Why include Physical Education in homeschool?
God calls us to be stewards of what we are gifted with, including our bodies! Including physical education encourages an early love of activity to continue lifelong fitness and wellness. Participating in regular physical activity generates numerous health benefits. (See this page on the American Heart Association’s site and on the National Association of Sport and Physical Education for abundant facts.) Plus, spending time as a family in fun exercise produces great quality time together (and keeps us active, too!).
What might homeschool Physical Education look like?
We are gifted with great freedom as homeschooling families, so your physical education activities might take form differently than another family’s. Sound physical education programs:
- Are inclusive, encouraging, and fun
- Necessitate hard work to gain health benefits
- Include a wide variety of options to find something you and your children each enjoy! (Think disc golf, biking, fitness courses, activities and games like I will suggest here, sports teams, individual sports, etc.)
- Create opportunities to meet the general activity recommendations:
- For toddlers: 1 ½ hours daily (30 minutes planned physical activity and 60 minutes unstructured, free play physical activity)
- For preschoolers: 2 hours daily (60 minutes planned physical activity and 60 minutes unstructured, free play physical activity)
- For school age: 1 hour or more daily (break up into bouts of 15 minutes or more)
- For adults: 30-60 minutes daily
Sometimes it helps to look at what should not be included to understand and formulate a helpful plan. What physical education is not: exclusive (where kids get “out” and stop playing), focused on hitting people (like “old school” dodgeball), or too competitive (a little competition can induce good motivation, but too much can be discouraging).
A few resources to get you started:
- The American Heart Association’s “How to Make a Healthy Home” page includes many tips focused on healthy families.
- KidsHealth has a parents site, kids site, teens site, and educators site FULL of useful information on activity and other aspects of health, along with activities, games, and more. This is one of my go-to resources!
- If you have children under 5 years old, the Head Start, Body Start site gives information for families with age-appropriate activities, including calendars with daily activity ideas. (A sample of one of the calendars is in the picture on this post.)
What kinds of posts will you see here each month?
Many posts will include encouraging, inclusive games that get heart rates up, incorporate core subjects, and provide opportunities to reinforce grace and Christ-like living. These posts will regularly provide tips with modifications for various age groups that you can try out with your family that week! (Let me know in comments below what you’re interested in, too.)
Let’s end today’s post with some discussion:
What kind of curriculum or activities do you implement for physical education in your homeschooling? What information would you like to see on these posts each month?
Caroline is wife, homeschooling momma to a toddler son, writer, certified personal trainer, and former physical education teacher. She blogs at Under God’s Mighty Hand.