I can answer the PE part of this question in 2 words:
OK, so I guess that may be oversimplifying it just a bit. But the truth is, it really doesn’t take much to teach P.E. I guess the more appropriate question would be, what do you expect out of P.E.?
Time to exercise
That can definitely be accomplished at home. Just think about how much playing a child can do, from running around the yard, to jumping on a trampoline, to hiking up the stairs over and over so they can slide down them on their tummy. There are plenty of opportunities around the house for kids to get in some time for moving around. If you’re like us and find yourself without a yard, you can still get plenty of exercise time in. Go for a walk, a hike, or let them ride their bikes. Even if it’s not your own back yard, take advantage of the natural world around you.
Learning the rules of common games/sports
As I got into junior high and high school my public school PE classes started to consist more and more of learning the rules to a sport and then playing that sport. I learned how to play badminton and tennis, we participated in team sports like softball and volleyball, we even went bowling. With a little help from the internet you can find the rules to any sport you want. You can even compare the different rules for the different levels of competition (college, amateur, professional, etc.). With websites like Games Kids Play you can find rules to less common games and even some “lost” games that aren’t played as often any more. Have no fear! Even you can teach your child the rules to a few games.
Time playing with other kids
Just like any other subject or home school activity, we are not restricted to interactions with our immediate family. We have an active home school group that we can get involved too. We have weekly park days where the majority of the kids seem to prefer exploring the park instead of just playing on the playground. Depending on which park we go to we bring bikes, scooters, jump ropes, balls, and other sports equipment to take advantage of what areas are there.
One time we were at a park that has a sand volleyball court. Several of the kids were busy building sand castles when a group of college aged kids came with a volleyball. Instead of getting mad and insisting that the kids move, they just took those who were interested and taught them some basics of playing volleyball. Most of the kids were small enough that it was very difficult for them to get the regulation size ball over the regulation height net, but they had fun trying. The college kids looked like they were having fun too. Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that is an excellent way to get in some P.E. time.
Even if you don’t belong to a local home school group, you can still get involved with community and activities and even sign up for a team or two. So…
What about team sports?
Depending on where you live, your child may be able to sign up for the public school teams, even if they home school. It all depends on state and local guidelines. If you think your child would be interested in participating in a school team, then ask.
If school teams are not an option, there are almost always local Parks & Recreation leagues that you can join. Since most of the information about signing up for those teams seems to be sent out to schools, it may take a bit of effort on your part to find the teams and figure out when the sign-up deadlines are. Chances are, you can start with your City’s website, find the Parks & Recreation division, and go from there.
You can also organize your own team or group activities. A local family was enjoying tennis lessons with their children. When the kids asked if they could bring some of their home school friends, mom and dad thought that sounded like a great idea. They talked to the coach they were getting lessons from and were able to set up a weekly group lesson that home schoolers can take part in for a lot less than what it would cost for individual lessons. Another friend, who lives clear across the country, has her kids signed up for a weekly P.E. class that some home school parents organized. She is able to drop her school aged kids off at a local park and they take part in all kinds of P.E. activities while she goes home and does some cleaning or playing with the younger kids.
How do you bring your favorite part of P.E. into your home?