Summer School for Physical Education courses


This weekend I learned that some school systems offer physical education in the summer to allow students to get it out of the way so they can take other courses during the school year.

I guess a good example might be a high school junior or senior interested in getting higher courses under their belt before they enter college…

My question: Wouldn’t physical education be more beneficial (physically) taken on a regular basis throughout the year and not just for a few weeks in the summer?

It just doesn’t seem like a good idea as far as establishing a habit of regular exercise, regular being the operative word.

If we could all stay in shape by working out for a few weeks in July, wouldn’t more of us be in shape?

Maybe I just don’t know enough about it. Anyone care to comment or elaborate?



Well, if you think school gym classes really make kids want to continue regular exercise, I think you are mistaken :stuck_out_tongue:

I know I’m not athletic and gym was a horrible experience all through school because the teachers were often the coaches and the athletes were favored and those of us who couldn’t perform athletically were at worst made fun of and at the best ignored. :rolleyes:

I know I took 2 summers of summer gym to get those classes out of the way so that I could take classes I wanted during the school year (extra choir, more math, etc). We played all the games and such that you do during the year, it was less stressful because you didn’t have to rush to shower and change (I just walked home :slight_smile: ). We were outside nearly everyday because the weather was nice–couldn’t do that in the fall and spring–cold and snow.

For me, it was the best choice academically and really, gym didn’t make me want to continue exercising/athletics–whether I took it over the school year or summer–mostly because of the attitude of those in charge. The love of sports and exercise is something that comes from the family and the lifestyle the family lives.



I am all in favor of getting it out of the way. PE in college (it was not offered to girls when I was in HS) in no way contributed to physical fitness and it only introduced the basic of a few team sports which I had no intention of pursuing. I delayed graduation for several years because I stupidly left the PE requirement until the last semester, when I was heavily pregnant and unable to perform the course requirements. By the time I got back in the groove catalog had changed for my my major and I had to take two more semesters of coursework to graduate. fortunately DD#2 followed my advice, did her PE long ago, and will graduate next month (although she refuses to take part in the ceremony because she feels too big to walk across the stage, I tell her that is what the robe is for, but nonetheless we are proud of her achievemnt, and eagerly awaiting a new grandchild as well.).


If High School gym really was all about physical fitness and exercise then I would agree with the OP but even in my day it wasn’t about getting exercise everyday. If this were the case then dance classes should be considered part of the PE credit but they are not. There is Sex Ed. as part of the PE course setting these days too (in my day we did that in Biology Class with Sister Alexine).

Not every day of PE even has something physical involved. There is plenty of sit down activity as well. So, I too am all for “getting it over with” in the summer so you don’t waste time during the school year taking classes that are far more interesting to the student and if they wish to exercise, they can go to the gym and either do an aerobic class or workout on the machines or do Curves or go to Jazzercise!

Brenda V.


The physical health and exercise habits of my kids is my business. It’s not up to the school.

Since schools require gym classes, they can offer them anytime they want. If it helps a student focus on academics during the school year, sure get it out of the way in the summer. --KCT


With a few exceptions, I hated P.E. as a kid. Like the previous poster said, at best I was ignored, at worst I was picked on. To this day, I hate volleyball, jogging, running, kickball, and most other activities covered in my elementary school PE even though I enjoy swimming, biking, and most other activities not covered in PE. Even when playing volleyball with a bunch of very friendly and noncompetitive friends at Newman, I still flashed back to being the ten year old who got made fun of because she couldn’t hit the ball over the net. And no, the irony of the fact that my elementary school PE teacher must have weighed at least 300 pounds and could not do any of the exercises on her own does not escape me. High school PE was tolerable, but I still considered it a complete waste of time.

When completing my community college coursework, I decided not to get an associate’s degree prior to transfer because I didn’t want to take a 1 unit PE class, even as I biked to school. I had fulfilled all other requirements to get a fairly useless associate’s degree in social science. Retrospectively, I might have enjoyed a class in some sport I cared about. I even signed up for taekwondo in my senior year of college, but then I dropped it because I wanted to sleep in. As I have a bachelor’s in econ now, I don’t think an associate’s in social science would have affected my employability one iota.

Originally PE was introduced to keep high school students in good enough physical condition to be drafted. I think PE classes should focus more on healthy fitness/exercise habits and less on competitive sports. The jocks who actually enjoy that kind of thing already get that in their after school sports anyway.


PE these days is not about staying in shape… unfortunately.
If it were, it would be required every single day, every single year.
Unfortunately, the normal requirement these days to graduate from high school only requires 2 physical education classes.

While I do agree with the ideals of encouraging everyday physical education, unless the requirements change you’re not going to see that a reality…

I choose to take all my PE courses the summer BEFORE my freshman year of high school. That’s right… after that summer I took NO physical education courses in my 4 full years of high school.
It did allow me to take more advanced placement courses and to continue taking electives like symphonic band all 4 years. So it was worth it to me to get those PE classes out of the way.


I recommend taking PE in the summer. In my school, and I’m sure in other schools, you actually got very little physical activity from PE in the school year. It was a 45-minute period in which a lot of the time was spent changing in and changing out rather than doing anything. In the summer there was a lot more activity (we played dodgeball for four hours), and then in the year with PE out of the way I could take other stuff which I would actually enjoy, like extra art.


BIL teaches PE in public school and fully half his time is spent teaching “health” as in AIDS prevention, drug prevention, sex ed, (fortunately his district uses an abstitence reality curriculum), and similar programs. Even the “gym” portions of his classes are often more about learning rules and fundamentals than out and out fitness, exercise, sweating, and half the kids are out because of bogus excuses at any one time.


My daughter needs to take health and PE in summer school. She is in a magnate program and there isn’t enough time in the school day to fit all her classes in. As for exercise, she plays volleyball and if she’s not practicing for the high school team, she is practicing for the club team. It seems very competitive at an earlier age to get more classes and harder classes to prepare for college.


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