One of the best parts about homeschool is the ability to teach subjects in fun and interesting ways based on each child’s learning style, and physical education is the exact same way. It’s all about finding something that your child is interested in. With so many varied opportunities to be active, there’s bound to be something that will spark interest in your child.
Exercise isn’t just important to a child’s physical health, it is also plays a vital part in their brain development. It can have an enormous impact on a child’s brain and its ability to absorb information. One Canadian teacher found that, by adding two 20-minute periods of exercise into her class time per week, her students all went up a full letter grade. Wow!
So what can homeschool parents do to give their kids an opportunity to be active? Here are 6 ideas to get you started.
- Hiking — Depending on where you live, hiking trails may or may not be very accessible. But if they are, take your kids on a hike over the weekend, or take a field trip to visit a nearby national park. It gets everyone out into nature and is a great all-around exercise.
- Youth Leagues — There are usually plenty of youth leagues around, whether for soccer, basketball or another sport. They’re a great way for your child to learn about teamwork and to make some new friends.
- Individual Sport Classes — Maybe the youth league options in your area do not interest your child. Try an individual sport, like swimming or golf, and see if it sparks their interest.
- Mid-Day Bike Ride — For kids to sit still all day is tough. Take them for a bike ride around lunch time. They can get some energy out and it will help them focus when they come back.
- Make Academic Activities Active — Take an academic area that your child really doesn’t like and incorporate it with a physical activity that she or he enjoys. You can quiz them on vocabulary while they jump rope, or you can have them recite multiplication tables while they jump on the trampoline. This keeps them active, helps them focus, and turns something that normally bores them into something they look forward to!
- Homeschool PE Class — Homeschool PE classes are programs you can find in many local gyms. They’re great because they have a varied curricula but will generally expose your child to different kinds of sports and help them develop their range of motion and coordination. It gives you a break, and your child gets the opportunity to experience a varied PE curriculum in a group environment. (*hint hint* The nZone might have one of these)
No matter how it’s done, getting children involved in a physical activity not only helps them release some of their energy, it also helps them focus on their school work. Find something that interests your child and go with it!