Holistic Health & Wellness

Spring Into Healthy Living by Sticking to a Daily Routine



When I first started homeschooling my children, I started a daily routine of getting up early in the morning and starting our day off with exercise. We would be up and at the track by 6:30 in the morning.

My rationale for getting my children up so early in the morning was because I felt that they would need to get accustomed to getting up early because they would one day have to get up and go to a job.

I also got them up early because it got really hot by 7:30 in the morning. I wanted to get a good hour of speed walking in before it got too hot. During the winter months, we would go to an indoor gym and exercise.

My son graduates in a few months, and this has been our routine throughout our homeschooling journey. Of course, there are days when we skip our exercise but, for the most part we have stuck to our daily routine. As a result, my children have no problem getting up early and sticking to a schedule. They also enjoy physical activities. My daughter has been dancing ballet, tap and jazz from the age of three. My son plays tennis and is in taekwondo.

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Another daily routine that we have adhered to is eating vegetables every day and drinking lots of water. My children have never been big on eating sweets. When I get birthday cakes for them, I am the only one who eats the cake. They have never really liked cakes, ice cream or candy. That’s because I started them off eating healthy foods right from the beginning.

My children have always loved broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and other vegetables. I can remember being at a restaurant with my children when they were really young. My daughter chose broccoli over fries for her side dish. The waitress was shocked that a kid would choose to eat broccoli over fries.

Both of my children love healthy foods. They prefer to drink water over sodas. My daughter never drinks sodas. My son will occasionally have a soda but, prefers water.


Our daily routine has also consisted of daily bible lessons. I feel that reading the bible daily has helped my family to be conscious of God in our lives. We have raised our children to trust and obey God. Our hope is that through daily bible study, they will be able to develop a personal relationship with God and learn to trust His guidance in their lives.


When it comes to how we educate our kids; that has constantly evolved. We have tried many different curricula over the years and many different approaches to educating our children. However, the daily routines that promote a healthy lifestyle have remained a constant in our homeschooling journey.

I have found that these routines help us to feel more energized and alert so that we can get the most out of the learning process. My young scholars have evolved into young adults that I feel are fully prepared to enter into the next stage of life. They are disciplined and health- conscious.

Now, they are the ones who remind me to be healthy when I don’t want to go to the gym or get lazy about living a healthy lifestyle. My son constantly asks me if I’ve been drinking enough water.


I have made healthy living a routine part of our everyday life. My children don’t even have to think about healthy living, they just naturally do the activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. We cook together and exercise together because it’s what we have always done as a family.

When my children were smaller, I would go outside and swing on the swing set or jump on the trampoline with them. We also love nature walks in the countryside where we live. So, my take on how to spring into healthy living is to just make it a part of your normal routine when your children are small. Then, it won’t be something you have to try to get them to do when they get older.  They will actually enjoy living a healthy lifestyle.

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CHIME IN: My question for you is, “What type of healthy living activities are you teaching your children?” Share in the comments below!

This post is part of the Spring Into Healthy Living blog series. Check the other posts:

Cescelie is a loving wife and mother of two teenagers. She is married to her high school sweetheart of 35 years. She is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree in Education. Cescelie homeschools her children with an emphasis on African American studies and STEM education. She contributed to an anthology entitled, “Lessons From My Grandmother’s Lap” and has recently released her first book, “Reclaiming My Time,” which is available as a Kindle ebook and a paperback on Amazon. Cescelie can be contacted on Facebook via messenger, Instagram, or via email at cesjelks@gmail.com. Cescelie recently started a blog at http://www.reclaiming-my-time.com



Family: Marriage & Parenting, Home Education, Spiritual

Spring Into Healthy Living by Taming the Tongue

Ah, spring. The hope of new life, a breath of fresh air, the promise of sun and longer days. We throw open the windows, letting the crisp breeze clear out the stagnant breath of winter. With this series, we examine every area of our lives where we need freshness, detox, and change. This article is about detoxing our speech.

Sometimes our homes smell clean, our food tastes clean, but our mouths shoot poison. Have you ever found yourself saying things that you wonder about later? Maybe afterwards you had thoughts like these:  Where did that come from? I can’t believe I said that! He made me say that or, She pushed my buttons. With spring and its representation of newness emerging, it’s time to clean up our words.

Examining our beliefs

The first action to take is to consider our core beliefs about ourselves, our spouses, our children, and others. What does our self-talk consist of? Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

  •         I’m so forgetful.
  •         I’m not a good homeschooler.
  •         I’m not a good mom.
  •         I’m messy and unorganized.
  •         I can never get it right.

Or, how about these?

  •         He would rather be at work.
  •         He doesn’t help enough.
  •         They are doing it on purpose to get a rise out of me.
  •         They are unmotivated and lazy.
  •         No one really cares.
  •         No one understands.

What we believe in our heart of hearts makes its appearance when we open our mouths. The first step toward changing what we say is to change what we believe.

Make a change

Fill your mind with truth about yourself and others

We change what we believe by refusing to listen to the lies we conjure up from our past, from our impressions of what others think, and from the whispers of Satan whose aim is to destroy you and your family. We need to do less listening to ourselves and more talking to ourselves. Lies must be countered with truth. Those negative statements must be turned into positive ones. Most importantly, we must open our Bibles and fill our minds with the Word of God, otherwise we may become victims of worse lies as described in Luke 11:25-26,

“On its return, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and dwell there. And the final plight of that man is worse than the first.”

Fill your mind with noble thoughts

In addition to countering lies with truth, especially the truth of what God says about you, we also need to change what we think about. Our thoughts impact our beliefs, which then impact our speech and actions. We can still experience the temptation to focus on negative events in our lives and the hurtful behaviors of others. Then we become discouraged, depressed, resentful, and frustrated and find ourselves right back where we were—believing lies. What if we focused instead on the positive? What if we lived out Philippians 4:8, which says,

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Imagine the transformation in your home if there were more loving, kind, praising words!

Examining our words

Does your mouth speak both blessing and cursing?

Now that we have addressed our thoughts and beliefs—the root of all behavior, including speech—let’s look at the words that come out of our mouths. Are we detoxing our speech even as we detox our thoughts? The words we say ought to improve if we are filling our minds with good things, but sometimes old habits linger. Sometimes we behave one way at church or with friends and another way with our loved ones. The book of James talks about this—out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing (James 3:10).

But, I don’t feel like building others up!

If we are to improve our relationships, our speech should encourage others, build them up, and point them to the right path. We know this, but sometimes we’re just having a bad day and it’s hard to build someone else up when we feel down. HERE are some ways to get back on track and gain perspective when you have a bad day homeschooling.

We also struggle to encourage and bless others when they have brought us emotional pain. We tend to take on an attitude of “you hurt me, so I’m going to punish you/hurt you/refuse to talk to you.” But, as this post reveals, that response only intensifies our pain. It doesn’t heal us.

During this season of renewal and cleansing, of repentance and transformation, let’s get back on track with the way we talk to each other. Let’s detox our speech!

CHIME IN: What are some ways you tame your tongue? Are there any go-to Scriptures or prayers you use? Share with us in the comments below!

This post is part of the Spring Into Healthy Living blog series. Check the other posts:

Julie Polanco is a 16+ years veteran homeschooling mom of four challenging, artsy kids. She is the author of two books for moms–God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn and 100 Ways to Motivate Kids–and the high school botany instructor for www.SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Julie has been featured in several publications and blogs, including Today’s Parent, Old Schoolhouse magazine, Some Assembly Required, Homeschooling with Heart blog, and Alternative Health Guide. She teaches live middle school science workshops for her local homeschool co-op and is actively involved in her church’s women’s ministry. You can find her at www.julienaturally.com where she offers natural learning & living solutions for challenging kids and their families. You can also find her on Facebook @julienaturally and Pinterest @julienaturally.



Holistic Health & Wellness

Turning Everyday Activities Into A Workout

I’m not sure why, but for some reason after having children, getting a good work out in goes out that window. Okay, I’ll be honest. I’ve never been much on actually going to a gym. I tried it, but must admit that I’m just too self-conscious plus squirrel brained to stay focused. What working out I have managed to do has always been in the form of some type of dancing (yep, I was a Zumba instructor) or with some YouTube videos in the comfort of my home.

I can’t say I’d have it any other way, but something I would change is how consistent I am with doing some type of movement that burns calories. What I’ve managed to do is take every activities and turn them into a workout. Am I consistent yet? Nope. But when I do it, it’s so much fun and I’m burning some mad calories!

You may burn some calories laughing at the rest of this post, but I’m so serious about what I want to share with you. I know hope there are other mamas out there that feel the same way I do and would love a little boost in knowing that they can get a workout in… especially through activities they’re already doing. So, keep reading for my 4 ways to turn everyday activities into a workout!

Oh, and the names I have given these workout moves came from the top of my head. I haven’t researched them to see if they’re a thing or not, so if they are, kuddos to whoever thought of them first!

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Rise & Shine Crunches

These are the crunches you do when you raise up out of bed in the morning. Give yourself an extra workout by laying back down and raising up about five more times. Trust me when I say you will see progress. After having our baby boy (a year ago) I could tell a big difference in my postpartum stomach muscles. Basically, I couldn’t sit up without help. Now, I make it a point to tuck, squeeze, and sit up using my stomach muscles.

And if you’re wondering about those midnight rises… YES! They count too!

Cook & Step

This is probably my most favorite, plus the kiddos get a kick out of it too. If I’m going to be in the kitchen cooking for awhile, best believe I’m gonna make a jive out of it. While standing at the stove start with a little side to side step. Then add a little forward and back stepping. And while you’re stirring go ahead and add a few butt kicks.

I know you’re thinking, “She can’t possibly be serious!” Oh, but I am! You know you can see it!

Squat Clean

This sounds like what it’s called. When you’re cleaning up all those toddler toys that you regret buying your littles, you can turn around and thank them for contributing to your soon-to-be tight tush. Seize every moment of picking something up off the floor as a moment to do a squat. Don’t even try to count them either because it’ll probably be way more than the 3 sets of 10 that you’d normally do at the gym.


This one requires leaving doors to rooms open and allowing your toddler to get a few seconds head start. If your toddler is anything like mine, as soon as you say GO! aaannndd there off! I’ve never seen little people run so fast until they see a way of escape. They instantly turn into 100 meter dash sprinters!

There you have it! Four ways to turn everyday activities into a workout… and a meaningful one at that! I’m not exaggerating when I say that these kind of workouts can burn some major calories. Now at to that nursing, running errands, and yelling at correcting the children all day and I think it’s safe to say that you can skip out on that gym membership!

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CHIME IN: What are some unique ways you squeeze in a workout but without the gym? Let me know in the comments below!

This post is part of the Spring Into Healthy Living blog series. Check the other posts: