Homeschool PE classes
Program a win-win for children, UW–Madison students
studying to become physical education teachers
When it comes to the physical education classes offered through the Department of Kinesiology, it’s difficult to say who gets the most out of them: the homeschooled children who take the classes, or the UW–Madison students who help teach them.
“I think it’s great that they offer this class because it’s really difficult to find affordable gym classes or after school programs,” Jennifer Polasky, who homeschools two of her sons, said earlier this year at the UW Natatorium. “It’s also great for my kids socially to be around others, and they just love it.”
“Nothing beats practical experience,” said Noah Sevett, who this past spring completed his junior year with the Department of Kinesiology’s Physical Education Teacher Education program. “You can learn from textbooks and lectures, but being able to actually work with kids and get experience with how they think and act is invaluable.”
These classes provide hands-on teaching skills to UW–Madison students studying to be physical education teachers. For a small charge, the class offers quality physical activity options to about 40 children ages 3 to 12. Equipment is provided and university personnel supervise the classes.
Most recently, from February through early May, 90-minute classes took place each Thursday morning at the UW Natatorium. Each week, the homeschool students are divided into groups based on their age and are introduced to a different motor skill such as throwing, dribbling or kicking.
In addition to teaching and learning opportunities, these activities also provide a great opportunity for releasing energy and learning to work cooperatively with others. The children receive feedback on their skill development, and parents are provided with ideas for physical activities at home. The next session of classes is slated to run Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., from Sept. 25 through Nov. 20.
“The homeschool PE program is a win-win — for both the young people and families it serves, and the UW–Madison students who earn real teaching experience via this class,” says Cindy Kuhrasch, who initiated the classes back in 2005 and is a faculty associate with the Department of Kinesiology.