Physical education is an integral part of the whole picture. Don't put it on the back burner when it comes to academics. In fact, physical activities may help boost student performance in other areas. Keep this in mind when developing your homeschooled tween's daily schedule and curriculum. This is one of the first things I learned when we started homeschooling years ago. Not only is keeping homeschooled tweens active a good idea for academic purposes, but it also helps encourage a healthy lifestyle overall. It also helps them expend any pent up energy and frustration, which can be a good thing for the whole family.
Exercise with your tween every day. This is extremely important in encouraging an active lifestyle. Whether it's family yoga, nature walks, bike riding, skating, playing basketball in the yard, or a workout routine, the family should include some form of exercise in the daily routine. It's easier for the tween to feel encouraged to participate when it is a part of the normal daily activities. Try to make it happen at around the same time every day. Switch up different activities for a more rounded physical education experience.
Get your homeschooled tween involved in athletics. Sports programs are available in most areas. These can be found with private leagues, organizations like the YMCA, and even with area schools. Homeschooled tweens have an advantage in that they can sometimes join either homeschool leagues or those with area schools if permitted. Churches can also have sports and recreational teams and programs. Not all areas will have leagues specifically for homeschoolers. But usually those with neighborhood organizations are all inclusive.
Take field trips often. Get out and enjoy your area and those surrounding it. Base the field trips on current lessons, as well as other things. The zoo, library, and museum are some of the obvious destinations. But also try nature reserves, wildlife reservations, railroads, the airport, historical buildings, monuments, and anything else interesting. If you're inventive and open-minded, you can find a field trip destination for every lesson every day if you want to. You may not choose to have daily field trips. But be sure your homeschooled tween does get out often and see the world - or at least the neighborhood.
Enroll your tween in dance classes. Many tweens love to dance. So this is a good way to get your homeschooled tween to enjoy being active. It also provides an extra way to get some social interaction. Even if dance is not really your tween's best talent, the classes may still be enjoyable. Let your tween choose the style. From ballet, to jazz, to modern, to hip-hop and more, any tween who is interested can find their style. If your tween is up to it, let him rotate between various styles for an even more interesting and rounded experience.
Encourage stretch breaks in between assignments. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your homeschooled tween active during the day. Make it a routine thing to get up and move around in between lessons. Movements may include dancing, stretching, jumping jacks, or other random actions. As long as your tween gets up and flexes, it's good. Try to make it fun so there isn't any protesting. The actual movement doesn't matter as much as the fact that your tween is not sitting in one place all day long.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
When you made the choice to homeschool, I bet the first thing on your mind was not the stress. You probably imagined some fairy tale where all the children sat still and listened to you lecture or followed along with everything you said and did. Then, once you got started, you were snapped back into reality. I can't promise you a fairy tale, but I can help you get things running much smoother. When you're fully organized and prepared, each day will be easier. Exact organization layouts will be different for each family, but by reading the following, you should be able to get your schoolwork and homeschool organized easily and effectively.
1. Tear out and laminate workbook pages and put them in binders for each subject. Arrange the page order according to level. If you make a big one that contains all levels and areas of math, you won't have to purchase any more math workbooks the following years and you have work for all your kids. Just pull out the pages one at a time and give them to your child with a write & wipe marker or crayon. Then, when your child is finished and the work has been gone over, you can easily put it back in. You may want to take a Sharpie and number the pages in the order you want them. That way if more than one child has a worksheet, you can easily remember where they belong.
2. Take some relaxing time for yourself each day. If your kids nap, instead of cleaning during their nap, you could take a soak in the tub, curl up with a book, or do something else you enjoy. Your relaxing time may come after the kids are asleep, but be sure to take it. Even five minutes of locking yourself in the bathroom and praying can go a long way.
3. Plan ahead. If you try to do the assignments as they come, this can stress you out. I recommend taking a weekend to plan a month or so of assignments. That way you can easily give the assignments to your child/ren when it's time.
4. Organize each subject for each child. Each child should have a folder for each subject. The assignments should be placed in those folders in order of when they are to be completed. Even though some assignments won't have a worksheet, there should be instructions for each assignment (even if it's just reading). All assignments should have a date on them. You can even stick the write&wipe sheets in the folders, too. This makes the day run much smoother.
5. Never ignore a question your child asks. If you don't know the answer, don't stress. Just look it up.
6. Use different methods for teaching (chalkboard and lecture, books, games, worksheets, drawing, writing...). That way your child/ren won't get bored and they will also learn many different methods for solving problems.
7. Have Fun!
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Gym is a subject many people struggle with during homeschooling. It is often assumed that gym cannot be done without having many students, so some people choose to just let their children play outside for gym. Playing outside is great exercise, but children should learn other active movements as well. Here is a list of good physical activities for homeschool. Families who are homeschooling will benefit from these, but they are also great ideas for playing outside with the kids in general, especially on the weekends.
Hold a neighborhood sports day
Pick a flexible day of the week where people in the neighborhood can get together all the time and play the sport of the month together. Find a large park in your area to do this. Hand out and post fliers at local schools, churches, and libraries (wherever permitted). Start going to the location at that time every week. Keep handing out the fliers if not too many people show up the first week. Before you know it, there will be a large amount of kids participating. The people in this group will also become friends, so you have just found a group of people you can organize other fun events with for social activities.
Make Your Own Tetherball
Do you have a pole in your backyard that was originally used for something else? If it's wooden, stick a strong hook in it, attach a chain to the hook, then attach a tetherball (check sports stores or chain discount retailers). If you can't find a tetherball, volleyballs also work great for it. Just make sure you are able to attach a hook to whatever ball you use without deflating it. If your pole is metal and does not have a hook at the top, you will either have to drill a hole for a hook or weld a hook onto it. To make the game from scratch, just insert your own pole into the ground and then follow the same instructions.
Simple activities can be rotated often for variety
Bike riding - Find a bike trail or large park in your area where everyone in the family can participate. Look for anything with paths that kids can ride on easily. Paved paths are easiest, but not necessary.
Sporting practice - Practicing the rules and techniques of sports can be done without a large group of people. Most sports games can also be changed a bit, in order to play with only a small amount of people. For instance, with basketball, you can simply shoot hoops.
Homeschool group activities - Join a homeschool group and participate in the active get-togethers. This could range from playing at the park, to organized competitive sports, co-op physical ed classes, and more.
Sports Leagues - Put your kids on a sports league or team of their choice. This could include soccer, football, softball, dance, gymnastics, basketball, and more.
Join a kid-friendly gym - Sign your kids up for classes like kids yoga, swimming, or kids kickboxing. Research the gyms in your area for specific types of classes that your kids will enjoy.
Swim for fun - If you have access to a pool, take the kids swimming every other day. This could be an indoor or outdoor pool. For outdoor pools, make sure the weather is appropriate and everyone wears sunscreen and protective clothing.
Good old-fashioned games - Red Rover, Tag, Simon Says, Mother May I, and other such games can be fun and physically challenging. The kids may not even realize they are getting a workout.
Four-Square - All you need for this is a piece of chalk, rules for playing four-square, and a rubber ball. Draw a square with a plus sign in the middle to split it into four squares. Unused driveways or garages are good for this. If you have neither, but have a yard, cement a section off for this. The cemented section can also be used for basketball and tetherball.
Exercise DVDs - Have a daily workout session via your home DVD player.
Weekly field day events - Invite all the neighborhood kids and do the same thing as the neighborhood sports day, but instead, do field day. You can choose one or both.
Simply stay active
The actual activity is less important than the fact that you are doing something active as a family every single day. Make sure that whatever you choose, your children are active every day, based on the doctor's orders. Also, don't forget the health & nutrition part of physical education. Always check with your child's pediatrician before stopping or starting any physical regimen.
This content was originally published on Yahoo! Contributor Network by Lyn Lomasi.
If you're thinking about or have decided to homeschool, you likely are wondering about homeschool laws. What are the legalities and where can information be found? Each state in the US has a different set of rules. The following information should help guide you toward the most current information.
One place to learn about homeschool laws is through your state's education department. When people think of the Department of Education, they may not necessarily be thinking about homeschool. But this agency should have access to the most current information regarding homeschool.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) also can be extremely helpful when it comes to learning about homeschool laws. They even have a state by state breakdown of the legal options. In addition, they also can be very supportive to homeschool families who have been legally wronged.
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