I am probably the last person to teach anything physical to my children at all. I was not athletic in the least growing up and as an adult it just isn’t appealing. Since being diagnosed with a chronic pain condition last year (that has lasted for 4 years total), I can’t do anything physical or athletic at all. It breaks my heart because now I have a desire to be more active because I have all boys who are very active.
I had dreams of playing soccer and basketball with them. We would go on hikes and ride bikes. With my chronic pain bearing down at all times, I just send them out to play on their own or with their daddy. I sit inside and watch (sometimes I go out too).
Boys are extremely active and physical. They are always wrestling with each other, chasing each other (even in the house), climbing trees, getting rough and rowdy, and just generally wreaking havoc on my house. So, I had to get creative with our recreation for homeschooling. Since they don’t get P.E. at a public school, I am their only means of learning how to play sports (besides what they get with their daddy).
We don’t do a lot of electronics because I don’t want my children to be obsessed with them or become couch potatoes. Once or twice a week (depending on the weather) we go for a walk. Our street isn’t very long so we go to the school across the street and walk around the parking lot and the fields out back. We have seen so much wildlife just by doing this and it amazes me each time we go.
My boys love riding their bikes. I can’t ride bikes because of my condition but I love sitting on the front porch and letting them ride up and down the driveway and into the cul-de-sac. We happen to live at the end of our street so it is fairly safe for them. I made perimeters for them and they know to only go so far. We also learn about bike safety while they ride.
About four or five times a year we go the our local state park (or just a local park) and go hiking. The one close by has a fossil beach where you are allowed to take one fossil home with you. The hike is about one mile each way. We bring water and snacks. There is a great playground there as well. This particular state park is on a river so there are so many beautiful things to look at and discover. They also have a small museum of animals that have been injured at the park and rescued. It is truly a wonderful park.
For Christmas we bought the boys a new soccer ball with goals and a new basketball. They love playing soccer. I can actually get involved a little when they play because it doesn’t use my upper body (which is where I have chronic pain). They play all the time. Almost every day. Our neighbors across the cul-de-sac put in a permanent basketball goal for the whole neighborhood to play with. It is literally at the end of my driveway so my boys go down there often and practice. They play with the neighbors and their daddy on weekends as well.
The recently got into doing push ups. My husband was doing them just to see how many he could do and all the boys joined in. Now they have competitions to see who can do the most. I encourage them to keep it fun and practice often to gain more strength.
You can incorporate recreation or P.E. into your homeschool day very easily. Just get your kids to move and move some more. Along the way, join them in the movement as much as possible. Teach them lessons on the body or a certain animal they may see on a walk or while riding bikes. Make it fun and make it a teaching moment. The point is, children need to be moving and not just sitting all day. You can also teach them about healthy snacks that give them more energy to play longer and harder. They will love it!
There are some great resources found here (on Rainbow Resource Center’s website).