A few years ago, my children were involved in a summer soccer program taught by a man who used to coach a high school soccer team. As the summer came to a close, one of the moms thought we should get the coach to start a homeschool PE class. Our city’s YMCA offered classes, but they were thirty minutes away – could we convince the coach to start up something nearby?
We did! Three years later, he’s still a salesman by day and a homeschool PE coach two afternoons a week. For one hour on Mondays and Thursdays, children ages 5 through high school get to participate in dodgeball, kickball, softball, flag football, soccer, and more.
The coach divides the students into two groups, ages 5 – 9 and 10 and up. This year it’s been a little harder, though, as he hasn’t had as many parents volunteer to help out, even though he offers a discount in the fees. When enough parents are there, however, the program runs smoothly. We meet at a local park or in a church gym. The coach leads the older kids in sports activities and provides plans and equipment for the moms who work with the younger ones. Every once in a while, he switches off, working with the younger children while a mom referees the games of the older students.
One of the biggest benefits of this PE program, however, has been the time of fellowship the students have with each other. We meet with the same friends on a regular basis, and almost everyone stays about a half hour after the class is over. Moms have time to visit with and encourage each other, teens start up their own game of basketball, middle school girls huddle around talking with each other, and younger children play on the playground. There’s usually 30-40 students there each time, providing lots of opportunities for friendships.