Healthy Homeschoolers

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Need a break? Feeling overwhelmed? It might seem like a strange topic heading into a new school year but as the fall programs ramp up, so does our stress level. Not everyone paces their homeschooling with the traditional school year, however there’s no denying sports and clubs run on that calendar and learning plans need to be written. It always feels like fall sneaks up on me.

As you begin your fall ramp-up in whatever form that takes on, are you including regular breaks and scheduling time for family wellness? Spending a little time with Dr. Josephene Juell had me considering issue otherwise taken for granted. Dr. Josephene is the owner of Elan Family Wellness Centre in Bowness and she explained in an interview the need to check in with our bodies from time to time. Concerns could include the obvious signs such as sleep disturbances, tummy complaints, back pain and headaches, to more obscure issues such as focus and attention, lethargy, irritability and the impact of increased exercise.  She sees a broad range of families cross her threshold and for schooled children one issue is back care and backpacks. However for homeschoolers it’s sitting on media for prolonged periods of time. She notes sitting is one of the worst things you can do for your spine.

Children need to move more to build the necessary core muscles to support their spine through life. They get this simply through being outside and playing. Dr. Josephene sees a number of homeschoolers lacking this aspect of physical childhood development and suggests the time spent sitting be limited to small spurts throughout the day and find something the family can do daily to move and play.

But what about mom and dad? Considering the amount of time we spend with our children in comparison with other families it would seem critical that we take time for ourselves. The good doctor is quick to note the importance of sleep, diet and exercise, but taking care of yourself should include nurturing moments of relaxation and connection. Elan Family Wellness approaches each of their clients as a whole. A whole person that must look after and support a family every day. She observed that homeschooled parents are very tuned into their child’s needs and finds working with them a welcomed collaboration, but they often ignore their own physical signs of imbalance. This imbalance can cause the whole family to tilt on its axis, especially when we spend 24/7 revolving like planets around one another. 

If you are looking for more insight on family wellness, Dr. Josephene will be holding a workshop at the conference on these issues and much more. Come join in! She definitely won’t have you sitting for long.

For more information on Elan Family Wellness please visit their website at