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A Home Education is Not Complete Without Physical Education
by Lon King
Physical Education (PE) for homeschoolers can be more efficient and productive than what public school systems can offer without the political and socially construed overtones. Instead of time constraints and uninteresting activities, a homeschool family can design their own vibrant curriculum. Age relevancy, conditioning, and health awareness should be the focus when designing a program. The younger set (8 and under) doesn’t require much structure compared to older kids. Bike riding, swimming and hiking with mom and dad are great options. Recreational team sports like soccer, baseball, or basketball can be beneficial in socializing and nurturing teamwork concepts. With younger kids it’s mostly about being outside, active and away from screen time. Research proves physical activity fosters cognitive development. As children grow and their maturity increases, a more deliberate design is recommended. In most cases their interests will become more defined and specific. Just as learning skills are different; our attraction to certain physical activities is even more varied. As home educators our goal should be to encourage a life of physically activity. To best achieve this and keep them engaged, help your child identify his/her own activity interests. We can suggest, recommend, and guide, but as parents let’s not make the mistake of forcing our own interests on the kids. You may have been extremely good at baseball when you were young, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to your offspring. Remember, as unique as your child is, so too are their interests.
Physical Education and Related Subjects
For the older student I would encourage parents to dovetail nutritional studies in an effort to reinforce the long term benefits of physical conditioning. Physically demanding sports require a high level of conditioning. Explain the value of staggered conditioning routines and the effects on the various muscle groups. Teach your child about a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Show them how hydration and carbohydrates affect their performance and well-being. Learn and teach injury prevention. As a side study you can also integrate first aid. Much of what you can relate to physical education can include science and sports medicine. The options almost seem limitless. If you decide a pre-packaged curriculum is better suited and more practical, consider Horizons by Alpha Omega or
The Ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Book
There are a lot of resources available to help you execute a plan for a successful outcome.
As a side note, some sports can be rather expensive. If your child has chosen a budget busting activity, encourage them to help cover the expenses. This proves two things, accountability and commitment. Dedication and excellence will follow. Work hard, play hard, and have fun!
A short list of team sports as well as some individual sports include: baseball/softball, basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey, rowing, tennis, golf, cycling, running, skiing, gymnastics, martial arts, track and field, and weightlifting. Many of these sports are offered as school sponsored, or city parks and recreation programs. Other sources of competition include local churches and the YMCA.