I remember almost flunking an assignment that was given to the class by our fifth-grade teacher. We were supposed to come up with a physical fitness routine we could do at home. There were certain criteria we were supposed to meet, none of which I remember now. But I do remember that Michael, my classmate and next door neighbor, got a very good grade. I listed normal exercise activities, like running around the backyard, riding my bike, and thumb-wrestling. Michael’s list was really different than mine, and I assumed his mom helped him. He (a.k.a. his mom) creatively came up with a fitness routine using things around his house other than the normal things kids do. He had milk jug deadlifts and bicep curls, moving an empty laundry basket overhead just like one of those big fitness balls healthy people own, crab walking up and down stairs, and high-speed leaf raking. (See? No fifth-grade boy I know would come up with those ideas, right?)
Low Budget Gym Class
Scroll back up and read through Michael’s (a.k.a. his mom’s) list. If I’m fair, his (her) ideas are actually pretty cool.
- Most of us have plenty of milk jugs in the recycling bin. These can be used as weights if they are filled to the appropriate level with water or sand. Kids can do a lot of different weight work with them. You can find ideas about how to use weights on other websites.
- While the preschool siblings are playing at the playground, my older kids and I are finding all kinds of ways to use the equipment there for a quick circuit routine. (I tend to do this when we are the only ones at the park, otherwise, I feel like a weirdo.)
- Perhaps you can (get the kids to) do squats while unloading the dishwasher
- Ten push-ups between every ten math problems
- practice spelling words by making your body into the shapes of the letters
- Have a jump party on the back deck after lunchtime
- Morning and evening walks or bike rides are always a nice idea
Higher Budget Fitness Ideas
I have noticed that our local gyms, community centers, and other workout facilities (such as CrossFit, etc.) are becoming aware that homeschoolers want daytime physical fitness options. These places seem to be offering anything from a general PE class that meets a few times a week to kid-level versions of the same classes they offer adults. This can be kind of pricey, so prepare for that. But, the perk of going this route is that we are often more invested where we put our money. If we’ve paid the $99/month per kid, I bet your kids will become the next ninjas, for sure.
Health and PE Courses
Despite tracking steps on our smartwatches, eating healthy portions at meal times and only buying/eating food from the outer-most aisles at the grocery store, our kids still need to continue to add physical fitness to our homeschool routines. Chasing their baby sibling around in the afternoon hours and a weekly soccer practice likely isn’t enough movement for their bodies. I have been on a mission to find fun ways to add more exercise to our days. Michael (and his mom) is/are pretty cool for coming up with the creative ways to get our bodies moving.
What are ways you have found to add more fitness to your homeschool routine?
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.