Reason to Homeschool #8 – Relaxed and Healthy Lifestyle

Another one of my reasons for homeschooling is that I want a relaxed and healthy lifestyle for my family. A school schedule doesn’t allow for a relaxed lifestyle, and some of what goes on in school conflicts with having a healthy lifestyle.

I’m happy that my daughter is able to wake up whenever her body tells her she’s ready.  She’s 9 now, and I don’t ever recall having to wake her up for anything.  She’s free to get as much sleep as her body needs. A couple of years ago, she would wake up around 6:00 a.m., stay up for an hour, and then go back to sleep for another 2 hours.  Now, she wakes up around 6:30 or 7:00 just about every day.  I suspect that will change in a couple of years, and I may find her sleeping until 9:00 every day.  Our homeschooling lifestyle allows us to accommodate her changing needs for sleep.

In addition, I like that we have the ability to schedule our vacations whenever we want to, without having to consider a school schedule.  It’s nice to take vacations when everyone is in school – it’s much less expensive during the off-season, and there are never any crowds or lines.  We can take twice as many vacations each year because we save so much money by scheduling them during the off-season.  And, they are more enjoyable when there are no crowds or lines. We also plan our local trips to museums, parks, skating rinks, ceramic studios, bounce houses, and theaters, in the middle of the day when we know the schools are in session.

Accommodating our sleep needs, and  keeping stress levels down by having a relaxed schedule, are two examples of how we like to stay healthy.  But, we also focus a lot on nutrition. We don’t watch TV for a variety of reasons and one of the nice side effects of that, is not being blasted with commercials for unhealthy food and restaurants.  About 3 years ago, I overheard some moms talking at a park, about how hard it was to take their kids grocery shopping because they’d demand to have the sugary cereals they saw on TV.  And, how they had to avoid driving down certain roads because their kids would see McDonald’s and beg to stop.  I was glad that I couldn’t relate to that since my daughter had no idea what those things were.  If she were in school though, she would be getting unhealthy input from teachers and students, not to mention seeing candy machines, soda machines, and junk food in the cafeteria. All of that would make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for me to impart healthy habits, which is so important when they’re young.

There are other aspects of our relaxed and healthy lifestyle that we get to preserve by homeschooling.  I believe that exposure to nature, on a daily basis, is essential for well-being.  By homeschooling, we can be outside, interacting with nature, for much of the day, whereas in school, she’d be inside almost all day long.  In addition, we treat illnesses as naturally as possible (white willow bark for aches, pains, fever…raw honey for wounds, colds, sore throats…raw apple cider vinegar for bacterial infections, sunburns, heartburn…coconut oil for sunburns, dry skin, viruses, etc.)  If she were in school and got a scrape, or sore throat, she may be given something unnecessarily harsh.

The various facets of our lifestyle that get preserved by homeschooling, may seem like “nice to haves” rather than something more serious. But, the freedom to live a relaxed, natural, and healthy lifestyle, without unnecessary outside interference, sets the tone for all aspects of our lives. This gives me, as a mother, the ability to be my daughter’s main influencer in these areas; to shape daily habits and beliefs and expectations that will, hopefully, persist throughout her life.

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