3 Ways to Put Physical Education into Your HomeschoolAmy Schaffner
Childhood obesity is a term that shouldn’t even exist. According to the CDC, Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Our lives have changed so much in the last few decades and our fast-food way of life has begun to affect the very people we care the most about: our children.
I find it so easy to use the TV as a babysitter or an entertainer. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, I let the kids eat too much cereal or macaroni and cheese and say yes to video games one too many times.
And this coming from someone with a degree in fitness/wellness management.
The No Child Left Behind Initiative has made it very hard for educators to find time for recess at schools and still meet the standards they are required to meet for federal funding. I think we’ve all read articles about recess and PE times getting shorter in the the public school system. At the same time, a child’s screen time has increased to over four hours a day while we battle childhood obesity and obesity-spurred disease left and right.
But we homeschool. We control the schedule; we control the curriculum. We should also be able to control our children’s health. That’s right, we have no excuse. There is no one holding funding over our heads, no one telling us we don’t have time; the responsibility falls to us.
So, what’s the problem? In my own life, I believe the problem is that my mentality about my own health can easily spill over into the way I treat my children’s. I tend to push exercise to the bottom of the to-do list and eat whatever is available instead of what is healthy. This isn’t good for me, and treating my children this way certainly isn’t either.
What are some ways that we, as homeschool parents, can teach our kids that God created our bodies with certain important things it requires to run smoothly?
Be A Role Model
Our children know when something is important to us by watching our actions. If we teach our children that God created our bodies to move, to need certain nutrients to thrive, and to need water to function properly but they don’t see us implementing those things in our own lives, then they will never implement them in theirs.
Teach Them The Why
Children are smart. They are more likely to want to treat their bodies properly if they have been taught why they need to. Just saying “It’s good for you,” isn’t enough. Make (affiliate link) Health and Nutrition a part of your homeschool curriculum. This is what we are using in our homeschool this year.
We teach our children math every day, and we’ve all seen the t-shirts that say “Another day has passed and I didn’t use Algebra once.” Teaching them to take care of their bodies is something they can never claim isn’t useful.
Get Them Involved In Sports, But Don’t Stop There
Sports teach many important lessons like teamwork and practicing to master a skill, but they don’t always set up our children for a lifetime of good health. How many times have we seen the all-star football player from high school turn into the overweight, unhealthy guy at the buffet? Our children have to learn that exercise and nutrition are important for life, not just for competitive sports.
Get them involved in what they are interested in and what will keep them moving, but teach them that it doesn’t stop there. When the season is over, make sure they keep exercising. Lessons like this could mean the difference between a lifetime of health or a lifetime of disease.
There are so many options to implement physical education into our homeschools, but the important thing is to do something. Don’t let this be an extra subject that is okay to leave behind. Make PE something important in their daily routine, and they will reap the benefits every day for the rest of their lives.