Feb 15, 2019

The top five ways homeschooling can make you healthy

I find being an RN as well as a health coach people quite frequently. “What should I do to be healthy?” or “Is x, y, or z healthy for me?”

The truth of the matter…is that often times without even realizing it, you have a good hunch on the topic at hand.  Stop right now and think “what could I do to improve my health?”  You probably could list a handful of things from what you eat to what you do to make your life a healthier version and in turn feel better!  Yes, trusting your gut and knowing your body is a good thing.

Did you think homeschooling would make the list for health?  I think it can! Here are my 5 reasons why I think homeschooling can make you healthier.

1. Sleep

It goes without saying (or maybe it should be said) we need sleep! And more importantly our kids need sleep.  Sleep deprivation can affect our biorhythm in a real way, from throwing off our hormones, mood, appetite etc. When I worked nightshift it was not unheard of to have my mother call me a bear by my 3rd shift because it takes such a drastic role of deprivation on my body.  There aren’t many times I quote them for a positive topic but in this case the CDC nailed it on the head when they’ve been able to identify sleep as an essential component for our kids and their ability to perform better in school.

So much so they are encouraging schools to really consider delaying the start of school.  What’s even more amazing was the types of improvements were seen when school districts made those changes!  Kids slept better, ate a better breakfast, reduced teen car crashes and grades improved!

Homeschooling allows you that flexibility from your own home.  I honestly never liked my mornings as I used to hustle to get the kids dressed, fed and out the door asap…now I actually enjoy our mornings as we wake up when we’ve slept enough  (I say that tongue in cheek as my kids have yet to let me sleep enough!), make breakfast, get dressed and I even make my coffee (not always get to drink it…lol) before we start our school day typically by 9:30. Definitely has worked well for us!

2. Food

You knew I would go there! Even if you don’t have food allergies or are trying to navigate around certain ingredients…it makes sense that homeschooling would help with what you feed yourself.  First off, you get to control the food (holla to my type A people!)! You get to pick what and how much is in your house.  It might not seem like much but even if when you’re out and about you see so many choices that it can influence what you choose to eat…what you crave.

Study after study points to the fact that there is tons of spending on advertising as it can influence people’s opinion!  Specifically the amount of money spent on advertising foods IN SCHOOLS is unbelievable. The reason? Because it works in influencing choices.

Homeschooling can help keep you healthier simply because you can first control the food that enters your home, limit the exposure to unnecessary advertisements about food and rather listen to your gut (not just figuratively) on what your body needs to be healthy.

3. Exposure

This topic is two fold.  First of all I must say I don’t stay isolated in my happy bubble…and will gladly make the argument against anyone who only believes homeschoolers are unable to socialize.  My children and I are regularly out and about and involved in many activities.  That being said I think it’s helpful as we are entering flu season that we get to pick and choose how much are we being exposed to!  Homeschooling for the win with the flexibility it offers, in keeping our family healthier!

4. Family

I think this is maybe an overlooked benefit of homeschooling.  As I feel to be healthy you need good physical components as well as good mental components.  These days we are being spread thinner and thinner.  Our attention span is zapped by our tasks, our lists, our obligations, our expectations for ourselves (more lists on how to improve and change), activities that our children are in, maybe a hobby or interest that we might have, our job(s) (because who really only has one job), our phones (darn you convenience in the palm of our hands).  Life then becomes a lovely ball of stress!!  

The Mayo clinic (as well as person who’s experienced stress) will tell you that too much stress is bad and it can affect you physically and mentally.  So an added benefit to homeschooling is you get to focus on your family in another way with education (which absolutely has its stresses) but it allows you step back from outside stresses a little bit more and pour your efforts into rather than outside of your family.

Personally when I start focusing on everyone’s needs outside of our family too much, than the mental health and happiness of our little family struggles more than it needs to.  It’s not saying your family can’t be happy if you and family do a traditional school, it’s that I’ve noticed a healthier version of my own family by taking the steps to homeschool and refocus my efforts on my family. 

5. Peace

I’m all about doing what you love.  I have a friend who told me “I don’t know how you stay home Renee, I love my job!”  And I think she speaks for both of us…doing what you love helps you do it! There are so many benefits when you do what you love and if homeschooling is the right fit for your family you’re going to be more motivated to do it, you’ll be happier and that has a ripple effect on your children, physically your health improves if mentally you're doing something you love!

So if homeschooling fits your family, it’s impossible not to see the health benefits!

The list could on but i’ll spare you! As an RN and health coach sometimes the health choices are easy and sometimes they are hard.  But in this case, I’ve only found homeschooling to be a healthier choice for my family. 

Rock on mommas!

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