UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
By: Ace Sauerwein
Falcon News Service
Falcon News Service is part of the Department of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. News stories are prepared by student journalists.
Home-schoolers from the River Falls area may attend classes put on by university students majoring in health and physical education, a relationship that the program's leaders say is mutually beneficial.
The Physical Education Movement Academy at UW-River Falls is available primarily to home-schooled students aged anywhere from kindergarten to seniors in high school. Classes meet every or every other Tuesday during the fall and spring semesters at UWRF.
The PE Academy is mostly run by the students enrolled in "Instructional Methods in Physical Education" and a beginning methods class for physical education. Elementary pupils are taught by the beginning methods class, while middle and high school students are taught by the Instructional Methods course.
"The students in that class will actually teach," said Morgan Wilson, UWRF student coordinator of the PE Academy. "They (UWRF students) sometimes have classroom work which the teacher gives them different lesson plans that they design, and then we actually teach the home-schools in the gym."
Wilson is in charge of communicating with the parents, listing the home-schooled students on the roster, and collecting payments.
Health and physical education students at UWRF have a lot to gain through the PE Academy.
"I think it gains a lot of leadership, because I have to stay organized. I have to be on top of things," said Wilson. "I also have to be very reliable with our teacher and then all our students if they have any questions, so I think this position helps me as a teacher."
UWRF students aren't the only ones who benefit from the PE Academy.
"They (the home-schoolers) don't really get that gym experience as a home-school, so they have that time to come in here and interact with other students," Wilson said. "They also get that time to have that physical fitness that every student needs and learn different sports."
In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents in the U.S. were obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sessions are broken up into three sessions: kindergarten through second grade, third grade through sixth grade, and seventh grade through 12th grade, according to Donald Glover, a health and physical education instructor at UWRF. Glover teaches the two courses in charge of the PE Academy.
"The secondary and middle school is a little different. They go for 55 minutes. The elementary section goes for 25 minutes," said Glover.
Home-schooled students in the secondary and middle school classes warm up and focus on "presenting a skill, a skill that relates to a certain activity that they might be able to participate in," said Glover. Reviews are done at the end of each class as well.
For the elementary aged students, the focus is on "locomotor skills: balance, agility, strength," Glover said. "We are not so much into teaching sports and games with them."
Home-schooled students may still sign up for program. Further information is available on the program's website, http://bit.ly/2ehFGtl.