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"P.E." -- What should I require for 7th grade?


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#1 Sahamamama2

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:18 AM

It's that time of year again. I'm planning for next year. ;)

 

Until now, I have not required anything more than an occasional "Go play outside." This is starting to not be enough with this child, who would prefer to craft or read a book any day of the week, rather than sweat. She says she doesn't like sports, or sweating, or being hot, or swatting bugs, or doing "most forms of yard work."  :001_rolleyes: Truly, she is her father's daughter. :001_rolleyes:

 

Our state has no requirements for "P.E." However, I think it is time that we have them. What should I require? What is a reasonable goal? Our available options are:

  • Treadmill (in garage) -- She seems to enjoy this, actually.
  • Total Gym (in garage) -- She would need more supervision (from Dad) on this than on the treadmill, but she might enjoy it.
  • Free weights
  • Jump rope
  • Bike
  • YMCA -- They offer a free membership for 7th graders, so next year is the year for this. It's about 20 minutes away, and there is no money in the budget for anyone else in the family to join. Also, I would not be leaving her there on her own, so it will have to fit in with a parent being available to wait.
  • Swimming -- Backyard pool, usually mid-May to mid-October.
  • Summer Camp -- One week long; a very active, outdoorsy girls' camp.
  • Family hikes -- Not often enough

Should I have her log her active time, and work towards a weekly goal? Log overall hours, and set a yearly goal? I would rather keep the requirements geared to actually moving, instead of reading about fitness, KWIM? She reads enough as it is.

 

Ideas?



#2 ClemsonDana

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:32 AM

She might also enjoy something that involves stretching, like pilates. We can get free videos with our cable package, and they are also on youtube. Would she like dance-based movement? There are videos for different styles. There might also be a self-defense martial arts class - maybe she might be motivated by the self-defense aspect?
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#3 regentrude

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:50 AM

I would aim for an average of an hour of exercise per day -whatever she chooses.


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#4 MerryAtHope

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:41 AM

I always required a minimum of 30 minutes per day, but let my kids choose whether to walk, bike, use exercise equipment, do yard work, play with friends (outside running around I mean), or some kind of sport. 


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#5 SebastianCat

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:04 AM

I require my 7th grade DD to do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.   She can bike, in-line skate, walk the dog, swim, or run.   She has acknowledged that exercise really does help her deal with the emotions and physical symptoms, like cramps, that she deals with each month, but she doesn't particularly enjoy exercise either.   She does like playing soccer each fall in our church's recreational league, so the days she has practice or a game "count" for her exercise time.

 

I was also the child who didn't like to sweat.   I got it honestly, as my mom (to this day) is the same way.  For me, exercise early in the day is best.   We live in Florida, where it's really miserable in the summertime.   Getting up to exercise before breakfast isn't my idea of a great time, but it gets done and it's a little more pleasant than the rest of the day.    

 

If your DD has the option of a treadmill in the garage, I would be likely to encourage that choice by making it as pleasant as possible - maybe giving her a fan and a way to listen to music, podcasts, or watch something while she exercises (which is what the YMCA or another gym would have on their treadmills).


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#6 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:09 AM

Mine do all outside classes. One of mine is like yours and does NOTHING at home if not directed. Yesterday we took a family walk to the park. She will do that. But on a daily basis, I don't have to tell her younger sis to do anything. Every evening when the kids are out to play my 7th grader is out there jumping on the trampoline, kicking a ball, doing a pogo stick, just being a kid, being active. The other won't even go outside if I don't make her. Then she won't be active. You get it. For her, she is in dance classes many hours per week, does swim team some summers, and does swimming with the family all summer, does PE games at co-op, and does summer camps either attending or volunteering in. So I don't worry anymore about if she stays inside in the evenings that she is home. 

 

So in your case, with a daughter like yours, I would be proactive like you. I would do the Y class, since it is a once available thing. I would take others to a nearby park while she was there for their activity time or something. And I would get videos for everyone like mentioned above, and do all of the other things occasionally. Set a PE time. For me if something isn't getting done, I schedule it in too. And we do something. Oh it's art time>>> get something out tends to motivate me to find good things and just get started on something more than not having that dedicated time for it does. 


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#7 cintinative

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:26 AM

Has anyone used Fitness blender for this? I personally really like it. You can set your own schedule and then check the workouts off when you complete them. Maybe she would find that motivating? She could spend time figuring out what kind of workouts she likes and then customize her workouts based on that. During the summer she could do it less days and build in swim days, or build in run days for during the year.  

 

Personally I prefer to run outside over the treadmill and only use the treadmill in bad weather.  Maybe there is a girls running group she would be interested in joining (such as Girls on the Run https://www.girlsontherun.org/)?  Our local running store has a "running group" that meets every Saturday morning and some weeknights. They have people of all different abilities/speeds.  I have found running with others is more motivating, and other than the running gear, running is pretty low cost.  

 

That said, I definitely think having variety in my week keeps me from boredom so I only run once a week. The other problem was that when the weather was bad I couldn't run outside and didn't like the treadmill (so I wasn't consistent about working out). Now that I use Fitness blender and run once a week, it is much better. I can do the treadmill once a week if I have to. Multiple days though drove me crazy. 


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#8 Farrar

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:01 PM

My personal requirement for my kids has been that they do an outside physical activity. Both boys did rec soccer for many years, though they dropped when they got to middle school. BalletBoy dances every day. Mushroom did diving for a couple of years, but he recently dropped it to try out parkour and karate, both of which he's been enjoying and which have been cheap for us.

 

If they we were limited somehow and couldn't do that... I think I'd have her work up her own active routine. Maybe after having a period of trying out a number of the different things you listed. I'm a bit like your dd and at that age I actively resisted physical activities that were for the sake of being physical (like, I may have been in decent shape to take a hike... but for the sake of the views and the peace of nature, not the movement involved - I may have enjoyed a swim, but because it was social and fun to play in the water with friends). In retrospect, I wish someone had helped me find a way to be more active that would have taken my personality and needs into account. So... I'd say see if you can do that.


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#9 soror

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:16 PM

My kids have done some outside activities but last spring we quit everything. So all the kid's activities are now our family activities. We do lots of walks/hikes (we live in the middle of national forest). We go biking. We do bodyweight strength/gymnastic floor stuff (following a program). I teach them yoga. We climb trees and anything else they can climb. We do work around the house together because that is important too. We run and sprint sometimes. My goal is building an active lifestyle. Not just exercise but lots of moving and having fun. We average at least an hr a day most of the time, some seasons a lot more. 



#10 Sahamamama2

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:43 PM

I require my 7th grade DD to do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.   She can bike, in-line skate, walk the dog, swim, or run.   She has acknowledged that exercise really does help her deal with the emotions and physical symptoms, like cramps, that she deals with each month, but she doesn't particularly enjoy exercise either.   She does like playing soccer each fall in our church's recreational league, so the days she has practice or a game "count" for her exercise time.

 

I was also the child who didn't like to sweat.   I got it honestly, as my mom (to this day) is the same way.  For me, exercise early in the day is best.   We live in Florida, where it's really miserable in the summertime.   Getting up to exercise before breakfast isn't my idea of a great time, but it gets done and it's a little more pleasant than the rest of the day.    

 

If your DD has the option of a treadmill in the garage, I would be likely to encourage that choice by making it as pleasant as possible - maybe giving her a fan and a way to listen to music, podcasts, or watch something while she exercises (which is what the YMCA or another gym would have on their treadmills).

 

This is what I do, too. If I wait until later, it doesn't always get done (plus, it hangs over my head all day). So I've learned to get up and get-it-done before coffee or breakfast. Thirty minutes, done. I set the coffee machine to start grinding and brewing seven minutes before I'll be done on the treadmill, so it's just finishing up when I come into the house. Believe me, that coffee waiting for me is motivating!

 

This is really what we need to do -- renovate the garage. It's a nice enough space, plenty of room, if we were to put all that junk up on shelving, and maybe put on a fresh coat of pretty paint. Maybe this summer? Hopefully, we will finally get to it, even if we only spruce it up to Phase 1. ;) The girls are old enough to help now, so....

 

Yes, we need to get regular, daily exercise in place before all three girls are hormonal (while I'm going through menopause, LOL!). :svengo:

 

Thanks, everyone, for the tips. Did any of you have your child actually log their active hours?


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#11 Sahamamama2

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:13 PM

My personal requirement for my kids has been that they do an outside physical activity. Both boys did rec soccer for many years, though they dropped when they got to middle school. BalletBoy dances every day. Mushroom did diving for a couple of years, but he recently dropped it to try out parkour and karate, both of which he's been enjoying and which have been cheap for us.

 

If they we were limited somehow and couldn't do that... I think I'd have her work up her own active routine. Maybe after having a period of trying out a number of the different things you listed. I'm a bit like your dd and at that age I actively resisted physical activities that were for the sake of being physical (like, I may have been in decent shape to take a hike... but for the sake of the views and the peace of nature, not the movement involved - I may have enjoyed a swim, but because it was social and fun to play in the water with friends). In retrospect, I wish someone had helped me find a way to be more active that would have taken my personality and needs into account. So... I'd say see if you can do that.

 

Thanks for this, Farrar.

 

I've thought about this over the years. My daughter and I have even discussed it, how when I was growing up, the focus of "gym" class was sports, sports, and more sports. Now... there's nothing exactly wrong with sports, but...

 

... I don't know. What was it about standing in a hot field, sweating, glasses sliding down my nose, swatting gnats, wearing a too small baseball glove, waiting for someone to finally hit a softball to right field? What could it have been about that lovely physical activity that might have turned me off to it? Hmm...

 

Or maybe it was the hemp rope climbing? "Get up, _________!" (insert last name here). What could it have been about the gym teacher calling us, boys and girls alike, by our last names only, shouting at us to haul ourselves ever higher up the lovely hemp rope, wearing white shorts, a maxipad (remember how thick they were?), with a period, at age twelve, in a co-ed gym class? What could it have been about that physical activity that might have turned me off to it?

 

But I really think it was the lay-ups. You know, those basketball shots in which your knee goes up (like so), while your other leg goes up (like so), and your hands do this (like so) -- it's easy! Except, I could never do a lay-up, so of course, my grade -- perfect attendance, participation, everything else in place, notwithstanding -- went from an A to a B. Because of that one lay-up.

 

After years of this, of exercise being tied to group games and sports, of sitting or standing around waiting for a turn to do something, of learning how to do things that as a young adult I wouldn't have the means (or the group) to do, is it surprising that I have no interest in sports? And what was the point of "gym class?" I never could figure that one out.

 

As an adult, though, there have been better, more suitable options. Adulthood gave me time and permission to find out what works for me. For one thing, I realized that I don't like exercising with other people. So I don't do it! :) Some people might like that, but for me, the appeal is being alone. This gives me time to sort my head out. There is a lot up in there, and it needs organizing. My daily morning time on the treadmill may seem boring, but it is valuable time alone for me. Another activity I enjoy is hiking in the woods with my girls. That is, of course, a bit more social. Very pleasant. Also, yard work and swimming are favorite things to do, with or without other people involved.

 

I think my daughter is somewhat wired like I am (and was). I'd like the next several years to be a time of discovery, where she realizes what makes her tick, including physically. She is very much up in her head. She needs a consistent requirement to come down out of her head and be aware of her body, even if that means getting on a treadmill daily (and probably going back up into her head!). I get it. She will be walking along for 30 minutes, but thinking of her next craft project, LOL.


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#12 Momto5inIN

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:46 PM

My DD is like this. In addition to "go play outside with your sisters" I've made her either take a walk with me or do an exercise video with me every morning. I framed it as "you'd really be helping to keep me (mom) accountable because I struggle with exercise" which is true and that's definitely an added bonus but really I was being sneaky about getting her to get her rear in gear. 😇

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#13 Farrar

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:19 PM

 

I think my daughter is somewhat wired like I am (and was). I'd like the next several years to be a time of discovery, where she realizes what makes her tick, including physically. She is very much up in her head. She needs a consistent requirement to come down out of her head and be aware of her body, even if that means getting on a treadmill daily (and probably going back up into her head!). I get it. She will be walking along for 30 minutes, but thinking of her next craft project, LOL.

 

Oh my gosh, I so get your school PE remarks. Volleyball just makes me want to curl up in a ball and scream to this day. Everything I experienced was either competitive (sports, timed events, etc.), or focused on seemingly arbitrary goals (this many laps in this many minutes for everyone), or just downright useless (everyone pick something and do it). And the groupings for PE were always worse somehow than any other class. Like, I only ever had one PE class in middle or high school with anyone else I even vaguely liked and knew.

 

I think the above is so right on target. I wish someone had helped me get that when I was younger so that I might have formed better long term habits.


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#14 Minerva

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:53 PM

Thanks for this, Farrar.

 

I've thought about this over the years. My daughter and I have even discussed it, how when I was growing up, the focus of "gym" class was sports, sports, and more sports. Now... there's nothing exactly wrong with sports, but...

 

... I don't know. What was it about standing in a hot field, sweating, glasses sliding down my nose, swatting gnats, wearing a too small baseball glove, waiting for someone to finally hit a softball to right field? What could it have been about that lovely physical activity that might have turned me off to it? Hmm...

 

Or maybe it was the hemp rope climbing? "Get up, _________!" (insert last name here). What could it have been about the gym teacher calling us, boys and girls alike, by our last names only, shouting at us to haul ourselves ever higher up the lovely hemp rope, wearing white shorts, a maxipad (remember how thick they were?), with a period, at age twelve, in a co-ed gym class? What could it have been about that physical activity that might have turned me off to it?

 

But I really think it was the lay-ups. You know, those basketball shots in which your knee goes up (like so), while your other leg goes up (like so), and your hands do this (like so) -- it's easy! Except, I could never do a lay-up, so of course, my grade -- perfect attendance, participation, everything else in place, notwithstanding -- went from an A to a B. Because of that one lay-up.

 

After years of this, of exercise being tied to group games and sports, of sitting or standing around waiting for a turn to do something, of learning how to do things that as a young adult I wouldn't have the means (or the group) to do, is it surprising that I have no interest in sports? And what was the point of "gym class?" I never could figure that one out.

 

As an adult, though, there have been better, more suitable options. Adulthood gave me time and permission to find out what works for me. For one thing, I realized that I don't like exercising with other people. So I don't do it! :) Some people might like that, but for me, the appeal is being alone. This gives me time to sort my head out. There is a lot up in there, and it needs organizing. My daily morning time on the treadmill may seem boring, but it is valuable time alone for me. Another activity I enjoy is hiking in the woods with my girls. That is, of course, a bit more social. Very pleasant. Also, yard work and swimming are favorite things to do, with or without other people involved.

 

I think my daughter is somewhat wired like I am (and was). I'd like the next several years to be a time of discovery, where she realizes what makes her tick, including physically. She is very much up in her head. She needs a consistent requirement to come down out of her head and be aware of her body, even if that means getting on a treadmill daily (and probably going back up into her head!). I get it. She will be walking along for 30 minutes, but thinking of her next craft project, LOL.

 

:001_wub:


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#15 cintinative

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:14 PM

Oh my gosh, I so get your school PE remarks. Volleyball just makes me want to curl up in a ball and scream to this day. Everything I experienced was either competitive (sports, timed events, etc.), or focused on seemingly arbitrary goals (this many laps in this many minutes for everyone), or just downright useless (everyone pick something and do it). And the groupings for PE were always worse somehow than any other class. Like, I only ever had one PE class in middle or high school with anyone else I even vaguely liked and knew.

 

I think the above is so right on target. I wish someone had helped me get that when I was younger so that I might have formed better long term habits.

 

I agree with this and Saharamama's comment that Farrar was quoting. I was so like this in high school and even now. My workout time is my thinking/destress time.  

 

Also, I was the most uncoordinated person I knew in school and *hated* all sports. I am fine with improving my *own* performance, but the comparison to 60 other people more able than me was demoralizing at a time when I was very sensitive and emotional about a lot of things.  My preference now is to avoid sports, but focus on my own fitness level.


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#16 freelylearned

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:35 PM

If she likes the treadmill, there's nothing wrong with letting her be on the treadmill for PE. You could always throw in a challenge her and there by signing up for a family fun run or even a short trail run. A race would get her out of her head and into the action, for sure!

 

My son is a lot like your daughter he'd rather read or write stories or play legos or draw or play video games than do anything that requires him to sweat. We found our happy spot with bike riding. He happily rides at least 20 minutes a day and my husband takes him out on longer rides, with hills, on the weekends. To add strength, I have him do sit ups and push ups a few times a week or we walk to our neighborhood park which has a fitness course and we do a few stations and run up the hills a few times while my younger kids play. Once in a while, we play basketball or throw a frisbee or hit a baseball just so he has some experience with the "coordinated" sports. The best PE program is the one that gets done!


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#17 Sahamamama2

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:03 PM

Thanks for the suggestions and feedback. It is truly helpful in framing an approach to "requirements" for my 12 year old. Thanks!



#18 Alice

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:27 PM

I'm a little late to the conversation. My middle son is somewhat like this. He doesn't mind sweating so much but he hates anything organized. He is all about free-time and doing his own thing which has meant that any activity gets ruined for him as soon as it becomes at all formal/scheduled/required. We had required some kind of physical outside activity for everyone but it got to be a hassle with him so we let him give it up. But then we realized he wasn't doing much physical. So we created a mix-and-match PE requirement. Our thought was that it would help to give him options rather than just to say "go be active" and we also thought for this kid that it would help to make it somewhat his choice. 

 

We divided it into five categories (flexibility, upper body strength, lower body strength, aerobic, and core strength). Then we listed about 10 activities under each category. The rule was that he had to daily (M-F) check off at least one from each category and that total for the week he had do to 30 checks (so some days more than 5). He could only do any one activity three times a week. 

 

Examples: 

Aerobic: take a 30 min bike ride, dance vigorously for 15 minutes, run up and down the stairs x 8 times...

Core: Do a plank and hold for 30 seconds- repeat x 2, Make 25 baskets, Hang from pull up bar and lift your legs to your waist, repeat x 5

 

It worked fairly well for awhile. Then he started to resist because he didn't like that it was scheduled. :) Over the winter he played basketball and lobbied to not have to do PE so we said ok but we needed to continue to see him be active. So far, he has been on his own. He goes out and plays basketball or roller blades or bikes on his own.  It seemed that giving him something formal helped him to now be able to think of things to do at home. 


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