Homeschoolers often excel academically, which is evidenced in national test scores, spelling bees, and other academic competitions. With all that focus on academics, don’t neglect a solid physical educaiton plan. Sports notwithstanding, ample opportunities exist for homeschoolers to get physically active. Work some sort of fitness activity in every day and make it fun and unique. This way neither you nor your children will lose interest.
Simple activities that teach a love of fitness can be performed with limited equipment. Try the following four ideas to get started.
Set up an obstacle in your yard using readily available materials. Adjust the difficulty based on your children’s ages. Kids can walk across boards, jump over objects, swing from a rope in a tree, jump over kiddie pools, run backwards, etc. Exercise caution and enforce safety rules to prevent injury.
Make Up a New Sport
Give your children simple sporting equipment, such a Frisbee, a basketball, and a tennis racket. Instruct them to devise a new sporting game and explain the rules to you. Then play hard with them, exemplifying that fitness can be fun and inventive.
From NY to CA
Set up various stations with fun fitness activities, and label each station as a state. For example, set up a station with a jump rope, along with a card that reads, “You are in New York. Jump rope 20 times, and then head to New Jersey.” Kids make their way across the U.S. performing various games or exercises. Try using basketball dribbling, sit-ups, crab walking, and bunny hops as activities for some of the stations.
Fitness Card Game
Use an ordinary deck of playing cards and a stack of index cards with a simple exercise on each card. Have your child select one card from each pile. The child then performs the exercise on the index card the number of times the playing card indicates. For example, your child may draw an index card that reads, “box jumps,” and the 10 of hearts. She can then do 10 box jumps before the next child takes a turn.
Don’t neglect traditional family fitness activities, such a long hikes, swimming, and bike riding. Try encouraging your children to set new goals, such as hiking to a certain peak, improving their swimming times, or increasing the number of biking miles. Help children pick age-appropriate goals that suit their interests and capabilities.
Physical education can be a fun part of homeschool that both parents and children look forward to. Set a good example by participating in all the fitness games with your children and demonstrate good sportsmanship. Patience and a sense of humor are important when learning new skills, so encourage children to develop these characteristics.