Do Homeschoolers Need Sports and P.E.?
November 22, 2017
Hey Mama,

There's something wonderful about the whole family playing together outside. I mean littles, teens, the dog—you name it! Literally, everyone outside together. Whether they're playing tag football or kickball, you can't help but smile a big toothy grin as you watch them collide and tackle each other with shouts of “Mama, did you see that?” or “Come play, Mama!” (and of course you do—even though your back will ache tomorrow.) Why? Because it's so worth it TODAY! This day is all you have. Today is one day to get them all working together, appreciating each other, laughing together. Sports, organized or not, are a great way to do that!

Not sure your family is that into sports? Find encouragement in these articles from  The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine :

There's this too, Mama . . . 

What do you do with the little ones, seemingly everywhere underfoot? Pray a lot, and keep a good sense of humor, right (grin)? When you're teaching big kids but have little ones, too, you can suddenly find yourself juggling/spinning a lot of plates. But the Lord is faithful and He will help you  get done  what needs to be done. All your kids will benefit from learning how to work together as a family. 

Read this and take it to heart: One day your little monkey-cracker-jack-monster-boy will be in his forties; a strong man with responsibilities of his own. And that (sometimes) eye-rolling girl of yours will stand gracious and tall, with eyes full of wisdom, loving and caring for her old Mama. You are going to look back on THESE DAYS - the ones happening right now - with warmth, longing, and the desire to have them all back in your arms. Oh! To hold them again on your lap and snuggle them, long scrawny arms, messy faces and all... So take a deep breath, smile, and keep walking, because in the big picture, this is leading somewhere, Mama. It's taking you all somewhere very special.

Cherish today, and cling hard to those babies while you still can. In the meantime, His hand is on your head.

- Love, gena
My name is Nadine and I blog at Making Her Mama ( ). 
I started this site to connect with and encourage other homeschooling moms. You'll find homeschooling how-to's and curriculum & book reviews. There's Charlotte Mason inspired nature study lessons and so much more. I hope you'll come join us!
Nadine Best

Do homeschoolers need sports and P.E.? It's an interesting question—to which I think the answer is maybe. 

The Centre for Disease Control recommends that children have 60 minutes of daily physical activity. At least 3 times a week, it should be vigorous activity. They also suggest muscle strengthening as well as bone strengthening activities at least 3 times a week as part of their daily exercise.

Whether or not your children need a P.E. class to accomplish these goals is dependent mostly on their lifestyle. If you have a family that is very physically active with a wide range of activity then your children's needs are likely being met. If your children are very active and spend a lot of time outdoors doing activities like riding bikes, hiking, playing games with other kids, or even jumping on a trampoline, then again, there isn't a strong need to focus on a specific class to accomplish these goals.

However, if your family lifestyle is more sedentary or very busy and doesn't allow for a lot of physical exercise, then your children might benefit from a class or involvement in sports. 

A lot of homeschooling communities offer these opportunities during school hours if you don't want to add in after-school activities. In our community we have swimming lessons twice a year just for homeschoolers. There is also a nature club that does monthly walks and nature study. The local gymnastics center also has a drop-in program in the early afternoon, and in the summer, our homeschooling moms organize a baseball "league" to introduce kids to the sport in a non-competitive way.

If these opportunities aren't present in your community, consider asking local rec centers, gym clubs, and nature programs if they would consider hosting a homeschool group. It's easy to set up and often very low cost.

However, before you totally write off sports and gym classes, there are some benefits besides physical health. 

Kids who participate in team sports develop more self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and social competence. Furthermore, sports teach them to follow through with their commitments and develop a respect for rules and authority because you have to play by the rules of the game.

So, whether or not your children should participate in sports to meet their physical needs, they might have more to gain by joining in.

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P.E. When we were kids, few things struck fear in the hearts of bookish kids like us as much as those two letters—P.E. We were just laughing this week at how hard it all seemed. “Keep your eyes on the ball,” Melanie remembers the Phys. Ed. teacher yelling at her as she’d stare helplessly back at him. 

We suspect a lot of homeschoolers had the same kind of experience. Showers, changing clothes, embarrassment, even humiliation is what many of us connect with P.E. “Why on earth would anyone need P.E.?” they think.

On the other hand, some of our friends so enjoyed their years playing sports that they decide to put their kids in public school rather than take the chance they’ll miss out.

What’s the real deal?  Are sports and P.E. a useless relic of the old system or a critical part of childhood that warrants giving up homeschooling?  

Neither, we think.  There are some big advantages to getting our kids moving and active, but we don’t need to sacrifice homeschooling to do it.

Exercise not only makes our kids healthier, it makes homeschooling easier.  Research shows that boys who use their big muscle groups during the day learn better. Antsy boys sit still more easily, too, when they have time to get the wiggles out during the day. Exercise seems to help our hormonal preteens and teens even out their emotions, too. All of that makes it easier to teach them.

So, how do you do P.E. at home? It can be as simple as encouraging your kids to run, throw balls, and ride their bikes; but for many of us, we need a little bit more than that. There are several homeschool fitness or P.E. programs that can help you know what to do and keep you on track doing it. We reviewed one recently  here .

Sports have value, too.  It’s been good for our kids to learn teamwork, healthy competition, and diligence in training as they’ve played for our local homeschool football league. It’s important to provide an outlet for kids that are physically gifted, too.

How do you provide sports opportunities for your kids?  The best option we’ve found is sports programs run by and for homeschoolers. They are more family-friendly and kid-friendly, too, than other options we’ve tried. Community leagues and travel leagues are another option. Don’t forget the individual and pair sports like racquetball, running, biking, and tennis. Those are easier to fit into family life.

Even as P.E.-allergic people, we found our kids needed encouragement to be active and gained a lot from our sports activities. It’s really been good for us all.

Your friends,
Hal & Melanie

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The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is your trade publication. Every quarter it is released, but every OTHER quarter it comes out in print as well as digital (apps). How do you claim your free print magazine? Hit up your dashboard and claim it. Next issue is the Winter one... we're laying it in now and it is BEAUTIFUL. Over 160 pages, glossy, thick. And you don't need to pay a dime to get it. Get over to your dashboard and get your free stuff. Check your dashboard often at the top of the home page. We love to give gifts! - gena 
Every student, whether homeschooled or otherwise, needs physical education. It is important for a student to learn how to live an active, healthy life. Regular exercise has all sorts of health benefits, from lowering a person’s chance for heart disease to fighting against Alzheimer’s. As a result, it is important that all students find a means by which they can exercise on a regular basis.

Like most homeschool situations, however, this needn’t (and probably shouldn’t) be an actual class. Instead, it should consist of actual physical activity. The thing to keep in mind is that any activity that involves repeated work and regular evaluation can be an academic activity. So, if your student likes to take walks, have him or her take a walk several times each week. You can evaluate the walks based on distance, time, heartrate, or any other criteria that will indicate whether or not the student is improving. Keep track of the student’s time spent in the activity, and once he or she reaches 160 hours, that’s a full year’s credit in physical education.

Alternatively, if your student takes tennis lessons, swimming lessons, etc., have the student’s instructor do regular evaluations of his or her progress. Once again, count up the hours spent in lessons and practice, and when it reaches 160 hours, you have a full year’s credit of physical education. It doesn’t matter if it takes more than one year to reach 160 hours. Just give a year’s worth of credit for every 160 hours, regardless of how long it takes.

While physical education is important because of its obvious health benefits, whether or not a student plays sports depends on the desires of the student. If your student is university-bound, he or she should have extracurricular activities, but they needn’t be sports-related. While sports can be beneficial, they are certainly not necessary.

Please note that a physical education class is not the same as a health class. In health class, a student might learn the benefits of physical exercise, but the class does not involve doing physical exercise. Instead, it discusses all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, hygiene, and sexuality.

Dr. Jay L. Wile holds an earned Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry. He is an author, international speaker, and adjunct professor at Anderson University. His award-winning elementary curriculum teaches science using history as a guide, and he recently published a new high-school chemistry course, Discovering Design with Chemistry. You can see all of his books at Berean Builders Publishing, .
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Beth Mora
What if I could sell you something that would guarantee to  revolutionize your homeschool student’s ability to learn  within a month? Interested? 

What if my offer included  improving short -and long-term memory ?

Think about it. Your student will get better at remembering what you teach today and even tomorrow!

How about if I throw in  improved mood and emotional stability ?
Yup, happier kids…..aaaaand…..a decrease in those 2:00pm emotional meltdowns!

What if I said that my product would  improve energy and focus .

I’m talking about increasing your wiggle worm’s attention span to longer than a nanosecond. How would you like that?

What if I end my sales pitch with  improved health  and better sleep habits  that translate into less sick days and quieter nights for parents.

Let’s face it; what home educator wouldn’t want what I’m selling!

My wonder product is none other than P.E., Physical Education.The listed benefits of regular exercise are stellar! No homeschool day should be without P.E. strategically placed somewhere between math and spelling.

Our bodies are beautifully designed by God to moooooooove, and we suffer when we don’t get our hearts pumping life-giving oxygen to our gray matter. Brain power takes a dive when our bottoms are warming a chair all day long. Learning is significantly affected by a lack of regular exercise. We often blame learning roadblocks on curriculum choice, educational method, or learning style. Before you question the delivery method, consider your homeschool routine. More often than not, physical activity is lacking. Over the years, I’ve learned with my own kiddos that making time for regular exercise can fix a lot of learning problems, attitudes, and behavioral issues.

What’s the best form of P.E.?  The answer is simple. The one you enjoy. Over the years, P.E. has taken many forms in our family. We have enjoyed running, rock climbing, completing the  Presidential Fitness Goals , dancing, basketball, hiking, skating, kayaking, swimming, organized sports, unorganized sports, and of course generous amounts of time for outdoor play, even when it’s raining. It’s not important what activity your child engages in, the only significant thing that matters is that large muscles move blood to a pumping heart, blood cells pick up fresh oxygen in the lungs, and then travel to your child’s brain so it can make learning connections! And the best part is it doesn't have to increase your budget. Moving your body is free!

Improved short- and long-term memory, mood, emotional stability, energy, focus, health, and sleep habits all for a low price. Including physical education in your educational plan makes perfect sense. 


You can find  Beth Mora  jogging while  singing off-key  near her home in Washington. She is the creator and teacher-on-camera for  Here to Help Learning ’s homeschool writing program for grades 1-6. She is a welcomed  speaker   at homeschool conferences and women’s events. She loves blogging at  Home to Home , and  Peak Performance , HTHL’s blogs for moms and homeschool businesses. Every week, she serves up HTHL's    Writing Tip of the Week  for those who are serious about teaching their kiddos how to write. Everything she does, whether laughable or heart gripping, is done to honor One, without apology. God’s grace is the salve that has healed her own life, and God’s grace is what she offers liberally to others.

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As a classical homeschooling family who leans to the Charlotte Mason side and uses quite a bit of Memoria Press curriculum in our yearly studies, Memoria Press is one of the homeschooling companies that I drool over on their website and print magazine. We are quite familiar with Memoria Press and the whole array of products they offer. (. . .) We were blessed to receive The Book of Trees Set (Reader, Student Book, and Teacher’s Guide) to enhance our nature studies . (. . .)

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