Get Started Homeschooling: Including Physical Education and Health in Your Homeschool

Lots of families, both homeschooling and non-homeschooling, are fully involved with extracurricular sports and activities. Including physical education in a homeschool can include a few organized sports. Homeschool physical education can include organized sports or less formal fitness activities. Homeschool health helps prepare children for life. For those who want to include physical education and health education in your homeschool, here are some suggestions.

It’s not too hard to teach physical education to your homeschoolers!

Homeschool Physical Education

Parents should encourage physical activity throughout the day. One benefit of homeschooling is the flexibility to take breaks as needed to move and exercise! We try to take a regular family walk (although that gets difficult in sub-zero weather here in Chicago). Other families have large yards where kids can run, chase, and play ball. Local playgrounds with climbing equipment and swings, or even going for family bike rides provide lots of exercises.

Some people want more formal gym class though. for years, our local part district offered a homeschool “Gym and Swim” program each week. It provided fifty minutes each of group sports and swim lessons, split into an older group and a younger group. Not all local communities have such resources for homeschoolers, however. One online option gym class ideas is Family Time Fitness, a homeschool physical education curriculum that helps families see ways to encourage fitness with a small family group or in a larger, group co-op setting. They provide daily exercise plans as well as videos to show how to safely perform exercises.

Another option is to learn more about fitness by following suggestions in the ACE Fitness Library. This is a remarkable collection of explanations with photographs for how to do various stretches and exercises, great for an at-home fitness program. Elsewhere on their site, they provide Operation: Fit Kids, a curriculum written for grades 3-8.

In addition, the President’s Youth Fitness Award program has moved online so parents and families can participate even when COVID-19 keeps kids out of school. Fit, a website produced by Sanford Healthcare, likewise provides multiple exercise ideas, videos, and even printables. Cosmic Kids Yoga is a fun YouTube channel with fitness workouts, and Go Noodle is also a favorite for the youngest crowd.

Homeschool Health

Another aspect of physical fitness is a full understanding of the human body and how to keep it healthy and, I would include, safe. Parents can begin by teaching about body systems and how what we eat affects our bodies. From there, tweens and teens of course need to learn about their changing body and how to keep it healthy with good hygiene. Many more formal and detailed resources exist for learning about health, and many are closely related to physical fitness.

The Health and Human Services Site called the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition provides teaching ideas for encouraging healthy habits. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute also provides a detailed page with downloads for helping parents teach health to their children. Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbooks provide NFL-sponsored health “playbooks” for schools and families.

Many more sites likewise provide health curricula for your use, although some are costly. Learn to Be Healthy is a site (sign up required) that provides various activities and curriculum ideas for families. Last but not least, Health World Education provides curricula about safety, bullying, sexual wellness, and more, as well as general health.

So while considering homeschool gym class and homeschool health may seem intimidating, planning it out need not be overwhelming. Kids are going to learn with your assistance, no matter what!

Make sure to include fitness and health in your homeschool!

More in This Series

Homeschooling is overwhelming if you look at it all at once. Choose one thing to figure out at a time and go from there. You’ve got this!

Go to the first post in this how to get started homeschooling series.

Have another “how to homeschool” question? Contact me and I’ll write about it too. Send me an email if you have specific questions, or ask me directly on my Facebook page.

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