Most homeschoolers don’t really do P.E.. P.E. seems to be one of those things that just gets left out of homeschool pretty often; it’s just one more thing to do in an already busy day for mom and kids. Even though it requires some effort, I’ve found that not only do my kids really enjoy it, but it also wakes them up a bit when we’ve done a lot of studying or sitting still. It has become one of the BEST time of our homeschool day. Getting moving gets our brains jumpstarted.
Here’s What We Do For P.E.:
We spend about a half hour to an hour (if it’s an outing) every afternoon doing P.E., which at our house just means active play, fun, and exercise.
We often go to the park down the street,
. . . or rollerblade in the driveway.
My kids love to go to the skate park.
Basketball in the driveway is always a hit.
Practicing archery in the back yard is another favorite.
When it’s cold we do something indoors, like yoga,
. . . or playing Just Dance.
More Things We Do for P.E.:
- play tag, monkey in the middle, fruit basket, or other yard games
- horseshoes, cornhole, or bocce ball
- do a workout video
- lift weights
- Do circuit training
- backyard soccer
- Play Nike Trainer or Kinect Sports on the X-Box
- Go for a bike ride
- Go for a walk or jog
- Play tennis at the park
- Play capture the flag
- Take our dogs for a walk
- Jump on the trampoline
- Play water balloon games
- Practice volleying with a volleyball
- Hula hoop or jump rope
- Play Fitivities (It’s a super fun, get ’em movin’ board game)
- Play 4 Square
- Have a cartwheel contest
- Do races
- Play beanbag games
- Have fitness challenges (push-ups, sit-ups, wall sits, toe touches, etc.)
- Do Pilates
- Play Hopscotch
- Play catch with a baseball
- Have silly races (like wheelbarrow, crab walk, etc.)
- Play crab soccer with our giant exercise ball
But what about teaching them actual sports?
I went to 12 years of PS and I never actually learned to play sports there. The place I really learned sports was on teams that I participated in. So we sign our kids up for sports teams and we work with them, alongside their coaches, to help them master the rules and skills of sports. There is definite value in sports. It’s pretty hard to play a full on game of soccer, football, or basketball with only a few of us though, so we usually have to modify the rules quite a bit to make the sports that we do play work. I’m glad our kids have been able to be involved in lots of sports so they can learn the real rules and skills and work hard in team settings.
The Purpose of P.E. at my House
My purpose in P.E. is not to teach them to be great athletes, but rather to exercise their bodies and get them moving, both to help them stay fit and also to aid in focus. We use lots of movement throughout other parts of our day too. I’ve seen how much it helps my kids to learn when they are engaged in physical activities, so we move to flashcards, spelling lessons, memorization, and many other things. Whenever we are learning something that we are trying to commit to memory, we are moving in some way. For many kids there is a strong mind body connection, and the mind can stay focused and remember better when the body is moving.
How do you get moving with your kids? Do you think it makes a difference in their focus or memory?