What happened to P.E.? Physical education has been removed from many traditional schools. P.E. is either non-existent or very limited in public schools nowadays. As a homeschool family, we can make it so physical education can look completely different. You can control just how much physical education your child gets and what type of activities you engage in.
P.E. was a massive part of my public school education. We had to “dress out,” meaning we had to change into workout gear (even a uniform) to participate in physical education for school. It was a big ordeal, and most girls hated it. To some kids, it was the highlight of their school day.
Much of the problem with traditional school P.E. was that we didn’t have a choice of what we wanted to do. We also didn’t have much time to change and we many times left P.E. sweaty (and smelly) for the rest of the day.
Being that many colleges require some physical education on a transcript; it forces us, homeschooling families, to think about how we would like to fulfill that requirement. On average, one high school P.E. credit is about 120 hours.
Above filling a requirement, it is essential to note that getting active in our homeschools is extremely important. I am preaching to the choir here because I spent the first year or so of homeschool letting my kids play outside here and there with no structured plan for physical education.
I did not do a thing with them when it came to getting active. I hardly took a walk with them or got active myself. I realized after that year that I had to adjust a lot of what I was doing, particularly with being active as well.
My high energy son was having a hard time in math and had hard times staying still. I had to find ways to help him in learning for this area, which included a lot of hands-on math activities, more breaks outside, and using creative ways to teach.
After finding that getting out and moving helped him tremendously, I knew that I needed to change myself and get my children more active.
Even just getting active in your homeschool for a bit each day is a step in the right direction. Check out this article with Ideas for Getting Active in Your Homeschool.
If you currently are not holding actual P.E. sessions in your homeschool, it isn’t that hard to start. Small simple steps are all you really need.
How to teach P.E. in your homeschool for younger kids:
- Take advantage of free or low-cost park facilities in your area. Once you get to a park, kids explore and play. It is healthy for them to run, jump, explore, get dirty even. Schedule in a time per week to this consistently.
- Active play. Hikes, mid-day picnics and Frisbee, camping and outdoor games can all be utilized for P.E. in your homeschool.
- Artsy kids may respond better to P.E. through dance. Dancing certainly fits the bill of P.E. Search YouTUbe for kids Zumba videos or tutorials on Latin dance, ballroom, or other art forms to get kids up and active regularly.
- Give your children weekly swimming lessons. You can do it yourself or pay a fee for the lessons. If you live in an area surrounded by water or your kids love the water, this would be an investment that you can’t afford to miss.
- Home workouts for kids. Search for programs or YouTube videos for home workouts for kids and do the exercises with them. We need exercise as much as our kids need it. Create fun memories and workout fun by doing videos together.
One thing I would also like to remind you is that having your child in a sports team, swim team, dance class, etc. means your child is in P.E. It doesn’t have to look like you remember it. Getting kids active in a space they are passionate about is a P.E. WIN!
How to teach P.E. in your homeschool for teens:
It may be easier to get younger kids interested in physical education to get those wiggles out. Once you open that car door, they know they can run, jump and be free. As students get older and they want to stay inside and be on their smart devices more, it can become trickier to get them out and active.
Note: If your student is interested in a sport, you may want to check out the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for homeschool students. The NCAA regulates and organizes the athletic programs of many college sports and has some rules on how your child can qualify.
- For techie kids, a computer-based option for P.E. can grab their attention. Movement-based games like the Wii Fit U or Wii Sports Club can make your game consoles a tool for homeschool P.E. Just Dance on the Playstation can get kids having fun and moving in no time. Just look for a computer-based game that elevates their heart rate (and be careful to read the ratings prior to use).
- I am a little biassed on this one because my family is all in. However, Mixed Martial Arts is an excellent way for your kids to get active. It is also a way for students to build on core strength, along with learning skills that help protect themselves should they ever need to.
- P.E. can be full of “cool” fun. Your kids may not be sportspeople, but some can’t resist the fun atmosphere of a roller rink, skate park, or trampoline park.
- Family bike rides in the middle of the school day. Plan an afternoon excursion once a month to explore the scenery all around. There is something about riding a bike outside freely, while half the kids your age are stuck in a classroom.
- Scheduling time for treks or hiking can get your older students interested in nature and appreciating creation.
Tips for teaching P.E. in your homeschool:
- Change things up now again. Let your kids try new sports teams so they can find what they enjoy doing.
- Be intentional and be sure to schedule in your physical education in your homeschool.
- Keep track of all your child’s exercising and physical education activities.
- Check out your state requirements on P.E. for homeschool students and again make sure you capture all activity and stay ahead of the curve in preparation for college.
- Get right in there with your kids and do P.E. with your kids.
- The most important thing is, to JUST DO IT.
Help strengthen your child’s bones, health, energy levels, and more with an actual Physical Education program in your homeschool. There are some fantastic benefits for P.E. in our children. They can narrow in on interest and maybe even get a scholarship; they can learn perseverance and learn to focus. They can learn discipline and hard work towards a goal.
You can be as structured or as laid back as you would like to be with P.E. The whole point, however, is to get it started and to make it an integral part of your child’s educational journey. Your P.E. doesn’t have to look like another family’s P.E.
The Homeschool Mom has a list of homeschool fitness and P.E. resources you might want to take a look at.
Try and start P.E in your homeschool to get your children healthy, both physically and mentally.
Remember, just do it! Grab some tools to help you teach your kids P.E. in homeschool:
Mendy Music – Movement and Exercise for KidsKids Cardio Workout: Jenny FordRedmon Fun and Fitness Exercise Equipment for Kids – Happy BikeKid Exercise WorkoutGaiam Kids Balance Ball – Exercise Stability Yoga Ball, Kids Alternative Flexible Seating for Active Children in Home or Classroom (Satisfaction Guarantee), Orange, 45cmPROMIC Exercise Ball (45 cm) Children’s Balance Ball with Foot Pump – Alternative Classroom Seating, Flexible School Chair, Active Classroom Desk Seating, PinkSeries 8 Fitness Exercise DiceWorkout Kid Fitness DVDKids Dance Workout Lose WeightCostzon Puzzle Exercise Mat for Kids, 12-Pieces 24DanceX: Fun Dance & Exercise DVD For Kids With Great Music | Ultimate Indoor Fitness and Workout Video For KidsKids’ E.D.G.E. Workouts, Sports Cardio
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!