"Consistent exercise, and certain types of specific exercises,
can both temporarily and permanently affect the way your brain is able to focus,
its ability to deal with stress and anxiety, and its ability to learn … 
Exercise is like fertilizer for the brain … it’s so good, it’s like Miracle Gro
- Dr. John Ratey, Harvard Brain Researcher 
Gym. What's the first thing that comes to your mind reading that word? Maybe activities or exercising? Maybe changing your clothes in smelly locker room filled with too many other people? Or going back to class after running around and wishing your gym class was at the end of the day so you could go home and shower? Or maybe your memories are a combination of both. Whatever your memory of gym class is, I'm sure it consisted of at least one "Ugh!"

As homeschoolers, we have the luxury and responsibility to bring some form of activity into our home for our children. Sadly, the luxury often becomes more of a chore and the responsibility becomes optional. We start out with the right ideas: on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday we'll walk, and on Tuesday & Thursday we'll ride our bikes. But usually when Monday morning comes, you actually thinking about all the work that didn't get done the week before, or the housework that didn't get done over the weekend, and Monday's walk doesn't happen. Then, because of the weather, or chores, or appointments, or. . . whatever, the rest of the week's scheduled exercises are interrupted, delayed, or cancelled. 

Though this was certainly not our intention, exercise soon becomes a "fun day activity" or just free-time play. Our days then consist of school, music, maybe a sport, and laziness. YUCK!

We all know how important exercise is to staying healthy, so how did we, as homeschooling parents, who love our children and want the best for them, allow this to happen? 

Well instead of worrying about what should have been, I've got a great product to help you change what will be. The above scenario often happens because we just don't know enough about teaching a gym class. This product can change that.
Fitness 4 Home School Core 1 Curriculum K-8  by Family Time Fitness is a wonderful homeschool fitness program for kids K-8 (but good for younger and older, in my opinion) that is designed to be done right in your own home or yard. You don't have to be a gym teacher or exercise guru; you just have to be a mom or dad that wants a great phys. ed. program for your kids.

From Family Time Fitness: "Our program, designed by experts in fitness training, nutrition and body movement, is designed to suit every age and ability level while affordably fitting into your budget. Our program combines flexibility and fun with a comprehensive curriculum to give your children a foundation for strong bodies and minds." 

You may still be asking yourself why does it matter? "Why do I need a structured physical education program for my kids? Isn't any form of exercise good enough?"

You may even believe that because, while searching for homeschool curriculum, you didn't see any for "Gym" or "Physical Education", that it must not be that important. That's a mistake, though. We don't see any programs because there just aren't many out there, and especially one that is focused on teaching "spatial awareness, body awareness, environmental awareness, enhanced neurological development, mind-body coordination, stress reduction, social engagement, poise and confidence" (Family Time). 

Take a look at the comparison study done by Dr. Chuck Hillman at the University of Illinois. It's very obvious to see the energy patterns that are stimulated and changed with just 20 minutes of walking. 

And, according to Dr. John Ratey (quote above), exercise can increase your brains ability to focus, handle stress & anxiety, and learn and retain what's learned. 
Isn't that what we want for our own children?
So what does Fitness 4 Home School Core 1 Curriculum K-8 offer? 

* There's a Start up/Training Guide for parents that will walk you through the different elements of physical education, what to expect from the program, safety info, and most importantly, how to fit this program into your daily curriculum.

* There are 260 planned lessons, that include step by step instructions and a link to a video that demonstrates that actual exercise. Each lesson includes 30-45 minutes of physical activity.

* One page summaries of each lesson to allow for easy printing

* Video Demonstrations to help refresh your memory of your gym class days : ^ 0 Just kidding, lol. The videos show actual children doing the exercise so that you and your children can see the exercise in action. There are over 200 videos and you will have guaranteed lifetime access to these and all updates.

* Assessment Tools are available to help track progress. There are also downloadable nutritional logs and meal planners to use to maximize your family's fitness.

* Encouragement Emails for encouragement and motivation. These include tips & reminers, too. 

* Online Webinars are also available to you for additional instruction.

This incredible curriculum is available for just $57. You will not be disappointed! 
You can view the scope and sequence here. Below is a video that gives a sample of what this wonderful program includes. 
What We Thought: This is a great program! I am so impressed with all that Family Time has included. Each lesson includes warm ups, several exercises, cool down, and outdoor activities. And though many are simple exercises that I remember from my childhood, they are not necessarily easy. Each lesson uses muscles that may have not been used in a looooong time, : ^ ) and I definitely found myself a little sore afterward. No pain, no gain, right? Not really, but having a little soreness after not only helped me realize I am really not in shape, but also gave me the encouragement that the program was working and my body liked it. Both of my kids liked it, too. My son is already active and in acro, soccer, and luge, but I can tell you, some of these exercises weren't easy for him, either. My daughter has never really been the sports girl. She likes dance and a few other things, but likes reading and academics more than exercise. So, like me, a few of these exercises did cause a little bit of discomfort after. But she liked being able to do them. We all did.

I was very pleased with the choice of music that was dubbed in on each of the videos. It was pleasant to listen to, offered no words, and just was nice. The video clips are not long (each are less than a minute, that we could see), but very helpful. 

It was nice to be able to add in exercise to our daily routine. I will be honest and say it doesn't happen as often as it should, still, but we are working on it and excited to "keep moving forward". 

I am certain you will enjoy this program as much as we did. You can try it for free for 2 days here.

Family Time Fitness offers programs for schools and co-op's, too.

The Fitness 4 Home School Core 1 Curriculum K-8 is now available for just $57 (web price at this time). It can be quickly downloaded as a PDF file. Other members of the SRC also reviewed this program. You can read their posts by clicking below. 
Disclaimer: I received this product free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after using it. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.


09/24/2012 17:08

Great review! My kids enjoyed this product even though it was hard work at times!!
Stopping by from the Crew!


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