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UVU offers PE classes for home-schooled kids


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OREM -- Home-schooled and online-schooled kids in Utah now have a chance to attend a real physical education class.

Utah Valley University students are stepping up as gym teachers. The new program not only teaches the young students athletic skills, it helps college students prepare for future careers.

UVU Professor Shaunna McGhie said, "It gives them an opportunity to prepare lessons and teach those things we are learning about in the methods class."

McGhie came up with this physical education program not only for her students, but for the young students too.

Shawnell Larsen with the Washington Online School said, "As most of our students are schooled at home, this gives them a chance to do P.E. with a group of kids their age, and with real teachers."

All these young kids are either taught at home or online, so P.E. is a subject often overlooked -- but not anymore.

"Their parents bring them every week," said Larsen. "UVU has their student teachers, and they get them in groups of kids their own age, and they plan and learn real hard."

And the older students learn too.

"I've seen tremendous progress in my kids teaching at a developmentally-appropriate level for the children," McGhie said.

This new program started in January and runs a total of 12 weeks. It's only for elementary-aged students, and they limit the enrollment to 80 kids. The students are divided into four classes of 20, a more manageable size for the university students.

The parents of the home-schooled kids appreciate the break.

"The parents have been wonderful. I've had all positive feedback," McGhie said.

Because this new program has been so successful, UVU plans to offer it every spring for home-schooled and online-schooled kids.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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