Physical fitness is important for children. It helps them gain strength in the bones and muscles, which is good for growth. It also can help fight obesity by keeping the body in shape. Kids already get some exercise in gym and PE classes at school, but they still need more. Parents should be actively involved in promoting physical activities in their kids, creating some type of opportunity for exercise every day. One place to start raising awareness is at school.
Public schools are getting more active in promoting physical fitness in children, which is great news. One thing some schools do to get kids moving is to add a rock climbing wall to the school gym or playground. They are accessible during recess, as well as on certain days during gym or physical education class. The kids seem to really enjoy these rock walls and it's a great total body workout.
School playgrounds are actually a good source of exercise as well, offering a range of physical movements. Adding other things to the outdoor play area, such as a tether ball pole, basketball court, and volleyball net add even more fun and exercise. Some schools even allow the children to use bicycles, inline skates, and skateboards in a designated area. With this type of play growing in popularity, some schools have added bicycle and skateboard ramps.
Many museums also have an interactive physical health section where children can visit to learn more. Schools can take a day trip and teachers can center a lesson around this. Some of the museums even offer lesson plans or guided tours of these interactive exhibits.
Another thing many schools do is hold a free play time at least once a week during gym or physical education time. They will have assorted things available to play with, like gym scooters, fitness balls, a rock wall, rope climbing, and many other items. These create physical activities that are disguised as fun to the kids.
Making gym and physical fitness fun is a great idea. Active kids are healthy kids, so also be sure the kids get their dose every day, in addition to what is offered at school. Dancing is a fun and versatile family activity that is also great exercise. Some schools are incorporating dance into the curriculum of the core subjects for added physical and mental benefits.
Many kids also like to play those classic games you used to play as a kid. Children don't seem to play these as much anymore. These include games like "Red Rover", "Freeze Tag", and "Dodge Ball". These games are great at school because of the larger numbers of kids to work with. Bike riding is another regular activity that’s fun and beneficial to the physical health of the children. It's great to do any time of the day, but riding bikes to and from school can help kids stay fit in an enjoyable manner.
While some schools often do a great job at incorporating activities like these, others don’t. Parents can do their part by speaking up. Get together with other parents to discuss what’s happening in your child’s school. As a united front, a group of parents can make all the difference in getting schools to add more sports and fitness options.
I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
It's common for some parents to allow their children to walk to school alone or with friends. However, the world is evolving. Things are not how we were as kids. Parents need to be more proactive and alert. Part of that includes walking them to and from school - or at the very least having another adult do the job. This is especially true for those below high school age. We can't shelter our kids, but we can't be irresponsible with them either. My children are currently homeschooled. However, when they did attend public school, walking to school without adults was not an option.
1. Your child may not be as responsible as you think. Just because your child behaves like the perfect little angel in your presence doesn't mean she can do no wrong. It's only natural for children to be curious about things. Your child might wonder if it's a good idea to ditch school, stop at a corner store, or worse - cause fights with other kids. If you walk to school with your child, this can deter such things from happening, at least during the time period where it's least likely that other adults are around.
2. Kids walking without parents are more vulnerable to pedophiles and other criminals. Pedophiles, kidnappers, and other criminals look for children that are walking alone - especially children without adults around. They are a much easier target than kids with supervision. To keep your kids safer, consider walking or biking to and from school with them. If you are not available during those times, choose another responsible and trusted adult to do so.
3. If your child's friend is mischievous, your kid gets in trouble too. So, your kid is uber-responsible? So what. He or she cannot stop the actions of friends in many instances. If your kid's friend gets into some trouble, your kid also may be associated with the misdeed. It's much safer to be sure adults are around so that these things don't happen.
4. Walking to and from school is great for family time and saves on gas. You and your child can talk about family issues, school, hopes and dreams, or anything else. This is a good opportunity to get closer and learn more about each other. Plus, it's great exercise and saves on gas. Good for the Earth, your wallet, and the family's mental health.
5. Walking with your child helps you get to know their school environment better. By being proactive and accompanying your child on the school walk, you get to know more about their friends and learning environment. Observe who they talk to, invite friends over, and watch what the teachers and administrators are doing before and after school. This helps you stay in touch with their school life without being too intrusive.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Your teen student is headed to high school. This is the last portion of his schooling, where he prepares for independence. The choices made here will help influence his life path. Should teen students choose their own schedules? As their parents, should we instead be making this choice? While I would certainly like to decide what is likely to give my teens the best head start in life, I still think the final decision is up to them. Here's why.
What if my teen doesn't know what's best? This is a concern many parents have when realizing that their high school student is going to be choosing their own schedule. Talk to your teen about what his life goals and dreams are. Make sure he knows that his schedule should reflect those plans. Also, there should be guidance counselors assigned to each high school student in most schools. If you are homeschooling, you are likely to have some extra influence over the courses your teen student chooses. Either way, your teen needs to know his options and also that you trust him with the choice.
Can a high school student get an easy schedule approved? Some teens may be sneaky and try to take all elective courses. But thankfully, this is not likely to fly with administration. There are certain courses required each semester. So, if your teen ticks off too many classes that are for fun, without selecting any core classes, she's going to have to fix that schedule to get it approved. It may work during senior year if the student has taken all the required courses. But hopefully, the advice given by parents and counselors will instead encourage choices related to the teen's career aspirations.
What if a parent wants the teen to have certain classes? Being too demanding with the choices your teen faces could cause unnecessary pressure. Remember that this is a part of the preparation toward becoming an adult. As parents, our job is not to control everything our kids do. Instead, it is our job to give them the knowledge and confidence to succeed independently. They won't live with us forever. Just like we made difficult choices and learned from our mistakes, our kids need to do the same. Instead of demanding that your teen take specific classes, talk with him about his goals. Go over the class options together and talk about which ones are best suited to his needs. Let him make the ultimate decision himself.
Will a student-created schedule be balanced? Parents often worry that if a high school student is choosing his own schedule, it might not be quite rounded. Fortunately, because most schools require a specific number of core classes and a set amount of electives, it will pretty much even out. The model ay not always be perfect. But most high school students will get to learn what's required, as well as something else directly related to their interests and career options.
Will my teen effectively schedule toward career options? Talking to your teen can help her decide what's best. You may not think she's listening and she may be rolling her eyes, but she does hear you. Because you don't want to be controlling or demanding, there is not an absolute certainty that your teen will make the right choices. But by giving her the knowledge, you put her one step closer to the right choice. By combining your advice, as well as that of the advisor or counselor, your teen should at least be doing something in relation to life goals.
It's scary raising a teenager, knowing that they have the freedom to make choices both good and bad. Providing your children with knowledge and resources is your job as a parent. But if you want them to be best prepared for life, they need to learn on their own how best to apply what you've given them. It's difficult to place such an important decision in the hands of a teenager. But they need to be given that power in order to have the ability to make even tougher decisions later in life.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
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