Home schooling: The cycling way

Grab your supplies and make your lessons all about bikes
Two board markers, a red pen, a green pen and red and yellow line pictures of bicycles on a white backdrop
Two board markers, a red pen, a green pen and red and yellow line pictures of bicycles on a white backdrop
Rich Wevill's picture

Home schooling: The cycling way

If you've been homeschooling children this week in between attempting to host video conference calls and respond to emails then you have probably discovered a new found respect for the teaching profession who do this every week.

When Cycling UK member Patrick Leonard got in touch with his ideas for cycling-based projects for his bike-mad grandsons -one in the UK, one in the US- we felt it was something other parents might like to adapt, rather than resorting to hiding in the staffroom, sorry, kitchen. 

Geography

Students choose one country in the world and research what it is like to cycle there. Is it mountainous or flat, what is the climate like for cycling, do people use their bicycles mainly for transport or for leisure?


Close up picture of a map of Denmark and Southern Sweden

History

Another research based task where pupils find out as much as they can about how and when cycling stated. If your child or someone else in the family is already a member of a local club, ask them to find out how long it has been going and maybe how it started?

Creative writing 

Give a set time for youngsters to write an essay about a favourite ride they have been on, describing how the ride made them feel, what they saw, heard and smelt during the rode.

Design

Let them choose a particular type of bike (BMX, cargo, cyclocross, recumbent) and ask them to produce a report on the ways it is different from other bikes and is adapted for its particular use.

Or for those who fancy something a little more arty, why not get youngsters to draw a new cycling jersey or helmet. Or combine the two and set them the task of designing and drawing a new prototype bike.

Languages

Many common cycling expressions are French in origin, can your home schoolers explain what the following terms mean – peloton; bidon; musette; derailleur, velo? Can you find any more examples of foreign language words English-speaking cyclists use. Ce n'est pas difficile.

Maths  

Examine how gear ratios, gradient and air resistance all affect cycling performance. Or just set a few cycling-based equations like this. Rory and Jess both live eight miles from school. Rory cycles twice as fast as his little sister Jess. if she leaves for school at five past eight and it takes her 35 minutes to get to school, what is the latest Rory can leave and still arrive at the school gates before she does. Sorry this one is a trick question as Rory gets the bus, but your get the idea.


A calculator displaying the value 8185 placed atop a purple folder

Biology

What biological factors make some people better at long distance and endurance riding and others more suited to producing short bursts of speed?

Food 

You could also make some high-energy snacks to take on your next ride. British Cycling have lots of recipes on their website and you could make a few different bars and get the children to rate them on taste as well as which one gave them the biggest boost.

Which leads us on to the vital physical education, cycling can help us stay healthy and lift our spirits at this difficult time. Tte only danger is once your kids have got through all this lot, they’ll be thoroughly sick of the sight of a bicycle.

 

  • Do you have any ideas for other topics which we could add to the cycling curriculum or online resources you use to enable homeschoolers to learn and play? All ideas gratefully recieved. 

 

Family     Youth
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