Are you looking for homeschool PE ideas? You’ve found them! This post contains tons of ideas to get your started homeschooling PE in your own yard and in parks and playgrounds near you.
Homeschool PE is one of the subjects that often gets forgotten. In the younger grades we’re so focused on ABCs and 123s that there’s little time for PE lesson plans! But physical education is still important, and is an annual required course in some states.
Some kids love being told to “go out and play” and will get tons of exercise just running around. But if you’ve got a kiddo that needs extra motivation to get moving – or if you have a kiddo that wants more PE, it’s time to start carving out some time in your weekly schedule.
Many homeschoolers choose to outsource homeschool PE to community coaches and camps. If you’re looking for ideas on how to outsource homeschool PE, check out this post: Outsourcing Physical Education in your Homeschool
PE at Home
If you’re taking the reigns for homeschool PE, you can look at it like any other extra curricular class. Carve out time in your weekly schedule, add it to your loop of electives, or purposefully include physical education in your unit studies.
However you homeschool, you can homeschool PE. Just like teaching any other subject, there are many ways to go about it. A few ideas for homeschooling PE:
• Try a homeschool PE curriculum
• Be a spectator
• Use videos or games
• Plus, I’ll share 10 FREE ideas for homeschool PE that you can start right away!
When you’re teaching PE, like any other subject, it’s important to be consistent. This doesn’t mean you have to do the same routine everyday! Mix it up and keep it fun. This is the type of learning through play that can last into the teen years.
We incorporate physical fitness into our homeschool schedule daily. I set aside an hour between morning lessons and lunchtime to get out and get some exercise. That could mean riding bikes to the park, playing field games in the yard, or doing a kids workout video.
Living a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity is important to our entire family. Is it to yours? If so, carve out some time in your regular routine and plan some fun activities for homeschool PE!
Try a Homeschool PE Curriculum
If you already have an all-in-one curriculum, you might have access to a guide to homeschool PE. We are eclectic homeschoolers – different curricula for different subjects. So PE stands alone. Some PE curriculum that is currently available”
Home School Family Fitness offers a guide to PE that covers grades K-12. Inside, you’ll find lesson plans, fitness tests, indoor and outdoor games, and sections on health and fitness. This is a parent-intensive guide to homeschool PE. Great for families that want to exercise, play, and learn together.
Family Time Fitness offers a homeschool fitness video course. Subscribe to receive online lessons, lesson plans, printables, and activity ideas. This program offers different levels according to age.
Be a Spectator
Remember that physical education is not just about playing sports. You can learn a lot just by watching the games. Head out to a major or minor league game, or watch the local college or high school teams play.
What can you learn from being a spectator?
√ Rules of the sport
√ Scoring rules
√ Good sportsmanship
√ Player and team statistics
√ The importance of working as a team
If your child is particularly interested in a certain sport, another fun way to learn more about it is to participate in a fantasy league. The big ones are football, baseball, and soccer, but you can find fantasy leagues online for a huge variety of sports.
Rooting for a team is fun. Your child will feel the ups and downs of winning and losing and grow a sense of loyalty and commitment to a team. If your family is into watching sports, see it as a learning opportunity!
Use Videos or Games for Homeschool PE
There are fantastic videos and games that you can use for homeschool PE right in your living room. These are great for making sure you getting lots of movement and exercise in even when the weather is poor.
The great thing about kids’ workout videos is that you won’t need a lot (or any) equipment to get started. Just lace up your sneakers, turn on the TV or computer, and follow along.
Active Video Games
If you’ve got a gamer in your family, use it to your advantage and try some workouts designed for kids. A few popular workout games include the Just Dance Kids series (Wii and Xbox, Xbox360), Zumba Kids (Wii, Xbox 360), or get the whole family active with one of the Kinect Sports Games!
Exercise Card and Board Games
If videos or video games are just not your style, try a card or board game to add some fun to your homeschool PE time. Fitness games go way beyond Twister now (although that’s still our family’s favorite). A few to check out:
- Fit Deck for Kids is an illustrated deck of cards that shows your child how to complete basic (and some not-so-basic) fitness moves
- Yogarilla is an award winning card game where friendly gorilla, Otis, teaches your child yoga poses.
- If you have a little one that’s into yoga, try the Active Yoga Activity Blocks. Roll two blocks and set a timer as you hold the pose.
- If you’re looking for more traditional workout moves, the Action Number Dice will help you create a unique workout every time.
Games and videos are a fantastic supplement to your homeschool PE class. However, they can get a bit boring over time. Mix it up with different games and videos. After your little one has mastered some of the moves, you can even try workouts for grown ups.
10 Free Homeschool PE Ideas
1. Walking or Running
It’s a simple physical exercise but it can be important when you feel like taking a break and not engaging in too much physical activity. Walk the dog round the block or go outdoors and enjoy nature. There will be a calming effect to this exercise.
Biking around the neighborhood or a local park is a great way for the whole family to fit some fun PE time into your homeschool day. When the neighborhood gets a little boring, investigate bike trails in your area.
Be sure to include biking safety in your PE time – wearing a helmet, using hand signals, and the rules of the road are good indoor additions to your lessons when the weather is poor.
If you live by the ocean or gulf, rivers, or lakes, swimming doesn’t require a pool pass! It’s important for little ones to get comfortable in the water. Work on safety skills, bobbing, blowing bubbles, and coming up for air. More proficient swimmers can begin to learn strokes, jumps, and dives. Swimming is one of the best full body workouts you can get!
Get out and explore trails at your national, state, or local parks when the weather is nice. There are so many interesting things to find on a hike if you look closely. To incorporate other subjects, bring plant or animal field guides along, take a look at poetry about nature, sing songs, or bring art supplies or reading materials out on your adventure.
5. Exercise Equipment at the Park
Many local parks offer exercise equipment in one location or along the trails – no gym membership needed! You can often find beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts with visual instructions on how to complete the moves. What a great way to learn some new moves, try some new equipment, and exercise together.
Search for local parks with exercise equipment or check out the links below to find a park near you:
- Calisthenics Parks offers over 5,000 locations world wide
- Playcore Fitness Parks can be found across the US and Canada
6. Calisthenics & Plyometrics
The above ideas are fun when the weather cooperates, but what about when the weather is too cold or too hot to play outside? Try some exercise moves right in your living room. Some of the more torturous moves are fun for kids who love to jump around. A few to try:
- Push-ups or plank holds
- Squats & jump squats
- Walking or plyo lunges
- Vertical jumps (jump onto a box or bench)
- Frog hops
Not sure what to teach or how? Find instructional videos on YouTube. Watch together or learn them first and teach your child.
7. Exercise with YouTube
If you’re putting together your own homeschool PE lesson plans, YouTube is a great place to find instructional videos for exercise moves, explanations of rules and scoring for sports, and safety tips for all of your homeschool PE activities.
You can also find workout videos and channels made just for kids. A few to check out:
Note: Look for the “official” YouTube channels to support the creators and find the best quality videos. In some cases, like Just Dance Kids videos, there are a lot of rip-offs out there that are poorly recorded screen shots with creepy looking guys in the icon box. Be careful who you are supporting on YouTube!
8. Obstacle Courses
Anywhere you go can be an obstacle course. I love giving my kids obstacle courses at the playground or even in our own backyard. Making up an obstacle course can make a regular playground day a fun and challenging experience – it can also be a fun way to work on following multi-step directions.
How to do it: Choose a starting point, give directions for 3, 5, 7 or more activities to be completed in a row, designate a finish line. On a playground, it might sound like this:
Start at the end of the balance beam. (1) Cross the balance beam (2) Run to the tire swing (3) Spin on the tire swing 5 times (4) Climb up the slide (5) Slide down the fireman’s pole to reach the finish line.
Change it up every time. There are many ways and combinations for crossing, climbing, and sliding around a playground. Be sure to meet them at the finish line for their high five! Looking for a challenge? Bring a stopwatch or use the timer on your phone and see how long it takes to complete the course.
Weather poor? You can even make an obstacle course in your house with cushions, chairs, and calisthenics moves.
9. Host a Field Day
If you are in a homeschool coop or group, or if you have a group of kids to play with, think about hosting a field day at your house or a local park. Set up a few structured activities like relay races, playing horse at the basketball hoops, or a kickball game to get the ball rolling.
10. Just Get Out and Play
Setting up structured activities for homeschool PE is great, but it’s also totally okay to head to the playground or park for some free play time. Work on getting across those tricky monkey bars, climb the slide while you have the playground to yourself, meet up with friends for tag… Just get out and play!
Homeschooling physical education can be fun and rewarding for your and your children. However, not everyone has the extra time (or inclination) to commit to (or create) a regular homeschool PE program. Sound familiar?
Many families choose to outsource this subject! For ideas and tips about outsourcing your homeschool PE see: Ideas for Outsourcing Homeschool Physical Education