Homeschoolers have a distinct advantage over their school-going counterparts when it comes to physical education. With so much more time, and very little of it (if any) confined to a desk, homeschoolers can be active all the time! Of course, just like school-going kids, there are many activities that homeschoolers do, that require them to sit and focus. But, even with these activities, homeschoolers are able to get up and stretch, take breaks, and generally spend less time “learning” things, because homeschooling is so much more efficient than classroom learning.
Here are 3 Ways Homeschoolers Have the P.E. Advantage:
Research has shown that we function best if we are able to get up and take breaks every 20 minutes or so. Most people don’t give themselves (are unable to?) this kind of luxury in the workplace, and the same could be said for schooling kids. Homeschoolers, are able to get up and stretch whenever their little legs tell them they need to. They are able to listen to their bodies, as well as their minds, and perhaps find a better balance than kids whose movements are dictated by the order of a classroom.
2. Available Time
Homeschoolers don’t have recess. In most cases, their time is much more flexible, and much more available. If there is a typical homeschooling family, they are usually finished their “school work” by noon, and are free to pursue other interests for the rest of the day. A great many homeschooling families attest to spending the majority of their afternoons outside. Being outside is a great way to engage in active play.
3. Self-Directed Time
Homeschoolers often have the ability (alongside their parents) to self-direct more of their activities, to choose what really interests them, and pursue it. Homeschoolers who, early on, find a particular sport, activity, or lifestyle appealing, are more easily able to integrate it into their lives. That is, they have more time, and flexibility around when to do it. In short, they can do it more. So, whatever it is, be it bicycling, karate, or soccer, these kids should have an edge over their school-going peers.
Now, the reality. At least one set of statistics that I have seen recently, shows that homeschoolers are not more active than their peers. In fact, it showed the opposite: that homeschoolers are more sedentary than their school-going peers!
Could this be a parental oversight? As homeschoolers, we are always concerned with meeting our children’s educational needs – after all, that is our job. However, I wonder if parents forget to factor physical education into their homeschool planning. We plan history, mathematics, even nature study. But, often, P.E. is an after-thought. Something we assume we can fit in around everything else. This is only a guess, of course, but I suspect that our society’s general inactivity seeps into homeschooling families just as easily as it does for conventional school-going ones.
I don’t know about you, but I see very few homeschool bloggers regularly posting about physical education. Granted, a lot of us write about outdoor play, which certainly fits the bill. And, is wonderful. But, I suspect, that many of us (myself included) forget to put P.E. on our topic list. Another oversight?
So, here’s my challenge: prove me wrong. Tell me all about how active your children are, how the statistics are wrong, and what you do to get your kids (and yourself) up and moving.
Share your ideas and tutorials with this week’s:
And, let’s keep inspiring each other to get up and get active – because the more we do it, the more they’ll do it. I, for one, was completely energized by our first family bike ride of the season, today!