Why Physical Education is an Important Part of a Classical Christian Education

Contributed by Dean Helton, Assistant Athletic Director and PE Teacher

“Physical discipline produces self-control, while perseverance through difficult activities produces patience and creates habits of hard work in attaining goals – virtues that are invaluable in the classroom as they are in an athletic event.”

– Clark & Jain, The Liberal Arts Tradition

As Senior Night approaches for our Cross Country and Volleyball girls, I’d like for you all to join me in congratulating our seniors on a successful season. Their hard work and leadership throughout summer workouts and during the season has pushed our teams to new heights. Their skill advancement and Christian character are few of many attributes that others, outside of the Westminster family, have acknowledged. Show your support for these outstanding seniors as they get recognized during the Varsity Volleyball game @ 6:00pm on Thursday Sep. 27th.

It is so easy for us to assume that the only place fitness or physical activity can be done is out on the ball fields or in a gym. I call that assumption an excuse, and in all honesty one that most of us use. We forget that God’s creation has given us endless ways to take care of our body, and most importantly that He commanded us to be good stewards of our health and take care of our bodies. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6 that “… You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

So how does Physical Education fit into the classical Christian education curriculum? According to the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS), “Classical Christian education nurtures the next generation of believers to live a life transformed by a deeper love of Christ, His universe, His people, and His way.” We are His people, and Physical Education is key to teaching our Westminster Academy students how to properly take care of their bodies.

Our PE classes this year will be full of fun games that will teach proper fitness, locomotor skills, and even help advance athletic ability. 3rd through 8th grade PE classes will all be taking part in two “Fit Tests” this year. The test includes specific movements that play an important role in the development of these young students (push ups, sit ups, chin ups, mile run, and shuttle run). The reason we take one Fit Test at the beginning of the school year and then one at the end is so that each student can compare their scores to see how being physically active can help improve their health and fitness. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to put the varsity volleyball team through the same Fit Test during their summer work outs, and the results showed successful dividends.

It is my goal as their coach not to only show my students what to do but encourage them to learn why they should do each exercise. My hope is that each student will develop a passion for glorifying God with how we take care of our bodies, and I need support from parents and guardians. Coach Helton’s PE class isn’t the only place physical activity can take place. This is why I have created a Take Home Exercise Program for all Westminster students. Click here to download this file. These simple exercises can be done in your living room and with minimal space, and have a lasting impact. I highly encourage you to do these exercises with your students because fitness is for everyone! Lead by example and help mold a healthy lifestyle for your children. These charts can be filled out and turned in every month for a chance to win a little prize! Join the fun and help build a healthier and more physically fit Westminster Academy.


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