Physical Education

Many times I’ve been asked how my children complete physical education while homeschooling. It is an easy question to answer. There are a variety of ways they have remained physically fit. They love taking bike trips, hiking, climbing, swimming, running, roller blading, ice skating, baseball, basketball, weight lifting, aerobics, gymnastics and more. Other families enjoy horseback riding, hockey, Tae Kwon Do, martial arts, fencing, dancing, track, canoeing, sailing, orienteering, skiing, snowboarding and more.

When given the chance, I believe children will remain active and fit because it comes naturally to them to get outdoors as often as they can, and because as homeschoolers they have the time do so. Physical fitness or education hasn’t been just a class that they had to fulfill to move on to the next grade; physical conditioning has been a part of their day to day living and learning and they have an easy time keeping physical fit. At least once a week we were always at a local park exploring, playing or just enjoying nature over the years and we still enjoy this type of activity. Our learning almost always involved hands-on activity and as I was looking for articles to share for “Closer Look: Physical Education,” I found that others seemed to involve physical activity in their day to day routines as well.


H is for Homeschooling by Scott Stevens
“F is for Family. Homeschool families have a closer relationship with each other. They enjoy spending time together. They do many things together. They read together. They play games together. They go hiking together. They do puzzles together. They play music together. They cook dinner together.”

The Secret Lives of Children by Teresa Blalock
Then he went into a long and descriptive explanation of trail tags. He told us what each color of tag meant for the difficulty of each trail. I can’t even remember the color codes. I do remember that we were on a red trail, which was “difficult, but not the most difficult, but harder than a blue or orange but easier than flaming red-orange or black, which is the hardest,” according to JP. He talked and talked all the way along the trail about the color codes and the different kinds of trails and how each trail is rated. I was totally shocked that he knew all of this information.

I asked him, “Where did you find out about these trails?” (I really thought maybe he was just making it up.)

He said, “I read it in a book about camping at Barnes and Noble.”

A World of Learning by Barbara Theisen
Part of the reason we cruise and homeschool are for the wonderful opportunities to learn about the world around us. Hands-on learning experiences we get from hiking through a rain forest, snorkeling over a coral reef, visiting historic ruins, shopping in foreign markets or participating in local festivals are an important part of our schooling.

Shooting Hoops, Riding Bikes by Sue Smith-Heavenrich

Bicycling through the mud is another study altogether. That one began a few years ago when my older son (who was then six) noticed my bike went faster than his. We got off the bikes and looked at them.

Older Kids – Decompression – Frequently Asked Questions by Cafi Cohen

All people, older kids included, need fun and exhausting exercise. This may be a team sport offered by Parks and Recreation or the YMCA in your community. Our son’s primarily physical activity at ages 16 and 17 was the diving team at our local Parks and Recreation department. Other teenage homeschoolers like distance running (anybody can train for and run road races), martial arts classes, bowling, hiking, cycling, and yoga. You don’t necessarily even need to think “sports”. Some kids prefer gardening and shoveling snow and farm-related physical labor.”

Solomon Heads Home by David Albert

Most homeschooling parents I know have a knack for keeping the kids busy — whether it be with flute lessons or tap dance classes, robotics clubs or wilderness tracking workshops, horseback riding or watercolors, gymnastics or clogging. Indeed, if your family is like mine, you can rename your education practices “car schooling,” as you juggle the three kids (“three” is like the Biblical number “40,” and can stand for any number above one) between fencing practice and guide-dog training.

Why the Question of Homeschoolers’ Playing Public School Sports Affects All Homeschoolers by Larry and Susan Kaseman

Many families find that homeschooling offers better opportunities for sports than does attending a conventional school. Thanks to its flexibility, homeschooling offers tremendous advantages to young people whose long range goal is to become an outstanding athlete, rather than simply to play high school sports. At the same time, it also offers great opportunities for young people whose goal is to develop healthy minds and bodies through positive, supportive physical activity without intense competition and pressure.

Click this link to explore a few resources for homeschooling physical education.

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