to say that we really like it. No, we don't love every exercise or ever single day, but for the most part we have fun. Today was a total giggle fit over a game we were playing. Some days we do end in a crying spell by my youngest as losing a game is hard. Yet, I think it is a necessity to learn it is OK to lose.
My children have grown strong. Snowflake has taken it on herself to learn to do full push-ups! She has a sense of pride in herself that she can complete full push-ups! No one pushed her to learn them, she just wanted to (maybe to keep up with me, I'm not sure) learn them. I love seeing her go for it and push herself as that is a bit outside of her comfort zone. Pumpkin loves skipping, hopping and doing shuffles. She regularly adds them to other activities we are doing. She has great confidence in her skills in these areas. She even made up her own Olympics for us all to complete during the Olympics. Many of the ‘events' were things she has learned and we complete as part of our PE program.
My children have been more healthy (so have I since starting to exercise consistently). I can honestly say, I can't remember the last time we were sick. I think we each got a very mild cold over the winter, but that is all I can remember. I know there are studies that show that exercise boosts your immune system. I think we are seeing that in action. I think our healthy diet, vitamins, pro-biotic all help, but I am convinced that our physical activity is a huge contributor to our health.
Getting back to where I started the post, when we were in Arizona, we were able to go on several hikes that were 1.5 to 2 miles long(you can read about those hikes here). My kids had no problem with those hikes. I feel proud of that. I am so proud that I found something and that we are doing the program. My kids are benefiting. My kids are strong. Not only are they strong, I see a different type of confidence in themselves. I am proud that I am raising two girls who are beautiful in so many ways and that they are learning to be physically strong.
It is my opinion that we as parents need to teach our children a life of taking care of themselves. For me, that includes, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and physical fitness. I know not everyone agrees with this. That is OK and part of what makes the world go round, however for me, as I reflect back on the last year. I am so glad that I have chosen to teach my kids one more level of taking care of themselves and that we have seen many positive benefits from our journey.
If you choose to teach your kids physical fitness, I do recommend the Family Time Fitness program. It is not fancy, it does not require lots of equipment, it is challenging, it is fun, the whole family can actually do the program together and for us it works.
It works for our family because I am not a pull it all together on my own type of person. It would take me too long and never happen. Therefore, I look for program already put together for me. If you are like me, feel free to try the program. I also realize we don't all need or want the same thing, so if you don't like Family Time Fitness, find something, do something….my point is that I think we as parents have a responsibility to our children to teach them so many things including fitness. I am finally happy to say that I am achieving my goal of teaching my kids to be physically fit and I am even more happy to say we are seeing so many fantastic benefits!
Tune in tomorrow, when I will give you an idea of what Family Time Fitness is all about. I also have a giveaway of not one, but two Family Time Fitness Platinum packages!! Ohh La La! You don't want to miss that.
Update: Click here to go to my Giveaway which is up and running now until August 28th – Giveaway.
© 2011-2013 The Real Thing with the Coake Family. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.