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Success can come from repetition and longevity and Elizabeth Sharp’s Homeschool PE Program has done exactly that. For nearly the last 10 years, CMU Associate Professor of Kinesiology Elizabeth Sharp, PhD, and her students have brought physical education to thousands of Grand Valley homeschool students. Sharp, who has been at CMU for the last 11 years, found that her students could gain valuable experience prior to starting their student teaching roles. At the same time, she and her students could inspire homeschool kids to be lifelong movers. 

Each fall and spring semesters, Sharp teaches Kinesiology 408, a secondary elementary course where her students teach more than 40 students in local middle and high schools about the importance of physical health. The program has such a high demand that they have a waitlist every semester. The course includes organized activities and provides kids with the motor skills needed to be active and healthy. On top of physical education (PE) exercises, CMU students get the opportunity to teach swim lessons.

 “Swimming in a PE program is something unique and not every state requires that, but the state of Colorado that is still one of the things we require,” said Sharp. The opportunity to teach swim lessons is just one more thing that makes this program a win-win for both CMU students studying teacher education and the homeschool community.

Sharp also said that because students are coming voluntarily, she sees less of a behavior issue compared to public school. 

"I found over the years that if I can spend this year with my students and focus on good teaching then when they go do a year out in the school because they’re more confident in their teaching skill and can better handle behavioral problems and make modifications,” said Sharp.

This long-standing program allows CMU students to hone their teaching skills through hands-on experience. The creative partnership between CMU and homeschool families opens up new social circles for students not in the public school system and teaches them about new activities, including swim clubs, rock wall gyms and club sports teams.

Sharp’s passion for creating lifelong movers has provided incredible opportunities for the Grand Valley and shows no signs of slowing down.


Written by Tyler Cotton