Homeschoolers enjoy fun break at Viera Regional Community Center

New recreational leader Kyle Weaver helps Jean-Luc, 6, and Jolie Hardy, 4, with a penguin-themed craft hat.

Every Tuesday, home-schooled children ranging in age from 5 to 11 can take a break from learning at home to engage in fun activities at the Viera Regional Community Center.

The homeschool program, which begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m., is comprised of three different classes, all held in succession. These courses center on art, life skills  and physical education. The three-hour homeschool class is held year round, with the exception of holidays.

Kyle Weaver, a recreational leader, and Chris Pear, a recreational aide, teach the class together. Weaver has newly transferred to Viera from Central Brevard where he worked the past six years in the after school program and sports programs, specifically basketball, football and soccer.

"It’s a real cool activity for all ages. They can meet new friends and learn new skills," Weaver said of the homeschool class.

Weaver currently is working toward his bachelor’s degree in sports management, with a minor in parks and recreation, at Eastern Florida State College.

Pear also is a highly-qualified educator, with a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. His enthusiasm for teaching shows as he displays a rain sombrero, a previous project the children made in art class. He emphasized that the teamwork between older and younger students is tantamount to their learning experience.

Recreational coordinator Margaret Sowders said that students have a say in the curriculum. The children discuss things they’d like to learn. Then, they vote.

Money seems to be a popular theme in the life skills class, including banking and the mechanics of shopping in a store, taking on the roles of cashier or customer. Another life skill previous learned was using a compass, and reading signs and maps. In December, Arctic animals were a theme in art class, bullying and how words can affect others in life skills class, and teamwork and hand-eye coordination by passing a ball back and forth in physical education class.

Fees for the homeschooling class are nominal: $2 each per art, PE and life skills classes, or $6 total. A $20 pass can be purchased at the center, which includes two free classes. Passes also can be purchased in increments of $40 or $60, with four and six free classes respectively.

"The kids have a great time," said Pear of the homeschool class. "I’m so excited to be doing this."

The Viera Regional Community Center is located at 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way. For more information, call 321-433-4891.