Monday, September 15, 2014

Middle School Monday - Phys.Ed.

Middle School Monday

Welcome to Middle School Monday! Last week was our first full week back to school, and we did a pretty good job of getting everything done. Or most things, anyway. Kennady worked on Geography and Math, and she started her Science and Literature courses for the year. She also got to start her fall season at music lessons and choir.

We missed the first week of our co-op gym class while we were on vacation, but got back to that last week as well. Kennady was also glad to get back to softball, with a practice and scrimmage last Sunday, practices during the week, and the first game of the season yesterday.

With the gym class and softball, plus our church's open gym night that she attends whenever possible,  Kennady gets lots of time in for Phys.Ed. I'm glad she's active and enjoys sports, even though we're finding it a challenge to get her to all the practices and games for softball! I'm also glad that she is getting in the habit of recording all the time she spends at these activities, in preparation for her high school years, when she will need to log those hours to earn Phys.Ed. credit. For now, in her Grade 8 year, I just assign a grade for Phys.Ed. (A+ of course!) and give a general list of the activities she does. But for high school credit, a log of hours spent will be required, and it's better that she keeps the log herself. Especially if she continues with softball, she should have no trouble putting in enough time for a half credit each year.

Our gym class is offered through our homeschool fellowship group, and usually taught by moms or dads in the fellowship. The group rents a gym in the city and the classes are one afternoon a week, sixteen weeks each in the fall and spring semesters. We have enough families participating that we can have pretty good sized classes for each age group, allowing the students to play team sports such as soccer, basketball, flag football, and field hockey. It's no surprise that my kids like field hockey the best, but soccer is the favorite of the majority of the students in the classes! For each semester, the classes work on four different sports or disciplines for four weeks each. Some years they've done the President's Fitness Challenge as part of the spring semester.


Socializing is an important aspect of the gym class as well!

Kennady also loves going along with her older brothers to the church's open gym night, which is usually held every other Friday evening. Depending on how many people show up, and their interests, they play basketball or volleyball. Sometimes they play dodgeball, in preparation for the teens winter retreat, where there is a fiercely-contested dodgeball tournament. Our youth group has brought home that coveted dodgeball trophy for two years now. It sounds like the open gym is usually attended by a definite majority of guys, and that most of them are high schoolers or adults. But even with a mixed age group, they have a great time, and my understanding is that Kennady does a pretty good job playing basketball despite being one of the youngest and smallest ones there!

I'm training Kennady to keep track of her sports and gym activities by noting them in her student logbook (Ours is from My Student Logbook, and I will be sharing our full review of it tomorrow!), jotting down the time spent each day. In her high school years, I will be able to leave it to her to log those credit hours.
My Student Logbook review
Okay... I took this picture last Monday - before I'd instructed her to put in her time at softball, and before she had gym class. But you can see how it works. :-)
Obviously, being active is part of staying healthy, so I'm glad Kennady enjoys this part of her education and thinks of it as fun. I believe it's important for middle school kids to keep playing outside and enjoying sports and exercise, so they can have a healthy attitude about it as well as healthy bodies. This is the age where girls can start feeling pressure to look a certain way, and many start to feel self-conscious or to obsess about their weight or appearance. I would far rather have her keep fit by enjoying sports on their own merit than by wanting to go on a weird diet or exercising out of fear or obligation.  I also think that participating in a team sport is valuable for middle school kids to develop their interpersonal skills - teamwork, following through on commitments, encouraging others, respecting the authority of other adults such as coaches and umpires, and good sportsmanship. I know not all team sports experiences are positive - there are parents and coaches out there with unrealistic expectations or bad attitude, and kids that don't "get" the whole teamwork concept - but we've been very fortunate to have excellent coaches and teams that pulled together and had fun whether they were winning or losing on the field.

I shared more about her softball career so far in S is for Softball.

So that's how we're doing Phys.Ed. in middle school! How do you incorporate Phys.Ed. in your homeschool? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Annette said...

i enjoyed reading through that. I like that.. logging your hours doing phys ed. Good way to track it.

Annette @ A Net In time (

Gena at said...

What a fun active week! We're focusing on other things rather than P.E. right now, but we'll get back to it soon.

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