Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friends, Leaves, and Goofiness - Our Outside Time this Week

Many of you who read this blog regularly or have liked us on Facebook know already that we joined the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge several weeks back. The goal is to get 1000 hours a year of outside time for the kids by attempting to average around 20 hours a week outside. I started doing this for much the same reasons they chose to bring attention to it: the average American child spends somewhere around 1200 hours a year watching television! That doesn't count cell phone or computer time... just television! Now, my kiddos don't watch near that much television but they weren't getting enough outside time in my opinion. It was easier to let them go play with their toys in their rooms than attempt to get the outside to play... or so I thought at the time. I thought when I began this that there was NO WAY I'd make the goal unless we went camping a whole lot more than we planned for this year. When we're home the kids just weren't spending much time outside...
Daddy teaching the girls to mow the lawn.

Well, it turns out it wasn't that hard to do. I just make a point every day of sending the kiddos out for at least one hour. Then I started adding up all the time we spent on our walks and when we visit parks. I started pushing the girls out the door when ECJ was already outside. In other words I made a small effort towards making sure they all got outside time. When it's rainy, windy, and cold they don't go outside. If we're sick they don't go outside. Otherwise... they can play outside lol. The added bonus for me is that if I don't choose to join them I get about an hour to check my e-mails, touch base on facebook, blog, or *gasp* read!

This week we spent 19 hours outside and I hadn't even realized it until I added it up when I was sitting down to write this.

Here's how the week panned out:

Sunday - 4 hours outside playing in the yard
Monday -  1.5 hours outside doing experiments and playing 
Tuesday - 1.5 hours outside today playing with our friends from Learning Life with 3 Sons
Wednesday - 0 hours outside due to rainy, windy, chilly weather
Thursday - 2.5 hours outside playing and walking
Friday - 3.5 hours outside playing in the yard
Saturday - 6 hours outside today! Lawn care, jumping in leaves, and playing with the dogs.

That makes the total for the week 19 hours and the total for the year to date: 125.5 hours outside!!

 Here's a few pictures of the kiddos helping out with the yard work. They usually do help with all of the yard work. Picking up sticks and cleaning up whatever blows into our yard. ECJ has to clean up after the doggies as part of his chores. Most of the time he also gets to help mow the lawn, this week (one of the last lawn mows of the year) Daddy showed the girls how to do it and walked along with them. It took both girls to push the self-propelled lawn mower and it's one of the lighter ones! The one picture you can barely see YCJ next to Peanut as they're pushing, but trust me she's there providing the extra "oomph".

These are just some pictures of the kids playing with the dogs in the yard. It's not often that they're out there without chains (the dogs not the kids ;-) ) and the kiddos wanted to take full advantage of it.

 They also spent some time jumping into leaf piles in the yard today. It was number 7 on our Fall Bucket List. The girls don't normally enjoy doing things where stuff can get into their hair so it took ECJ to laying on a pile of leaves to show them that it was OK. The girls still din't play in too many more leaves and ECJ was the only one I had to remind to get the leaves out of his hair before he came inside. But they did have a really good time!

A picture from our experiment on Monday -
check out how we did it

 Unfortunately both I and my friend who was over on Tuesday forgot to take pictures of all six kids playing basketball and drawing with sidewalk chalk. This is not like either of us to miss these camera opportunities. This will not happen again the next time all of us are together!

If you want to check out the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge I'm sure they'd love it! They've begun holding contests at least once a month with some neat give aways! The newest one just ended but there will be another one coming up and they always share valuable information about getting outside in all weather. Plus, their outside pictures are amazing.

I love being a nominee for the Homeschool Blog Awards! I'd like to take this chance to thank whoever nominated me for the Best New Homeschool Blog category! Voting runs until the 18th of November so make sure to show your support for the blogs that you like that have been nominated in all of the 20 categories. I'm down in the 18th category :-) ... You can vote once a day for each of your choices (one per category) on any of your devices that connect to the web. So go ahead and go here to cast your votes.

And, as always, you can find us on Facebook here.


  1. Awesome! I have a half acre of leaves to rake! Wanna come and spend some time outside here!

    What a cool project. It's so easy to stay inside - especially now as it's getting colder - but it's so important for the kids to have some time outside. Now that the two olders are riding their bikes, they can ride their bikes together and do enjoy doing that. They go over to their neighborhood friend's house and play creatively with her (another homeschooler). It's nice, cause after school, I have some time (a special score if the baby is sleeping).

    Now that the weather is changing, and they are spending more time outdoors with the leaves and such - I'm finding more allergy stuff. Have you found that as well?

    Thanks so much for sharing your lovely pictures!

    1. We have our allergies earlier in the season, when the farmer does his fields next to our house ... unfortunately, that's also when the weather begins changing and our sinuses get messed up as well. The only one who doesn't have a problem with either is Daddy, but when it gets cold his CoPD gets pretty bad.

      I wish we had another homeschooler in the neighborhood, it would be such a boon. Any hour alone is wonderful, sometimes the silence is too much but most of the time it just means an hour of peace and quiet before the storm hits again ( lol).

      Hmmm, half an acre of leaves huh? Well, if everyone teamed up we'd make short work of it.

  2. So great to see you getting your time in! We love hearing how others are doing!!