Homeschool Physical Education

If you’re getting ready to teach homeschool physical education, you may have some questions about what you’re going to do. Situations such as teaching only one child or other changes that make it very different from one’s own experience can make one unsure about how to approach it. This article helps you to get started with some ideas. If you still need to look at your state’s homeschool curriculum, you can find your state’s educatin site at the United States Department of Education site here:

The National Standards and Homeschool Physical Education

The national standards for physical education come from the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE) and can be found here:

The six standards that identify hallmarks of he physical educated person can be summarized thus:

  • Standard 1: refers to achieving familiarity with motor skills and movement patterns used in a variety of physical activities (note that the wording of this standard does not restrict the uses to sports, athletics, activities, or games).
  • Standard 2: refers to the theoretical understanding of physical activities embodied in principles, concepts, strategies, and tactics. These sorts of understandings help one to know how, when, and in what way to apply the motor skills and patterns one has learned.
  • Standard 3: refers to the regularity with which the person participates in physical activities
  • Standard 4: refers to the achievement and maintenance of a level of physical fitness that is healthy for the person in question; this may, of course, vary from person to person.
  • Standard 5: refers to  exhibiting and maintaining responsible and respectful behavior in physical activity settings.
  • Standard 6: refers to finding value in physical activity for the variety of benefits it can bring to one’s life, including in the areas of health, enjoyment, socialization, etc.

References for Homeschool Physical Education

One kind of reference that is useful for homeschool physical education include instructions for physical games and activities. If you have instructions for capture the flag, flashlight tag, or any other game you want to play right there along with you on your family camping trip, it’s more likely that you can get a game going and avoid arguments as well. You can also look to official rulebooks for sports (some of which can be found online for free), which can help you determine court size, net height, and other parameters, depending on the sport in question. Keep in mind that you can play with official regulations and equipment or adapt as desired and appropriate for your situation. Knowing the official rules can also add to the fun and understanding of being a spectator, for example, if you choose to watch the Olympics.

Supplies for Homeschool Physical Education

Many physical education supplies are sport-specific, but here are some that can be used for multiple activities, especially if you’re not always concerned about official rules:

  • medium-sized rubber ball: four square, kickball, dodgeball
  • tennis ball: tennis, catch (people or with a dog), batting practice
  • softball: softball, catch
  • Frisbee™: various games including Ultimate Frisbee™; catch
  • bat
  • football: various forms of football; catch
  • body ball: a wide variety of exercises
  • small trampoline: a wide variety of exercises
  • bicycle
  • basketball hoop (outdoor or indoor)

Projects for Homeschool Physical Education

Projects for physical education can involve learning a new sport (say, cricket or Australian football) or game (say, Red Rover); inventing a new sport or game and testing it; or setting up a small tournament in a sport that’s under-represented (say, quidditch). For more information on a recently developed quidditch tournament, see here:

Web Resources for Homeschool Physical Education

If you search online for items such as:

  • outdoor game instructions
  • how to play children’s games
  • backyard game rules

you will be able to find a large number of games, and likely learn some you don’t know. If you want a specific game, search by name. Be aware that many games are like folk songs: there are many variations, and you may find something that is not quite what you know. Unless there’s a good reason not to adapt, you should feel free.

Field Trips for Homeschool Physical Education

Physical education field trips do not have to be focused only on the student, and they can have several purposes: to exercise, to inspire interest, to make physical education enjoyable, and to present opportunities for analyzing and learning more about various physical activities.

Family Activities

  • Go sledding or sliding (depending on where you live).
  • Jump in a neighboring swimming pool or lake.
  • Play bocce, croquet, catch, other lawn games like volleyball or tether ball, miniature golf, or Frisbee™.
  • Play tennis.
  • Try bicycles for transportation, maybe even a bicycle built for two.

Family Outings

  • Watch local high school or college students, semi-professionals, or professionals engage in the sport that your student most enjoys being active in, either in person or on television.
  • Teach the student to keep score at, say, a professional baseball game.
  • Go to watch a practice of the sport that your student most enjoys.