You have all your books and notebooks ready, but there may be one subject you completely overlooked. Physical Education is a key component of a well-rounded education. While all of us know what P. E. class is, it may be difficult to implement. What should I be teaching my children? How much time should be spent on P. E. class each week or day? Do I need to keep records for this class? So, we put together a guide on setting up a homeschool P. E. program.
What is P. E Class?
A P. E. class is sometimes also called a gym. It is where students learn about sports, physical fitness, and healthy living. Traditionally, bodybuilding and competitive sports have been the cornerstones of gym class. The purpose is to teach healthy lifestyle habits. These include exercise, healthy eating, and physical activity. So, students get into the habit of regular workouts, sports, and physical exertion. This will set them up for a lifetime of healthy living.
What is the Difference between Physical Education and Physical Activity?
Physcial activity is anything that gets your body moving. Playing with the dog, going for a walk, playing on a swing set. These actvities get your body moving and your heart pumping. However, Physical Education is a curriculum. So, it is an intentional activity. P. E. class should meet regularly, include instruction and lessons, plus have benchmarks that students need to obtain. Physical activty is obviously part of physical education, however just being active is not the same as a true P. E. program.
How often Should We Have Phys. Ed. Class in Our Homeschool?
Children need at least one hours of physical activity per week. However, physical education should meet at leat 150 mins per week for elementary aged children. This can be broken into 50 minute sessions three (3) times per week, or 30 minute sessions five (5) times per week. In fact, you can come up with a schedule that fits your family best as long as it is a regular part of your homeschool schedule.
What Types of Activities Should We do for Homeschool Physical Education?
The best thing about homeschooling is that there are limitless opportunities. Therefore, homeschool P. E. can look very different from one family to another. It can be tailored to your family’s interests and abilities. Here are some ideas for activities and exercises for you homeschool program.
- Mountain Biking
- Obstacle Courses
- Horseback Riding
- Ice Skating
- Karate or other Martial Arts
- Jumping Jacks
- Running in place
- Stationary equiment: rowing machine, stationary bike, treadmill, etc.
- Exercise videos or games
- Weight training (with proper supervision)
What about Sports?
Organized sports are fun and engaging. If you child plays on a local team or at a gym, that time can be counted toward P. E. class. Just make sure it includes instruction or coaching. However, sports can be a part of your physical education at home, too. Here are some sports that require minimal equipment, space, and people to play:
- Soccer (one-on-one or two-on-two, you can use any landmarks as the goals)
- Volleyball or Badmitton (both can be played with smaller teams)
How do I grade Physical Education for Homeschool?
First, be sure to check your state requirements. Every state is different, this is just a general guide. Next, track progress for each student and set benchmarks. Time how quickly an activity can be completed. Record how many of a specific exercise the child can do. Track this throughout the year to show progress and growth. This information can also be included in your yearly portfolio. Using a tracking system helps students see how much they have improved, and helps them to set goals.
Helpful Homeschool P.E. Tips:
- YMCA and PAL (Police Athletic League) both offer gym classes. These could be organized sports, general gym, or open court opportunities/pick-up games. Check out what your local organization has to offer, both also offer scholarships for families in need.
- Game systems, like Wii, have interactive exercise programs that include goal setting and activity tracking.
- The more the merrier, see if there is a local co-op that offers physical education or sports. Consider meeting other families at the park each week for a group class or free playtime.
- Make P. E. class fun! Like anything homeschool, you are in control. Build a program that is perfect for your family.
- Include information on healthy living and eating. Discuss eating habits and set goals as a family to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Check out the President’s Challenge for extra motivation, instructional videos, and other resources.
- Use programs such as “Couch to 5k” to build up endurance and get the whole family moving. Grab my student packet for physical activity tracking!
- Search Youtube for free exercise video programs for all ages and abilities.