The Best Ways To Incorporate Physical Education Into A Homeschool Syllabus

Physical education is a crucial part of a school’s syllabus. Not only does it ensure kids get plenty of time to strengthen their muscles and use their energy on a weekly basis, but it can also ignite a passion for sports and extreme activities. Some kids may not have even known they love to go abseiling or rock climbing if PE class wasn’t there to show them how fun it could be! 

However, incorporating physical education into the homeschool classroom can be a bit tricky. How can you be sure your kids are learning about their bodies and what they’re capable of? Homeschooling puts the onus on you, as a parent, to be an expert on everything. If you’re more of a homebody than adventurer, doesn’t this pose a problem? 

Not at all. If you want the kids to fall in love with staying active, simply diversify your activity types and make sure PE class is on the calendar regularly enough. 
In fact, PE can be perfect for the homeschool environment. You’ve got a lot more freedom to pick and choose the physical activities your kids are interested in – you just need to get out of the house a bit more often than you expect to! As such, if you need some ideas on where to take your physical education class next, here’s what to think about.

Check Local Regulations

Your local government will be able to give you a lot more about PE in a homeschool environment. From basic advice to sending out an ‘inspector’ to deliver more personalized case information, this should be the first port of call if you’re unsure about your children’s need for PE. 

You can also head online for quick reference. If you’re living in the US, check state regulations regarding homeschool curriculums. If you’re in the UK, check the government website and send a message to your local council services if you’re unsure about PE requirements.

In general however, PE is a part of every school syllabus around the globe. Typically, kids from the age of 5 upwards have around 2 hours of some kind of physical education every week. Your homeschool class should match this. 

Buy Bicycles and Use Them Regularly

Going for a bike ride is one of life’s little pleasures. If you teach the kids this from a young age, they’re going to continue choosing the bike over a car as they get older and older. They’ll become confident riders, across all kinds of terrain and in all kinds of weather, and you won’t have to worry about your collective carbon footprint either! 

Really, using a bicycle is one of the best exercises known to man. Not only do they provide a very good leg workout, but remaining balanced works your core, and steering at high pressure helps build up your arms as well. For kids of all ages and sizes, this is an accessible way to build exercise into their regular routine, as it’s a super fun activity too! 

So take the bikes out and all around your area. Take them through the woods, use bicycle lanes in more pedestrian areas, and look up any specific biking trails in your area as well. 

Go Swimming Once a Week

Swimming is another one of those ‘perfect’ exercise types. Indeed, swimming can be just as beneficial as going for a run. A lot of people claim you don’t need to swim anywhere near as much in order to get the benefit! 

We’re inclined to agree; water resistance can make your muscles work twice as hard, but seeing as you’re cushioned by the water at all times, your limbs are less likely to cramp, ache, and get injured. It’s a dream recipe! You fit in a lot of exercise all at once, which is good for those homeschooling schedules that are already jam packed. 

If you take the kids swimming once a week, you can also tick off an essential life skill. When you know how to swim, water becomes far less dangerous and your risk of drowning reduces. Of course, even swimmers can have trouble in the water, but if your kids demonstrate strong swimming knowhow from a young age, hitting the beach or the local pool won’t ever be daunting. 

Have Afternoon Playtimes

Afternoon playtime helps to shake off the fatigue that lunch brings with it. It also prevents kids from keeping an eye on the clock as ‘hometime’ creeps nearer and nearer. That makes the hour just before you wrap up for the day the perfect time to get outside and run around. 

You can really do any kind of activity you want out here, from a little game of baseball to a family wide game of ultimate frisbee, or you could get a soccer ball out the shed and have a penalty shoot-out. As long as you’re moving and having fun, it counts towards your PE total for the week. 

You don’t have to do this every single day, but at least twice a week is a good timeframe. In our opinion, afternoon playtime should happen as much as quiet, independent reading time. This way there’s a little something for all the learners in your household. But you never know, even your exercise-hating kids might start looking forward to it! 

Demonstrate Exercise Effects in Real Time

Physical education isn’t just about getting some exercise. It’s also about learning what exercise can do for you. This knowledge is crucial to learn at a young age; even those big gym bros you see on social media often have little idea why the exercises they do work for them! 

The easiest way to impart this knowledge is to physically demonstrate it. For example, if you want the kids to understand how a heartbeat changes depending on what you’re doing, measure their current heart rate then get them to run on the spot as fast as they can for 30 seconds. Measure it again afterwards and ask the kids what’s happened – et voila! That’s how cardio works kids!

In doing so, you’ve demonstrated the effect of simple exercise in real time. When you can see the changes, rather than just read about them, you’re more likely to remember them. You can also get them to point out other physiological changes that weren’t there before, such as shortness of breath, sweat, or redness of the face. 

Plan Activity Days

We mentioned above that you’d need to get out of the house more often. This is how you manage that! Plan an activity day around twice a month, if you can afford to do so, and take the kids down to the local sports, recreation, or activity center. 

If there are experience days out near you, such as going rock climbing or trying out a zipwire, think about booking tickets for these as well. These may be more extreme sports than is strictly necessary for PE, but these lessons should be all about having fun! 

If you don’t have the facilities for these activities nearby, or you’re on a budget right now, try out more simple activities like hiking instead. These can still be a lot of fun, especially when the kids have an imagination to rely on as well. 

In terms of traditional education that can be combined with walking, you can set up a nature-based scavenger hunt for the kids to follow. If they find 3 different types of trees, 5 different bugs, and they can identify at least 2 plants, they get a little prize at the end of the hike. 

Change Activities as Your Kids Age

A child who was happy to play 20 minutes of frisbee in the garden twice a week probably isn’t going to love doing the same thing when they’re in their teen years. And let’s face it, if you have the same afternoon playtimes four years in a row, you’re going to get bored! 

Switch it up, get the kids to pitch in with their own ideas, and have more fun as a family through it. Make change a normal part of their routine. Teenagers might claim to hate most things, but they’re still going to enjoy spending time outside when there’s something out there to grab their attention. 

Physical Education: Exercise Matters for All Kids

Incorporating PE into your homeschool syllabus doesn’t need to be difficult. Experiment with different activities and days to do them on, take the kids out and about, and make sure you always have a question to ask to make sure they’re paying attention! 

As long as the kids are on their feet for at least an hour and a half every week, you can tick your PE worries off the to-do list. And remember, the more fun these exercises are, the less the kids are going to notice the amount of time they have to spend doing them.

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