Are you facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge? Do you turn to prayer but don’t “feel” a difference? Does God feel far away and you feel alone? Here is my latest from Integrated Catholic Life:
We know homeschooling is good for your children- their morals, their academics, their physical and emotional development, but are you aware of the unique benefits of homeschooling to YOUR health and welfare? No? Well, then read on, mama! Here are eight ways homeschooling your children makes you healthier and happier. Enjoy.
1. Homeschooling moms can eat healthier.
Homeschool moms are not packing school lunches, trying to figure out what nutritious snack will stay fresh for four hours in a lunch box with just an ice pack, and then scrounging at lunch time for herself, eating whatever is there because she doesn’t want to take the time to fix food for just one person. She can’t zip off to the fast food store easily either at noon, unless she wants to put coats and shoes on all her little people and worry about the post-eating mess in the van.
Homeschool moms often open up their fridges and warm up healthy leftovers from the night before, or spend a few minutes chopping up fresh vegetables for quick, vitamin-laden salads for everyone. She can boil a couple eggs or warm up frozen creamed spinach if she wants. If moms plan ahead, they can even pre-make a whole week full of lunches and put them in the freezer for easy defrosting and eating, whether lunch is at 11 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. Homeschool moms generally are very conscientious about what goes into their children’s bodies. When they go out of their way to make a nutritious and delicious meal for their children, they are more likely to eat healthy foods themselves. Bon apetit!
2. Homeschooling moms can get the sleep they need
Homeschooling moms can get all the sleep they need. Homeschooling moms can take mid-day naps, or sleep later, or get to bed earlier than their non-homeschooling counterparts. They don’t have to stay up until midnight encouraging a child with an early morning project due. They don’t have to drag sleepy children out of bed to get them fed and ready for a 7:00 a.m. bus. They can go with the flow and work with their child’s and their individual sleep needs.
Studies show sleep is more necessary than originally thought.* While many homeschool moms DO get up early to get a head start on their day, they don’t HAVE TO. They are not outside-the-family-activity driven. They control their family’s time and commitments and are free to rest with the littles when they need or want. Homeschool moms have more control over their families’ schedules than do moms of children in brick and mortar schools. They can more easily adjust sleep schedules for their children and themselves than other moms.
3. Homeschooling makes mom teachers smarter.
No matter how prepared you are for homeschooling, there is always something you don’t know that your child must learn or wants to learn. This is what homeschooling moms say. Maybe it’s Latin she is learning along side her kids. Perhaps it’s the Kreb Cycle or other biological or chemical concept. Regardless, every homeschool mom attests that she is always learning something new on account of her children, and constantly must be on her toes. While this quick thinking can be challenging on some days, it is definitely a homeschooling mom’s benefit over time.
I suspect future studies will show homeschool moms are less likely to get Alzheimers. If doing a crossword puzzle a day is supposed to help stave off the disease, surely teaching four hours a day and learning something new each hour will catapult a homeschooling mom into huge brain protection and alertness well into old age.
4. Homeschooling keeps moms physically fit.
After all, they are constantly chasing students down to pull them back to their work. Just kidding. Seriously, homeschool moms report they often spend time doing physical activity with their children- biking on sunny days, hiking, exploring the neighborhood. This is often part of the actual school day as many homeschool moms embrace ‘hands-on’ learning- going to the park, finding geological specimens (ie: rocks), are integrated with the curriculum. What’s more, to homeschool, moms must develop self-discipline. This often spills over into all areas of her life, where she finds time to be physically active with her children. Many homeschooling group social activities revolve around physical fun- roller skating, soccer in the park, and other sports. Some homeschooling moms even sign up for Pilates or aerobic class with their teenaged daughters as part of their physical education. The flexibility of homeschooling allows for mom to be physically fit, if she chooses to integrate activity into the family’s school day.
5. Homeschooling builds strong family relationships and strong relationships preserve health.
When families live and learn together day in and day out, with members spending most of the day with one another, they can’t help but grow closer. Big children interact with little children. Parents have more time for in-depth conversation with their offspring. People who have satisfying relationships have been shown to be happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer. When homeschooling families learn together, they grow together and bond. These satisfying relationships can help them live healthier lives.
6. Homeschooling families are in more control and therefore may encounter less stress.
Sure, there is stress involved in finding curriculum, organizing a school day, and teaching a child from day to day and year to year, and dealing with state regulations all while running a home. But most of this stress is self-moderated by homeschooling parents. It is not (except for the state regulations) imposed by outside sources. The power in a homeschooling family is with the family. The family decides the schedule, the subjects, what’s best for the child. There is no worry about negative outside influences from teachers or administrators or peers. The parents are the teachers and administrators, and they can carefully watch over peer influence and interaction on a consistent, daily basis. The deadlines generally are those determined by the family, not by a school corporation, or five different teachers or a particular school.
Homeschooling can keep everyone calmer. Less stress = better health.
7. Homeschooling can make a marriage stronger. Stronger marriage= health benefits.
Homeschooling is like bringing a magnifying glass into a marriage. If there are problems in the marriage before embarking on homeschooling, they will loom bigger after one begins. If there is already strength and happiness in a marriage before homeschooling, that will grow too afterwards. The key is to build on a strong base and increase blessings exponentially, thus contributing to overall well being and health. Homeschooling can make a marriage stronger because a couple must discuss many issues and topics before and during homeschooling. Navigating these topics well can lead to better marriages and thus better health.
Homeschooling parents must interact more than non-homeschooling parents to discuss in depth their general and specific plans for educating their children (Should we use boxed curriculum? Will we homeschool one year or 12? What subjects are important? How will we integrate athletics into our children’s lives? Logistically in our home how will this work? Etc. etc.) Homeschooling parents will face unique challenges (Perhaps the in-laws will object vehemently for example and that must be addressed by the couple, or maybe the couple must discuss the layout of the house for the accumulation of books, or there might be daily problems with one particular subject…). Homeschooling parents must work together. They must communicate. Choosing to homeschool is choosing to delve deeper into a marriage, where a couple’s relationship can be strengthened and blossom in ways otherwise not capable.
8. Homeschool moms find their own passions as they seek to develop their children’s
Homeschooling moms often find interests of their own while igniting the passions of their children. When a child is immersed in writing- poetry or short stories, mother might find she wants to create them right with her child. She might decide to submit her work in a contest as she encourages her child to submit his. As a homeschooling mother teaches her daughter the basics of sewing, she might be inspired to create something elaborate of her own, or upcycle some used clothing she has in a closet. In short, homeschooling makes mothers think outside the box, and her child may not be the only one who benefits from mom teaching- mom often finds her own passions while teaching her children. She is a life-long learner and while others her age may be suffering career burnout, a homeschool mom often develops a deeper passion for life!
What are the health and life benefits YOU have experienced on account of homeschooling? I am sure there are more than these eight! Here is a collection of thoughts from other moms.