What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School? This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School?

What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School?

As you know, homeschool high schoolers need some physical education credit in order to meet graduation requirements in most states. They also need those PE credits to give them a well-balanced lifestyle (and transcript).

You may also know that 7SistersHomeschool released a fitness/phys ed curriculum that is so useful that that it has become popular for many homeschooling high school families!

While we are talking about what you already know: you already know that there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school OR to earn Phys Ed credits. So let’s get creative and talk about ways to earn those credits.

First: How many credits of Phys Ed does a homeschool high schooler need for graduation?

Many states only require one credit of Physical Education for graduation. In our area, teens need two credits of PE for their transcripts. However, teens who are going into a sports or fitness related career will most likely benefit from earning a full Phys Ed credit of some kind each year.

Graduation requirements are not the only factor in deciding how many credits of PE a teen needs. That is because every teen is different!

  • Some teens are “squeakers”. They do not like physical activity, so will barely squeak by with what is required.
  • Other teens are “fitness feels good, but I’m not a nut about it”.
  • Some teens are really into one or two sports and rack up hours practicing.
  • Other teens love the feeling of being fit but are not into sports!

Next, what are the benefits of Phys Ed credits for homeschool high schoolers?

Physical Education is not a core curriculum course like English/Language Arts, Math, Social Studies or Science, so it can be easy to make it a low priority. However, there are some important benefits of including in the homeschool schedule PE or fitness in some form.

7SistersHomeschool’s Fitness curriculum helps students understand the physical benefits of spending time on PE. When teens understand why PE is important, they are more likely to engage a healthy fitness program.

Physical benefits of PE are not the only reasons to prioritize fitness. In Vicki’s job as a counselor, she has learned that young people who get aerobic-type exercise. (This means that they have walked, played, danced, worked out, etc until their heart pumps harder. This, in turn, increases blood flow which helps the brain work better. That is because the more blood a teen’s brain gets, the more oxygen and micronutrients go to the brain. These are the foundational elements that make a brain work!

If the brain is working more efficiently, teens experience:

  • More efficient learning
  • Better recall
  • More use of logic systems

Also increased oxygen from physical activity combats stress hormones. When stress hormones are reduced, teens feel less anxiety and depression! Not only that, the reduced stress hormone levels tend to help teens sleep better.

So many things can count as Phys Ed!

So, what counts as Phys Ed for homeschool high school?

There are lots of ways to earn PE credits! That is good news because there are lots of kinds of teens. Remember: there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school (or earn a PE credit). Here are a few:

Use a fitness curriculum that includes exercise videos and instruction

  • A good example of this is 7Sisters’ Foundations of Physical Fitness (which includes videos and logs). This curriculum was created by two personal trainers (7Sister Sara’s sons) based on their experiences as homeschool graduates and fitness experts.
    • Different Types of Fitness

      Foundations of Physical Fitness curriculum from 7SistersHomeschool.com
      Click image for full description.
    • Progressive Overload
    • Compound Exercises vs Isolation Exercises
    • Form is King
    • Cardiovascular Exercise
    • Stretching and Mobility
    • Real Fitness vs Fake Fitness
    • Fit for Service
    • Text (for 1/2 credit)
    • Tests and Answer Key
    • How-to Videos and Progress Charts (to complete the credit log 60-90 hours of fitness activity according to the videos and your teen’s interest)
    • Suggested Syllabus

Framework of Physical Fitness, by Joel Paul Simeon Hayes, builds on the knowledge that students gained from Foundations of Physical FitnessWhile it is intended to be a follow-up to Foundations of Physical FitnessFramework of Physical Fitness can be studied independently.

Framework of Physical Fitness 7SistersHomeschool
Click image for full description.

For busy teens who do not have time for a full fitness program, keep log sheets and gradually earn a Carnegie credit

One way to earn a high school credit is to log 120-180 hours of educational experience (the number of hours needed to earn a credit varies by state or supervising organization such as an umbrella school).

Logging the required number of hours for Phys Ed credit(s) can be done over the high school years…as long as you do not loose those log sheets! Here are some ways that our local homeschool high schoolers have logged PE hours:

  • Going for daily walks
  • Walking the dog
  • Digital fitness games and apps
  • Workouts at home or gym
  • Indoor chores (good life skills!)
  • Outdoor chores (more good life skills)
  • Gardening
  • Dance lessons
  • Karate lessons
  • Swim team
  • Bowling league
  • Hockey league
  • Baseball and softball teams
  • Soccer teams
  • Workouts at Civil Air Patrol
  • Nature hikes
  • Geocaching
  • Orienteering
  • Juggling
  • Skating
  • Bike riding
  • Ballroom dance lessons

Don’t forget to log all the walking time your teens do on family vacations or homeschool co-op field trips.

Then, when enough hours have been logged over time, the teens earn a credit of Phys Ed.

How do you grade Phys Ed for the homeschool transcript?

There’s not one right way to grade PE. However, if you are using a textbook, graded assignments and tests will give you a grade.

Other ways to grade Phys Ed include:

  • Pass/fail
  • Attitude and effort
  • Self assessment and discussion with parent

Do you include Phys Ed in GPA?

That’s up to you! Many homeschool high schoolers do not include PE as part of the GPA because it is not a core course. However, it is okay to include it in the GPA if that works well for your teen. Including GPA would be most useful for teens who want to go to college to study a subject related to fitness or sports.

Join Vicki for a discussion on what counts as Phys Ed for homeschool high school.

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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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