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20 Ways to Include Exercise in Your Homeschool

Whether your students are younger or older, everyone needs a break from the grind of schoolwork. In addition, parents know kids should have plenty of active time throughout the day, but with so many demands in a homeschool day, how do you create time for exercise? The answer most likely lies in determining to establish healthy fitness habits and in having fun, reasonable ways to incorporate them daily. One way to help you get started on a more intentionally active lifestyle is to incorporate a variety of short, inside breaks with longer exercise times, similar to a P.E. class.

Short, inside breaks are great for regaining focus, resetting after a tough moment, rewarding a job well done or getting the brain and heart pumping before an assessment.

Short Inside Break Ideas

1. Running around the house before school

Having kids knock on the door/ring the doorbell and wait to be welcomed to school is fun, too.

2. Long jumps with math facts

Learning doubles facts can be a chore, but when a student gets to jump across the room with four big jumps when asked 2+2, he gets a bit more engaged.

3. Jumping jacks with skip counting

Doing jumping jacks while skip counting helps with coordination and focus.

4. Running upstairs/downstairs before testing To get the brain moving before an assessment, have the student run upstairs/downstairs/around the house before starting. Getting a drink helps, too!

5. Five minute recess with calisthenics Calisthenics is using your body weight to improve strength, mobility, body control and more. Examples are sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups and squats.

6. Dancing to CD listening. Many homeschools involve some listening time, whether it's memory work set to music, rhythmic jingles to learn or foreign language learning songs. Use the listening time to allow kids to get out of their seats and move to the music and rhythms.

7. "Boxing" to history facts Learning a history timeline is more fun when you can "box it out," either freestyling or with a partner holding a pillow.

8. Brain break with GoNoodle This online tool encourages movement in short, easy interactive videos. Kids love creating their own "champs" and earning points while having lots of fun moving, singing, dancing and working out.

9. Wii games If you and your kids are into active Wii games, these can be a great way to break up the school day while encouraging fitness activities.

10. Hopscotch A fun jumping game indoors or out, hopscotch takes only a few minutes. And what kid doesn't love jumping around during the school day?

Big Outside Break Ideas Physical Education class is a staple in most elementary, middle and high schools for a reason. Establishing an active lifestyle promotes lifelong health, and as students age, more activity is sometimes difficult to help them get excited about. State requirements vary, but in high school, most homeschooled students have a P. E. requirement. A reasonable goal might be thirty minutes for four days per week. Even if your student is younger than high school, establishing a P. E. class is a way to encourage a habit of lifelong fitness.

11. Walk around the neighborhood It’s a great way to get to know your area and maybe even build relationships with your community.

12. Bike to the park, around the neighborhood or to a nearby destination Rails to Trails is a great resource for biking aficionados. Don’t forget to wear a helmet for safety.

13. Create a backyard obstacle course Running an obstacle course is a great way to build large motor skills. Use hula hoops, wood, foam swim toys, and other supplies you already have on hand to build the course. Time each other and challenge everyone to try to beat their own time!

14. Go on a hiking adventure Hiking is a low-key and noncompetitive activity that allows you to enjoy nature to the fullest. You can even incorporate nature studies and seasonal activities. For example, you might look for different colored leaves during a fall hike.

15. Learn a new playground game: foursquare, kickball, wiffle ball, soccer Playground games can be fun for homeschoolers, too!

16. Have a jumping contest with a jump rope Can you jump twice in one turn of the rope? How many times can you jump in one minute?

17. Play tag Tag is an old standby for a reason: it’s fun and simple.

18. Throw a frisbee around or play frisbee golf You might have a local “frolf” course - if not, build one yourself!

19. Go swimming Swimming is a full-body exercise that’s fun for the whole family. It’s a great way to cool off in the summer, but an indoor pool can allow you to have some water fun even when it’s cold outside.

20. Play tennis Head to the local tennis court for a friendly match.

Establishing and maintaining regular exercise habits at home can inspire your kids to pursue enjoyable exercise activities that can benefit them lifelong. How do you incorporate exercise in your homeschool day?

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