If you ask 10 homeschooling mamas why they’ve made the decision to educate their children at home, you’ll get 10 different answers. What you won’t hear from any mom, however, is this: “I decided to become a homeschooling mom so I could have more time to focus on my fitness routine.”
No matter how you got here, one universal truth exists for all homeschooling mamas: Your kids are with you nearly all…the…time (except maybe the few hours here and there at a co-op, sports practice, or friend’s house). You’ve got a shadow, or two, or three.
And, while you love it most of the time, there’s no denying your pants have gotten a little tighter. Somewhere between skipping spin class to paint the styrofoam solar system with your children and explaining the Mayflower instead of pushing them in the jogging stroller they’ve outgrown each morning, you realize how tough it is for a homeschooling mom to find time for fitness.
You gaze out your window mid-morning to see the neighborhood moms power-walking after the school bus drives off with their kids, giving these gals seven hours of freedom. Must be nice, you think to yourself as you sit in jammies explaining sentence diagrams to your 8-year old, both of you munching on donuts.
Here’s the Deal
A fitness routine is vital to your overall health and need not suffer because you are a homeschooling mom. You need a little creativity and perseverance, and we know you have those qualities because you used gummy bears to teach prepositions to your daughter and developed an individualized reading plan for each of your children.
Oh, you can do this, here’s how.
- Wake up an hour earlier. This is the standard, age-old advice for anyone looking to add something valuable to their day. Getting in a quick run outside or on the treadmill, taking a studio class, or hitting the gym will wake you up and make you more focused and productive during the day. Your muscles will feel that good sore, and you can smile next time you see the power-walking gang, knowing you already got your workout in!
- Take advantage of live streaming. Don’t we all have that one friend who works for Beachbody? It’s time to inquire about the hundreds of streaming fitness videos the company offers. Your kids can handle 30 minutes of independent seat work while you get your sweat on in the living room.
- Make it a family affair. Your kids need to be active too, and a flexible schedule means you can all take a bike ride to Starbucks mid-morning. You can also head to the local park or even your own backyard to set up cones for cardio circuit training. Try a minute or two at each station: running, pushups, squats, jump rope, hula hoops, etc. Don’t forget some upbeat tunes to motivate your crew.
- Homeschool P.E. Your YMCA may offer a homeschool P.E. If so, you can workout onsite simultaneously. Look around at what’s offered in your area midday for homeschoolers — maybe the rollerskating rink, parks and rec, or trampoline park — and don’t stay on the sidelines.
- Make yourself a priority. This is the hardest thing. If all else fails, bring the kids to the YMCA or wherever, give them a few worksheets or a book to read (or an iPad for crying out loud), and leave them at a table outside your fitness class. Don’t mind the funny looks from people who wonder why these children are not in school at 10 a.m. You know how much effort you put into their education, and that’s all that matters.
Whichever route you choose, keep it up and remind yourself that exercise is vital to your health and overall sanity. You are a true role model for your kids when you show them that exercise is important and matters to you. It boils down to one hour a few days a week to yourself. The kids will be fine.
We’ll leave you with one more reason, creativity often flows when your heart is pumping, so think of it as essential to your lesson planning. In the middle of your run, you might suddenly think of a new way to teach the themes of Charlotte’s Web. Now there’s a win-win.
Photo Credits: Unsplash