Remote Learning for Kids Extends to P.E.

Local school teacher finding ways to promote a healthy lifestyle while kids are out of school

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Schools across San Diego County are shut down as we all deal with the coronavirus pandemic so children are largely on remote learning plans.

“They have to do their math, they have to do their spelling, they have to do those things, and then they’re considering a P.E. as an option, also,” said Jessica Higgins, P.E. teacher and coach at Christian Unified Schools of San Diego.

So to help out in that avenue she decided to jump on the digital teaching train.

Coach Higgins and Sarah Kurfess, a junior high P.E. instructor, are putting together kid-friendly workout videos for different age levels.

“K through three and four through six (grades) and just creating a different avenue for them to get their wiggles out, stay active, stay fit and stay healthy,” said Higgins.

The workouts are uploaded three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, via Google Classroom. They’re available to help kids and parents learning at home.

“If it is the parents’ choice, great! Use that. If not I’ve given them options as far as going on walks, things like that,” said Higgins. “As long as they’re documenting what they’re doing and returning it to me I’m totally happy with it.”

Oh yes, just like math or history homework, the kids need to turn in something to get credit for their physical education grades so Jessica is requiring evidence that an active lifestyle is being pursued.

“As long as they’re posting up to, like, a minute video of what they’re doing … which, I have to say, as a kindergarten through 6th grade P.E. teacher, it is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Higgins. “As long as they’re posting either a picture or a video of what they’ve been doing to stay physically active it’s something that’s still beneficial, especially with technology today. I’m going to lead you on a video. You can show me on a video.”

This is not an easy task. Every family has a different setup at home. Some have a large living room to work out in, others have a smaller piece of carpet to work with.

“It has been quite a challenge to grasp what it’s going to work with for them at home. I guess my biggest passion is to advocate for them a healthy and active lifestyle even during this time,” said Higgins.

Normally several kids would have the ability to get their exercise through a team sport like Little League or softball or gymnastics or soccer. Those activities aren’t available now either. Adding to the difficulty is the age group. If you’re talking about 9-year-olds exercising around their parents you’d better make it fun or it’s not going to go very far.

“I’m just trying to add in some Kidz Bop or some fun movin’ and groovin’ music, so to speak, just so they are staying engaged and staying entertained,” said Higgins. “Honestly it’s been really exciting because some of the parents are even joining in on the videos. Some of the teachers have access to these videos and they’re doing it with us. I think having the kids see their parents and their own classroom teachers do it has been kind of exciting for them, too.”

And a fun way to help keep kids healthy during a trying time. You can find more workouts on Jessica's YouTube page here:

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