Wednesday, March 11, 2009

School Subjects: Physical Education

I'm finishing the series on How We Homeschool with the kids favorite - "gym class". I've done various things over the years to ensure the kids get some sort of P.E. This is for several reasons, but it's not because I'm afraid my kids are going to turn into "couch potatoes". I was not blessed with that type of child, although, I have to admit, there are days when that might be nice... just for a while! Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we limit "screen time" which includes the comuter, television, Play Station, etc. If I allowed it, they would probably sit in front of these things for a very long time. But I don't allow it, so they find other things to do in their free time, and it usually involves physical activity! So, even if I didn't enroll my kids in classes for P.E., I'm sure they would find their own ways of getting plenty of exercise. (No, I did not take this picture. Big brother did!)

In past years the kids have played soccer, football, taken swimming lessons, and taken part in the actual "Homeschool Gym Class" that we are blessed with. It's wonderful. The students at Central Michigan University who are studying for their degree in Phys. Ed. or Elementary Education actually put a gym class on for homeschoolers twice a week. We used the beautiful facility at CMU. The kids were divided into classes by age group and we parents got to sit and watch!

There are reasons beyond the physical activity that I enroll my kids in these sorts of things. First, they learn to have a teacher or coach that they must obey and be respectful toward (someone besides mom and dad). Second, they must deal with many other children, some of them friends, some not. Third, they learn skills that I could not teach them, like basketball, volley ball, gymnastics, etc. And finally, it does give me a little break. I actually think the kids need a break from me too!

This year, the kids were enrolled in soccer in the fall. Then, instead of the homeschool gym classes, they wanted to try gymnastics. They have really enjoyed it! Social Butterfly has really improved quickly and can do many things that I would never be able to teach her. Unfortunately, all of the pictures I have of her at class show her talking to friends instead of doing back bends, flips and round-offs! Oh well, that's why I call her Social Butterfly!

The only one who doesn't seem to enjoy gymnastics is Beany, who has to stay in the toddler area and watch the big kids have fun!
Gymnastics is coming to an end and the kids are deciding what they would like to do next. For my own sanity, I only allow one sport at a time. They are currently deciding between baseball, more gymnastics and swimming lessons. I always hope they all choose the same thing, but that's not always possible. It's worth the extra time it takes to do the running though. I believe Night Owl is doing so well in highschool because we made sure he was involved in sports. I think kids NEED sports and so I will do what I have to to get them there.

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