Physical Education sometimes seems like a throw-away class for homeschoolers (or other schoolers).
But WAIT! It is not. Here are 3 reasons you need a rigorous phys ed program in your homeschool:
1) Young people who have had good, aerobic-type exercise tend to think more clearly.
Exercise increases blood-flow to the brain. That better-moving blood carries oxygen and glucose to the brain- both of which help aid in clear thinking, reasoning, and memory. (Interestingly, fewer than 1/4 of American children get 30 minutes of exercise per day and about that many do not have phys ed at school- check this interesting article from The Franklin Institute.)
2) Increased oxygen from exercise helps lower anxiety levels and improve depression.
In my work as a therapist, I often tell the parents that their anxious or
depressed child will have a reduction in symptoms if he/she gets daily exercise. When they believe me and try it, they usually find that it is true. Here are two good articles from the Mayo Clinic and your Federal Government.
3) Children who exercise regularly tend to sleep better. When they sleep better, they tend to perform better academically.
Exercise burns off stress hormones that keep children (and adults) from getting good sleep. Sleep is important to good functioning of the frontal lobe (where learning and decision-making happen). Three nights without enough sleep will lead to deterioration of those neurons and resulting lowerd thinking capacity. ALSO- every 3 hours of sitting (doing anything: studying, tv, games) means 3 minutes longer to get to sleep.
So, get your kids out there an make some movement happen!
Here are 5 ways to get your kid moving:
1) Go for daily walks together.
2) Get a Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution (good for wintertime).
3) Join a sports league.
4) Take lessons (karate, dance, swim).
5) Take up orienteering or hiking as a family.
What are some ways your kids get their exercise?