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View Full Version : How do you (or do you) do P.E.?



Deb417
05-19-2012, 11:57 PM
Locally we have Homeschool P.E. classes available at the Y, and they're pretty inexpensive--they can go once or twice per week for an hour.

My question is, if my kids aren't getting much exercise (we have a tiny yard, they don't have a really safe place to ride bikes for any distance or amt. of time b/d we live off a very busy road), and they don't particularly care for exercise DVD routines (I've tried a few--one yoga, which they liked for about a month, then got bored with it, and TaeBo Kids, which they had trouble following, and one other that was too short and easy and they got bored with that), how important do you think a PE program is for girls 4, 6 and 8?

They do go to swim class for 30 min/week, but that's it.

And we tried soccer, but they hated it and don't want to do it again.

SugarRush
05-20-2012, 05:25 AM
We don't do PE. My son is in little league, we have a game 3 times a week. He swims almost everyday in our pool. And the amount of time he spends spinning around in the kitchen chair or sliding out of it to crumple on the floor when he has to do a math worksheet keeps him very flexible.:)

hockeymom
05-20-2012, 07:07 AM
Hockey, soccer, swimming, basketball, XC running, track and field, homeschool bowling, mountain and road biking, climbing, hiking...

Who has time for PE? lol

Pawz4me
05-20-2012, 07:45 AM
We do a small variety of things. I feel it's necessary because left to his own devices my son would mostly be a slug. He's just not a naturally active kid. Plus he has a couple of back issues that are minimized if he keeps his back and core muscles strong. He learned some exercises in physical therapy a few years ago, we still keep up with them. I have him jump rope a little every day--it's a fabulous cardio exercise, great for developing balance and coordination, not to mention it's fun and can be done outside on the patio or in the garage. We walk the dogs for approximately thirty minutes every day the weather permits. He uses an exercise bike when the weather's unsuitable for dog walking. He plays Pony League baseball spring and fall. And we try to hit the pool a few times a week in the summer.

wife&mommy
05-20-2012, 08:35 AM
Nothing in particular. They get a ton of activity just being kids. We do a lot of activities and park days with their friends as well so they get some group activities as well.

Deb417
05-20-2012, 08:40 AM
Hockey, soccer, swimming, basketball, XC running, track and field, homeschool bowling, mountain and road biking, climbing, hiking...

Who has time for PE? lol
Ok, I live in the city, have no yard and my kids don't like team sports (not that there are many options to play them for us--we have gurk's soccer, and it's lame, and expensive the way they do it here.

They take sswim lessons, but with no pool to practice aren't ready for swim team. And they do seem naturally a bit sluggish when it comes to activities that would improve ttheir fitness.

Munchie33
05-20-2012, 09:22 AM
We don't do PE specifically... Our 7 and 8 year olds do two sports classes: weekly circus classes (juggling, unicycling, magic, cartwheels, etc.) and twice-weekly martial arts (judo). But every day we go for a half-hour walk if the weather permits (amblers by nature), and on the weekends we'll play cricket/soccer/whatever at the park. We've tried a lot of sports casually this way. They know that if they want to pursue any further, they only need to ask. I figure as long as they have some semblance of knowledge of the rules of these games, are active daily, and do one or two proper sports classes, they're pretty on-track.

I think for little kids (4, 6, maybe also 8), building up a habit of frequent physical activity, even if it isn't particularly strenuous (like walking), is more important than doing a formal PE class.

laundrycrisis
05-20-2012, 10:17 AM
During the academic year they take a homeschool gym'n swim class through a park district. It is an hour of gym class (that is fun) and an hour of swimming instruction. They are also both in little league baseball in the spring season, and DS1 also plays fall baseball. And for now, they are both in weekly OT and they are both doing a lot there with balance and coordination exercises, so I think that counts too.

LuvMyPink83
05-20-2012, 12:35 PM
My children just play outside everyday, even when it's cold. Your children do at least take swimming lessons and as long as they aren't sitting for several consecutive hours they should be fine just playing a lot.

theWeedyRoad
05-20-2012, 01:02 PM
My kids like the treadmill best. We also have wii fit, and dance party 3. We do have a big yard, and my kids occasionally play outside, but they aren't overly active children so I do have to push them.

opheliag
05-20-2012, 01:24 PM
During the cooler months, we walk everyday, ride bikes in the local park, or play basketball. On the weekends, we go hiking. During summer, it is too hot to go outside, so my kids swim and play xbox kinect. My daughter loves Dance Central, and it is phenomenal exercise. A friend of mine uses the Wii fit for their exercise and PE. Her kids enjoy it, and it works in their small space. My oldest is a bit of a slug especially during these hot months, so I try to encourage him to ride the exercise bike. This year, we've put together a free weight routine for us to do together with light weights. It's a lot of arm raises, plies, crunches and squats with lots of reps and very low weight.

PetVet
05-20-2012, 02:30 PM
My question is, if my kids aren't getting much exercise (we have a tiny yard, they don't have a really safe place to ride bikes for any distance or amt. of time b/d we live off a very busy road), and they don't particularly care for exercise DVD routines (I've tried a few--one yoga, which they liked for about a month, then got bored with it, and TaeBo Kids, which they had trouble following, and one other that was too short and easy and they got bored with that), how important do you think a PE program is for girls 4, 6 and 8?

They do go to swim class for 30 min/week, but that's it.

I think it's really important to get into healthy habits early and a minimum 60 minutes of activity per day is recommended (Health Canada and most others). Start out gently though, especially if they're not used to it, or they won't enjoy it at all! Do you have access to dance, gymnastics, skating, martial arts, yoga, or other solo sports they might enjoy? If not, I would suggest that you get your girls to walk with you every day - that is what I do with DS on his odd day off from organised sports. I'm not in great shape and DS can run circles around me, so we walk at the local high school track or in a park area - that way he can go as fast as he likes and I can still see him or he can turn around and come back to me, then start out ahead again. Not sure if you have pets, but we often take our dog(s) and that makes it more fun for me too.

When it's too hot or cold for me (I have metal plates etc in my face) then we go to the mall to walk, or to our local high school where the town has a regular indoor walking program. DS prefers outside though, as he's not supposed to run inside and finds walking boring. I'd probably agree if I could catch my breath long enough to run and talk at the same time! ;)

dbmamaz
05-20-2012, 03:33 PM
my kids are pretty low energy (as I am). We walk the dog every day during the day (well, its been shorter since i've been laid up these past 3 mo and they go alone, just around the block). They do martial arts 3 days a week. I'm TRYING to make them also do some Wii fit or some other form of exercise every day they dont have martial arts, but i keep forgetting . ..

baker
05-20-2012, 03:49 PM
My dd LOVES gymnastics (tumbling, no competitions)! She will do cartwheels all over the house if I let her! Ds doesn't do any sports, but both kids are outside a lot (we have a big yard and quiet neighborhood). Have you thought of a small trampoline? Also, my dd love "just dance" on Wii.

I do think exercise is important at any age. If my kids don't get physical activity, I can really tell a difference in their personalities (not in a good way!!).

This is a lot of work for you, but scavenger hunts (even in the house or back yard) can get them moving!

Also, my kids really enjoy their Razor scooters (the cheap model). They are small and easy to throw in the car and take to a park, empty parking lot.

dottieanna29
05-20-2012, 04:21 PM
My son would be a slug given the chance. Until a two weeks ago the little guys did homeschool gymnastics once a week, homeschool bowling once a week, park days and my son just started baseball. But, ds didn't really care for gymnastics once they moved him up a group and it's becoming clear that team sports just aren't his thing.

We'd love to get ds in martial arts but it's very expensive around here. We do have Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort which he really likes, we have an okay size yard (but no bike riding) and I can make them walk with me to our mail box which is about 1/2 mile round trip. After Memorial Day we'll go to the pool most mornings.

LAR
05-20-2012, 04:30 PM
The girls take dance (tap/ballet) twice a week, and earlier this year, we converted our garage into a dance hall for them. So they practice at least an hour daily. We are fortunate to have a pool so we swim year round. Toss in birding adventures, amazing state parks for hiking/exploring, weekly sailing classes . . . and we have a full schedule. When it's really hot in the summer, the girls enjoy indoor scavenger hunts and crazy exercise sessions where we stretch, do some basic yoga positions and then finish with a wild simon sez game (run in place, jumping jacks, push ups, etc) that always ends in all of us screaming as loud as we can. I definitely feel for you and how challenging it must be living in the city. If finances allow, a membership to the local Y might be the answer.

Sherry
05-20-2012, 05:09 PM
We are not a team-sport family. Around here sports gets competitive early (soccer by age 4) and we are not interested in having our family life revolve around the soccer field. Or football, or baseball, or any other sport. We are dabblers who have other things to do on weekends.

I try to get my children outside for at least an hour as many days as possible. They have scooters, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and other outdoor toys. There is a walking/biking trail near our house that we enjoy. A local homeschool group has a weekly park day in the summer months that we attend. Any weekend that we do not have other commitments, we try to get to the zoo, a park, or nature preserve.

September through March, Dh prefers that they participate in organized sports/fitness activities. For the past few years, we had a membership at the local Y. We tried gymnastics, basketball, and swimming. They liked gymnastics and swimming. Unfortunately the Y does not have a boy-friendly gymnastics program, it is competitive girls after age 6. It offers a weekly homeschool gym class that we might try in the future. My youngest is too young and my oldest doesn't want to do it if his brother doesn't. We have let our Y membership lapse and will probably try either dance or gymnastics at another location in the fall. We will continue swimming lessons in late winter or early spring. DH would like them to try martial arts when they are a bit older. I would love an old-fashion intramural-type gym class where they learned the rudiments of dodgeball, kickball, jump rope, baseball, etc. There is nothing like that around here.

My question for those with multiple children with differing interests is how do you decide which child's interests get the priority? Logistics are becoming an issue for me - I just can't transport two children to two different locations on the same evening. Multiple evenings cut into family time.

Deb417
05-20-2012, 05:31 PM
How sad is this? I never thought of just taking them WALKING with me! I *love* to walk and hike, it's my favorite form of exercise actually, and it makes perfect sense. We could easily to that every day, even if we have to drive to a safer area to walk with less traffic, like a greenway or park, no biggie. Duh, can't believe I never thought of it!

Love the scooter idea too, it's a nice change of pace, easy to do and as you point out, easy to toss in the car and GO to find an area with more space, and I can walk along at a good clip them, get myself some exercise! THanks!

farrarwilliams
05-20-2012, 06:24 PM
Soccer in the spring and fall. Hiking together all year round. We try to go swimming in winter (there's something so nice about swimming indoors when it's cold outside) and in summer - and we have the benefit of free city pools, which is nice. Rock climbing when I can get them there. And I don't worry too much about it because my kids play hard pretty often. I don't think of "pe" as something I need to pay much attention to.

baker
05-20-2012, 06:54 PM
Sherry, when looking for a gymnastics class that do not compete, ask for a tumbling class. My dd's coach gave me this advice ( we are moving soon and want to find another gym like his).

gypsylovecircus
05-20-2012, 07:25 PM
When its warm we walk everyday, or ride our bikes. In the winter (we live in Alaska, so that is most of the year), we cross country ski when it is warm enough, go sledding, or use our wii dance games. That really works! My kids love music, so some days we just turn it up and dance til we drop. Good family time and great workout!
Also, we love to hulahoop!

dbmamaz
05-20-2012, 08:03 PM
It was funny, there was some questionnaire you were supposed to get your kids to fill out about you, and their answers were mostly wildly different, except they all said I was good at cooking, and they all said that what they do with me the most was take walks!

akislandmom
05-20-2012, 09:13 PM
We really don't do anything specific. DD is a bundle of energy and is never still...even in her sleep (you should see her covers in the morning LOL). So I figure she gets a ton of exercise. There are times I which she would move less. It is exhausting just watching her. She does take homeschool swim lesson when they are offered...2 months a year Fall and Spring, and right now I am paying a teen boy who babysits her to swim with her once a week and teach her a few things in the process. He is a lifeguard at the local pool and on the swim team and he totally gets her personality and they get along great. I have to be creative here because we don't have a lot of options where I live. I wish she could play outside more, but we have some of the worst weather... seriously our area is known for the worst weather in the world....hurricane force winds occur several times a month for several days in a row and we have over 300 days of rain or snow a year, so sometimes being outside just can't happen. DD is tiny and has seriously actually been knocked over by the wind.

lakshmi
05-20-2012, 09:32 PM
Fist Pumping... Raise the roof.

Amanadoo
05-20-2012, 09:36 PM
lolololololol Lakshmi your power-to-the-people is showing. Cover that up. Fist pumping is totally an appropriate gym class. K-12, boom, done.

Susan
05-21-2012, 02:40 AM
You bring up such an interesting question. I think that PE is very important and it encompasses more than exercise. It helps with the development of motor skills and teaches the importance of things like teamwork and physical fitness. It's very important for girls. There have been studies linking sports for girls with reduced teen pregnancy and better body image.

We have a small yard too. For several reasons our kids have never been able to play on the street in our neighborhood so most all play has been organized at parks etc. Here's what we've done. We had one of those above ground swimming pools that are only about 4' deep. It had to be taken down every winter, and it only lasted about two summers and wasn't used nearly enough. After that we put up a trampoline. It lasted a bit longer before it started to tear. They both pretty much filled the back yard. These two options ruined the underground sprinkler system in our backyard and killed the grass. After that we got a wii. It kept them somewhat active for a while, but our family room is so small that they can't play the active games simultaneously. Now they tend to prefer the games where they can both sit on the couch and play together. The only exercise they get at the wii now is shouting at each other.

Our son has taken swimming and karate classes at the local community center. That has worked out well. It's more affordable than the Y. We offered our son several choices for extracurricular activities and he chose dance. He's becoming quite a dancer. We have a spare bedroom, and we have a nordictrak from before kids, and a friend gave us a treadmill. There's a tv and netflix in there, and now my son spends an hour a day on the treadmill because it's the only time I allow him to watch junk televisions during the week. There are some other small pieces of fitness equipment and workout DVDs too. If we didn't have the spare room we'd probably figure some other way to fit all this stuff. Sometimes my husband will do some calisthenics with my son or take him to play catch. We also go hiking a lot.

A local homeschool group offers a weekly tennis lesson, and he takes that too. It's also very affordable.

The one thing that is missing is exposure to organized team sports like baseball basketball and football. He should probably have some exposure to the rules of the games, and the culture. I'd like to start taking him to more games. I personally don't enjoy them but he loves them. We do watch documentaries about health, nutrition and fitness.

dbmamaz
05-21-2012, 09:15 AM
i tried to convince my husband he should briefly teach the boys about whatever sport is currently in season . . . he looked at me like i was speaking in tongues. He's willing to do math . . . . uh huh. he LOVES sports. he cant stand talking to my non-sports-loving boys about them, tho.

jess
05-21-2012, 11:32 AM
I do think physical activity is important, and I don't see any harm in trying a PE class for a session to see if it is something they enjoy, and maybe to help clarify what they are interested in doing.

But I wouldn't stick with a PE class that they hated - I feel like standard PS PE class did more harm than good for me.

zcat
05-21-2012, 12:46 PM
I don't really worry about it much.
When dd was younger she spent a lot of time outside running around. We would also just turn music on and have a "dance party"- as long as she was moving energetically I didn't feel it mattered what the moves were.
Dd has never been interested in doing a sport in an organized way.
As dd has gotten older she has walked on our treadmill when it is cruddy outside. We also got some small hand weights for her.

I think walking or hiking is good for anyone.

http://familyfitness.about.com/od/productsandequipment/ig/DIY-Kids-Fitness-Equipment/

Staysee34
05-21-2012, 12:48 PM
We didn't do anything formal for PE this year. Both my girls are extremely active without any help. Julia completed 6 months of twice weekly OT and she worked very hard during her sessions. She taught Sarah a lot of the skills she learned without me even asking. They are constantly at the playground, on bikes, jumping rope, or getting crazy with the hula hoop. As soon as the lake water warms a bit more, we'll add swimming. Next year, it's been recommended by the girls therapists that I do something a bit more structured to help with attention/focus and to aide in weight control since they are both overweight. So, we're going to try our hand at Brain Gym. I'll also drag the treadmill back out into the living room and purchase a few exercise DVD's. All of that plus NFL season (I never miss a Steeler's game), 4 free tickets for each girl to the local basketball team home games, Wii Fit, and what we naturally do on our own should be enough. At least, I hope it is. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

skrink
05-21-2012, 12:49 PM
My kiddo is totally anti team sports. We tried a homeschool gym class a few years ago and she HATED it. Really, she hates trying anything unless she thinks she can ace it, first time out, so she has never learned to ride her bike or use a scooter or anything like that. Same for swimming. However, she loves running around outside, digging holes, catching bugs, climbing anything and everything, playing on the swingset, jumping on the pogo stick, building obstacle courses... We take hikes occasionally, and she will do yoga with me when I think to bring out the mats. She's also a dancing maniac and truly is never still. I'd love for her to get interested in martial arts - I think it would good discipline for her, both physically and mentally, and would give her a sense of working with other w/o the big pressure to perform of many team sports.

hockeymom
05-21-2012, 12:49 PM
i tried to convince my husband he should briefly teach the boys about whatever sport is currently in season . . . he looked at me like i was speaking in tongues. He's willing to do math . . . . uh huh. he LOVES sports. he cant stand talking to my non-sports-loving boys about them, tho.

My DH is a huge believer in organized sports. He believes that it's really important that DS know the fundamentals of most basic sports, especially since he isn't a natural athlete. I was never in sports myself, and while schlepping DS back and forth to practices and meets isn't necessarily my favorite way to spend my time, I have to admit that I understand the rational. Boys in particular who can't kick a ball or throw with any precision or pick up a hockey stick for an impromptu game of shinny are at a real disadvantage. DS is enough of an individual (ahem) that not having those skills would severely limit what he might have in common with other kids his age.

dbmamaz
05-21-2012, 03:07 PM
Dh seems to think hell do it . . .he has occasionally bought equipment, but never gets around to it

mom2samtheman
05-21-2012, 03:29 PM
My son has done homeschool PE classes, but due to his sensory issues, he cannot tolerate the noise of a gym or indoor pool very well. So we have also tried soccer (huge epic flop), swimming lessons, gymnastics etc. My son has significant motor planning issues so any team sports are really just not possible.

A few months ago I enrolled him in tae kwon do, having no clue what to expect. He is severely epileptic, has motor planning issues, mildly autistic and has other special needs, but he really wanted to try it. He also has chronic pain issues that weve been unable to figure out, but they are definitely there. In any case, when he started tae kwon do, he was in a wheelchair out of the house. He can definitely walk and stand, but the motor planning and pain issues wear him out so quickly it was just too much. Sounds like a kid that perhaps shouldn't be in tae kwon do, but I trusted him and wanted him to try it since he was so interested.

I kid you not, 4-5 weeks after his first tae kwon do class, he was out of his wheelchair and hasn't been back in it even once. 6 weeks after his first he (and a bunch of other kids) were tested to see if they could advance up to the next color belt. My son not only was walking better and stronger than he has ever been, he broke a 1 inch thick board by kicking it.

Other benefits to tae kwon do: motor planning is much, much better and much, much less of an issue than it has ever been. He is so much stronger than he has ever been. His coordination and self control have reached levels I wasn't sure he would ever get to. it has truely been AMAZING. Like hard to put into words amazing. He is now a yellow bely getting ready to test for his orange belt in a few weeks. Amazing from a kid who couldn't walk more than 2-3 min at a time 4 months ago!

The tae kwon do is very expensive, I actually cannot afford it at all. I approached them and explained my finances to them and they cut his tuition in half! Might be worth asking if cost is the only thing holding you back :)

kewb22
05-21-2012, 03:55 PM
My kids used to take a homeschool pe class at the Y. The coach was a great. We only stopped because swim team took up so much time. I figure swimming for 2 hours a day 4x a week covered pe.

hockeymom
05-21-2012, 03:57 PM
That's AWESOME, mom2sam!!!! :)

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-21-2012, 04:13 PM
Both of my kids take swimming lessons and we try to get to free swim as well. My son takes karate twice a week. Both kids are good walkers, especially my son, whose legs never seem to give out. As the weather is getting nicer, we're trying to incorporate a walk into our daily schedule. We have an indoor trampoline, but they actually don't use it a lot. I second the razor scooter idea. Our neighborhood isn't good for bikes (all big hills) and it's a pain to drive someplace to ride.

I almost wish my son were doing organized sports. I think the camaraderie would be good for him and help him build friendships. He never had any interest and now it feels like it's too late--kids around here start most sports by age four--even hockey!

Amanadoo
05-21-2012, 04:35 PM
That's AWESOME, mom2sam!!!! :)

Seriously! What a wonderful gift.

PetVet
05-21-2012, 05:19 PM
That's AWESOME, mom2sam!!!! :)

:_applaud: wow! way to go sam! :)

mom2samtheman
05-21-2012, 08:00 PM
Thanks everyone! He had a seizure this afternoon, so he was seriously uncoordinated, but he broke both boards with his food on the first try and was the only kid to do that. For a kid who has never ever achieved anything in sports, that is an amazing, amazing thing. Such a wonderful gift!!

dbmamaz
05-21-2012, 10:28 PM
Thats awesome! I was thinking my teen stopped walking in to walls and stubbing his toes when he started martial arts. we only go 3 times a week and dont practice much at home, tho.

crunchymum
05-24-2012, 12:19 PM
Ok, I live in the city, have no yard and my kids don't like team sports (not that there are many options to play them for us--we have gurk's soccer, and it's lame, and expensive the way they do it here.

They take sswim lessons, but with no pool to practice aren't ready for swim team. And they do seem naturally a bit sluggish when it comes to activities that would improve ttheir fitness.

Start your own soccer league. That's what we did. It's non competitive, skill based and the kids have a blast.

We do the homeschool track program. My kids play tennis and soccer in the summer and swim/bike every chance they get. They do hockey, fencing, curling, swimming and dance in the winter. We hike as a family and walk whenever we can. If you live in the city you probably have lots of options for sports, dance, fintness, mini triatholons etc. What do other homeschoolers in your area do?

jazz
05-24-2012, 02:15 PM
We just do classes they are interested in that also count for physical fitness on our reports--dance, gymnastics, ice skating, skiing, and swimming for this year (not all at once, we always have dance and the rest are usually 4-8 weeks out of the year) Some are 1/2 hour or hour classes, but skiing is a 4 hour stretch each lesson/practice session. I figure it averages out to about 2.5 hours/week.

Melyssa
05-25-2012, 08:13 PM
I've never worried about P.E. It isn't my thing. But my daughter is in a bowling league during the school year and so I guess that is her P.E. LOL

momoeight
05-30-2012, 01:21 AM
I set up a HS Kung Fu class. I figure that I want my kids to learn some real-life skills while they exercise. It is a self-defense style program and they have learned some serious techniques they can utilize if they are ever in a bullying or abduction situation.

It is awesome that your son is doing so well in his class

onyxravnos
06-01-2012, 03:45 AM
in all fairness PS kids only get PE for 30 minutes once a week. So your at least in line with the standards.
perhaps add a park date once a week, or in the winter maybe just visit mcD's play structure? there might be a kid friendly gym in town that offers access to equipment or rock climbing...