What Is the Importance of Physical Education?

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Inside: Discover what the importance of physical education is in your homeschool. Also get a big list of activities and link to videos you can use indoors and outdoors.

Who remembers gym class in school? Did you like it? If you didn’t, it was probably because of dodge ball! (That ball was not soft!) No matter what, it was a break from the regular classroom, and we got to run around and get out of our seats for a while. What is the importance of physical education? What are the benefits and is it essential for your homeschool?

What Is the Importance of Physical Education?

I believe physical education is important for your homeschool, especially in today’s society. Most homeschool children are more active than the average public school child, but there are still a lot of benefits they can gain from adding more physical movement to their day. It’s just as vital as the other subjects they are doing.

Get a free downloadable cheat sheet with a physical education exercise list including links to websites and videos you can use at the end!

Increases Focus and Concentration

Many of today’s children are on a lot of devices, even if it’s just doing schoolwork on the computer. Studies show brain activity is very low when playing games and it isn’t being challenged in any way. We have all seen the child that gets off a device and has great difficulty concentrating afterward.

Does Physical Education Help with Focus-Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

Physical education involves concentration and therefore, increases the ability to focus and believe it or not, block out distractions, which is a vital part of being able to complete schoolwork. Even for children who don’t get a lot of screen-time, extra focus and attention are always welcome.

Health Benefits and Increased Development

Not eating healthy food and sitting around stationary has caused childhood obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes to increase to an all-time high. When children are up and moving around, they are burning off those excess calories. They are converted into energy instead of being turned into fat.

Health Benefits of Physical Education-Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Staying active is one of the best ways to keep their body systems in check. Furthermore, physical activity strengthens bones and muscles, which supports the body to protect it from injuries and keeps the joints healthy as well.

Better Sleep

Many children are not getting the required sleep for their age. This turns into sleepy children who are showing up at the school table very cranky and unable to perform well. Their bodies need time to restore while they sleep and prepare for the next day.

Does Physical Education Help You Sleep-Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Moving around and physically challenging the body is going to make them exhausted, which makes falling asleep at bedtime much easier and get better sleep throughout the night. The result is a happier child the next day.

Relieves Stress and Anxiety

By the high school level, our children are experiencing some level of stress. Depression and suicide rates are on the rise. Whether it’s due to school, work, relationships, or even social media, it’s not good when there isn’t an outlet. Physical activity provides a great way to relieve it.

Exercise releases endorphins which give an overall feeling of well-being. It’s also a great way to help children take their minds off of things that may be bothering them. Thirdly, it produces deep breathing, which allows more oxygen to reach the brain. The extra oxygen increases blood flow, which enables the body to relax and unwind.

Helps Get Your Brain in Shape

Sadly while technology advances have improved many areas of our lives, it has also damaged our children’s brains in the process. They are now finding that even normal exposure to screen-time is causing a decrease in the gray and white matter of the brain. The effects can have quite an impact, and we need to be proactive about protecting their minds.

Technology Decreases Gray Matter in the Brain-Image by Kalhh on Pixabay

Research shows that as your child gets fit, so does his brain. There is a direct correlation between being in shape and improving mental function. Some benefits include better memory and creativity along with the focus and concentration I mentioned earlier. However, the most significant advantage is that it increases the gray matter in the brain.

Because we can’t altogether avoid electronic devices and movement is a way to help reverse the negative effects, this point alone should be enough to help you understand what is the importance of physical education and make you want to include it in your child’s weekly schedule.

Increases Academics

This is a Tedx Talk video that gives a great explanation about how physical education can dramatically increase a child’s academic skills. Paul Zientarski is talking about classes within a school setting but the concepts apply to homeschoolers as well.

How Much and What Kind of Activity

Children should be active for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week. This is a great goal to shoot for but even 10-15 minutes several times a week will have a positive impact.

Combining different exercises with different levels of intensity will provide the body with the most benefits. These can be activities as simple as riding a bike, bouncing a ball in the driveway, jumping on a trampoline, playing tag in the backyard, or taking a walk down the street.

It can be more challenging to come up with physical education activities to do, especially during the winter months. I have created a free downloadable cheat sheet with a physical education exercises list including links to website and videos you can use. Fill out the form below and I’ll email it to you.



So what is the importance of physical education? Getting up and moving around improves the quality of life in many ways. It’s hard to set aside that time when you are in the middle of subjects you feel are essential, but scheduling it into your day will help you stick to it. Your child will be rewarded with better work, higher grades, a good mood, sound sleep, and the ability to stay on task. These all sound like a win to me!

Get Your Physical Education Cheat Sheet and Get Moving!

Hi I’m Heidi. I’m a former teacher turned homeschool mom of three. I’ve homeschooled from the beginning and my oldest is now graduated. I believe your home doesn’t have to be chaotic just because you homeschool. When you join The Unexpected Homeschooler’s community, you’ll learn how to have a more organized, efficient, and productive homeschool, and I’ll send you this Daily Assignment Sheet tool as a gift to teach your students to work independently and free up your time.

Looking for more homeschool resources? Check out this article with a roundup of ideas from other homeschool bloggers!

Homeschool Resources

12 thoughts on “What Is the Importance of Physical Education?”

  1. what is the importance of physical education is an article everyone should read and pay close attention to. This article is great it helps keeps us grounded to who we are far as being people. Physical education and eating right and getting the proper amount of sleep and making sure we are living a healthy life. Without the knowledge that physical education who knows where we will be in society today.

     Thank you for this great and informative article I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. thank  you for this post. Physical education has many importance for our children this includes: make the children physically fit, it helps them to study well, it helps them to increase sociability among them ( fair play), it makes them responsible as they organise themselves in team to play, it increases team spirit ,….

    Many parents forbid their children to play but they have to know that physical education has great positive impact to their children.

    Best regards

  3. Hey Heidi you are so right about the importance of kids needing more physical exercise. When I was growing up we were always out playing and this almost always involved something physical. Climbing trees and running about or riding our bikes for what seemed to be all day. I feel sad for todays generation of children that don’t seem to have any of that. Until recently we were a little guilty of letting our son have too much screen time, but we have realised it wasn’t beneficial to him so we now limit his access to screen-time and it has done him the world of good. He’s doing much better at school and seems a lot more engaged with the world around him and seems to have a lot more energy.

    I am now glad that we made this decision, although I did feel bad at first as I know how much he loved being on his I-pad. But now I can see it was the right choice to make for him.

    Thanks Emma

    • Way to go! I’m sure that was a very hard decision to make. I’ve had to put away a lot of devices in my house and it does make such a difference. It’s like they forget how to play and walk around not knowing what to do at first. Eventually though they start go off and do something like ride bikes or scooters and they are much happier for it.

  4. Thanks for all that great information. You’ve really highlighted the challenges facing parents these days. 

    I remember when I was a kid, my parents had a problem getting us to come inside for dinner. Now the situation is reversed, its all about getting kids off their devices, and going outside to get some exercise. My kids are 13 and 14, and have just discovered social media, and now everything has changed almost overnight. 

    They were so active when they were younger, now my focus is getting them to exercise. Thanks for reinforcing this for me again. Great post.

    • You are so right!  We were outside until dark when I was young and my parents had to call us in to make us eat! My son was extremely active when he was younger and I would have never thought he would get so attached to technology, but it happened. We live in a totally different world now and this is a constant battle.

  5. I think P.E is becoming dangerously undervalued in our school system and I’d assume even more so with homeschooled children. Kids are brimming with energy and if they don’t have some sort of outlet then it’s no wonder that many can’t focus and are then over-prescribed medication to solve the problem. My friend homeschooled his son for a few years and I can definitely attest to the fact that after just 30 minutes playing in a park that boy was better behaved for the rest of the day and out cold right at or before his bedtime.

    • Yes, the brain and body definitely need an outlet after sitting for an extended period. My children are much more focused when I tell them to go run around or jump on the trampoline for a bit and come back to the table, I’m not sure whether homeschoolers get more or less phys ed. I would venture to say they are up and moving around more than if in a classroom, but that’s not the same as a fitness class. We are fortunate in our town to have some homeschool gym programs our children can attend and I’m thankful for them.

  6. Changing the name form Physical Education to Fitness Education was really a smart move. No wonder the program became so popular because the real focus of physical education has been shifted from earning PE credits to keeping fit. Unbelievably smart.

    Inactivity is really a great problem today with all these technological devices that encourage kids to remain in front of the screen for long.

    But Paul is really trying to make this work, by proposing a variety of activities that would make the whole process fun. It felt like this post was written for me, because I’ve been very inactive for such a long time. There is something I need to do about it.

    Thanks for such a valuable post.

    • Thank you! I agree that his approach to “Fitness Education” is so smart! I think so many of us are less active than we should be due to technology. Glad you enjoyed the article.


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