A Look At How Indoor Playgrounds Can Help Homeschooling Parents Keep The Physical Education Alive
Whether it was triggered by the pandemic or always on the cards, there’s no denying that homeschooling is on the rise in the United States. In fact, many families who switched to homeschooling during the pandemic have chosen to make the change permanent.
There are many reasons you might be choosing to homeschool your kids, ranging from Covid concerns for immune-compromised children to general safety concerns or a desire to control the syllabus your children learn. Some parents and families even found that they had so much more fun homeschooling – and got better results – that it just made sense to continue.
Whatever your reasons for homeschooling, there’s no denying that there are some challenges, and physical education and child socialization are two of the bigger ones. This is where Homeschool PE indoor play places can help immensely. Here’s how.
Why Does Physical Education Suffer When You Home School?
Most parents who choose to homeschool kids really do have their children’s best interests at heart. However, they might also remember their own PE experiences less than fondly.
Whether it’s tight gym shorts, impossible activities or getting picked last, there are many reasons why parents might look back at their physical education experience at school as a bad memory.
Many parents also don’t see physical education as necessary, as they do academic courses. However, all the research shows that kids and adults learn and perform better in mental challenges when they are also challenged physically.
Then there’s the issue of time and motivation. Most families have limited time to devote to activities, and they tend to spend more time on activities they enjoy. This is why Homeschool PE indoor play places make sense. Kids love them, so it won’t even feel like schoolwork!
Why Physical Education Does Matter
If you’re of a certain age, you remember a time when physical education in schools was gruelling and mandatory. Sick notes didn’t matter unless they also came with a broken leg, and you’d have to take a shower after PE so that you could get all the sweat off.
Things are a little less intense in modern schools, but you might still wonder why we need physical education as part of the school curriculum.
The truth is, kids today are less active than ever before. In the 1980s, 1990s and even the early 2000s, kids still spent most of their playtime outdoors, riding bikes, climbing trees and playing tag.
These days, kids are spending more time on their screens, and at the same time, the modern diet has deteriorated, becoming more processed and higher in fat, refined carbs and refined sugar.
Physically, this means that children today are much more likely to be overweight and to suffer all the consequences that come with that, including a rise in diseases like diabetes. Early physical fitness can also help to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and other conditions later in life.
But physical education is not only about keeping bodies healthy – although that’s very important!
Physical education also has mental benefits, including improving concentration, encouraging creativity and even combating mental health problems like depression.
Benefits of Choosing Homeschool PE at Indoor Play Spaces
We’ve already looked at why some families who homeschool might not be prioritizing physical education and some of the reasons they should. Next, it’s worth looking at the benefits of choosing an indoor playground or family entertainment center for homeschool kids’ PE.
One of the most significant drawbacks of homeschooling is the lack of social interaction kids gets. In a classroom situation, there are always other kids to talk to, interact with, play with and sometimes even argue with. All of those things teach kids valuable social skills.
Of course, when you’re homeschooling, your kids won’t get that child socialization from their classmates, so you need to find other ways to give it to them. That’s particularly true if you only have one child or your children are of very different ages.
Visiting the local indoor playground for physical education gives your children a chance to meet and mingle with other children of the same age and development level.
Fun to Do
If you’ve ever purchased a gym membership, gone twice and then put the card in your wallet and forgotten it, you’re not alone.
You might think that you just don’t like being active, but the truth is, some people just don’t like exercising at the gym. The trick is to find exercise activities that you enjoy so you are motivated to stick with them. Maybe that means playing a team sport, or maybe it’s golf. You could even take up hiking or cycling to get moving.
Any kind of exercise is good, and if you really, genuinely enjoy it, you will want to do it more often. Kid’s physical education is the same. Think of it as the exercise equivalent of hiding veggies in the spaghetti sauce. Your kids love it, and they don’t even realize it’s good for them!
Convenient and Comfortable
Another big reason to consider Homeschool PE indoor play places is the convenience and comfort factor.
When adults take up an exercise activity, convenience and comfort both play a large role. It’s not pleasant, for instance, to go running in the rain, or when it’s very hot. So you might find that you just don’t exercise because the weather is not great.
Kids are no different. They want to be comfortable when they’re doing physical education, and they want it to be convenient. Indoor play spaces offer homeschool kids both of those things so that they can focus on the very serious business of play.
Another essential element of physical education is the duration of the activity. Most experts recommend that kids do as much as an hour of vigorous physical activity every day.
Anyone who has tried to get a kid to do an hour of anything they don’t enjoy will understand what the struggle here is.
However, when you choose to do homeschool PE in indoor play places, you will likely have the opposite problem. Most kids will beg to stay just a little longer, even if they’ve been playing for a lot longer than an hour. So you can meet the recommended physical education time guidelines with ease!
Meet Up with Their Friends
One of the things many kids miss most about going to school is seeing their friends. Why not coordinate your indoor playground physical education visits with their friends’ parents so that they can do two things at the same time?
Keeping in contact with the friends your children had when they attended in-person school can help to make the transition easier for everyone.
Possible Cost Savings
If you are concerned about the cost of visiting an indoor playground for physical education for homeschooled kids, it’s a good idea to approach your local facilities and find out if they have a monthly pass or a similar discount package for frequent visitors.
Many indoor playgrounds do offer longer-length passes and even season or annual passes that can save you a bundle over time.
Even if you can’t find a discounted indoor playground in your area, it’s a good idea to work this into your family budget. Exercise is so important, and even if your kids do some of their activities outdoors or in the form of formal sports, they’ll love to visit an indoor playground from time to time.
Bonus Tip: Pack Your Own Snacks!
Homeschool kids PE is all about finding ways for kids to be active and get the exercise they need. However, there’s more to good health than exercise alone.
Another great way you can incorporate learning about healthy living with your homeschool kids is to choose and pack healthy snacks together. During the process, you can talk about why the snacks are good for them and how a good diet supports overall health.
Many indoor play places do have concession stands or snack bars, but they tend to serve greasier, less healthy options. So you might undo all the good you’ve done by getting your kids moving!
Indoor Playgrounds Becoming More Common
The great news for parents who homeschool kids is that indoor playgrounds are becoming a lot more common, and there is likely to be at least one close to you if you live in a larger city or town.
At Indoor Playgrounds International, we’ve seen a steady increase in the demand for high-quality commercial play structures for family fun centers and indoor playgrounds over the years, and that’s showing no sign of slowing.
As more parents choose to do their homeschool PE at indoor play places, that’s only likely to increase.
If you’re considering opening an indoor playground or family entertainment center in your area, we’d love to talk. Our playground equipment is made to the very highest standards right here in the United States, and we’re always happy to create another space for families and kids!