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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Homeschool Physical Education

Friday, I took the kids to open playtime at a local gymnastics facility. They balanced, bounced and swung from bars and ropes for almost two hours. I was exhausted just watching them.

In traditional schools, P.E. classes can be sources of frustration and embarrassment, especially for students who are not naturally athletic. As homeschoolers, we can teach P.E. without subjecting our children to humiliating experiences.

Here are 10 Ways to Get Your Kids Up and Moving:
  1. Put balls, jump ropes, Frisbees and hula hoops in your backyard, and send your kids outside for a set amount of time every day. On days when your schedule allows it, spend the afternoon at the park.

  2. Take walks in the neighborhood, to the store, or around a local lake or nature trail. When the weather isn't cooperative, window shop at a nearby mall. Walking doesn't require any equipment and it can be done anywhere.

  3. Roller blading, roller skating, ice skating, and skate boarding are fun, invigorating activities. Many skating facilities have designated days where homeschoolers can skate for a reduced price of admission.

  4. Bike riding is an activity family members of all ages can enjoy. Make sure to use safety equipment and discuss safety rules when taking family bike rides.

  5. Swimming is a great full body exercise. During cooler months when your neighborhood pool is closed, use the indoor facilities at a local gym.

  6. Private lessons in dance, gymnastics and karate allow your children to develop in areas that are outside your realm of expertise. To reduce the cost of these activities, take lessons designed for homeschoolers or barter with another homeschool family. Here are some additional ways to lower your homeschooling cost.

  7. The gym at your local recreation center is a great place to exercise when it's too cold to go outside. Run laps, do calisthenics, shoot hoops, play basketball or volleyball, or join the kids in a game of tag.

  8. Sports help children develop confidence, team work and discipline. You can play pick up games in your neighborhood or play on an organized team. Here is some additional information about homeschooling and sports.

  9. Many YMCAs, private gyms and homeschool co-ops offer P.E. classes for homeschoolers. These classes allow your children to participate in group activities and expose them to the fun activities you remember from your school years.

  10. The Ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Game Book by Guy Bailey contains activities that are inexpensive and designed for groups of 2-4 children. You can purchase this book from any major bookseller or look for it at your local library.
Most experts recommend at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day for school age children. At our house, we aim for double that amount. We usually do structured activities like nature walks or bike rides in the morning, and have outdoor time in the evenings.

Physical activity helps children develop strong muscles and bones, and reduces the risk of obesity. Your homeschool physical education program should include simple, inexpensive activities that promote strength, endurance and flexibility. Most importantly, it should be fun!

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Anonymous said...

Our kids love sports, biking, swimming, and all kinds of physical activity. It's important to include P.E. in our homeschool, with others or just by ourselves.

NCLighthousekeeper said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I love your list of ways to get kids moving.

Luke said...

I wish I had a pool we could go to more inexpensively. But walks are great, and I really should get out my rollerblades again.


Carol Topp said...

My homeschool co-op offers gym and a group games class. They are very popular classes. Co-ops are a great way to offer what a single family cannot...a group to play with...a team! The volunteer teachers explain the rules, practice skills and get the kids moving.
I explain how to start a homeschool co-op in my new book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out (for sale on Amazon). A homeschool parent could easily start a homeschool co-op just for group games or gym. What fun!

Carol Topp, CPA

Shanna said...

Thanks for this post! I hated PE when I was in public school. It wasn't that I was ever embarrassed but that I had an incredible fear of being embarrassed. So I speant my time trying to hide in the background and never really try. Thanks for these ideas to include in our homeschool!

Christine said...

Hello, great post you have here. Motivating kids is always a very demanding job, and keeping them interested is even harder! Keeping all things fresh for them is a mean feat in itself, and keeping them busy should always be a fun time as they also learn lots of interesting things about themselves and the world around them.

Erika said...

I like your article! Great ideas. Can I link to it from a squidoo lens I am working on for Phys Ed for homeschoolers?

I am collecting ideas right now for my children but am hoping to share it for other parents who want to incorporate into their daily homeschool.


Erika said...
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