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:
- [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.