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mathmarm

Physical Training/Education for Elementary?

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Is there a book or a blog out there that can help guide a parent in making sure that their kids are "Well-trained" physically? Especially something for the elementary years?

We don't have any ambitions for the kids to compete in one sport or another, I do want them to know how to use and move their bodies fluently and easily. I want them to be agile, flexible, strong, fast, etc.

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try the Presidential Youth Fitness Program website, they have links for parents

my public library still has the Arnold's Fitness for Kids books from the early 1990s.  There is one for age birth to 5, one for 6-10 and one for age 11-14. Fun.

Edited by HeighHo
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We have just picked three areas a year to work on something (12 weeks each).

This year will be yoga via Cosmic Kids on youtube, jump rope, and strength training via push ups, crunches etc. We do these things three days a week. 

I try to pick things that are easy to keep up with and do without a lot of equipment. But we will also work on some sports skills for overall sports knowledge. We aren't big sports people though. 

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No textbook here, but this is the approach I took.

When my kids were very young, I made a list of everything I could think of in terms of physical exercise that I had done as a child, either informally or in phys ed in school, when such a creature really existed, was mandatory multiple times per week, and was actually graded 😉 

My list included items like:

jungle gym play, kickball, dodgeball, volleyball, basketball, football, badminton, softball, soccer, tennis, swimming, diving, basic gymnastics, archery, rope climbing, tree climbing, running, walking, beachcombing, biking etc etc.

My goal was for my kiddos to learn: the basic skills of throwing, kicking, and catching balls of various kinds; hitting with rackets (eye hand coordination); learning coordination and an awareness of their body in 3-D space; becoming strong enough to lift, pull or handle their own body weight...to name a few. I just planned an activity for each week. We are a physically active family, so things like unicycling, fishing and hiking were added to the list. But if we had not been a very active family, I would have just stuck to the basics. We either went to a park or practiced all these things without cost in our yard. You can learn a lot of basic gymnastics by walking on railroad ties around the perimeter of a play area, swinging on jungle gyms, etc. You can learn to throw and catch almost any ball in a pretty small amount of outdoor space (when they are little), whether it is paved or grassy. 

I also was one of those horrible moms :) who used physical exercise as correction, especially from ages 8-14. Disrespect meant that  not enough energy was being burned in a productive way, so I had a list of ten different exercises that were "assigned" when needed. I always explained that it was important to learn to handle stress by doing healthy things like exercise instead of unhealthy things like mouthing off at people. Many warned me that my kids would grow up hating exercise, but I did not agree. It is a healthy lifetime habit for many reasons, and just like I spent time talking with them about good nutrition, I also spent time talking about how one handles stress in a productive manner. But talking doesn't help them internalize like practice does.

Both dc did choose to participate in organized sports beginning at about 11 (ds) and 9 (dd). Tennis lessons were the first activity and led to competitive tennis for both of them. DD did competitive gymnastics as well. Taekwondo and krav maga were martial arts for both of them and me as well.

In the end, my kiddos (now 22 and 20) wound up being very coordinated and loving physical exercise and movement of all kinds. Recently, I asked them about why they thought that was the case and they both said they thought it was because we were always doing something active, interesting, and usually outdoors when they were growing up. They mentioned that compared to many of their peers, it seems they had a lot more outdoor play time, especially on jungle gyms.  So it is nice that it worked out that way.:)

HTH!

 

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On 7/10/2019 at 11:30 AM, tampamommy said:

... I had a list of ten different exercises that were "assigned" when needed. I always explained that it was important to learn to handle stress by doing healthy things like exercise instead of unhealthy things like mouthing off at people. ...

 

Do you remember any of them?  🙂

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1. Running up and down the street ( 2/10ths of a mile total)

2. Jumping jax

3. Stomach crunches

4. Pushups

5. Squats

6. Leg lifts (hanging on inside pullup bar)

7. Pullups 

8. Burpees

9. Standing pike crunches

10. Mountain climbers

The side benefit of this is that I was also able to teach proper form/progression in all of these exercises. For example, proper pushup position on knees until you have the strength to do full plank ones; bent arm hang to build up strength for pullups; walking mountain climbers instead of the higher impact kind, etc. 

Exercise and teaching physical stuff has been my hobby and one of my passions for oh goodness, most of my life, and I still enjoy teaching children and adults all that kind of stuff. :)

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As their teacher and parent, I felt the liberty to assign any or all of these, depending on the offense. For example, "go do numbers 1-5 on the board,", "stop now and do number 10 on the board," or eegads! "Now go do ALL ten exercises on the board." :)

I had these listed on our big whiteboard along with number of reps expected for each exercise. The number of reps increased as their abilities did!

Maybe this is one reason why neither one of them had trouble with pullups in basic training or the PT tests at USAFA. :) heeheehee. Little did I know they would end up there when I started doing that many years ago!

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OP I believe this is THE most important subject your DC will learn. Not that Academic subjects are not important, but this is their Physical Health and will be something they benefit from for their entire lives.  Back in the day, many light years ago, when I was in Public Schools, in Junior High School (that was before Middle Schools) and in High School, we had Physical Education classes 5 days a week. I believe that's one reason I am in pretty good shape, at my advanced age.   🙂

Recently I read that 70% (?) of the people who would like to enlist in the U.S. Military are unfit. For many of them, it is because they are too fat or  too weak or whatever. No strength. Can't throw a baseball or a football.  Truly sad... 

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tampamommy, thanks so much! 

6 hours ago, tampamommy said:

...

6. Leg lifts (hanging on inside pullup bar)

7. Pullups 

....

Okay, this may sound silly, but now it is down to nitty-gritty:  where did you put the pull-up bar?  Just wondering ... we have a rather funkily-built house, and none of the suitable doorways have frames that can support one.  I've thought about trying to do it off the side of the house (wood planking there) but didn't want them to have to shoe-up in funky winter weather...

Edited by serendipitous journey

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We started with an inside pullup bar in the doorway of one of their bedrooms. That remained there for 9 years, until DD left for USAFA.

Then we also purchased a standalone sturdy one that was in our garage but could also be kept outside. We still have that and they use it when they are home. It does not take up much space.

And finally, their favorite pullup bar of all? A tree limb that they had to jump pretty high to reach -- Nature's gymnasium!! This continues to be their favorite kind of bar.

Shout out to Lanny! I could not agree more with his comments :) Our physical health affects every part of our lives and well being. 

 

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