Holistic Health & Wellness, Home Education

Teaching Natural Health & Wellness in Your Homeschool

You can probably think back to what health and wellness classes were like when you were in school. I remember learning about health from a physical education, government issued food pyramid, safe sex, and just-say-no to drugs point of view. However, I don’t quite remember learning about health and wellness from a natural, holistic perspective.

If you’re anything like me, then you’re most likely an anti-vax, clean eating, natural product using, modern yet alternative-seeking mama. I believe what drives our decisions to be opposed to what Western medicine suggests and endorses could be the very foundation to the kind of health and wellness we teach in our homeschool.

Sure, you may have questions of where to start, when to start, and what to use… so, keep reading – I answer all those questions, and some!

Where to Start

This is honestly and totally up to you. I recommend starting with your current (or even past) lifestyle. If you haven’t always lived a natural kind of lifestyle, that can be the very starting point. It would help your children better understand what a natural lifestyle actually looks like if they have something to compare it to.

Talk about the not-so-good-for-you foods that you used to eat. Discuss personal hygiene products you may have used, taking a close look at the ingredients. And if you’re super “crunchy”, then you could probably talk about why you don’t use plastics, a microwave, certain cleaners, or disposable diapers!

Simply put, start with the changes you’ve made personally and what you’re currently doing now.

When to Start

Again, I can’t be the giver of a definite “start date” for you, but my suggestion is the sooner the better – in all aspects. If you have young children, believe it or not, they can understand much more than we give them credit for. They may not remember the big words or technical terms, but they’ll have memories of “mama making a rub in the kitchen that took away the boo-boo” or the mindset game that helped through a tough time.

Those are the types of stories I miss so greatly about my older relatives who have now passed on. My great-great aunt used to tell me about rubs and tinctures that at the time I couldn’t quite understand. Now, I get it! Stories of how they pulled things from “beyond the trees” now resonate to my core, and it’s these practices that my husband and I both want to teach our children.

When should you start? Start now.

What to Use

The type of natural, holistic health and wellness we’re talking about in this post is one you won’t find in many (if any) curriculum or textbooks. Although the big curriculum companies have done outstanding jobs on creating resources for us to use, sadly, a lot of it still looks like public/private school materials.

If you want to get traditional in the sense of getting back to the “roots” of natural living (no pun intended), I suggest starting with your public library. Those places are the hubs for books that date back further than dust (okay, maybe not that old) – and they’re free. Another source is Amazon, although some of those herbal and natural remedy books can get pretty pricey (but worth it).

Google is another option, but you’ll want to do some extensive searching to ensure you’ve landed some good resources that haven’t sold out to the .gov, CDC, or FDA perspective of health. Good resources are out there though! One you should definitely consider is the Earthley Herbal Club. It’s free, comes in form of a printable download (PDF), and has all the information you need for teaching!

How to Start

They layout provided in the Earthley Herbal Club printable is the perfect way for introducing lessons that pertain to natural and holistic health and wellness. In a nutshell, you would:

  • Introduce a topic/concept by discussing what it is and why it’s important.
  • Expand on the topic/concept by providing information about how it works and how/why you use it (or not).
  • Deepen the learning with hands-on application (if possible).

The hands-on approach not only deepens understanding but it also puts the good ole “STEM” term to use. Imagine your children being able to create salves and teas right alongside you or work naturally through what would be a sabotaging mindset. Not to mention, there are lots of topics within the natural health and wellness field that you could use for teaching:

  • Herbs
  • [Essential] oils
  • Carrier ingredients (for teas, tinctures, salves, etc.)
  • Preparation methods (for the DIY creations)
  • Clean eating
  • Meal planning/prepping
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Cleaning products
  • Air quality
  • Physical health
  • Emotional health
  • Mental health
  • Natural remedies

The list could go on! These are definitely great topics to start with and give plenty of information to start with. And you never know… you may have little naturopaths, psychologists, and health coaches on your hands by the time it’s all said and done!

CHIME IN: What are some ways you teach health and wellness in your homeschool? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Holistic Health & Wellness

Make the Switch to Natural Products – Here’s How!

Now more than ever people are starting to wake up to the need for natural products. Question is – How can you easily make the switch? I’m not super triple crunchy by any means but there are some switches we’ve made that have changed everything!

Why switch to natural products?

Of course the answer to this is a given. The harmful ingredients in majority of the products on store shelves have never been good for us, and never will be. If you look at a label and can’t pronounce the name, that’s red flag number one.

I like to use a website and app to help me see how natural (or not) a product is before I buy it. It lets me know what ingredients to stay away from and which ones are safe.

Should I purchase or make my own?

I found myself asking this question, too. I figured I would try both ways because let’s face it… as a busy work-from-home, homeschooling mama of 5 kiddos (newborn to preteen), I need things to be frugal and practical.

There are a few things we make ourselves:

  • laundry detergent (literally we just use vinegar, baking soda, and occasionally an essential oil or two).
  • all-purpose cleaning spray (vinegar, juice from a lemon, water, and an essential oil)
  • diffuser blends

For other stuff, we buy it. And it doesn’t stop at non-toxic cleaning supplies. There’s also bath, body, and hair care products to consider.

How to Make the Switch to Natural Products

Decide to do it.

Everything starts with a choice, but not every choice ends up how you may have imagined. Not only should you choose to start your non-toxic journey, but also choose to be consistent.

Choose a product to start with.

Do you want to start with cleaning products? Bath and body? Hair care? It’s a good idea to chose one product to start with and then gradually add others as you see fit. One of the easiest to start with (in my opinion) is an all-purpose cleaner.

If you’re not sure what product you want to start with, try a subscription box like Simply Earth. They offer non-toxic solutions in the form of DIY recipes and they provide (most) everything you need (more on that later!).

Research.

One Google search and you’ll find hundreds of product suggestions or do-it-yourself recipes to try. Take into consideration what you want out of the product you’ll be using and research away.

Pick and purchase.

Once you’ve selected a product to start with and did some research, all there’s left to do is pick and purchase. Whether you’re going with an already made product or dabbling in the do-it-yourself route – just do it.

What’s the easiest way to make the switch?

Try a subscription box!

Earlier I briefly mentioned Simply Earth, but I’d like to go into a bit more detail about who they are and how they can help you easily start switching to natural products.

In a nutshell, Simply Earth is a company created to make having a natural home fun and easy at honest prices. Their concept involves giving people the opportunity to get awesome essential oils for far less than you’ll pay with some companies, and help you create recipes from them.

From that, the idea of providing essential oil recipe boxes was born. With the essential Oil recipe box, you get everything you need to make your home natural; easy and fun recipes to follow, honest prices, and products that work.

It puts you in charge of the products you’re using and you can enjoy time together making natural recipes with friends and family.

I recently became an ambassador and received my first bonus box and recipe box! Check out my video below to see the awesomeness! In the meantime, if you want to give them a try, click the banner below and use coupon code HUDDLESTONFREE at checkout to get a $40 eGift card (when you start your subscription, only $39/month).

How do you make the switch to natural products?

Holistic Health & Wellness

A Time to Dwell

There’s no doubt that these days we are currently living in will go down in history. It seems as though the entire world is shutting down and entering their own phase of quarantine. More than ever, it is a time to dwell.

A Time to Dwell

The simple definition of dwell is to live in or at a specified place. The Hebrew meaning – ישב (yashab) – indicates to sit, be seated, dwell, and abide. I can’t help but be drawn to Psalm 91 for understanding how to truly dwell in the midst of situations and circumstances that would attempt to rock our worlds.

There is much wisdom found in this passage of Psalms, most of what we should remember now, and for the times to come.

Dwell in the Secret Place

Psalms 91 begins with telling us that for those who choose to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, they are saying that He is their refuge and stronghold. It is in Him that they are putting their trust.

Again, this is a choice. When things happen beyond our control and understanding, are we going to place our trust in the news? In the President? In our emotions? Hopefully we choose to place our trust in the Most High and dwell in His secret place.

Dwelling Delivers

Continuing with Psalms 91, verses 3-6 remind us that when we choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, he delivers. And He’s not delivering us from just anything. He delivers us from the snare of the trapper, destructive pestilence, fear of dread by night, arrows that fly by day, and ravages at midday.

His deliverance covers us like a shield and armor. Nothing can nor will penetrate it. That is an amazing promise!

Dwelling Guards

Verses 9-13 reiterates dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, but this time attention is drawn to what happens when things really get bad. It says that a thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand – but it does not come near you.

Dwelling in this secret place guards you from evil. It guards you from the plague. And, it guards you in all your ways. Not to mention, He commands His messengers concerning you. How awesome is His love that He would send messengers to bear you up so no harm comes to you?!

Dwelling Secures

Psalms 91 ends with an incredible promise. However, pay attention to the if/then stipulation here –

Because he cleaves to Me in love, therefore I deliver him; I set him in high, because he has known My Name. When he calls on Me, I answer him; I am with him in distress; I deliver him and esteem him. With long life I satisfy him, and show him My deliverance.” – Psalms 91:14-16

No matter what you’re going through in life or what is going on around you, Psalms 91 is a passage of promises that when you choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, He will deliver, guard, and secure you.

To help you declare these promises over your life, I have created a printable 10-page journal with each page having a passage from Psalms 91. Print it, pray the Word, and journal what is revealed as you meditate. Listen to the song below as an added bonus!

CHIME IN: What are your go-to passages for difficult circumstances and situations in life? Share in the comments below!

Holistic Health & Wellness

The Impact Of Politics On Poverty

Although I typically choose not to talk much about politics, I believe this is a topic worth discussing. Why? Well, for starters, there are a lot of negative things going on in America. Lots of crazy laws being passed, bashing on the current President, and just too much negativity – and lies.

One of those not-so-true subjects deals with poverty. The subject of poverty provokes fierce debate in the US, with politicians and policies coming under fire. Despite heated discussions over the years, there have been significant improvements in poverty rates.

The Truth About Poverty Rates

The infographic below indicates that rates of poverty have fallen in the last 60 years. In 1959, the poverty rate was 27.3%. In 2014, 21.1% of people were living below the poverty line. There has been a substantial increase in personal incomes since 1970, and policies have undoubtedly had a positive impact.

These are rates least talked about, let alone how past policies put in place helped.

Past Policies, Present Growth

Franklin D. Roosevelt passed the Social Security Act in 1935, paving the way for additional support for low-income families and vulnerable individuals. During his presidency, he also invested more than $4 billion in public construction projects and introduced the Civilian Conservation Corps, which benefited more than 2.5 million men.

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson passed amendments to the Social Security Act, expanding the range of benefits on offer and establishing Medicare and Medicaid. In 2012, Social Security lifted 22.1 million Americans out of poverty.

Declined Poverty Rates

Poverty rates in families with children fell from 26.9% in 1959 to 20.7% in 2014, while there was a sharp decline in the over 64 group. In 1959, 35.2% of people aged 64 or over lived in poverty, compared to 10% in 2014. 

The infographic also suggests that poverty rates could be lower, as the US Census doesn’t take non-cash benefits, for example, tax credits and food stamps, into account when calculating the proportion of people living below the poverty line. It is estimated that government policies have helped to bring over 48 million out of poverty.


Infographic Designed By Norwich University
Holistic Health & Wellness

What New Beginnings Are In Store For You This Year?

Planning the year out is something you’ve either been used to doing before, or you’ve never really thought about doing at all. Some people like to have every bit of their life planned out (that would be me), while some couldn’t think of anything worse.

Perhaps it boils down to the sort of life that you want to live. If you know exactly what you want out of life, then it’s understandable that you’d want to plan every year as it comes around. And one way you’re going to be able to meet your goals is if you set them out in front of you!

Random Surprises

Even with the best planning, there’s always going to be those random surprises that come your way and are set to rock your world. There are also those times when you can’t predict when something out of your control is going to come along.

When it comes to these random surprises, try to stay calm and handle them as they arise. Just as there is a beginning to them, there will also be an ending. This simple reminder can help you through what seems to be some of the most toughest of times.

New Beginnings

One thing that you might have in store for you this year are intentional new beginnings in particular areas of life. There are also times when it seems like these new beginnings are happening to everyone but you. Perhaps in these moments, it’s good to look for fresh ideas and fresh experiences that are going to enrich your life.

Be inspired by the following five new beginnings that can enrich any life!

A New Edition to the Family

It’s no secret that I’m usually expecting a new baby on average of everything other year or so (LOL). Truth be told, a new addition to the family is one of the most exciting things to happen in someone’s life. The responsibility placed on you is huge, but the reward is even bigger.

There are many ways a new edition can enhance a family, but some of the most popular are the pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and baby showers. Can we say pictures, parties, and plain ol’ fun? I feel like I’m way beyond most of these but with the announcement of our last, I finally got to do one of those “cool” birth announcements.

Check out my birth announcement here, and in the meantime, check out The 35 Best Pregnancy Announcements Ideas To Try In 2020 to snag an idea of your own! Keeping in tune with planning and setting goals, go ahead and plan your baby shower and birth plan!

A New Beginning in a New Area

It may seem intimidating at first, but sometimes moving to a new place is the best idea that you can have. You won’t realize how much you needed to move to another area until you actually do. You suddenly realize how little there was to do in your old location, or perhaps there was too much to do and the quiet life suits you.

Some people stay in the same town that they were brought up in because they like the comfort of it. Some can’t wait to escape. Perhaps a job moves you, or the wild of idea of experiencing a new culture inspires you to pick and go. Regardless of your reasons for moving, one thing you can bank on is it being a completely fresh start.

A New Lifestyle

A new lifestyle might be just the thing you need if you’re running your current lifestyle into the dirt. It’s so easy to fall into this lazy lifestyle that society can put you in. You become so zombified because of lack of sleep, unsociable working hours, and working pressure.

Doing things the “world’s” way can lead to negative eating and sleeping patterns, and relying on false-filled hopes and dreams. Of course this can all change if you’re willing to change some of the habits that you have. Some of the first habits people begin to change are their sleeping and eating habits, and these are definitely great places to start.

Getting more sleep and eating healthier meals will have you feeling like a completely different person.

A New Way of Carrying Yourself

Sometimes you need to look in the mirror and realize the person you’ve become. The world generally has a way of making us look at ourselves a little harsher than necessary. And a person who might once have done anything for someone can become short and standoffish to everyone because that’s what life does to people.

Think about the way that you carry yourself. Ask yourself if you’re happy with the person you are today. Of course we all have areas that need some type of attention, but starting with that simple question can begin helping you tackle one area at a time.

Try doing something that makes you feel better about yourself as well. It’s often said that when you focus on helping others, it inwardly helps you too. From helping at homeless and animal shelters to taking mission trips to another country, there are countless ways to help with whatever you’re interested in.

More Attention to Yourself

In recent days, this has been labeled as “self-care”, but regardless of what you call it, it’s totally necessary. Sometimes you just need to take more time to pay attention to yourself. It’s a great new beginning to finally start taking more care to love yourself, rather than focusing on the negatives.

Whether you’re taking the time to establish a new beauty routine, treating yourself to some new clothes, or going on a mini vacation, make sure your happiness is a priority!

CHIME IN: What are some new beginnings you have planned for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments below!