Standard Deviants Accelerate: Health/Phys. Ed

Active Play as Part of Your Homeschool

Active Play as Part of Your Homeschool from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Up on the list of reasons why people might homeschool is the fact that in the early years of public school time for play has diminished. Not only is play not emphasized and encouraged as a way of learning, but even recess has been cut to almost non existent levels! Children need to play, and play is learning!

Active Play as Part of Your Homeschool

What is active play? Active play is physical activity with spontaneous and occasional bursts of high energy. It can occuer indoors or out, alone or with others.

Why is active play important?Active play is important for your child’s health, growth and development. Regular activity and play has many benefits for children. These include:
• building strong hearts, muscles and bones. • fostering social interaction skills.
• developing movement and co-ordination. • improving thinking skills.
• encouraging self-esteem. • developing emotional skills.

What does all this mean? It means less time for children to play and explore, and more time to sit at a desk and drone on. It means limiting their creativity in favor of pushing them into molds. It has been proven that active play increases brain activity. Physical movement and learning go hand and hand! Researches have found that adding in half an hour sessions of aerobic activity before school helped young children with symptoms of ADHD become more focused and less antsy.

When you homeschool you have the freedom to conduct your day as you see fit. To customize your time not only to your family, but to each child. I encourage you to let them play! Include hands on activities and movement not only in their playtime, but in their learning time too!

Allow kids to move while learning. Not all kids can just sit still, nor should they be made to. Check out this article for ideas on Learning With A Wiggly Child. Also be sure to add in time for free and active play!

Examples of active play:

  • jumping jacks
  • obstacle courses
  • playground time
  • galloping, skipping, etc.
  • ball throwing
  • walking, running
  • bicycle riding
  • trampoline jumping
  • jump rope
  • hop scotch

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Simple Fire Safety Tips for Kids

Simple Fire Safety Tips for Kids from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Did you know that Fire Prevention Week is in October? Fire prevention is an important piece of knowledge you want to be sure your kids have, as well as what to do in case of a fire.

Fire Prevention Week started in 1922 to recall the “Great Chicago Fire” of October 8-9, 1871. This fire burned in Chicago for several days, destroying more than 17,400 buildings and killing over 250 people. In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) decided to commemorate this event by naming the week that contains the October 9th date to be known as Fire Prevention Week. This is a great time each year to go over fire safety and prevention with your kids.

Fire Safety Tips for Kids

  1. Don’t play with matches and lighters. If you see these things where you can reach them, don’t touch them.
  2. Don’t cook without adult supervision and wear short sleeves so they don’t get in the way when using the oven or stove top.
  3. Check your house for smoke detectors. Be sure there is one on every floor. If not ask your parents to install them. These should be checked once a month by your parents and get new batteries every year.
  4. Be sure your parents have at least one  fire extinguisher in your house. (The kitchen is a good place to keep it.)
  5. Close your bedroom door at night. If there is a fire in your house, the door will help keep you safe.
  6. If your clothes catch fire, STOP – Drop – and Roll! That means stop moving, don’t run as running makes the fire burn faster. Life on the ground. Cover your eyes and face with your hands and roll around on the ground.
  7. Have an escape plan for your house in place. It should include two ways out of every room and a meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan each year to be sure you remember what to do.
  8. In case of fire DON’T HIDE! Even though fires are scary, you shouldn’t hide. If you hide under your bed or in your closest then it will be harder for help to find you.
  9. Remember help is only a phone call away! Call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.

For more information and resources check out the National Fire Protection Association website. Also be sure to check your local fire department during the month of October as many of them have open house days for the community to come in and learn about fire prevention and safety.

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Suggestions for Finding Sports Activities for Homeschoolers

Suggestions for Finding Sports Activities for Homeschoolers from Standard Deviants Accelerate

One of the big concerns when it comes to homeschooling is fulfilling physical education requirements and participation in team sports. I am here to tell you that you do not have to go to school to have a full and well rounded physical education and team sports experience.

Finding Sports Activities for Homeschoolers

Fulfilling physical education requirements can be as simple as turning on some music and dancing it out, to more complicated endeavours like team sports. But when it comes to organized team sports how do you get involved when the kids do not have access to school sports?

Local Community Center – Check with your community center to see what they have available. Our community center offers a homeschool physical education class, as well as opportunities to learn and play team sports such as soccer, basketball, pickle ball, floor hockey and more.

School Community Education Program – You school community education program is a great place to find opportunities with physical education via team sports. They usually offer opportunities in a variety of sports such as baseball, swimming, soccer, basketball, martial arts, running and more.

Town Teams – Many towns have their own recreation and club teams in a variety of sports including t-ball, baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, football, cheerleading, lacrosse and more.

Private/Club Sports – The amount of programs in this sector is even more varied (and often more costly). Things like gymnastics, swimming, diving, martial arts, dance, soccer, lacrosse, softball, fencing, cheerleading and more.

Private Schools – We have private schools in our area that allow homeschoolers to play on their sports teams even though they don’t attend that school.

Homeschool Groups – Often in more largely populated areas, especially where there are many homeschoolers, you can find large homeschool groups that offer team sports opportunities. On a smaller scale we have people in our homeschool group that organize soccer, baseball, and even kickball outside during the nicer weather months.

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Why Extracurricular Team Sports Are Important

Why Extracurricular Team Sports Are Important from Standard Deviants AccelerateAs homeschoolers in New York State our children are not allowed to participate in school sports. While in New York it is up to each district, I do not know of one near us that allows homeschoolers to participate in school team sports. Having grown up in the school system and on sports teams, I think this is a very important part of both a child’s physical and emotional well being.

Why Team Sports Are Important

While I am not saying that your children are doomed if they don’t participate in any team sports, I am saying there are many benefits to participating.

1. Learning to Work Together

Participating in a team sport offers kids from a very young age the opportunity to work side by side with other kids toward a common goal. Just as when they are grown and out in the world they will need to work with other adults in the workplace and other social settings.

2. Forming Bonds

Being on a team where you are gathering on a regular basis offers children a chance to form bonds outside of their usual school or social circle. My daughter has been on a gymnastics team for 12 years and has formed many long lasting bonds with girls from all over our area that even going to public school would not have afforded.

3. Having Other Mentors

Being on various sports teams allows kids (even those in public school) to have the opportunity to work with and learn from other adults. Kids often grow to love a sport and find great mentors and roll models in their coaches along the way.

4. Fosters Follow Through and Commitment

When your children are on a team, other children are counting on them. They have a responsibility to be there and to do their best, not just for themselves, but for their other teammates. When you are responsible to someone else you are more likely to stick with it, show up, and do your best!

5. Physical Fitness

Probably the most obvious benefit of being on a sports team is for the physical fitness aspect. In a world filled with video games and computers it is growing ever more important to get our kids (and ourselves) up and moving! Having a scheduled and organized place to get up and moving offers a high incentive for follow through and participation!

I have a child who would choose to video game day in and day out, (which we do not let him do) but having a sports team he is committed to gives him the incentive to get up and out. He loves the sports, the kids, and the coaches and is forming strong bonds, learning about teamwork and commitment, and getting more physically fit with each and every practice!

Do you find putting money into extracurricular sports a drain on your budget? We are having a Back to Homeschool Giveaway that includes a $250 Visa Gift Card that could help with that! Check it out here.

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