Have you ever wondered what in the world you should do for homeschool physical education?
Well, don’t worry… homeschool P.E. can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of home education! Physical Education instruction actually goes far beyond physical activity. A physical education course should teach physical activity in conjunction with health, fitness, nutrition, resiliency, respect for others, stress management, and even goal setting.
Informal Homeschool P.E.
You aren’t required to have a formally organized P.E. class for homeschool students. In fact, if your children are naturally very active you can count play dates at the local park or nature hikes with the family. As long as the student is getting “physical education” this counts. For some children, including basic physical exercise and refinement of certain motor skills is important but doesn’t have to be formal. It is important to teach about nutrition and healthy eating, but all of this can be done through daily living.
However, I have to admit when I intentionally plan something I am more likely to follow through and complete those things that I wanted to accomplish. This was true for our homeschool P.E. efforts as well. If your students are not naturally physically active it may be a good idea to be more intentional about homeschool P.E. class. This will give you an opportunity to help them develop motor skills that they likely wouldn’t develop on their own and teach them about health, fitness, and teamwork. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, young children need at least one hour of physical activity each day. Simply carving out an hour a day where everyone gets physical together can be your homeschool P.E. class! With that in mind, a homeschool physical education class for young children should include physical activity for motor skills development such as: climbing, running, catching, throwing, and jumping. P.E. classes should also teach the basics of health, fitness, and knowledge of team sports.
Ideas for Informal Homeschool P.E.
- Riding bikes
- Taking a hike
- Trampoline Time
- An active game like:
- Corn hole
- Basketball (or versions of it)
- Obstacle Courses
- Relay Races
Resources for Teaching Homeschool P.E. to Young Children
- P.E. with Joe – Youtube playlist of P.E. Classes
- Fitdeck – a deck of cards that students can choose from for their physical activity
- Workout Kid Fitness DVD
- GoNoodle Physical Fitness Online
- Let’s Move – America’s move to raise healthier kids
- Presidential Youth Fitness Program
- Physical Activity Tools and Resources
High School Homeschool P.E. Courses
If you feel that a more organized or planned approach for homeschool physical education is what you desire, then you might want to look up your state’s physical education standards. These aren’t requirements but instead a handy tool for determining age appropriate activities to include in your own homeschool P.E. plan.
As your students get older you’ll want to consider a more formal approach to teaching physical education. Again, you can use any method as well as a variety of topics. When my teens were in high school, they often participated in baseball which I counted as the physical activity portion of their P.E. credit. However, at this age, it is important to provide instruction about all aspects of physical education. This could include:
- Health Education
- Fitness Education
- Stress Management
- First Aid
High School Requirements for Homeschool P.E.
If your teen plans to attend college, it’s a good idea to make sure that you include at least 2 to 4 credits of P.E. on your student’s transcript. Colleges don’t always require this course, however, they have come to expect it as evidence of socialization skills or physical fitness. Just because High School P.E. is needful, doesn’t mean that your homeschool physical education course needs to be boring! You can still be creative and allow your student to further their interests in this course as well. As you move to create your high school homeschool transcript make sure that you reflect that creativity in the title you assign to your P.E. courses. For example, a high school P.E. course where your teen develops their own personal fitness program and diet could be titled, “PE – Personal Fitness Program”, and a course where your teen participated in the team sport of baseball could be titled, “PE – Baseball.”
Assigning Credits for Homeschool High School P.E.
If your teen works on their homeschool P.E. class for the entire year, then one high school credit should be assigned. This is considered equal to 120 to 180 hours of work or one hour each day. However, it is typical to only give one high school credit for physical education courses per year even if your student spends a lot of time on P.E.
Ideas for High School Homeschool P.E. Courses
- Outdoor Adventure
- Combine art lovers with outdoor adventures
- Combine tech lovers with geo-caching
- Nature lovers and field guides
- Bird tracking and watching
- Team Sports and Sport Camps
- NCAA prep
- Individual Sports/Activities
The fun thing about teaching a P.E. class in your homeschool is that you can pretty much choose or start with any topic or use any method… the sky is the limit. For example, when my oldest kids were in middle school I taught a P.E. class to “all” my kiddos on volleyball. They were wanting to learn since volleyball was often played with friends. Since that was my sport of choice as a high school student, I taught them all the fundamentals that I knew and we practiced together. I taught them about teamwork, and about muscles and how it was important to stretch before playing a game, and we learned about nutrition and how that affects our energy and ability to play. This was loads of fun! In this situation, I used a sport as a jumping-off point to teach them about many aspects of physical education and health.
However, as the kids got older they began to have interests in other sports. My oldest daughter played soccer for a time, while my son decided that he enjoyed baseball. These opportunities were easy to give my children through local rec leagues like “Little League” or “USSSA.” And to make things simple, we counted participation in organized team sports as their P.E. class. However, not every child wanted to participate in organized sports, and this is where an at-home P.E. class came in handy.
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