posted December 1, 1998

Steven Smith Co-Authors Book/Video for Parents Teaching Physical Education

Dr. Steven Smith of the Hope College kinesiology faculty and Dr. D. Conrad Milne of New Mexico State University have co-authored "Physical Education for the Home," a book and video package for parents who wish to teach their children physical education.

          Although the package is geared toward parents who
  are home schooling their children, the materials can serve
  all who wish to take an active role in their child's
  physical education, according to Smith, who is an associate
  professor of kinesiology and head men's soccer coach at
  Hope.
          "It's suitable for all parents who want to educate
  their children in the physical domain," Smith said.  "I
  think there's a lot for people who want to complement what's
  happening in the schools."
          The materials are intended to help parents teach
  their children the correct way to exercise and to establish
  a foundation for lasting physical fitness.  The materials,
  developed for children spanning the first through sixth
  grade levels in age, were published earlier this year by
  Alpha Omega Publications of Chandler, Ariz.
          Interested in the topic of home schooling, Smith
  learned that while studies had already examined the
  cognitive and social skills of home schooled children, the
  state of their physical education was not addressed.  In the
  course of conducting research on the topic himself, he
  developed some thoughts on ways to help the parents
  involved.
          Five years ago, for example, he helped establish a
  physical education class at Hope for children who are being
  home schooled.  Each fall about 40 elementary-age students
  participate in the program, guided by Hope kinesiology
  students.
          He also felt that a published guide could be
  helpful.  "One of the things that became clear was that
  there was a need for some written materials, because they
  didn't exist," he said.  "Ours is the first of its kind on
  the market."
          Smith was connected with Milne through a colleague
  at Michigan State University, who knew that they were both
  interested in the topic.
          The book and the accompanying video promote
  development of the student's basic and advanced motor
  skills.  The materials provide guidelines for setting
  programs for and evaluating fundamental motor skills and
  health-related fitness, and tips for teaching more advanced
  skills.
          The curriculum teaches the sequential progression
  of hopping, galloping, skipping, running, jumping, throwing,
  catching, striking, punting and kicking.  The book also
  includes several activities for building aerobic endurance,
  muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility, in
  addition to discussing how to motivate children to
  participate and reviewing the benefits of physical fitness.
          Smith has been a member of the college's faculty
  since 1990.  He holds a bachelor's degree from Grand Rapids
  Baptist College (now Cornerstone College), and a master's
  and doctorate from Michigan State University.  His doctorate
  is in motor development.