My child struggles in PE. What can do at home to improve my child’s skills?
Here are some ideas to help transform a PE-hating child into a child who actually looks forward it!
Increase fitness level. Some kids struggle in PE because their fitness level is low. Try integrating physical activities—moderate intensity activities like walking, riding a bike or skateboarding, and vigorous activities like racing and playing tag—into your child’s everyday routine. This will help continually improve your child’s fitness level, making the activities offered in PE class much easier and more fun.
Improve motor skills. Below-average motor-skill development may hold some children back. Help your child develop motor skills by incorporating developmentally appropriate activities into the day, such as running, swimming, tumbling, throwing and catching.
Enhance self-efficacy and confidence. As you help your kids permanently adopt and enjoy an active lifestyle, create athletic experiences in which your child feels successful and competent. Consider areas in which your child excels and translate that into a positive physical-activity experience. If your child enjoys video games, consider investing in exer-games (like Wii or Kinect) to help translate hand coordination into physical coordination. Overweight children may have more muscle mass, so they may enjoy a resistance-training program and the realization that they are stronger than their peers. Does your child love playing at the pool? Maybe she would like to join a recreational swim team.
Focus on fun. For kids to enjoy physical activity, it has to be fun. While you may not be able to control what activities are offered in your child’s school, you can work together with your child to choose their after school activities. Ensure the fun factor by avoiding excess pressure, and making sure there are flexible rules, short instructions and time for free play.
Advocate for more and better opportunities for physical activity in the school day. Ultimately, the best chance that we have to turn kids on to physical activity is to not only make it a family priority, but also make it a priority in schools. Despite the pronounced benefits of physical activity—including increased academic performance—many schools are cutting PE programs. And many of the PE programs that still exist do little to help kids meet the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Parents play a powerful role in advocating for more and better physical activities in school.
American Council on Exercise
ACE- Fit Life: Improving Your Child’s Physical Literacy