Homeschooling has become an increasingly popular choice for families, capitalizing on the flexibility of asynchronous learning and utilizing the more personalized education that many online programs offer.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 73% of parents stated a dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at traditional schools and is one of the primary reasons they chose to homeschool (NCES, 2022).
Based on that information, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that physical fitness requirements for gym classes not only lack consistency state to state in the public school system, but also county to county and school to school. Inconsistency in curriculum can not only inhibit the learning process but can ultimately cause issues with graduation and credits.
Homeschooled students have an advantage because they can personalize their curriculum and create their own consistency – some homeschooled programs are geared towards simply meeting the graduation requirements while others have emphasis on things like religion, arts, etc.
While the flexibility, consistency, and personalization of homeschooling is appealing, many homeschooled students are at more risk for sedentary behaviors and health issues.
Finding the perfect blend of physical activity at home and personal development for our children can be a challenge, though. While many online learning environments offer some kind of physical activity, it may not be what your child needs to feel motivated and successful.
A personalized, step-by-step online fitness program is available to anyone, homeschooled or not – online martial arts. Martial arts go beyond the confines of a traditional school’s gym class and in addition to physical fitness, also equips kids with confidence, self-discipline, and numerous other benefits that can reshape their educational experience.
With homeschooled children that encounter existing challenges within the realm of physical education, online martial arts are a fun and motivating program that not only instills valuable life skills but fulfills the physical activity and fitness that so many children require.
Physical Activity with a Purpose
The sedentary issues that homeschooled children face are real and pressing. With long hours spent in front of screens, it’s essential to ensure that they remain active and healthy.
In 2018, a cross-sectional study of fitness in homeschooled children with children 5-11 years found homeschooled children to have normal fat mass and body mass index levels, but elevated levels of central adiposity. Central adiposity is a more direct measure of visceral fat and may be a better measure of cardiovascular disease than body mass index.
Pediatric Education, 2019
In addition, similar studies found that compared to children who attend public/private/charter schools where physical education of some kind is generally required, homeschooled children had significantly lower levels of muscular fitness both in the abdominal (part of the “core” muscles) and upper body (arm and shoulder) areas (Kabiri, 2019).
It’s important to note that in these studies, researchers also found that public/private/charter school students tend to have unhealthier diets (more access to vending machines, etc.). This has caused many to surmise that the lack of muscular and cardiovascular fitness in homeschooled children is strictly due to lack of consistent, measured exercise.
Online martial arts offer the perfect solution, combining the physicality of gym class with the added advantage of a structured martial arts training program.
Martial arts training incorporates a wide range of activities that keep kids moving, such as kicks, punches, stances, and forms. It enhances their strength, flexibility, and coordination while helping to address sedentary habits.
Beyond the physical aspect, martial arts also provide an emotional and intellectual outlet, offering a holistic approach to well-being.
Because our program is designed to accommodate learners of all styles and skill levels, any student (homeschooled or not) can easily login daily and complete the physical challenges set before them. As their skill level increases, the challenges become more demanding; therefore, students are required to give more physical effort and tap into their mental discipline.
Our learning environment is flexible and convenient, and because we have “gamified” martial arts, we have found many of our students have the motivation to continue through the program because they enjoy what they’re doing. It isn’t a drab gym class or an online program that is boring: students can compete with one another on our leaderboard and work towards earning their next belt in the comfort of their own home.
Online martial arts fulfill the physical aspect of what is missing in many homeschooled children, but what about the mental and emotional skill development that children require?
Confidence and Self-Discipline: Lifelong Skills
One of the most remarkable aspects of online martial arts is the way it cultivates essential life skills in children.
…results have included martial arts training reducing symptoms associated with anxiety and depression; and promoting characteristics associated with wellbeing.
Moore and Woodcock, 2019
Several studies, like this one, have found that martial arts training not only elevates self-esteem, independence, and emotional regulation in its students but can also become a positive outlet for stress management.
In fact, “by practicing martial arts, you can master your mind and your emotions. That can help you develop greater emotional stability, assertiveness, self-confidence, and lessen aggressive feelings. Just like exercise strengthens your body, challenges strengthen your mind” (WebMD, 2021).
Perhaps one of the most important skills that martial arts students learn is confidence. Confidence is nurtured as they progress through their training, perfecting new techniques and taking on challenges. The belief in oneself that martial arts instill can have a profound impact on a child’s self-esteem. Each challenge that is completed is another step towards a stronger mental and emotional mindset.
In addition, self-discipline, a fundamental aspect of martial arts, is learned in the process. As they progress within their martial arts journey, their self-discipline increases and translates into life. Kids learn to set goals, work hard to achieve them, and remain dedicated even when faced with setbacks (resilience). These qualities become invaluable in their academic pursuits, transforming them into motivated and disciplined learners.
The comprehensive approach that martial arts offer is the reason why it is a better choice than a traditional gym class offered in public/private/charter schools. It’s not just about physical activity; it’s a journey of self-discovery, empowerment, and personal growth.
Our online martial arts program has revolutionized the way homeschooled children stay active, build character, and thrive in their educational journey. It has the potential to transform the educational experience, redefining how we think about physical activity in a homeschooling environment.
Martial arts provide a comprehensive solution to the sedentary issues faced by homeschooled kids. It addresses their need for physical activity by engaging them in an exciting and fun yet structured training program: and still, its influence extends far beyond physical fitness.
Through martial arts, children gain confidence and the self-assurance and resilience to face challenges head-on. These attributes not only enhance their martial arts journey but also trickle into other aspects of their lives, creating a positive ripple effect.
In the realm of homeschooling, where motivation, discipline, and personal development are crucial, these qualities are invaluable.
In many ways, online martial arts surpass the standard gym class found in traditional school environments. It offers a well-rounded educational experience, fusing physical fitness, character development, and personal empowerment into a single activity.
Online martial arts open a world of opportunities for growth and development, making homeschooling an enriching and empowering experience. Make the most of this holistic approach to education and physical activity, and watch your child thrive not only in martial arts but also in life.
Kabiri, L. (2019). Homeschoolers and Health. Retrieved from https://www.nheri.org/homeschoolers-and-health/
Moore, B., Dudley, D. & Woodcock, S. The effects of martial arts participation on mental and psychosocial health outcomes: a randomized controlled trial of a secondary school-based mental health promotion program. BMC Psychol 7, 60 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-019-0329-5
National Center for Education Statistics. (2022). Homeschooled Children and Reasons for Homeschooling. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/tgk/homeschooled-children#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20was%20a,academic%20instruction%20at%20other%20schools.
Pediatric Education. (2019). Is Physical Activity the Same for Traditionally Schooled Children and Homeschooled Children? Retrieved from https://pediatriceducation.org/2019/08/26/is-physical-activity-the-same-for-traditionally-schooled-and-homeschooled-children/