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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Homeschooled Children and Physical Education

Homeschooled children have an advantage over their traditionally schooled counterparts - a better chance to get in the recommended amount of daily exercise; that is, if the parent creates a curriculum to account for active time.  The flexible nature of the homeschool curriculum and setting lends itself to provide greater opportunities for the child to be physically active throughout the day.  Children who get their education in the school setting are required to sit at desks for extended periods.  Furthermore, some schools have been forced to remove physical education classes from the curriculum due to lack of funding. These issues are out of the control of parents of traditionally schooled children. This is not the case for parents who homeschool. The opportunity to provide active time is there, but parents must seize it for their child to benefit.

Objectives for Homeschool Physical Education
  • Foster a healthy attitude toward exercise.  Often, when it comes to physical education, the emphasis is placed on performance and skill, not lifestyle.  But, children need to understand that a healthy lifestyle means engaging in regular exercise.  And, to increase their chances of readily including activity as a part of their life, positive associations with exercise have to be developed.  The parent should design a physical education curriculum that includes exercise activities that the child views as enjoyable and which are within the child's skill level to prevent discouragement; yet, they need to be challenging to develop a healthy body. 
  • Teach the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health benefits associated with regular exercise. Exercise can improve concentration and academic performance, decrease stress levels, boost energy levels, and enhance self-image.
  • Improve the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health of the child.  Prevention against chronic diseases in adulthood, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, begins in childhood. Incorporating physical activity into the homeschooled child's curriculum is an important step towards protection against these health conditions.
  • Develop motor skills and movement patterns associated with various physical activities
Athletic Equipment for Homeschoolers - a fancy gymnasium and expensive fitness equipment are not necessary to teach the importance of exercise or to develop a healthy body.  The following items should suffice:
  • Frisbee or other throwing discs
  • Red rubber playground ball
  • Hula hoop
  • Jump rope
  • Tennis ball and racquet
  • Scooter or skateboard
  • Pogo Stick
  • Softball and bat
  • Bicycle
  • Protective gear such as helmet and pads for the wrists, elbows, and knees
Community Opportunities for Homeschool Physical Education
  • Local Parks and Recreation Department. Most community centers offer some type of physical activity class such as swimming, karate, gymnastics, and dance.  Participation on community sport teams, such as little league, are often available as well. Some facilities offer physical education programs specifically designed for homeschooled children. 
  • Public school system in which the child resides.  Check to see if the local school district has elective physical education classes in which the homeschool child can enroll.  Also inquire about eligibility to participate on public school sports teams.
  • YMCA and Fitness Centers.  Physical activity opportunities available are similar to what can be found through the local Parks and Recreation Department. 
  • Family Place of Worship. Churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues may offer intramural sports or fitness classes to members.
Many parents choose to homeschool their children because it allows their child to receive an individualized education that meets his or her needs and style of learning.  This "personalization" of curriculum can be carried over into physical education.  Because the activities can be tailored to the child's interests, this increases the chances that the child will develop a healthy attitude toward exercise, one that lasts a lifetime.

Source for more information
Successful Homeschooling

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