Keeping your kids healthy and active is just as important as challenging them academically. In traditional school, your children would have attended PE (physical education/gym). You remember the days of having to dress out in your gym sweats, doing jumping jacks and sit ups as a class, and running that dreaded mile. But then after those pieces were done, you’d have a sport to focus on. And that was it! Each year was always the same.
The good news is, homeschoolers don’t have a stringent set of rules for their physical education. You’re not stuck in a box, having to focus on sport after sport that you children likely aren’t interested in, though if they are be sure to include the sports that peak your child’s interest. This article will explore the different options that you can provide your children to get them moving, without being so regimented.
For the Younger Crowd
Younger children need to move regularly. It’s in their bodies and they can’t always sit still, and that’s ok! What kid doesn’t want to take a break to ride their bike around the cul-de-sac, or climb the tree in the back yard, or roll down the hill then run back up it just to roll down once more? Anything that gets these younger kiddos up and moving, running out some of that never-ending energy is great for them. And the best part is, it counts as PE!
For the Older Kids
There are so many options for your older kids that don’t consist of team sports. Here are some of our favorites:
Backyard Games: Do you have fond memories of playing frisbee with your siblings? Or kickball, jump rope competitions, hopscotch, or four square? All of these are great ideas for PE fun, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Your backyard is full of potential from things like ninja warrior courses, tag, Slip N’ Slides, and more. There’s no limit to the options you can come up with!
Take a Walk: Not only is a walk great exercise, it’s also a wonderful way to clear your head after a test! It is truly the easiest way to exercise and can be done every day. If you have dogs, take them along with you so the whole family can get their heart rates up a bit.
A Bike is Great Too! If you prefer biking over walking, take your kids to their favorite trails and let them let loose. If you prefer just biking around your neighborhood, that’s a wonderful option as well.
Home Workouts: With the internet being so vast, what can’t you find online? It truly is endless. Have your kids pick out some home workouts that they feel drawn too. From yoga, Zumba, barre, cardio, and weights, there are endless possibilities for your child to choose from. If they don’t like one, switch it up and try another the next day. There’s no right or wrong for home workouts! See my youtube video on fitness dice for more workout ideas.
Wii Games: Video games?! Yes, you read that right! Wii Sports and Wii Fit are full of games that provide your kids a reason to get up and get active. There are over a hundred different options to choose from, including dancing games. Don’t think they work? Give it a try for yourself and see if you work up a sweat.
Take a Hike: While not everyone lives in an area with scenic hiking trails nearby, if you find yourself with a hiking option, grab your shoes, water, and head out there and enjoy nature!
Go Bowling: Bowling is a great exercise that requires more than just endurance, it also requires skill to figure out the right way to throw the ball to get a strike or pick up those tricky spares. Having a bowling field trip once a week (or month) can be a fun new addition to your physical education requirements.
Sports: Yes, the title is “Beyond Sports,” but if your children love football, baseball, basketball, or any other sport, keep encouraging them and allowing them the opportunity to thrive.
There are so many different options that you can select for your kid’s physical education. Remember, every state has their own specific requirements for physical education. Being abreast with the state requirements can help you create a plan to keep moving. Be sure to mark down your child’s physical education for each day they participate if it is required by your state.
And always remember, if they get bored, add variety. Parents don’t want to do the same thing day in and day out, your kids won’t either. Enjoy this active time together with your kids, and the respite from teaching!