Q. What are the physical education requirements for homeschoolers, and how do homeschoolers meet them?
A. Although the Virginia law (§22.1-200) requires that specific subjects are taught in public schools–including physical education at the elementary level–these subjects are NOT required to be taught by homeschoolers. The Virginia homeschool law makes no reference to required subjects. You are free to choose the appropriate subjects for your child’s age, grade, development, and interest, including a physical education program that would strengthen your child’s physical development.
Physical education is good to include for a well-rounded program. Physical activity not only stimulates the body, but also stimulates the mind and offers variety in your school schedule. Some families have used the President’s Physical Fitness program individually or with a support group. This program has meaningful goals and structured guidelines that provide a challenge for youth of all ages (including parents!).
Other families participate in city league soccer, baseball, basketball, and football programs. Some parents enroll their students in individual sports such as private swim teams, roller-hockey teams, and gymnastics.
Larger support groups have organized baseball, basketball, and soccer teams that compete with other homeschool leagues or private schools. Many support groups have a sports day once a week or once a month. On this day students of all ages gather at a local community gym or park. They play games, have competitions, or go on hikes.
Your local librarian may be able to help you find books on P.E. that will give you some good ideas. As you can see, there are many variables. Much depends on the student’s age and interests as well as what’s available in your area.