A Homeschool Phys Ed Idea: Rock Climbing

Thrift Schooling

Homeschoolers! If you are looking for something fun and challenging to do in the Roanoke Area why not try your hand at Rock Climbing? The River Rock located in Roanoke, VA has opened their facilities to homeschoolers the FIRST FRIDAY of the MONTH during the school year. Many Rock Climbing gyms are not child friendly but River Rock is. Even children as young as five years old can climb on the homeschool days!

Here, my youngest has no fear 
free climbing these rocks!

Before you arrive, be sure to fill out The River Rock Waiver
online. This can be filled out on site but if you are bringing kids that are not your own, the parent must fill out the waiver online before you arrive, this is essential. Another thing to know when planning your visit is the amount of adults required to watch the children. You will need to have one adult for every three climbers ages 5-13. Children must be five years old to climb. If you have children under that age they are not allowed in the climbing areas and must have one on one supervision (someone other than who is watching the children climbing). So, if you have little ones, be sure to have an extra adult to watch them! This is important because once you go through the tour of the facility you are basically on your own! You are responsible to watch and attach your children to the ropes. There are obviously workers there to help the children with the ropes that don't work automatically but only a few so you need to be sure you can "spot" your children the whole time you are there. 

I'm glad my husband was able to come that day because it was much easier having two of us watching our three kids ages eight and under. Honestly, I think it would have been overwhelming the first time with just me. Now that they are comfortable with climbing and "know the ropes" I would take them alone in a heartbeat but not for the first time.

And yes, adults can climb too!

The Homeschool First Friday has a discounted rate of only $10. You can climb anytime from 10am - 3pm that day and the price includes gear rental, (which is normally an extra cost). It is recommended to allot yourself at least two hours to climb. You'll receive about half an hour instructional tour where you will learn how to attach and detach yourself (or your child) to the auto-belay. Once you receive a tour of the facility, go over the rules and master the auto-belay test you are on your own! There are two main sections to the gym. One has walls that you can climb where you don't need to be harnessed in. These walls may appear easy at first but not so! Some are quite tricky and angled in a way that is quite challenging. Then there are the walls with the belays. This was the fun part. At first the kids were hesitant. Then, after a bit, my six year old was all over the place! He was climbing like a pro. It was so fun watching him climb to the top, give the monkey a high five and let the belay slowly bring him down. It was cute.

At first my youngest only wanted to climb the walls without the harness. Then, once she saw her dad and brothers try she finally got harnessed in! There also was another girl her age there climbing the wall like a champ so I think that helped her gain some courage! After a bit she was going about halfway up and popping down by herself with no fear! I liked seeing her gain confidence. My other son enjoyed mostly the free  climbing. He climbed to the top and was so proud of himself each time. It was a great confidence booster for him since the larger walls were too intimidating for him. He loved climbing to the top seeing how fast he could go each time. It was great seeing how proud he was when he made it to the top!

There are still a few Homeschool first Friday's planned for this year, so check out The River Rock.

Disclaimer: This post is powered by The River Rock. All opinions stated here are my own.

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