We actually have MORE P.E. than Public School!

I've heard the question more than a few times - "But what are you going to do for P.E.?" In the beginning I did actually give this some thought and worry, but now it seems laughable. Here's our physical fitness activities for this Fall semester of homeschooling:

1. Almost every day my children are playing OUTSIDE - we learn playground games and rhymes, and also I let them do a lot of bike riding, scootering, walks with mom, and playing catch with dad.

2. Organized Sports - my five year old son plays tball for a local youth league, and my nine year old daughter takes tennis lessons once each week. Each of them gets one sport, because I don't want them to be overscheduled, and because these things are expensive! Since we are having more relaxed time for them to participate in sports, we spend a lot of time watching baseball games and we just finished watching the US Open. I also don't feel rushed if a practice runs late to get homework finished, showers taken, etc... We can be more relaxed because I know if they go to bed late they can just get up a little later the next day.

You can see GMan in the "the armor" here - he was thrilled to be the catcher and always asked his coach when he could wear the armor! Yes, he now refers to it as the catcher's gear.

This picture of Miss B was taken at our YMCA - they have an excellent tennis center. Which brings me to my next point:

3. We are members of our local YMCA - I make it a point to get the kids to YMCA. We mostly swim because each of my children took swimming/diving lessons this past summer. I also love to swim. Just yesterday we went to the pool and met a nice homeschooling family, so the kids swam laps, practiced diving, and I got some laps in, too. The Y is also a great place for the kids to learn a lot of life skills - they offer so many classes for children and adults, and the quality of people you meet there is always good.

4. I try to make opportunities to teach my kids new physical activities and games and include neighbor children. We have a group of children next door to us - and this past weekend they came over to learn how to play Chinese Jump Rope games with us.

When my daughter was in public school PE was her least favorite thing, and it made me very sad. I know there were lots of children crammed into that gym (hey - it's the classroom teachers' planning time after all) and it seemed like every time I asked her what they had been doing she said "dodge ball" and rolled her eyes. Now, I have worked with some excellent PE teachers when I taught public school. One set up an entire "heart course" in the gym that the children could go through to learn how the heart works. So, I'm not saying public school PE has no value. It's just that I think we can do it better at home because of lower numbers, increased opportunities, and more time.

By the way, I'm also convinced that a lot of behavior problems in public school can be directly linked to a lack of time for physical activity. I know my son would be a mess in school with just 15 minutes of recess each day. He functions MUCH better at home when I have let him run and play and wear himself out.

I'm hoping (and I need to work on this!) to make physical fitness an integral part of my children's lives - so that if they haven't had some type of physical activity in a day they feel lost. I am not quite at that point, but I do have friends who are like that I'm envious.

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