It should surprise no one when I say I love outside. From mud pie cooking shows as a child, to summer camp, to our gardens now. I was instantly in love when I learned about 1000 Hours Outside last year and knew it would be one of my top goals for our year this year.
This isn’t just a homeschool movement thing. This isn’t just a teenager or little kid thing. This is the whole family. This is an intentional lifestyle shift. Over the course of 365 days, spending 1000 hours without walls. 41.6666667 days in fresh air and sunshine.
I’ve shared a number of times about how we’ve worked to limit TV and screen time. As many families, we aren’t perfect with it. I’d be lying if I didn’t say due to work demands, Story Bots and Magic School Bus has been real MVPs. Which is even more reason to commit.
Here is a BIG reason I am excited to partake in this challenge-
I’m not alone.
Thousands of families all over the world participate!
1000 hours seem daunting? Have brutal winters or scorching summers? They have a break down to help you visualize it.
They offer hundreds of outdoor activities to keep the hours full of fun, exploration, adventure, and yes, even a bit of learning. Spring, summer, winter, fall, rain, sunshine, or clouds. They literally have Hike, Activity, and Book Lists for each month of the year. COME ON.
The 1000 Hours Blog is a gold mine of research, interviews, parenting, and general wealth of knowledge. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. I’m not going to lie, I’d also LOVE to go crazy in their store too. A winter hat with an LED light!? Yes please.
Does the thought of tracking 1000 hours stress you out? They now have a nice, EASY app. It has a timer that you can start when you go out, and stop when you come in. You can also manually enter times, notes, and even add pictures. My favorite part are the badges that you can earn. I was CLEARLY motivated by “gold stars” as a kid. This is really just the adult version.
For us, it’s breaking the monotony of the day, even if it’s just 15 minutes at a time. It’s breathing good, fresh air, getting a bit of vitamin D, and running off some energy. It’s barefoot baby piggy toes, grounding and connecting with the Earth. And one of my personal favorites- IMMUNITY BOOSTING! My great-grandmother used to say, “God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt.” More and more we’re seeing how this generally does, in fact, ring quite true.
Maybe 1000 hours is too much for you. If you aren’t a full time homeschool family with at least 1 parent that does not work outside of the home, 1000 hours may just not be realistic or attainable for you.Maybe your goal is 500 for the year. That’s still 20.833333 days outside. That’s 20.833333 hours of TV you didn’t watch. It’s 20 hours you were present with your family.
I’m new to the 1000 Hours Challenge. I have no experience to tell you how easy or how hard it could be. BUT, what I do know, is that being part of this challenge encourages me every day, because I see all of the ways families are getting in their time, and the resources 1000 Hours Provides to help you make it more than aimless wandering.
Are you up for the challenge with us this year?