This fall, the New Canaan YMCA partnered with Young Homeschoolers of Fairfield County to introduce a new homeschool program, providing physical activity and social interaction to homeschooled students. Currently, 19 children in preschool through first grade meet every week for a gym class and a hands-on lesson. The goal of the program is to help provide homeschooled children with organized physical activity as well as providing both the children and parents with the opportunity to socialize, both of which are important aspects of child development.
The children and their mothers meet every Tuesday for four hours at the Y. Participants begin their day in gym class, where they engage in different physical activities such as soccer, floor hockey, tag, and relay races. Afterwards, a hands-on lesson is taught in one of the Y’s classrooms, where each week a different mother teaches a lesson. During the lessons, students learn about music and partake in a variety of arts and craft projects. All parents stay throughout the program giving them the chance to socialize about lesson plans, share ideas, and enjoy a free hour while the kids are in gym class.
“Exercise is a vital part of youth development and helps children develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, and of course physically, which is why we are excited to help provide an organized gym class for this group,” said Davie Cedela, Youth and Family Director at the New Canaan YMCA. She added, “It’s great to watch the children and parents interact with each other as well. It’s a social aspect for the parents as much as it is for the kids.”
The homeschool program strives to help homeschooling parents fulfill the need for physical and social activity for their children. Xela, a current 4-year old participant and student said, “Our school day is fun because I get to do gym with my coaches, learn with my friends, and they have great slides outside for us to slide on!”
Josette, a parent of one of the participants in the program added, “Our collaboration with the New Canaan YMCA gives our homeschooled children the best of both worlds: they not only get the one-on-one teaching and child specific curriculum at home, but they also get the classroom and peer group experience of traditional schooling at the Y. They are a lucky lot of homeschoolers, indeed.”
Following a successful pilot with Young Homeschoolers of Fairfield County, the Y hopes to expand the program to older homeschoolers, utilizing resources at the Y available to older children, as well as homeschoolers in the community, providing a cost-effective option for these families to engage in physical and enriching activity within a social setting.
For additional information, contact Davie Cedela at 203-966-4528, ext. 141.