Sometimes it is challenging to include physical education electives into homeschooling on a regular basis. It is easy to just sign the kids up for seasonal sports or gymnastics and use that as their physical fitness. But the whole family can get fit and have fun together without much cost with PE in the home.
With the integration of just a few items, and a wide range of activities, the kids will have lots of fun getting fit, and mom and dad will get a chance to reminisce of when they excelled at one or more activities.
For our school, we incorporate the use of hand weights for light muscle-building. Our children use 1 or 3 lb weights and practice proper technique for a variety of exercises.
Most retailers have them for just a few dollars, and they really make a difference in cardio workouts.
Our kids just love the jump rope, though they don’t all use it properly. They are still working on it.
Like most hyperactive kids, they love to jump. While it might also be used for other imaginative play, a jump rope is an inexpensive item that takes the fun of jumping to another level while maintaining safety.
As jump ropes are really affordable, having multiple is an option for involving many children as they can compete or they can double dutch.
Yet another inexpensive workout tool is the hula hoop. Used traditionally, around the waist, it encourages coordination and helps build a good core.
One can also use it to help with balance by hula hooping around an ankle. Possibilities expand also to use around the arms and neck.
A hula hoop can also be used for the older game of hoop and stick, where one chases a hoop around with a stick to keep the hoop moving as far as possible.
Sit-ups, squats, running, swimming (if you have a pool), jumping-jacks, planking, push-ups, and my mother’s personal favorite, the squat thrust. There are lots of free options out there to get in some exercise.
Make it Fun!
I know you might think getting your family to do any of these spontaneously or even at a regularly scheduled time is going to be a challenge. It might be challenging, but by making the activity fun, it is more likely to be enjoyed and more likely to be repeated.
For children, the challenge of a new activity is good, so long as it is attainable for them. Most of these activities, adults have done as a child and they remember how to perform them, and these activities are not usually as strenuous or painful as cart-wheels or even somersaults.
Personally, I choose to schedule the activity of working out and spontaneously choose the workout type, then put on my best “Hans and Franz” impression (from Saturday Night Live) and we all have the best fun, getting “pumped up”.