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3 Effective Phys Ed Options For Homeschooling

Even in this day and age of rampant homeschooling, casual observers feel compelled to offer commentary on this education choice. […]

Even in this day and age of rampant homeschooling, casual observers feel compelled to offer commentary on this education choice. “What about socialization?” they ask, frequently and with concerned faces. “What about physical education,” comes their next question as these observers feel assured that homeschooled children cannot receive a proper physical education outside the confines of the public school system.

Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s homeschoolers have an ever expanding network of social and recreational opportunity. In regards to physical education, homeschoolers have several quality options:

Recreational Leagues
Most city parks and recreation departments offer recreational leagues in a variety of sports such as basketball, baseball, and flag football. These recreational leagues, which often have practices and games in the evenings and on weekends, give homeschoolers the opportunity to interact with public and private school children of their own age. Some of these leagues do have parent volunteer requirements, with parents filling various roles from coaches to gatekeepers at the games.

In addition, club leagues are becoming increasingly popular. These highly competitive leagues attract athletes that want to refine their skills in hopes of being recruited by college or professional programs. Some club leagues consist entirely of homeschoolers while others are integrated with public and private school students. An increasing number of homeschool athletes are able to gain attention by recruiters and thus scholarships to major universities through these elite leagues.

Parks and recreation departments as well as private studios offer formal training in a number of physical disciplines, including ballet, gymnastics, and martial arts. Each studio varies in its emphasis and structure, with some studios offering training purely for recreational purposes while others focus on grooming professional dancers and athletes.

Most studios will allow a student a free trial class, before enrolling for the semester. This is a good option for students who are unsure about their interests or abilities in various physical pursuits.

Some of these studios do offer classes particularly for homeschoolers during the school day. However, most studios cater to public and private school children as well, so they offer their classes at night.

A good resource for beginning instruction in a number of physical pursuits is the YMCA. Depending on the size and location of the Y, it may offer fitness classes such as yoga, dance, and spinning. These YMCA classes usually come at a moderate cost.

For homeschoolers with limited finances or transportation constraints, modern technology can bring physical education into the home. Through DVDs or online videos, students can readily access instruction on physical education activities such as yoga, weight lifting, and various forms of dance.

While many homeschoolers eschew video games, the systems can actually be very beneficial when it comes to home-based physical activity. The Wii system offers a number of physically demanding games, with the foremost of these called Wii Fit.

The Wii Fit comes with an interactive Balance Board that takes measurements such as the student’s weight and ability to balance. Using this information, it computes the user’s Wii Fit Age and sets custom fitness goals for individual users.

Programs such as Wii Fit allow students to combine fitness with fun, participating in interactive games and challenges such as obstacle courses and Olympic sports. With the game tracking fitness goals and progress, it motivates the student to keep up with their physical fitness regime on a regular basis.

With these diverse physical education options, there’s no worry that homeschoolers have limited opportunity in regards to learning about physical fitness. If anything, homeschoolers’ flexible schedule allows greater opportunity for participating in physical fitness activities.

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Sarah Kline is a school district administrator and guest author at Masters of Arts in Teaching, where she contributed to the guide to the Top 10 Best Online Master of Arts in Teaching Degree Programs.

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