What Sets Kids PE Programs Apart
With summer approaching fast, memories of staying up late, going to the ballpark, and camping come quickly to mind. Growing up, it was not uncommon for me to leave the house right after breakfast go straight to my neighbor’s for a second breakfast while waiting for him to get dressed and play. Off we went!
Skateboarding, riding bikes, playing basketball in the driveway and soccer in the backyard, or just exploring the woods behind the school our days were full of adventure and activity. As an elementary-aged child, physical activity and sports were not programs we enrolled in during the summer, they were something we lived every day.
The Defining Factor
Today, not every child has the same opportunities, resources, or family structure I did when growing up. So where do kids learn to enjoy physical activity and acquire the necessary physical skills to be active later in life?
Physical Education in schools is one important place where children can succeed through a variety of activities. In order for ALL children to do so, they must experience an effective physical education program.
These programs are referred to as Quality Physical Education (QPE) programs.
Many schools throughout Kansas display characteristics that set them apart from “old school” or stereotypical PE programs commonly seen in the media.
The first week in May is National Physical Education and Sport week. The Society of Health And Physical Educators (SHAPE) defines this week as a celebration of students who participate in effective physical education, taught by certified physical education teachers, to be empowered with the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthy physical activity.
What is Quality Physical Education
Quality PE programs teach kids the basic physical motor patterns that they will need later in life to be successful. Because every child’s abilities are different whether it be learning differences, physical abilities, or social awareness, QPE programs teach a wide range of motor skills and health concepts.
This ensures that every student has the opportunity to succeed in a non-intimidating environment. The students will engage in a variety of activities including sport-specific skills and individual activities such as cup stacking, juggling, rhythmic movement, jump rope, tumbling and many more.
By providing a diverse curriculum, the students will have the opportunity to become proficient in many different physical activities. They will also engage in many different physical activities that focus on improving their level of personal fitness.
It is essential that the child learns and demonstrates both personal and social responsibility in order to become a productive citizen of our society. Therefore, cooperation and team building activities are integrated into almost every unit of the program.
Every PE Teacher's Dream
Physical Educators across the nation encourage students to become more physically active outside of school as well. Whether it be organized sports, summer camps, family activities, or just chasing the dog around the backyard, children, and adults alike, should strive to be active at least 60 minutes a day.
PE and recess in schools make up half of that time so students are encouraged to seek opportunities to “make-up” the rest. As an elementary physical education teacher, I send homework home every day and even on the weekends! I do not label TV, internet, video games, and other sedentary activities as “evil.” I inform my students to limit their time on electronics and balance it with activity.
As we celebrate National Physical Education and Sport week, let’s strive to become more active, making time to enjoy the outdoors. Walk the river, feed the geese, visit the zoo, plan a camping trip, try a new sport, go to summer camp, swim, the possibilities are endless!