If plain old math isn’t fun for your kids (or even if it is!), try integrating it with your home PE classes. It’s also a great way to introduce the use of a simple spreadsheet.
First, decide what the day’s PE activities are going to be and ask everyone in the household to participate.
Here are some exercise suggestions (see below for descriptions):
- Metres on your erg(s)
- Dead bugs
- Jumping jacks
- Run (around the house, to the mailbox, up the stairs, whatever works for you)
- Air squats
Set a time limit, long enough for some good numbers to accumulate, eg. all day, 8–5 p.m.
Set up your tally sheet, either on paper or with a spreadsheet. Make a place for each participant to enter the number of exercises that they do. They can enter as many times as they wish throughout the day.
Totals: if you’re using a spreadsheet, you can set it up to calculate the totals for each person. Or you can simply add them up yourself. In addition to calculating the totals for each person, you can add up the totals for each exercise!
Open a sample spreadsheet in Google Docs.
You can download or make a copy of this for your own use.
Once you have the totals recorded, there are lots of interesting things to calculate—and you and your kids will probably think of more. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Percents: What percent of the sit-ups were done by each person?
- Averages: What was the average number of push-ups done by the whole group? What was the difference between the largest number done and the smallest number done? Repeat for the other exercises.
- Which exercise had the lowest total number done on average? And which had the highest? Why do you think this was the case?
- What was the average number of air squats done at a time? Same for other exercises? Based on this, which exercise do you think was hardest for your family?
Tomorrow: Pick a new set of exercises! Let each member of the group suggest their two favorites. And repeat. Have fun!
Description of Exercises
Lie on your back with legs and arms extended straight up. Flex your toes toward your shins. Simultaneously lower your right leg and your left arm away from each other to an inch above the floor, then raise back up. Repeat with right leg and left arm.
These may include ab crunches, traditional sit-ups, bicycle sit-ups, leg raises.
Feel free to modify as needed to make these possible, but challenging, for each participant. Do them from your knees rather than your toes; or from a semi-upright position such as leaning on a bench.
You may also know these as “deep knee bends.” Start with feet shoulder-width apart. Put pressure back on your heels as you bend your knees to a squat position, aiming for horizontal shins if you can.
More home schooling tips here: Home Schooling with Concept2: Fractions in Time and Distance