By DENISE ELAM
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Amber Cox drives 20 minutes from Concordia, Missouri, to Warrensburg each Thursday to take her children to a homeschool P.E. program at the Warrensburg Community Center. She was looking for something to help her children be more active when she found the program online.
“We’ve always done things to keep them active, but a lot of things we do are just really expensive,” Cox said. “We’ve done gymnastics and different sports… but you pay a lot of money to do it outside of the school system, and so this is actually something that’s really affordable that they’re very active with instead.”
Cox said her children have been involved in two sessions so far and really like it. She said there’s nothing like this homeschool P.E. program in her area.
Teresa Romanowicz, the recreation supervisor for health and wellness at the Warrensburg Parks and Recreation Center, said the program has three sessions per semester, each running for five weeks at a time. She said the students play team building games, learn how to do exercises like squats and pushups and take one swim lesson per session.
“It was created because we have a pretty big homeschool group here in Warrensburg, kind of a co-op, so we put it out there so that this covers their P.E. credits and we bring in P.E. majors to teach the class,” Romanowicz said. She said the current coaches are both UCM students.
The sessions are open to students between the ages of five and 15. The students are split up between the two coaches based on age, with the 5 to 10-year-olds grouped together and the 10 to 15-year-olds in a different group.
“So they take their teams (and) we divide up the gym,” Romanowicz said. “We drop the curtain down and they each have their own sides.”
She said the coaches send her lesson plans each week and then she sends them to the parents.
“Each week it’s just a different thing, so sometimes I’ll have one of the instructors send me a lesson plan that’s going to be totally different than what the other instructor will do,” Romanowicz said.“I like to break it up so that they have an actual lesson and they end with their fun game… It promotes having the kids really listen to their instructor because they want to do that game at the end.”
Lacey Pyeatte said her son enjoys the homeschool P.E. program. She moved to Warrensburg from Colorado in November and found out about the program online.
“I think it’s awesome. They do a good job with the kids and he likes it,” Pyeatte said. “He’s really shy, so he participates in this one and they seem to do good exercises and teaching him stretches and push-ups and stuff like that.”
Romanowicz said homeschool P.E. costs $15 per session. She said parents or older siblings who drop off the students for the program are allowed to use the track or weight room at no extra charge.
Romanowicz said she hopes the program has a good impact on the community of Warrensburg.
“This is a great community center, I think…so, hopefully it just brings people into the community center to know that this is a safe, fun place to go,” Romanowicz said. “It’s a community type of atmosphere. Moms come in, drop off their kids for P.E., come off the track, work out, go run an errand, (and) do whatever they need to do. . . it’s just a hanging place and we kind of want that for the community center.”