Top 10 Budgeting Tips For Teens!

 

Teaching kids how to handle their money is huge. So huge, it should really get a dedicated class at school. Sadly, in most cases, this just isn’t the reality. I don’t remember anything about money management or budgeting from my school years; maybe a lesson or two, but nothing comprehensive. And it really should be comprehensive! There are so many ways to mishandle money, many of which actively target young people and college kids (looking at you, credit card companies!) So the younger we can teach our kids, the better off they will be, and the better their chances are, of avoiding some of these major missteps!

By twelve or thirteen, a kid has largely figured out what the socio-economic situation is in their household. They recognize if they have more or less material things, or go on more or fewer vacations than their friends. They have watched you pay for things with cash, checks, or plastic cards. They have watched you withdraw cash from an ATM. They may have been told “we can’t afford that” or they may have never heard those words. They have also probably listened to financial discussions between their parents. For the most part, we as parents set the stage for teaching our kids about money, just by our relationship with it.

1. Talk about it!

As with most things in their lives, our kids learn most of what they know of money from us. So an important first step is to discuss it! There’s no need to get into the grizzly details of your finances (unless you want to). To start, you may want to only discuss your overall financial values and strategies with them. General discussions can be about your expenses and what allotments of income are needed and where. You can discuss how many more car payments you have left, and how much your various interest rates are. If something might confuse them, make sure they understand why you are doing things a particular way. If you pay with credit cards, explain why: you are accruing airline miles, convenience, they are safer than cash, etc… If you are currently paying off debt, explain how and why.  Teach them the advantages of running your home using only cash. Whatever your financial situation and the story behind it, sharing it with your teens is an important aspect of how to teach your teens about money.

2. Log expenses

This is a really easy way to get your teen’s attention. Have everyone in the house track their expenses in one place. You can be fancy with a spreadsheet, or simple with a notebook! We have used a whiteboard before, and I decided to hang it by the door so it was impossible to miss. And then just log it all! You can leave off the big stuff like the mortgage and car notes, but be sure to track things like gas, groceries, meals on the go, and morning coffee. That way, your teen has eyes on what it costs to run the house.

3. Identify wants and needs

This is a big one. That morning coffee run, the nail salon, take-out on a busy weeknight, all the little luxuries that we like to treat ourselves with can really add up. And if our kids see us do these things regularly, they may not realize that they are extras, and believe instead that it’s just something we do. Take your tracked expense log and talk about the times you purchased in a week. Identify what you consider the “extras” and add up how much they cost that week. Then discuss whether that money could have been better used elsewhere, or saved for a big-ticket, wishlist item. Keep in mind, this is not to judge or shame any spending habits! Just to give some insight to your teen about how much things cost, and how much change can be affected by small adjustments.

4. Saving and long term goals

Once the clarification has been made in your teen’s eyes that some purchases are out of necessity, and others are not, then you can really start the conversation about saving. Just like small purchases can add up to quite a lot, small savings can make a big impact over time. That five dollar coffee every morning on the way to work, can be $100 in a savings account at the end of the month. A savings account is a great idea for this age. And at sixteen, kids can get their own checking account. Our daughter has a savings account linked to her checking account, and she manages these on our bank’s app. Her accounts are linked to mine because she is under eighteen, so I can monitor her activity.

5. Earning money

It’s never too early to impart the importance of saving the money your teen earns. If your kids get an allowance from a young age, have them start saving! If they’re too young for an account, they can save money in yours, or in a fun place like a piggy bank or home safe. As they get older, talk about big-ticket items they want to save for, like a vehicle or college expenses, and help them make that savings plan. If it’s financially feasible for your family to do so, look into matching them to incentivize their saving.

6. Let’s talk about debt

I know. It’s a dirty word in some houses. But it’s also a hard fact of life for many families, and something your teen will have to navigate for themselves eventually. Talk about major expenses like cars, college, housing, and vacations. Talk about ways to avoid credit card debt, like paying off a balance every month and the difference between regular and introductory interest rates. Talk about student loans versus college saving accounts and what is possible for your teen. The more educated they are, the better, and the more confidant they will be when their time comes to make these big decisions.

7. Let them take some responsibility

This part can be difficult, especially if money is not tight for your household, but the sooner a teen has some small fiscal responsibilities, the better equipped they will be for larger ones later on. This can start as small as tithing or donating a portion of their allowance to a cause, and be as major as paying for their own gas and maintenance on their car. The more ownership they have of their money, the more selective they will be about how they spend it. Sit down and decide together the best cause for your teen to give to. He can tithe to your local church, donate money or time to a nearby homeless shelter, or buy supplies for animal shelters in the area. Our family supports a nonprofit that takes in homeless mothers in Kenya and teaches them a trade so they can support their families. There are even ministries that collect money to pay off medical debt for people all over the country!

8. Teach them how to read a pay stub

When your teen earns his first paycheck, break it down with him so he can see how much he actually earned. Show him the difference between his gross and net earnings. Maybe compare with one of yours to show how much is taken out for taxes, retirement, insurances, etc., and discuss these things.

9. Talk about investing

No, it’s not too early to talk about investing or saving for retirement!  This is especially important if you yourself got a late start on this (like me!). Don’t let your teen start late.  Talk about it now. Be sure to explain compound interest – how money can earn interest over time and that it is best to start young. This is especially relevant for saving for college!

10. Model contentment

I think a big problem with saving money these days is that everyone seems to want to keep up with the images and illusions of success that we see all over social media. It’s really important to model being content with what we have, and grateful for our many blessings.  As difficult as it can be at times, avoid comparing your life to someone else’s. Don’t feel overwhelmed if you didn’t start off your adult life well with managing your money, just set a good example and get help with your finances now if you need it. That example is so impactful to our kids!

Books about budgeting

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze

Dave Ramsey, the debt eliminating guru teams up with his daughter to break down money principles and lay firm foundations for kids smart money habits.

Make Your Kid a Money Genius by Beth Kobliner

I definitely did not start out in life with a thorough understanding in this area! But that doesn’t mean my kids have to repeat my mistakes! This book teaches you to equip your kids to navigate their financial future with confidence.

The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins

This book was instrumental in helping straighten out the finances in my family!

Apps and websites

There are tons of apps for tracking spending and tips for saving. Literally, anything you could want and too many to list, but we use Every Dollar by Dave Ramsey.

The mint has lessons and information about financial responsibility for kids, teens, and parents.

Jumpstart has “reality check” exercises that will tell them how much money they need to earn for their desired spending.

Homey is a free app (with in-app purchases) that assigns chores to family members and keeps track of allowance or other rewards earned.

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Homemade, Allergy-friendly Playdough with Baking Soda!

My kids have always loved playing with playdough! We had just about every mold, model, and extruder we could find, and they filled many love hours with imaginative and creative play in their early years!

I prefer homemade dough because of its low cost and ingredients I could pronounce, but many of the homemade varieties aren’t ideal for those with food allergies due to their use of gluten and wheat flour. So this homemade recipe uses baking soda and cornstarch, making it gentle on the skin and allergy-friendly!

Gluten-Free Baking Soda Pay Dough

*This recipe is an adaption of the Arm & Hammer Play Clay recipe

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. The baking soda makes it fizz for a while before it starts to thicken, which is fun for kids to see! Once it starts to thicken, be vigilant because it goes really fast.
Take it off the heat as soon as it’s thick enough to stick together. Leave partially covered, off the heat until it’s cool enough to be handled.
Separate into equal balls and color with food coloring of your choice. Gel and liquid types both work well!

Food coloring typically comes in red, green, blue, and yellow, so have fun experimenting with different mixtures to get the colors you want. Your kids will love mixing red and yellow to get orange, and red and blue to make purple!

Extra fun options

You could also add ingredients like glitter for sparkly playdough! My personal favorite extra ingredients are essential oils, as I find their medicinal properties to be another great perk to this type of creative, unstructured play!

Simply add 2-3 drops of your favorite oils to your finished batch. For a variety of therapeutic benefits, include 1 drop to each ball after you’ve mixed the food coloring.
The possibilities are really endless here but some of my favorites that come pre-diluted for kids are:

Sleepyize – carefully blended with a variety of claiming, quieting oils such as lavender and chamomile

Kidpower –  promotes feelings of positivity and confidence

Geneyus – for clarity, focus and, alertness, perfect for creative play

Find out where to get these great oil blends and learn everything you’ve ever wondered about essential oils by clicking right here!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Resources To Learn About Italian American Heritage Month

 

October is Italian American heritage month!

Few cultures have influenced the world like Italy. From politics to pasta, music to Michelangelo, Italy has contributed so much to the rest of the world. Whether you have Italian ancestry or not, this is a great time to take a closer look at the history and culture of this fascinating country.

There are so many videos about the history of Italy on YouTube! A simple search will turn up hundreds of options for you to choose from, so it’s always a great resource. But if you don’t want to preview a dozen videos for content appropriateness, then this is a fun and informational video that’s a great place for kids to start!

Resources and ideas

There are a great many books for kids about Italy and Italian immigration to America! Here are a few of our faves!

All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel – Dan Yaccarino (picture book, ages 4 and up)

The Renaissance Thinkers: With History Projects for Kids (The Renaissance for Kids) – Diane C Talyor (chapter book, ages 10 and up)

Ancient Rome for Kids through the Lives of its Heroes, Emperors, and Philosophers –  Catherine Fet and Scott Shuster (chapter book, ages 8-12)

                      

You can also check out this free Italy unit study for Italian American Heritage month from Peanut Butter Fish Lessons!

Life Beyond the Lesson Plan also has a fascinating (and free) unit study about Michelangelo to download and print!

Italian classical music has had a huge impact on American culture in entertainment and media! Check out this fun video about 10 Italian songs you didn’t know you knew!

And for the food lovers in your house, get in the kitchen and cook some delicious Italian-inspired dishes this month! Happy Italian-American Heritage Month! While you’re there, try our recipes for gluten-free alfredo sauce and homemade zoodles!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

10 Fun Ways To Prevent Summer Math Loss

I’m always on the lookout for learning opportunities, especially when we’re on a break from our regular learning routine. I find the spontaneous teachable moments to be just as effective, if not more effective at times! Sometimes this looks like workbooks and fact sheets, but sometimes it looks like card games and Legos! Math is tangibly evident in our everyday life and there are many fun ways to incorporate little math lessons into your kids’ day, other than sitting down with a pencil and paper!

1 Play with blocks

Fantastic for littles, simple toys like blocks and tanagram shapes help kids visualize geometric patterns and concepts. And these same benefits can be derived for older kids from Legos!

2 Card Games

Some of our family favorites are Uno and Skipbo

3 Board games

Classics like Yahtzee and Monopoly are hardwired with math fundamentals! (Check out more math game options here!)

4 Make up your own math problems to solve

This is a great activity for the car.  My kids love coming up with hypothetical situations, like how much water would fit in the Grand Canyon!

5 Teach younger siblings how to count and recognize numbers

We learn a lot when we teach and our older kids are no exception! Helping younger siblings is a fabulous math activity.

6 Flash Cards

The old faithful for learning math facts! You can get them in varying levels of difficulty, depending on skill level. They even make dry-erasable flash cards that you can customize!

7 Counting down the days

Whether you’re counting down to a trip, a visit from family or a special event like a birthday or holiday, counting and tracking the days on a calendar helps kids visualize counting concepts!

8 Digital Math Games

Digital learning is a fantastic tool, and the exercises are so fun, they won’t’ even realize they’re learning! Go check out our favorite math apps!

9 Worksheets

Hey, sometimes worksheets just work! And lots of kids actually prefer them. When it comes to free math printables, we’ve got you covered!

10 Helping in the kitchen

This is a favorite because it’s so versatile and easy to adapt for different ages. Older kids can double or triple recipes to flex those fraction muscles. And younger ones can help with prep work like counting places and setting the table (4 big forks and 2 small ones, etc.) Read even more fun ways to get kids involved in the kitchen, right here!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Free Health Education Resources for Homeschoolers


I believe a thorough understanding of physical health, as with most things, begins at home. It’s so important for kids to be well-versed and educated in the ways their bodies function, and what is required for optimum health. My own kids found it really empowering to learn how much of their health is in their own hands! It’s pretty amazing when they realize the differences they can make with healthy choices in their activity and nutrition. Below is a shortlist of some of our favorite health-related, educational resources for your homeschoolers.

First Aid for Free (6th – 12th)

The courses available include Basic First Aid, Advanced Frist Aid, Pediatric First Aid, CPR, Asthma Awareness, and more. The website presents the material using text and videos. There is a multiple-choice quiz at the end of each module. Lessons are free. All it takes to get started is creating an account, which makes it a great platform to brush up on your first aid knowledge as well.

Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool (K – 8th)

A heavyweight in Christian-based, homeschool curriculum providers, Easy Peasy is a wonderful option in this area of study. Two courses are offered: PE/Health Odds and PE/Health Evens. The courses are designed to alternate, with the Odds course being repeated each odd year and the Evens course being repeated each even school year. The materials are presented using a variety of online, age-appropriate resources including links to articles, videos, and games.

Easy Peasy All In One High School (9th – 12th)

Easy Peasy offers their PE/Health course at four levels, one for each year of high school. Each of the courses is made up of 36 weekly lessons. The lessons include links to health-related articles, exercise videos, and other materials.

Spoons Across America (K – 6th)

Spoons Across America’s Food Explorers Club will email your family every other week with a new activity focusing on a healthy eating theme. A recipe is included that encourages your children to explore, prepare, and taste healthy foods. They also offer Farm to Book Storytime. These video read alouds of children’s books and printable activity sheets teach about food sources – how it is produced, grown, and transported from farm to table. Also available is a homeschool-styled curriculum for purchase at $30 for the first child, and $10 more dollars for each additional child.

Apologia (9th – 12th)

If textbooks are a better fit for your student, then Apologia has a fabulous, Christ-centered health and nutrition curriculum. Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition is Biblically based, scientifically sound, easy-to-understand, well written, and self-guided for the older students. It can be easily modified and parent-guided for middle schoolers. If you are a Christian parent with a textbook learner, you will likely find this to be a must-have for your teen.

Looking for more information on physical education? Check out our P.E. Resources for Homeschoolers with activity ideas, fun videos, and tips for how to count typical, physical activities for school year credits!

And be sure to look into this free anatomy game for elementary and middle schoolers!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

AMF Bowling – FREE Bowling for Kids This Summer!

Need another fun summer activity for the kids? This summer, your kids can bowl for free every day at AMF Bowling Centers! Each child 15 and under can get 2 free games of bowling per day throughout the entire summer. Shoe rentals are not included.

Just head over here to register your kids: AMF Bowling FREE Summer Bowling for Kids

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

What to do on Days You Don’t Want to Homeschool

Ever have one of those days? You know the ones where you wake up and just decide, ” you know what, not today.” I certainly do! Sometimes it’s for a good reason, like a kid is sick, or I’m sick, or everyone is still run down from the weekend. And sometimes it’s for no reason at all. Sometimes, I just want to throw my lesson plans in the air and enjoy the day with my kiddos. So we do! And it’s great! And, with some helpful ideas, I can keep them learning, even on our less structured days!

1. Reading Day

Read a book! It’s really that simple. Have everybody grab a favorite title and spend the morning reading. Or gather in the living room, curl up with some blankets and pillows, and pick a favorite book you can read aloud to everyone! Brew up coffee or tea, fix some hot cocoa, and enjoy a relaxing day with your children. And don’t feel guilty! Reading days encourage both the skill and a love of reading!

2. Home Economics Day

This one is just a fancy title for whatever-needs-done-around-the-house day! Home economics days are flexible and change according to your needs. Is family descending upon you tomorrow? Spend the day scrubbing the house. Other options are to spend the day knitting, sewing, fixing up the lawn, or painting a child’s room. These are also great days to spend in the kitchen baking your children. Check out these fun kitchen ideas for littles!

3. Nature Study Day

Get outside in the fresh air! Explore parks and nature trails in your area. Discover things in your own backyard! Look for animal tracks, observe the trees, and search for signs of the upcoming season. Pack a lunch so you don’t need to return home too soon, especially before you’ve had a chance to stretch your legs and wear out the kids. Nature scavenger hunts are a really fun way to keep little ones engaged on walks.

4. Art Day

So, confession time: art is not my thing. I constantly put art projects off for a more convenient time. A time when I’m not racing the clock to dash to the next activity, or get to the next lesson, or put dinner on the table? But art day comes to the rescue! You can paint. You can draw. Create clay pots. Design stain glass. Color pictures. Finger paint out in the fresh air. Spend the day completing all those fun, messy projects you never seem to get around to. You and your kids will have a blast.

5. Field Trip Day

Not all field trips need to be scheduled. Take the opportunity to sneak out of the house and check out the local museums. Drop by the zoo. Go swimming. Check out an area of town you rarely visit. Wander your neighborhood. If there’s a university nearby, take an afternoon to wander the campus. If nothing else, you can observe the various architectural styles of the local buildings. There are even virtual field trips when leaving the house isn’t ideal.

6. Library Day

The library is such an underutilized tool of modern society! Take a day and introduce the kids to the library. Explore the nooks and crannies. Look up books, subjects, and authors on the catalog. Explain the Dewey Decimal system to your kids. Being familiar with a library is a needed part of your children’s education, even in the internet age!

7. Documentary Day

This one is a personal favorite. I am a very visual learner, as are both of my kids, so documentaries have been a big part of our educational journey for years. We find them to be a fun alternative to textbooks, especially if everyone is under the weather. Instead of trying to focus on a white page and tiny text, spend a day watching documentaries about topics you’re studying. Look for documentaries on history, science, and geography topics. Documentaries allow you to get a new perspective on what you’re studying, giving you a view of a world it’s hard to visit. See the Great Wall of China. Check out the moons of Jupiter. Dive deep into the ocean. Watch a world appear to your children they never dreamed of!

8. Movie Day

Movies are stories brought to life, and there’s no reason not to include them in your learning journey. You can see historical figures and see what made them the people they are. People such as Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great are no longer names in a textbook. They become living, breathing people to your kids. Movies are an awesome way to visit other time periods and see different cultures. Documentaries can give a factual experience, but stories bring characters to life. This is one of our favorite ways to enjoy classic literature like Little Women and A Christmas Carol.

9. Science Day

Art isn’t the only subject that gets pushed aside in the rush of modern life. How many times have you postponed science because there’s no time for the experiments? How many times have you put an experiment on hold until later? Today’s the day! Haul out those science supplies, make a run by the store if needed, and spend the day doing science. Read what makes the experiments work. Do the experiments and see what happens yourself. Have a look at some crazy experiment videos for some inspiration. Have fun and learn science at the same time!

10. Game Day

Pretty simple! Just pull out all the games in the house and play like they’re going out of style. Pop some popcorn or bake cook something yummy to enjoy while playing. Get outside and play a game of soccer or basketball. Backyard games of baseball and kickball are popular around here. Game days are a great opportunity to work on good sportsmanship, discuss ethics, and chat about cheating. Teach your kids how to handle winning and losing like a pro. There are endless learning opportunities on days like these!

***Make sure to join our How to Homeschool for Free Facebook Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

National Take a Walk In The Park Day

March 30th is National Take a Walk in the Park Day, so get out and go for a walk! It’s good for your health!  Especially when you’ve had a rough day. And let’s face it, sometimes, homeschooling days are rough. Tempers can flare, hormones can rage, and there are times when everybody can use a breather. The flexibility and freedom that homeschooling affords make it much easier to take a break when you need to.

When my kids were small, we would often go on scavenger hunts. They loved this activity and it always started great conversations about the items we found. They would ask great questions and we would discuss. But my favorite moments were when I didn’t have a ready answer and we could make a list to look up the answers together. We found it to be another, fun way to learn about the world around us!

For more outdoor ideas, and how to count them for credit, click here!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

The 10 Best Science Channels for Kids on YouTube

I’ll admit I’ve had a love/hate relationship with YouTube, especially when my kids were in their elementary years. It just seemed to require more policing and filtering than I felt it was worth, so we limited it. Now that they are a bit older, and the platform has evolved some, I feel a bit better about allowing access to specific channels whose content is appropriate, especially in the realm of educational videos. There is an actual gold mine of incredible educational content! We really love supplementing our lessons with these videos, especially for things like history and science. I love it when we can immerse ourselves in a particular interest or topic and make it come to life!

Videos are an excellent way to learn more about science topics. There are times when I’d really rather not explode chemicals in my house, or dissect frogs in my kitchen, thank you very much. Check out this great list of science experiments for kids on YouTube! Many of the experiments here have step-by-step breakdowns so you can replicate them if you’d like to, or just watch and learn! But exposure to quality content like this doesn’t have to be limited to experiments! We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the top 10 science channels for kids on YouTube!

1. The Dr. Binocs Show

Dr. Binocs from Peekaboo Kidz offers a variety of educational content geared towards younger learners.  The videos are colorful and animated.  Each video is relatively short making them easy additions to your existing lessons.  There are many videos on illnesses and other health-related content

2. Homeschoool Pop

This channel is great! It has a large variety of videos, covering content from many subjects, not just science. Just use the search to help find what you need and enjoy!

3. David Newman Channel

David Newman has videos with easy-to-learn songs & lyrics to teach educational standards. I love using songs to teach concepts because the kids catch on and learn it before they even realize they do!

4. Happy Learning

The Happy Learning channel has Great educational videos all mostly five minutes or less! There is also a Happy Learning Espanol channel. The videos are geared towards little learners and are often slow-paced enough to really give students a chance to absorb the content while also quick enough to keep them engaged.

5. Best of Science

Best Of Science is a fun science channel with content that covers a wide variety of science topics: physics, space, nature, chemistry, and more.

6. SciShow Kids

SciSchow Kids explains many science topics for kids. Their original videos explore many of the topics the kids are interested in, like paper snowflakes and oobleck. Their partner channel, SciShow, also offers many different videos you might find useful for your learning time, though keep in mind that this channel is not geared towards kids, so preview videos for relevance and appropriateness before showing.

7. Free School

Free School is another fantastic collection of videos. They are not all science-related, but a quick search will find you a variety of science content. Definitely a great channel to supplement your homeschool lessons!

8. Fun Science Demos

Fun Science Demos offers videos with a focus on demonstrations to teach the content. Often, science experiments are confused with demonstrations, and these videos do a tremendous job showing demonstrations in action.  They have videos for physical science: matter, force and motion, energy, sound, and light. Earth and space science topics include weather, rocks, solar system, water cycles. And life science videos about things like habitats, life cycles, the human body.

9. asapScience

The asapScience channel uses drawings to explain various interesting topics from a scientific point of view. The topics they cover are questions people have always been asking or things you never thought about before, like: “How old are a person’s ears?” “Can video games make you smarter?” “Can you be scared to death?”
Most topics are kids safe but the channel is not specifically limited to child-friendly content so some parental oversight is necessary.

10. Minute Physics

Minute Physics videos explain science in a similar style as asapScience, but all topics are around physics. You will find topics like: “What is gravity?” “Is it better to walk or run in the rain?” “How is an airplane made?” This channel does a really good job explaining topics in a simple way, so it’s a great learning tool for kids of all ages.

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

PE Resources for Homeschoolers

Create a physical activity log

Create your own list of physical education activities and create your own activity log. This is a wonderful mix and match way to teach homeschool PE and it’s really easy to tailor your activities to the ages of your kids. A PE activity list might include 20 minutes of calisthenics (jumping jacks, push-ups, toe touches, etc.), a one-mile walk or run, a 10-minute yoga routine, 10 minutes on the trampoline, or a game of tag with siblings in the backyard.

The activity log is a way for your children to track their physical activity every day. They pick an activity or two from the list above and, once complete, they log the date, time spent, and what they did.
Note: for high schoolers, 60 total hours of activity equals 1/2 credit for PE on a transcript.

Community sports or dance classes

If you have the time and money, and if your child has the desire, sign them up for Little League, softball, or soccer. Dance classes are also a great way to get physical activity into their days. Musical theater is a beloved activity in our house, and I count it as a music and PE credit for my kids!
Your child can add the time spent on these activities to their activity logs for PE credit

Homeschool PE classes in your community

Many homeschool co-ops and even churches with gyms offer homeschool PE programs and classes! Some of these classes are based on the President’s Physical Fitness test, while others may be more specialized, like “team sports”, or archery.
Dojos often have homeschool karate lessons for homeschoolers during the day. Ask other homeschoolers in your area for ideas.

Online resources

You can also use online resources to plan activities and nutritional lessons. There are numerous private and government websites to help you plan a PE curriculum.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – nhlbi.nih.gov offers tools and resources for families. Fuel Up to Play 60 – offers lessons and directions for children.

You can also find fitness channels for kids on YouTube! Cosmic Kids Yoga and Little Sports are both great options for all ages!

Think outside the box

There really are so many options for physical fitness available: archery, trapeze lessons, even learning to juggle! And homeschooling allows you to schedule these activities during the day, during hours that a business or gym isn’t so busy.

And remember, PE doesn’t have to be organized team sports or traditional fitness tests. Any activity that gets kids moving and that helps them develop hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity can count towards PE credit. Brainstorm with them about activities they may want to pursue and start searching for Youtube videos that teach that skill.

Explore unique opportunities in your own communities such as parkour lessons or free group Tai Chi lessons in the park. Be creative!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

 

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