Curriculum and the status of physical education in homeschooling

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Jill A. Kanaley


Curriculum, Physical education, Homeschooling

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education


Homeschooling is a growing segment of our educational system and the quality of the physical education curriculum in this venue should be of concern to physical education professionals. This study investigated physical education in homeschooling; more specifically, how much physical education instruction occurs, how much physical activity takes place in the homeschool family, and the part curriculum plays in the homeschool physical education program. An original survey was sent to 365 homes in three homeschool groups, each in a different state, with a 30% return rate.

Homeschoolers estimated that they spend an average of four hours per week in physical education. Yet, these same homeschoolers indicated that they spent little of that time in instruction of fundamental motor skills, team sport skills, or individual/dual sport skills. The children in this study were, on average, active over an hour a week in recreation or work that required modest physical activity. A significant difference was discovered between parent's physical activity and children's physical activity (p < 0.05) with children showing a higher level of activity. Curriculum, an important tool for homeschoolers, was found to be a weak area for physical education, but t-Test analysis did find a positive significant difference (p < 0.00) between curriculum use and instruction with the amount of instruction going up when a curriculum was used. The findings revealed a need for better physical education instruction in the homeschool setting. Further investigation is needed as to how best this need can be met; whether by more and better physical education curricula, more and better dissemination of physical education information through the support group structure, or more and better interaction between homeschoolers and physical education professionals.


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