It hit me a few days ago when I was trying to get my kids to eat broccoli and I was trying to explain to them that, when cooked right, broccoli still has just a bit of crunch…. that it isn’t supposed to smear when you try to cut it.
Health is a big thing for me because it is very important for growing minds. But it got me really got thinking about how much our homeschooling decision affects the kids health. I decided to compare it to the Newstart program which I have always really respected and have also used to teach my kids health. This is what I came up with. Some offer only a slight difference while others offer a huge benefit.
This, I believe is hugely different in a home school setting. Sure there are great mothers who pack super healthy lunches and home school moms that don’t cook healthy, but for the most part kids at home are eating home cooked, fresh cooked, balanced meals. It is just easier to do at home. Taking a healthy lunch is hard to start with, and then there is ‘peer pressure’ or ‘lunch envy’ for the kids who get the most ‘junk’ in their lunch. What is served at ‘hot’ school lunches can qualify for ‘warm’ (hopefully) food, but it is far from healthy, nutritious, or fresh.
But that is just the obvious lunch problem. There is breakfast, the most important meal of the day, that at home can be unhurried and balanced when kids are rushing out the door. I have worked hard at cooking full breakfasts for the kids. Sometimes it isn’t ready soon enough to get it in before our school starts at 7:15, but we can break for it at 7:45 and still have a full meal without being rushed.
Snacks are also great. Kids just function and think better when they aren’t hungry and we have a morning snack every day (sometimes an afternoon one, but the morning seems the most important). For snack we usually cut up fruit or pop popcorn, but just having the kitchen close makes it easier to find something fresh and healthy. My poor son goes through growth spurts that have him eating tones and still begging for food almost every hour. At home there is always something on hand as well as time to stop and ‘re-fuel’.
Funny side note: When I started homeschooling Lily at 5 I asked her what she thought of home school. She answered “Oh mom, I love it. At school we only got one snack (referring to pre-school) at home I get TWO snacks”
Kids can’t think or learn hungry, or sugared up… They also can’t learn as well if they are missing vitamins or nutrients from an over processed, over stored, and over cooked diet. This is not some great feet for a home schooling family, or that other families are mistreating their kids, it is just easier to eat nutritious at home.
This probably is very different per school and per home school, but we try and make exercise really important in our day. We have gone for a 2 mile walk, played at 2 different parks for a total of at least 3 hours, and gone swimming 3 times this week for a total of at least 4 hours. Kids need to move. I was super proud my kids both hiked the Grand Canyon this summer (ages 7 and 4).
This is something families can easily still do when the kids aren’t at school, but I do believe home school makes it easier because of scheduling flexibility.
This is simple, but super important. I don’t know how the schools do it, but my kids have a cup of water at both their desks when they are working and drink regularly through the day.
Got carried away with this post so I am breaking it into two parts. Stay tuned for part 2 next friday!
As I am getting ready to actually post this ‘part 1′ both kids have seemed to develop a fever…. they didn’t get the memo