There are plenty of reasons homeschools are growing in popularity in the US and around the world. Did you know there has been a 40% increase in the United Kingdom alone? Still, health and fitness aren’t two features many people would use in an argument. If anything, public school kids appear to be healthier and fitter than their homeschooled counterparts. In reality, it’s the other way around. From mental to physical health, the homeschoolers come out on top. Why is that? Carry on reading to find out more about how kids who learn in homeschools are healthier across the board.
While there are recesses and P.E classes at public and private schools, they are few and far between, and often eliminated altogether. At home, you can decide to give them an extra break for exercise purposes. Warm, sunshiney day in the middle of winter? It’s time for an impromptu nature walk. Even if it’s not a strenuous activity, the fact that you can mix up the structure is a health bonus. Getting them to stand up more often or to take classes outside is far better than sitting down all day and listening to a teacher. Our favorite Charlotte Mason quote, “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without”, shows our belief that children should be outdoors as much as possible. Fresh air is just as important as the exercise.
Sure, some kids go to bed at 8 pm on the dot and sleep through until 7 in the morning. That’s plenty of rest for a young mind and they’ll be refreshed and ready to go in the morning. But, it doesn’t work like that most of the time or for most children. As children age, they have extra-curricular activities that last way into the evening. By the time they go to bed and drop off, it might be as late as 10 pm. Teens especially need more sleep than most expect or allow for. According to many physicians and studies, 8-10 hours is the average need. If your child is involved in sports or other activities with a lot of physical activity, they might need even more. Lack of sleep affects more than just mood; it is not something to be seen as trivial. Public school children must get up at the same time and go about their day without the right amount of rest. Homeschoolers are different as you control their schedule so you can let them lie in a little longer.
There has been a push by schools to make food healthier for students. Still, kids have a field day when they are in charge of what they eat. From burgers to fries and candies, they’ll scoff as much as possible before they get home. In a homeschool setting, the parents decide what they eat for lunch. By making meals from scratch, you can include as many veggies and leafy greens as possible. Lunch is not always easy to plan for as a homeschool family. Find inspiration with frugal meal packets. Not only is it all planned for you – complete with recipes and shopping lists, but your children can help. Home ec. and health/nutrition are school subjects.
One of the perceived negatives about homeschooling is the lack of social interaction. Spend much time around homeschoolers and you will see this is much more an exception than the norm. But, you can flip it and say public schools are full of bullies who prey on the weak. More than 20% of kids are bullied and it’s a horrific experience which can lead to a lack of confidence or worse. At homes, there aren’t students who terrorize others, which is a good thing from a mental health perspective. If you want to take it one step further, you can enroll in an online masters school counseling course. The stuff you learn online is transferable into your own situations at home or at co-op for the sake of your children’s wellbeing.
Homeschooled children are healthier because they eat better, get more exercise, and are safe mentally.