Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Sampling of P.E.

Now, you can accomplish P.E. through recess every day if you make sure your children are moving in some way, but there are, of course, a multitude of ways to approach this, as with any other subject.  Just as with our art and music appreciation, we never used a textbook or curricular approach to this subject.  I sought out activities and approached my child with opportunities as they came up to see if he was interested in them.

Doing things outside the home need not be overly expensive, either.  Sometimes other homeschool parents with expertise in something will trade "classes" with you - they will teach your children (and a group of others) in something they are good at and you return the favor.  There may be some costs for supplies, or you may help provide supplies, but learning something new need not be expensive.

Area libraries or recreational centers, YMCA's, local universities, etc. may all provide free or low cost options for learning.  So look around, listen, and ask questions!  You can also often arrange outside lessons in something for a small group at a low cost during the day when a place might not otherwise be busy - so do approach folks and try to work out deals with them!

Oh!  I'm totally forgetting the President's Physical Fitness program.  Don't know what they do now but you used to be able to log in your child's time and they could earn bronze, silver, or gold medal awards for their fitness activities.  I think there is more than one of these types of programs available to kids now, so do check that out.  My kids always loved getting a prize of some sort from an outside source!  (Which reminds me:  Pizza Hut used to have a Reading Award - don't know if they do it now.  It helped encourage new readers to read more and after that it was just a free pizza every month!  Mine loved it!)  ASK, and ye shall receive....

https://www.presidentschallenge.org/challenge/physical/index.shtml  (It looks like they are changing, but have at least three levels of programming available now....)

And they have a page for homeschoolers now: 


Also check out:





Again, since I currently have out my fourth grade notebook, I will just pull the things my son did during that school year that I counted as "P.E."  These things are just to get you thinking about all the options that are out there for you.


Eight weeks of golf lessons with a small group at an area golf course. 

This was something I arranged and was a great deal.  The man threw out a price during the day when he would normally have had no business on his course (and he was a great teacher, too - you do want to make sure you're not getting a grump - he ran children's camps in the summer all the time). I told him what price I'd like to get it for.  He told me how many I'd need to get that price.  I advertised and got a group together.  We did it.  Viola!

Twice weekly soccer practice with a local youth soccer league team @ about 1 1/2 hours each.  Games started in September and ran through end of October, generally 1-3 on weekends and about 3-4 on tournament weekends.

Week 4 through Christmas:  swimming with a local USA swim team - three times per week @ one hour each. 


(This was another thing I came up with to get kids together for activities, so I arranged all these with area businesses.)

"Terrific Tuesdays"

Week 1 - bowling, two hours of play
Week 2 - gymnastics - 1 hour lesson plus 1 hour of free play
Week 3 - Kid's Place (a local, indoor maze and tunnel system) - 2 hours of free play in tunnels
Week 4 - Chuck-e-Cheese - lunch and free play

Nature walk of one mile at Raven Run.

Free play outdoors at Bi-water farm (we almost always visited an area farm during their "fall fest" before Halloween).

Attendance at weekend long Webelo's Woods with soccer and other free play; running with dogs, etc. Hiked about two miles on Saturday, up a ridge and down the other side.  Worked on first aid, geology, and various outdoor skills.



Three weeks of swimming at the YMCA (2 hours each) for homeschoolers - short lessons in safety and water games.


Three more weeks of swimming at the Y.

Play date at Chuck-e-Cheese.  (Must have filled in fourth week with something through winter.)



Three gym and swim classes at YMCA.  One hour of gym class followed by one hour of free swim.

Continued Dolphin's swim through mid-May (wasn't really very happy with it).


Completed last three Y gym and swim classes.


Dolphin's swimming


"Terrific Tuesdays" made a return!

First week - bowling birthday party
Second week - Chuck-e-Cheese free play
Third week - Kid's Place (tunnels) free play
Fourth week - bowling

Spring soccer season began.

Swim break for two weeks.


Free play at park once weekly for two hours.  We had various groups that met for YEARS at area parks any time the weather was nice enough!

Gymnastics on cold days (there was one place here that allowed free play during a time when they would have otherwise had no business at a very low cost).

Soccer continued.

Swim resumed.


Soccer concluded by end of month.

Winter swim concluded by end of month.

Continued park day free play (people met throughout summer if not too hot, too....)

At the end of May, he participated in two, three day horseback riding camps, back to back.  Asbury University, near us, has a working horse farm as part of their equine program and has done horseback riding for kids for many, many years.

Think of places in your area that provide opportunities for play or movement (if you live in a cold area you need some indoor places, too, if possible). 

Find out what hours they are open (or if they would be willing to open during "off" hours if they had some business - they might be there doing paperwork or something, anyway).  Try to arrange a "group rate" that is something your group could manage.  Talk to people in your homeschool community beforehand to see what, if anything, they can afford. 

If they cannot afford to pay anything, then look only for completely free offerings.  Some places might be willing to do a single free "demo class" for a group in order to try to drum up more business - so you might do a round of things like that one time.... 

Again, ask before you try to start scheduling if there are particular days/times that are better for more people, when they would be more likely to participate.  Try to make your events at the same day and time each week, if possible, so that people will be less likely to forget about it!

If you need free activities, check out your local library, recreation center, or parks in your area to see if they will provide either a one-time activity for your group, or perhaps a series of things over the course of a month or so.

If you live in an area where there is strong scouting and/or 4-H programming, then by all means take advantage of things they offer!


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