8th Apr, 2020

Joe Wicks becomes the nation's PE teacher - and we join in at home

HERE one of The Observer’s Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire-based journalists now working from home – and home-schooling – lets Joe Wicks takeover for PE…

My daughter about to start her first PE with Joe exercise session in the lounge.

WE are one of the million who have been livestreaming fitness coach Joe Wicks’ daily PE workouts into our living room during this first week of UK schools’ lockdown.

If you’re not familiar with tousle-haired former personal trainer, he’s known for his HIIT sessions and Lean 15-minute recipe cookbooks as The Body Coach.

Former personal trainer Joe Wicks – The Body Coach

And his daily ‘PE with Joe’ free workouts have quickly become a Youtube sensation.

My 11-year-old jumped at the challenge on Monday as her dad set up the TV ready for Joe’s first 9am 30-minute HIIT session for children.

Photo: Instagram

Joe was set to be touring the country’s schools, but after it was cancelled last week he came up with an alternative plan…

“I’m going to be the nation’s PE teacher,” he announced on social media last Thursday in a bid to improve the health of UK children forced to stay at home because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Joe said he had “never seen anything like” the support his workout received on Facebook, where it was shared more than 150,000 times, with support from teachers who directed pupils to the stream as an alternative to PE lessons.

But for his 9am PE with Joe HIIT session, families have also been tuning in from countries including Brazil, South Korea, Jamaica and India. Every morning from now until schools reopen, he looks set to be PE teacher to the world.

Our daughter, who’s in Year 6, was put through her paces with a range of warm-ups, squats, star jumps, lunges, side-to-side Kangeroo jumps and Spiderman exercises for the arms.

PE with Joe lesson in full flow

So what was the verdict? “It was really good – but tiring!” she said. The next day she was up, ready and dressed (a miracle!) for the next PE lesson as were many of her school friends – it had 954k livestreams. Let’s just hope the enthusiasm continues…

Back to home-schooling on the kitchen table…

  • Note all grandparents – Joe has just launched a new 10-minute Home Workout For Seniors!

 

10 more fun, creative online classes to try out with kids during this indefinite period of home-schooling:

  • Drawing tutorials with Rob Biddulph (see some of the pictures submitted by young artists this week above) – Who better to teach your kids how than official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019 and 2020, Rob Biddulph? In his #DrawWithRob series, the man himself will post a short and sweet tutorial every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am for kids to draw along with. Bonus points if you also pick up a couple of the books so that your artists-in-the-making can spot the characters they’re drawing, robbiddulph.com/home
  • the 30-day Lego challenge – this plan outlines a daily challenge that you can set for the children, from ‘build a house’ to ‘design a new space rocket’
  • Shakespeare Week, shakespeareweek – all year free cross-curricular resources for home educators, families and kids from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
  • Older children and teens can check out the RSC’s Shakespeare Learning Zone with plot guides, timelines, video, quizzes and more – youtube.com
  • The Facebook group Online Classes For Kids is fast becoming a hub for virtual classes.
  • Virtual arts and crafts lessons with The Creation Station who have teachers in Coventry and Solihull – thecreationstation
  • Creative writing with Sarah Webb – Irish children’s author Sarah Webb is proving the pen is mightier than coronavirus with her daily Creative Bursts series, posted in collaboration with the Museum of Literature Ireland. The series includes writing prompts for budding authors aged 9+, as well as some slightly more complex prompts for those aged 11 and over included in the free downloadable PDFs. Plus, all you’ll need is a pen and paper. sarahwebb.info
  • Online bake-along with Three Bears Cookery Club – these clever classes from award-winning Derbyshire-based Three Bears Cookery Club aim to keep little ones entertained and take care of the constant snack conundrum. From Mon Mar 23, the team will be running live classes two to three times a week over Zoom to help teach junior bakers handy kitchen skills – and you may get a tasty treat out of the bargain, too. Sign up for their mailing list for more info, threebearscookeryclub
  • Coding with CodeCamp – Instead of worrying about the kids spending their days playing video games, have them build their own instead! To give you a helping hand, the tech whizzes at CodeCamp have made their subscriptions free, which means you can get pre-made lessons plans delivered straight to your inbox. Children will be creating games they can download to their phones before you know it.
  • For children interested in the galaxy and outer space the NASA website is packed full of free activities and worksheets.

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