Health Education in the Homeschool

In public schools, health education in a very important part of a child’s education. Some schools make it part of physical education classes. Parts of health education are integrated into science. In high school, students are required to take at least one health education class in the four years.

When homeschooling, health education is seldom a major focus. Still, homeschoolers tend to cover a full health curriculum in the course of homeschooling. Here are some major aspects of health education as covered in homeschooling

Self Image is often focused on in lower grades and consists of programs designed to let the child know that he is OK, just as he or she is. Self-image programs teach childe that it is not ok to treat others badly because of what they look like, and to not do the same to others. In homeschooling, a good self-image instruction comes in the form of getting to know all kinds of people and being taught to appreciate other people for their strengths and weaknesses. As children spend so much time with their parents, self-image lessons usually happen during the ever-present teachable moment when a parent can take a comment or occurrence and immediately discuss it with the child.

Human Body instruction is normally covered in science instruction. In the lower grades, a child would learn the basics parts of the body such as skin, organs, and circulations. Later, when a child is ready, usually in middle school, a parent can choose a science program that more fully discovers the functions of the body including the reproductive systems.

Sex Education, which is a big embarrassing deal in school and is often taught too young in schools is a part of human body instruction as mentioned above.

Physical Fitness instruction beings in infancy with a homeschooler. Unlike organized, structured games and exercises used for instruction in public school, homeschool physical fitness classes consists of sports activities with other homeschoolers and plenty of time for free outdoor play.

Tobacco, Alcohol, and drugs are often covered in the early grades in public school through a series of films that show children how abusing these substances can hurt the family or individual. Occasionally there are programs in middle and high school where people who have experience drunk driving will come in and speak to an assembly. Homeschoolers usually address these topics when discussing body organs such as the lung or liver. Christian and other religious homeschoolers often cover these topics in morality or religious training.

Nutrition and weight control teaches students about the food pyramid (in whatever the current form is at the time), and how to read food labels. These lessons also emphasize the importance of physical fitness. In homeschooling, these lessons are taught at the kitchen table and while shopping for groceries.