Archive for the ‘PE’ Category

How Karate Helped my Son

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

how-karate-helps-kids

Several years ago my husband and I were praying about what to do with one of our sons who was uncoordinated. Three of my children learned physical skills easily while the other child took forever to learn them. Learning how to ride a bike took just a few days of practice for most of my kids, but months of practice for this one son.

We put him into soccer, and that was disastrous. Nobody would ever kick the ball to him, so how was he supposed to improve? He was so frustrated; you could see the frustration all over his face.

So we pulled him out of soccer after one season, even though his brothers have continued to do various team sports and have loved every minute of it.

I advise homeschool parents to pray about the weaknesses of their children. God knows the exact answer to your prayer. You might not come up with it yourself unless you ask God. For our family, the answer was a Christian karate place nearby. The students quote Scripture as they do their poses. Both my husband and I felt a supernatural peace about signing up our son.

A year later, I had a son who was physically fit and had control over his body movements. It was a miracle. We are now in his third year.

A homeschool mom recently walked up to my son and asked him if he liked karate. I tried to change the subject. My son had never thought to question whether he was supposed to go to karate or not. He hadn’t thought of being rebellious to fight what his parents knew was the right thing for him. The homeschool mom didn’t realize that children don’t rule.

Any activity that you sign your kids up for that is making up for a weakness will not be the favorite activity of your children. That’s because that activity comes hard for them. But if it’s what God wants you to be doing, it will strengthen those very weaknesses so that for the rest of that child’s life, he will not struggle in that area as much.

And if you’ve prayed about it and have a supernatural peace and joy in your soul about that activity and are in complete agreement with your husband, move forward and do it. Your child will come to expect that it’s a part of his life.

Swim Lessons

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

swim-lessons

One of the most crucial skills for a child to learn is how to swim. If a boat overturns or some other accident occurs around water, you want your children to at least be able to get to the surface of the water and tread water so that they can stay alive. I don’t know how many times I’ve had nightmares about my children drowning, especially after my daughter nearly died at age one. I had to empty a large amount of water out of her lungs before she could breathe again.

For this reason I feel that it is important for children to learn how to swim. Swim lessons can be expensive, and if you have young kids ages 2-7, I have some simple activities they can do in the bathtub to be ready for more advanced swim lessons. Once they have done those activities, they can learn to move both legs and arms to stay afloat in a doggie paddle. When they can tread water for a couple of seconds, keep increasing the time as they stay in one place. If they can tread water in place for 60 seconds, they are ready to tread water all the way across the swimming pool. I always provided some form of reward for my child to swim across the pool for the first time, treading water. Children feel proud of their accomplishment when they are able to go the entire length of the pool.

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After they are able to tread water, they are ready for proper swimming. The child can hold on to the side of the pool and kick his feet while not bending his legs. While swimming properly, the child’s feet should never go out of the water, so splashing isn’t supposed to happen. The child can use a floating board to hold on to while going across the pool, focusing only on feet being straight while kicking under the water. Next, the child adds dunking the face in, and breathing to the side while holding the paddle board. The reason you need the paddle board is that the child can’t focus on three things at the same time: the feet, the breathing, and the arms. The child needs to perfect each skill until it comes naturally, so that the child can focus on the next skill.

It helps to have the swim instructor swim right in front of the child while the child watches. The shoulders are supposed to come out of the water, and each stroke should reach as far to the front as possible. After that, the elbow is supposed to bend up, then back. One of my sons kept curving when he swam because his right arm was stronger than his left arm. He needed to try to stroke evenly with each arm to swim straight. Also, keeping the head dipped continuously is hard for some children, but this can be overcome while doing exercises in the bath tub, where the child feels safe.

For more information on easy swim lessons for the bath tub: Bath Time Fun: 49 Ideas for Homeschoolers.

Jump Sky High Trampolines

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

jump-sky-high-trampolines

We took the family to Jump Sky High Trampolines, and the kids had a fabulous time. My husband and I were able to get exercise while our kids had fun. Even the walls are made of trampoline material, which means that the kids can climb the walls… literally.

The Pros and Cons of Sports

Monday, November 8th, 2010

pros-and-cons-of-sportsI recently heard some speakers who believe that being involved in sports is sin. I’m serious. That’s what they said in their homeschool conference. (They say it in their books as well.) Here is their reasoning: their sons were developing pride, which was not a character quality they wanted in their sons. Secondly, sports are all about winning, and causing the other team to lose. So it’s not “being a servant;” instead, it’s “being selfish.” Thirdly, you become obsessed with it as an adult. So it feeds the “wrong appetite” in your kids, since they will prioritize that above their families when they get older. (“Move over, can’t you see I’m watching the game?!”) Let me address each of these arguments one by one.

First, they said sports will cause your child to develop pride. That’s only if your kids are good at sports, which most homeschoolers aren’t. (Yes, we’re misfits. Go on and throw tomatoes if you want, but most homeschool kids seem more klutzy than public school kids who get their regular inoculation of sports.) For my own children, it develops humility and an ability to lose well. They’ve never scored a goal or a touchdown, bless their souls, no matter how hard they’ve tried. If they do, I will holler like a crazy woman and jump up and down, and hurray for them. It’s not a sin to be happy when you try to do something, and you’re happy that you did it. Like swimming, for example. Is it a sin to be proud of yourself that you’re swimming for the first time? “I did it!” they beam. Hurray for them. That’s happy. When Jesus was a toddler and walked for the first time, He was probably proud of Himself. Yet He was the most humble man that ever lived. That doesn’t mean He was mousey and felt that we wasn’t good at anything. It’s good to have confidence, so that we can share the Gospel and use our spiritual gifts. We need to know our strengths and weaknesses. This doesn’t mean that it’s a sin to have strengths, or to have confidence of a job well done.

Secondly, sports are all about winning, and causing the other team to lose. It’s not teaching them to be a servant to others, but to be selfish. Actually, to learn to work as a team, you have to serve the people on your team, letting them get the glory that you set up for them. Learning to work as a team is something that helps to understand the body of Christ (the church) and how it works. Yes, you can learn this by doing chores as a family or feeding the poor in a soup kitchen. Do all of the above, by all means, at least what God leads you to do. But in a sport, your kids are getting exercise at the same time that they’re learning a skill. Better hand-eye coordination is a plus. Also, not being stupid about sports (“Basketball? What’s that?”) is helpful for a well-rounded education. Education is more than books. It’s an understanding of life. Plus, our obese society should exercise more.

Lastly, your children will prioritize sports above their families in the future. Maybe this is true; maybe it’s not. Maybe your kids will love their families way more than sports, but also enjoy watching a game. That’s why you need to seek God each year, to ask Him whether your child should do a sport or not. Only God knows what the results will be. Then don’t proceed unless you have peace. Enjoying watching a football game is not necessarily a sin. My husband and I don’t watch sports, and I’ve already made it clear in other blog entries that I hate sports myself because I was always picked last. But I guess what I’m trying to say is, “Ask God. Only God knows what’s best for your family. Don’t grab someone else’s rules just because they’re famous or godly. The only way to be godly is to have a personal relationship with Christ and seek Him about these things. Then follow His leading.”

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