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Vol. XXV
No. 4

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by MaryAnn Carver
- disclaimer -
Sports and Games: Get Active this Summer!
Column Host
MaryAnn Gaver

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

—I Corinthians 6:20

Your children will learn valuable lessons and receive great benefits from playing games and sports. Whether it’s a backyard game of badminton or croquet, or something as simple as playing catch or shooting baskets, think of building family closeness as you enjoy recreation together.

  • Look at the physical benefits of doing sports. Everyone wins while building stronger muscles and bones, gaining better coordination, and having healthier hearts and minds.
  • Consider the best activity strategy. Just because swimming, fishing, and bicycling are typical summer sports, it doesn’t mean they’re for everyone. You might opt for something totally different.
  • Decide when to take a more structured approach. Sure, every child needs time to romp in the backyard, use the swing set, or visit the park, but there may be a time for organized sports. Kids will gain valuable skills such as learning to be a good team player, respecting coaches, and exhibiting good sportsmanship.

So, put the pencils down, turn the computer off, and get moving. And, as you enjoy the blessing of healthy recreation, you’ll notice that more than just your body benefits.

MaryAnn Gaver and her husband, Jay, have been homeschooling their twin sons for eight years.

Have a Game Plan

With our ADHD son, we use both sports and games for learning. He jumps on the mini trampoline for math fact drills, skip-counts while hopping on numbered floor tiles, and runs laps to remember facts. Playing bingo works for just about any memory need. We use Sorry!® and Monopoly® games for counting, money, and sportsmanship practice, and a Yahtzee® game for skip-counting and adding numbers in columns. We use chocolate chips or Cheerios® cereal for grouping (he likes to eat them afterward!). We try to make a game for anything tedious. Learning should be fun and should connect with everyday life.

by Nikki P. / Rochester, NY

Math in Motion

My two sons were typical active boys, and practicing math facts with flash cards usually elicited groans of protest, especially on those sunny early spring days. Tapping into their innate tendency for perpetual motion, I moved our math class to the front sidewalk. With chalk, I wrote two numbers on each section of sidewalk. The number set depended on the facts we were learning but were always in numerical order. The boys lined up at one end and waited for me to recite a fact such as three plus four. Then they raced to stand on a numbered space, scoring a point for each correct answer. We played this many times, and they never complained when I announced, “Time for a math race!” In fact, we were sometimes joined by neighborhood children who attended the public school across the street!

by Denise C. / Thurmont, MD

Share Your Tips

This column is designed to feature teaching tips, encouragement, and advice from homeschooling parents.

Our topic for the November/December 2009 issue is Hospitality. Whether you’re hosting a fancy dinner, a simple family gathering, or a relaxing evening with friends, how do you teach your children to be hospitable? Send us a brief description (150 words or less). Submissions may be edited for space. Mail submissions to:

Attn: Parent to Parent, HSLDA
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134

Or email us (include “Parent to Parent” in the subject line) at

Please include your name and address. Submission deadline is 8/28/09.