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Fighting Obesity & Raising Healthy Children Through Sports

Fighting Obesity & Raising Healthy Children Through Sports

Since I’m concentrating on home improvement, parenting, and overall life improvement recently, I have been paying attention to some different stuff. I was walking next to a children’s playground the other day that was completely empty. It got me thinking, why are there no children playing here?

The era of digitalization and virtual reality is progressing rapidly, and we find ourselves stuck to modern entertainment more than ever before. Many of our children are addicted to video games and social networks and have lost their interest for playgrounds like these. A sedentary lifestyle — a lack of activity — is one of the factors that may lead to obesity, which is one of the most common health problems in the world today.

During my walk, I encountered a group of youngsters all looking for Pokémon. It got me thinking — at least there is something that brings kids out of their rooms, off the couches. If there is a possibility to stimulate children to be active and healthy, it should be understood better and shared. Around one-third of children are obese today. While obesity can be caused by medical issues or just genetics, as parents there are some easy things we can do to reduce the risk. We all want our kids to be happy, healthy, and to grow into healthy people.

Children are our future, and we must take this issue seriously.

A positive attitude towards the solution is the best answer and a foundation for the future generations. Healthy living is our obligation, our necessity, our right. Our children can have healthy lives, and we are the ones responsible for them. It’s not that hard — we only need to be smart and make some good decisions.

Proper education during the raising of children is important, no doubt about that, but being healthy is not something you can tutor your child in. This is actual, physical work.

The quickest and most cost-effective way to achieve this is to get your child interested in sports.

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Of course, you don’t need to enlist your child in every available sports activity; letting them choose one will be quite sufficient. There are numerous advantages of staying active, and, according to some experts, not all of them are of a physical nature.

Here are some suggestions to help in raising healthy children:

Preschool

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    During this period, your kid should be focused on exploring the world and their surroundings, learning about them, and having fun. It would be smart to restrict any usage of modern technology, simply because kids get addicted to it pretty quickly.

    Although it may seem difficult to keep up the pace with children as they wiggle and run around, do your best. Try to be a part of their world. Here’s an interesting idea for some quality time with your kid — obtain a trampoline for your yard or house. This will probably be a fulfillment of your childhood dream, and your kid will enjoy it as well.

    A trampoline will provide a lot of playtime for your youngster, and you can join the party. It relieves stress and enhances balance and natural stamina. Jumping on a trampoline together will strengthen the child-parent bond, which will benefit both of you in the long term.

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    Swimming

    raising healthy children - swimming

      One of the rare sports which can literally be prescribed by doctors, swimming can benefit your child in many ways. To move the body through the water, all muscle groups need to be active, so a benefit is seen from the very beginning. Lung capacity is also increased.

      Trust can be built with swimming, as the parent can show and teach a child the basics of breathing, swimming, and most importantly, overcoming the fear of water. This is a vital cornerstone for building a solid foundation of trust and an excellent opportunity to bond.

      Dancing

      raising healthy children - dancing
        Photo by Meg Stewart via Flickr, Creative Commons license

        Children simply love to dance. Whether it be to hard rock music and Whitesnake or R&B with Beyoncé, they will swing their hips and enjoy it. Flowing with the music is one of the best feelings ever, topped only by flowing with skills and knowledge. Feet and body coordination will be improved, as well as motor skills. Other benefits include reduced risk of osteoporosis, increased heart and lung condition, muscle tone, and many others.

        Also, social skills and building confidence are part of dancing. This is important, especially in a modern world. As a parent, you have the responsibility of recognizing which kind of music your child likes best, and trying to find that or similar kinds of dance lessons. Who knows, perhaps you will start as well?

        Basketball

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          Around the age of two, kids start trying to dribble the ball. Later, as their coordination improves, they become better and better at doing so. The art of putting the ball through the hoop will benefit them in terms of improving eye-hand coordination, increasing jump height, and building stamina and endurance.

          Basketball is also a team sport, which means that your child will learn how to be a useful part of the group, and how to think fast, thus improving their reflexes. Socializing is also a plus, meaning that the child will have friends apart from school, broadening their views.

          Martial arts

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            The world we are living in is not as friendly as we would love it to be. Sometimes we have to think in advance to be prepared. To be clear, not all martial arts are violent and bloody. Take aikido for example. The art of defending yourself with care for the opponent may seem like a strange combination, but it builds courage and self-confidence.

            If your child knows that if someone wants to hurt them, he or she can defend themselves without a fatal outcome, it will develop a into significant part of their personality. It can teach them how to bear with stress and other problems once they grow up. Of course, there are other arts as well. Capoeira is a combination of dance and martial art, and with its jumping and twisting it can seems rather interesting to kids.

            Soccer

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              The art of kicking the ball is one of the most popular sports today. Role models such as Leo Messi and David Beckham are present on children’s posters, but there is more under the surface. Excellent stamina and feet, eye, and body coordination are the most common benefits for those who decide to enlist in this sport. Kids also feel great when accomplishing something as part of the team, so they will be overjoyed once their team wins. If you are a soccer fan, be sure to introduce them to some of your favorite classic players and their personality.

              Gymnastics

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                Present in human society since the dawn of civilization, this sport was considered as art for ancient Greeks and therefore was part of the Olympics since the beginning. Those kids who enlist in this sport may continue practicing it, or it can be considered as a foundation for any other sport. Practicing gymnastics, your child can develop muscle tone and flexibility.

                It’s not that hard to raise a healthy child

                The most important thing is to make your youngster try several activities, and see which one they enjoy the best. After that, make sure you’re helping them progress and not forcing anything. The love for the game will do the rest.

                There is no better way to improve our children’s health than sports. Not just physical development, but emotional and mental as well; this is the way to create better people and thus a better future.

                Are you raising a youngster at the moment? Let us know how you do it!

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                Dejan Kvrgic

                Blogger, Writer

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                Published on November 7, 2018

                How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

                How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

                In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

                The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

                Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

                How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

                After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

                Figure Out the Laws

                Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

                The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

                Decide on an Approach

                Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

                Supplies/Resources

                Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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                A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

                Find a Community

                Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

                Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

                7 Different Homeschooling Methods

                1. School-At-Home

                Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

                The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

                • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
                • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
                • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

                2. Classical

                One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

                Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

                3. Unit Studies

                Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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                For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

                • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
                • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
                • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

                4. Charlotte Mason

                This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

                Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

                5. Montessori

                Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

                With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

                6. Unschooling

                Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

                For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

                7. Eclectic/Relaxed

                As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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                Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

                How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

                One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

                Email

                Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

                It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

                Google Drive/Calendar

                Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

                With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

                Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

                Ebooks

                Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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                E-Courses

                When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

                From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

                The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

                Some recommendations:

                Youtube

                Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

                Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

                Some recommendations:

                Final Thoughts

                Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

                Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

                Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

                Reference

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