Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three. Confucius

21 March 2011

Health and Physical Education

Hi Everyone,

This is my final post in this series on the eight learning areas of the Education Department. I will focus on Health and Physical Education, from early childhood through to teenage years.

The three basic strands of Health and Physical Education are:

Physical activity and participation

Personal and social development

Health of individuals and communities

The activities that these strands incorporate are pretty self
explanatory, so I'll just give a few examples of how we meet these requirements in our family.

Physical activity and participation is basically exercise of some description, whether it be at home, in a group, dancing, walking, bike riding, whatever fits. I personally find this quite easy when the children are young as most kids are doing incidental exercise throughout the day.

Alexandra got into her teen years, we needed to plan more for regular exercise (judo, archery, bike riding, walking, trampolining etc) with her choosing what she enjoyed it was not hard to facilitate. For the younger children, trampolining, bike riding, running, beach trips and general play is ample exercise to meet these criteria.

Personal and social development and health of individuals and communities focus on the child socially in relation to self-esteem, group skills, hygiene, a healthy lifestyle, understanding, compassion, equal opportunities.

We tend to discuss a lot of personal issues so the self-esteem component came fairly naturally to us, and our homeschool groups allowed plenty of opportunity for give and take, joining in etc.Being at home is a natural way to teach about life skills such as hygiene and healthy eating.We briefly looked at the food pyramid, but generally we incorporate healthy living into our lives everyday and that covers a large part of the curriculum.

One year we followed the Special Olympics in the media, which opened up some wonderful opportunities to discuss the experiences of people with a disability, why buildings have ramps, and how we may behave around people who have special needs. We also borrowed Link Magazine (Disabilities SA) from the library to read first hand accounts of how life is for people with a disability, physically and emotionally.

Alexandra volunteered within our community over several years and I think that this experience really allowed her to gain a practical appreciation of how things are for others.

Some state government initiatives provide rewards to children for logging their physical activity online similar to the reading challenges where children record books they've read and get a medal according to how many they've signed off on. We didn't follow up on this so can't really recommend them or not, but here are a couple of links to investigate further if you would like to:
Premier's Be Active Challenge (SA)
Sporting Kids Challenge (NSW)
Minister's Physical Activity Challenge (ACT)
Get Moving Tasmania (TAS)
Premier's Active Families Challenge (VIC)
Unfortunately there were no QLD, NT or WA equivalents available.

To record health and physical education for reviews, we simply took photos of our outings, stored activity and sports certificates and did some projects. Topics for projects were the Special Olympics, sports which interested the children, healthy eating. Once we turned health and PE into history by looking at the olympics from the time when the Greeks began competing...very interesting for everyone, and it crossed over into society and environment, so a good result all round.

Talk Soon, Cynthia x