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Homeschool Physical Education



This homeschool physical education article provides information concerning standards, opportunities, and supplies you will need for homeschool physical education. It also discusses homeschool physical education in the context of family life.

Whether it was having balls thrown at you in dodge ball or facing the impossibility of doing the required number of pull-ups, many adults have some unpleasant school gym memories. Homeschool Physical Education, while addressing the same standards, has the possibility to be something completely different.

Still, homeschoolers are likely to have questions about how to teach, particularly if they’re not athletic types, themselves or they’re teaching only one child, which makes having teams a bit difficult. This article will help you on your way to providing a sound physical education in your homeschool.

First Steps

The first thing you should do if you’re teaching homeschool is check your particular state’s curriculum for homeschools to see what requirements there might be. If you have not yet consulted your state’s homeschool documetns, you can find the education department site for your state listed on the United States Department of Education website here: nces.ed.gov

The National Standards and Homeschool Physical Education

Another thing you should do early on is have a look at the national standards. Just as someone who doesn’t have specialized training in math or science would be well-advised to consult the experts to see what should be included in teaching those subjects, physical education is more than just running around and playing on the swing set. Standards are provided by the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE) and can be found on their website at: aahperd.org

In these standards, the six identifying attributes of a person who is physically educated are laid out as follows:

  • Standard 1: A physically educated person has experience with motor skills and the patterns of movement used in various physical activities, including, but not limited to, sports, games, and athletics.
  • Standard 2: A physically educated person understands the concepts, principles, tactics, and strategies that for the theoretical underpinnings of physical activities, so that they understand how and when to use their motor skills and movement patterns.
  • Standard 3: A physically educated person participates in physical activities regularly.
  • Standard 4: A physically educated person maintains a personally appropriate level of physical fitness.
  • Standard 5: A physically educated person exhibits and maintains behavior that is both responsible and respectful when engaging in physical activities.
  • Standard 6: A physically educated person values physical activity for the benefits it bestows in the realms of enjoyment and socialization, as well as health.

Homeschool Physical Education Opportunities

In order to carry out physical education, homeschoolers have a choice of carrying out a program on their own, or combining their efforts with those of local teams or expert trainers. There may be opportunities to take classes at a local school or participate in a school team. Local park and recreation department teams and activities are another place to check. Health and wellness clubs often offer a variety of options for people of all ages and interests. And private teaching is available in a wide range of physical education pursuits, including some not often taught in schools, like horseback riding, golf, fencing, and ballet.

Even if your child participates in a sport every season, you still may wish to get a book and bone up on outdoor games of a more casual nature. Picnics, camping trips, and afternoons in the neighborhood may all benefit from somebody knowing the rules for H-O-R-S-E or Capture the Flag or Four Square. Yard games, such as Bocce, Croquet, Volleyball, and Badminton, can be occasional pastimes or frequent indulgences. A backyard or community pool or basketball hoop can as well.

Homeschool Physical Education Supplies

It’s useful to keep some physical education equipment around the house, both for planned activities and for casual, spur-of-the-moment use. Typically useful items include a Whiffle™ ball, a Frisbee™, a medium-sized rubber ball, a football, a basketball, and a softball, glove, and bat. You may wish to get a soft and/or small version of some of these items, depending on your child’s age and skill level. Other fun items include a small trampoline, stilts, tricycles and bicycles, a pogo stick, and an exercise ball.

Homeschool Physical Education Curriculum Connections

Depending on your child’s interests, you may find it useful to tie physical education to other areas of studies. For some children, lacrosse as a Native American sport or quidditch (which is actually played in some locales, with a yearly tournament, for example, at Middlebury College in Vermont) as revealing of insights into the Harry Potter books, may put the sport in a different light.

Homeschool Physical Education in the Family Context

Since homeschool takes place in a family setting, family activities and outings can form the basis of the physical education time. Rather than physical education being among one’s peers, it can be with the members of one’s household, either at home or away. Activities in which children participate but can have adults pick up the slack - like riding a bicycle built for two or paddling a canoe - can incorporate physical education into a world of adventure, rather than associating it in the child’s mind with a smelly locker room.