Anna Dusseau | 23rd March 2020
Happy Monday, guys! How’s everyone doing? Today marks the start of the official UK school closure and I hope you’re all coping okay. Believe me, even experienced homeschool families are struggling here, with cabin fever causing parents and children alike to resort to foot-stamping temper tantrums, like Big Brother housemates in a bid to boost ratings. I do sometimes wonder whether my daughter thinks she’s been on a reality TV show since the day she was born as, social distancing or not, she’s the queen of dramatic meltdowns and – I swear it’s the truth – I’ve seen her check her reaction face in the hall mirror as she stalks off following a fresh fallout over the rollerskate rota. So I guess we’re all a bit tense. And, as I keep saying, this is nothing like homeschooling. Nobody I know decided to home educate in order to self-isolate and watch disinfectant dry on deliveries. Crazy times call for crazy measures and it’s more important than ever to get your day off to a good start. Why not join us today in one of our favourite homeschool exercise options and feel the flow of those good endorphins? Yo, grandma, not in that nightie! Put some leggings on, for flip’s sake! Okay, here we go..
The Body Coach Joe Bidden is so much fun and, as well as doing daily live exercise videos with Good Morning from 9am every weekday, there is a huge archive of videos to choose from, including some super 5 minute buzz workouts aimed specifically at younger children. My kids love starting the day like this and I am quite mesmerized by his rock solid abs. Is there a tiny jiggle there? Dream on, love.
Den Building If you have any woodland or outdoor space around your house and we manage to avoid military house arrest like our European neighbours, then this is a fantastic family activity for sunny afternoons and weekend bonding. Roll up your sleeves, tell your moany one to stop moaning, and be sure to bring a big flask of hot chocolate to enjoy afterwards!
Kitchen Disco This is a legit daily activity in our house. We all love music and washing up for my kids is really just code for ‘crank up the volume and bust a groove’. Honestly. From Frozen to Fatboy Slim, we will go nuts to anything and everything, often collapsing on the floor at the end of a good dance session, shaking with laughter and still partying with just our feet in the air.
Bike Riding Great for lifting the mood whilst getting fresh air and exercise. We are lucky to have bike paths straight from our house, but if it’s all a bit of a hassle getting to a good location (roof racks are my husband’s kryptonite) then you should still be able to sling the kids’ bikes in the boot and take a stroll at the park, while the kids zoom round freaking everyone out with their invented pandemic facts.
Nature Walks Even if you aren’t a dog owner, try to factor this into your daily routine in order to stay sane during this strange time. With older kids, it’s a great opportunity to chat in a way that isn’t normally available when you’re busy with work and school, whereas for teeny boppers, it can be fun to give them a task or things to spot. The buds are out on the trees, y’all! Springtime is officially here.
Cosmic Yoga We love Jamie and the Cosmic Yoga team. Each 25 minute episode takes the kids (and you!) on a fabulously narrated adventure, such as Pokemon or Star Wars, whilst combining a comprehensive yoga workout with poses that will have everyone checking their core and standing a bit taller that day. Give it a go. Ideal for morning energy boosts and bedtime chillouts alike.
Garden Games If you are lucky enough to have a garden or open area outside your house to burn off some energy for half an hour, use it! Our kids are like farm dogs and seem to prefer roaming the garden to anything else, but even if yours need a bit of motivation, old school games such as tag, stuck in the mud and What’s the Time, Mr Wolf?, are sure to get them running around in no time.
Indoor Assault Course Yes, we do this. Way too often. Give them the ground rules (like “no swinging from the light bulbs, okay Malcolm? Not after last time..”) and let them get on with it while you finish that spreadsheet. Footstools are tunnels, duvets are shark-infested waters, and those expensive throw cushions you got for Mother’s Day are now stepping stones. You are so welcome, my friend!
Trampoline TV I know it’s a bit unorthodox, but in this weird new world where breakfast is going to be mini gherkins and you are slowly realising that your son’s unfair school report was actually – ummm – spot on, if they are happy bouncing up and down on a mattress while watching Horrible Histories, I would say do it! You might join them. Not you, grandma. Seriously, what is it with the nightie?
So, from fresh air frolics to getting jiggy in the living room, there are so many ways to stay active as homeschoolers. This is, admittedly, new territory for us all and nobody is going to claim to have the answers for getting through this national quarantine still on speaking terms with our nearest and dearest. But, if I could give you one tip from a family who – since starting homeschooling – have learnt how to spend a lot more time all together, I would say that being active is an essential part of what makes this lifestyle work. It improves concentration, sparks new ideas, and should give you your daily dose of belly laughs without which, well, you might not notice the sunshine behind the clouds.
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