Thursday, September 13, 2012

TOS Review - Family Time Fitness

I just realized that one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is that Julianna will never have to wear a uniform in a Phys Ed class.  Mine in Junior High was bad.  So bad that on the last day of our 9th grade year, we had a slumber party and burned those uniforms. (Yes, I went to school when it was 7th-9th grade and called Junior High. I'm a child of the 80's.) They were one piece, red and white striped jersey knit. Think prison uniforms. *shiver*   Gosh, those were traumatic years.  On the flip side, we used to play awesome games like Dodge Ball, Kill Ball (This was Dodge Ball's older, meaner brother - played with basketballs thrown by the strongest kids in class while all of us prison-uniformed students lined up against the gym walls.), Dead Man's Tag (If you were tagged you had to sit down and then your friends could drag you by your arms and legs back to safety as they ran passed - limb dislocation rocked!) and Crab Soccer (Think crab walking all over the gymnasium kicking each other in the shins trying to score a goal.)  Gosh, those were great years.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, my friends.  So, what made me have nightmarish flashbacks to my formidable Phys Ed years?  Planning Phys Ed activities for Julianna.  Thankfully, I have found something that eases the bad memories, Family Time Fitness.

The hubs and I (along with many friends at church :-) ) have been on a diet (or as Julianna calls it "pain and suffering") since early February and since Julianna is a total carb kid and a self proclaimed "sweetenarian", I thought it might not be a bad idea if we had a more structured Phys Ed program to help foster a healthier lifestyle, other than just playing outside, which we still do.  I had gotten some information about Family Time Fitness' Fitness 4 Homeschool curriculum at a homeschool conference last Spring, but in the hubbub of planning everything else, it sort of worked it's way down the "must have" ladder.  But, see how cool the Lord is?  I was totally stoked when it popped up as a review.  Yes, please!

We received their Core 1, K-8 Curriculum to review.  For only $57 it includes 260 detailed lessons (downloadable pdf) that are progressive and sequential.  The only equipment you need are things that you already have, most likely, or can easily substitute.  You'll need bean bags or small balls (one suggestion given was balled up socks), hula hoop (the dollar stores sell them, if you don't have one), cones (or something to mark boundaries), stopwatch (hello, cell phone), outside balls / foam balls (can be used for activities both inside and outside depending on if you have to adapt due to the weather), jump rope, measuring tape and an exercise mat (or in our house, blankets and pillows/cushions).  

The lesson plans are all laid out the same (and feels very much like a traditional gym class):  the skills that will be taught (i.e. mobility, coordination, etc.) along with the equipment needed and recovery times between activities that are suggested (which are generally 30 seconds to 1 minute), warm ups, activity/game time, cool downs and an outdoor activity.  Also included in the curriculum are additional forms for downloading:  assessment tracking sheets, activity tracking sheets, and other health related forms:  meal planning, shopping lists, food diary and a nutrition journal.  

The majority of the activities could easily be done with just Julianna and myself.  The outdoor games/activities are saved for when Dad comes home.  Even then we still have a small group, but at least 3 participants is a little more fun for most games than just 2.  In my opinion, one of the best features of the curriculum are the video demonstration links that are included for every activity and game planned.  For example, say you were reading your lesson plan and you didn't know what it meant by the activity, crabwalk (unlike me since you already know I lettered in crab soccer in Jr High), you just click the handy dandy link and viola!  A YouTube demonstration video pops up.  Did I mention it's for every activity and game? Every one.  

So, friends, don't let your traumatic experiences from your past school years scare you off from teaching your kiddos Phys Ed.  Family Time Fitness makes it a very easy decision.  And at $57 for the whole family, it's a pretty economical one too!  

You can read what my other Crew Mates thought of the program here

*Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a copy of the Core 1 Curriculum in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was given. *


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