Dawn Duran’s post “Physical Education in Your Back Yard” contains a myriad of helpful examples of how families can include physicality in the education of their children. Not only the examples accessible and rich in what they teach, but there is plenty of variety. Furthermore, it is worth noting that none of these activities are immediately transferable to body sculpting, or to college admission, or any other pragmatically narrow goal. The purpose remains broad and introductory, full of fun and exploration.
In addition to her list of activities and supplies, Mrs.Duran suggests intentionally setting up communal activities, especially if one does not have a large family. Also, the use of a “movement” jar is not only a fun means of incorporating physicality in the school day, but also a great way of ensuring that physicality occurs throughout the school day, rather than in one or two isolated periods.
One way in which this could be expanded upon would be to list activities which are interdisciplinary. For instance, how does math interact with our physical bodies? Can we educate mathematics and gymnastic simultaneously? The late renaissance Italian and Spanish fencers certainly gave much credence to geometry in their fencing styles. (And modern fencing owes its roots to this.)
What ways can we blend gymnastic with scholastic endeavors? What if we recognized that going on a walk in the woods gave opportunity to wonder at God’s creation, to learn scientific truths about it, and to train the human body? Many things take place when one scurries up trees to inspect bugs and birds, or as one wades through slippery streams, identifying various fish. Carpe diem!
Can’t children play dress-up make-believe games, or participate in theatrical dramas which require them to learn physical dances or other motions which require gymnastic instruction (among other things)? What if kids memorized the Constitution, or other historical aspects of our heritage through hand-motions or other memory games which require motion?
All this is reminiscent of what is addressed in whatiflearning.com