Plenty of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic are being learned at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But how about art, music, home economics and phys-ed?
Realizing many students are missing out on physical activity, as well as hands-on learning, while finishing the school year online, Red Deer Public Schools has started an optional course activities website.
It was launched for elementary and middle school kids just before school break and has already received more than 1,500 visits.
“It seems to be quite popular,” said Nicola Golby, associate superintendent of learning services.
She’s glad some children and youths are diving into food preparation, learning to crochet or play an instrument.
The website was designed for kindergarten to Grade 8 students, since high school students have their hands full focusing on core subjects — especially if they need to keep their marks up for post-secondary admission, said Golby.
Younger students with enough time and interest in additional studies or activities can peruse 16 optional courses, as well as one Lego Club activity, on the site.
It can be accessed through the Red Deer Public School District’s main website.
Computer coding, art and science challenges are posted, as well as wellness teachings, recipes and sewing instructions.
Fledgling musicians can learn how to play the guitar or create their own digital music.
There’s also beginners yoga, online physical workouts and activities.
Golby said teachers in specialty areas — including phys-ed, home economics, art and music — have been posting content to the website as a way of keeping their options going during the school shutdowns.
It’s also a way for them to keep connecting with students.
“This is a stressful time for kids,” added Golby. “If we can give them something to engage them, or give them something productive to do,” it could help normalize what’s otherwise a far from usual school year.