With the new home school year upon us, many of us are starting to get into the swing of things. We have made the plans, ordered what was needed and done our version of organizing. We have made sure we are covering the basics and all supplies are available to our kiddos. We picked the language arts curriculum. We’ve found a math that will keep our kids engaged and learning. The science has been a hit and is done with enthusiasm. Geography and history as well. We have fallen into a rhytm with our school day when suddenly we have a thought….
What about PE???
Now, if you are the athletic type this may not be a concern of yours. Maybe you are a natural PE teacher and your kids join you easily. Or, maybe you are athletic but
you do not know how to cater it to your kids. Maybe you do not know where to start or how to move forward. No matter where you are, it’s all good. There is no need to stress this or make it bigger than it needs to be.
As always, I recommend catering this to your individual child’s needs.
The simplest thing that you can do for PE and the one that is good for all ages is a morning walk. Not only will this get the blood flowing and the mind working, but it will get some of the morning energy out as well. The distance is completely up to you too. You can just go down your road and back again, or you can go around the whole neighborhood a few times. The morning walks also allows you time to talk with your kiddos before lessons start and to have a little fun together.
This one is just a step up from the last but is a good one to do with older elementary and up kids. My kids love to go on waterfall hikes especially and we turn it into a picnic outing. This can take up half the school day if not the whole day so make sure you plan it out. We tend to leave between 8 and 10 am. When we arrive we either eat right away or after we get to a stopping point. We are always careful to plan where we are going and when we will be back as well as to let someone know these details. Be very careful to remember water as well.
Local Small Groups
Recently I have realized that there are a number of places that offer group fitness that either allow kids or are for kids. For example, a number of churches do Zumba classes and they are usually low key enough kids can keep up and do not have inappropriate moves (I cannot guarantee all so always try it for yourself first). There are also a number of churches and businesses that offer Homeschool PE classes, the YMCA being one of them. Those cost money but there are also Facebook groups that have been created to coordinate group bike rides, hikes and other physical activities with other homeschoolers.
As there are hiking and walking trails, there are also bike trails. I personally prefer ones off the road and thankfully in the upstate there are a number of places. The Swamp Rabbit Trail and the Mary Black Rail Trail are two such bicycling trails and we have been on both of those. Those two are paved but there are also dirt trails like at Holstein Creek Park. These and other bike trails can be found using an trail finding app such as All Trails.
My last suggestion for PE would be swimming. With the summer coming to an end, this may be a bit of a challenge but swimming is a fun full body exercise. Many neighborhoods and apartments have pools now and they are a great place to get your weekly exercise in. I used to have my kids pretend to be different animals and that would work different parts of their bodies. They would be kangaroos and hop up and down in the water, they would be frogs and work on arms and inner legs. They would then be whales and see who could make the biggest side slap wave. OK, that last one doesn’t take much muscle strength but they loved it.
There is no need to stress PE
While some may worry or panic when they think they do not know what to do for PE, we know that all we need to do is breath and then we can see all the simple options we have available. As a homeschool community we need to be sure we encourage each other, check up on each other, and help each other out when we see someone needs it. PE is a simple thing but sometimes the answers do not seem so simple. We are all on this journey together.
Enjoy the journey.
Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we’ve been doing this for 9 years now. I am also a military spouse, so we have the added joys and some of the complications that come with it. As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs, or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.