(part of 30 posts about free resources for homeschooling)
PREFACE/ENCOURAGEMENT/PONTIFICATION: Any kind of schooling has it challenges, and home education – with all of its advantages – is no different. One of the challenges of homeschooling is giving our children a wider view of what’s going on in our culture, in this case with sports.
If you’re on a tight budget, then you may find it impossible to get your child on a team. Or if you’re not a sports fan you may not have noticed any need for your children to know a lot about sports. We decided that, while not an educational need, it’s still good to have our kids know about,and when possible play, the different sports. This post provides some sports that would be good for your kids to know, giving you all a chance to step back and enjoy learning the basics of many sports, and be able to talk about them intelligently with other, without having to be involved in one or more sports.
It’s important for me to reinforce that we actually do some of these sports, so the lessons aren’t completely didactic. This post merely demonstrates the didactic part.
I don’t have a real curriculum for each sport mentioned, but for each of these sports we spent 30-60 minutes going over the basics, and each lesson includes using the Internet to provide one or more instructional videos, an informative article or two, some examples of play, and some bloopers or funny moments.
If you don’t have access to the Internet for those times, then feel free to make notes ahead of time, get books from the library, or perhaps go to someplace like http://www.clipconverter.cc/ to copy/download an online video that you can transport via USB to your offline computer. Also use your experience, or take your kids to various games. There are tons of ways to teach and learn if you’re willing to eliminate preconceived notions of what “proper education” is supposed to be.
***PLEASE NOTE: If you don’t have access to the internet for these things, be creative by using books, making banners or cards, borrowing gear, etc. You could get with someone who knows about one or more of the sports and schedule it with them. Tailor it to suit your resources, but also be ready to stretch your creativity as needed. I want you to know that you can educate your kids on your own and on any budget.***
Below is the general outline that I use for each lesson. There are so many sports and variations that I’ve only included some here to provide some information that may jog your memory or motivate you to include other things.
- Short Video for introduction
- Descriptive article
- 1 or 2 Videos of the basics
- Bloopers or Funnies video
- Video of phenomenal moments or players
- Plenty of discussion before, during, and after
This is the world’s most popular sport. We started out with this because of its ubiquity.
Being the second most popular sport in the world, this was a good way to show a famous game that’s not too publicized in the US.
A fun video here is the early Goofy video that Disney made to show the basics.
If you can show them the Harlem Globetrotters, then it’s good!
If you can find videos of football from the early days, it’s instructive for your students to see that it hasn’t always been huge guys in protective gear.
While not necessarily exciting, it’s good to show your kids the different rules of etiquette and play that differentiate this non-contact sports from other sports. There’s a tranquility involved here that many games don’t have.
Volleyball is pretty easy to modify and transmogrify, so you can tame it for inexperienced or non-athletic friends.
I pointed out to our kids that this is a good mid-range game, as far as cost goes, that’s fun in groups. It’s not the cheapest of games, but it doesn’t cost much just to play now and then, is fun to play with other people, and is can be played with inexperienced bowlers. All of this makes it a good group activity.