Thursday, September 13, 2012

Family Time Fitness = FUN

It's no secret that children need exercise, and a lot of it!  Obviously, it's important for the health benefits.  However, I also see a difference in my children's attitudes when their bodies are worked along with their minds!  That being said, I'm not always the best about making sure my children get *enough* physical stimulation.  I have two very active boys, though, so I jumped at the chance to try Family Time Fitness!

Fitness 4 Homeschoolers is a complete K-8 physical education program!  The introduction includes safety information, an equipment list and other important information you should know before beginning.  There is an (optional) assessment that helps you track progress throughout the program.  Additional tools include a daily food diary, grocery list, meal planner, nutrition log and a tracking calendar.

The Lesson Plans
There are 260 professionally designed lesson plans with detailed instructions for every warm-up, game and cool-down exercise, as well as video demonstrations.  I will say, the video demonstrations are very helpful for this pregnant mom who can't always explain/demonstrate certain activities!  The lessons are in PDF format, but they are so thoroughly detailed it would be cumbersome to print, so they have also included a one page summary of each lesson to reduce printing costs. 

Most of the materials used in the lessons are probably things that families already have around.  These are the recommended items needed.
  • Bean Bags
  • Jump Rope
  • Hula Hoop(s)
  • Playground Balls (or volleyball, soccer ball or basketball)
  • Foam Balls/Beach Balls are good alternatives for indoor play
  • Cones (we use large rocks so the dog doesn't carry them off)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Stop Watch (I use the one on my cell phone)
  • Exercise Mat, optional
As you can see, most of these things can easily be picked up at a dollar store or substituted with things from around the house.

How We Used The Lessons
It's recommended to use the program 3-5 days a week to get the most benefit, but with the chaos of our move, we aimed for 1 or 2 days a week.  I imagine we will pick up the pace once we get settled down.  The activities are designed so they can be completed inside (except the extra outdoor activity to extend the lesson), which is a real bonus for this winter, but we do prefer to do them outdoors right now.

Frog Squats

Iron Man is on the youngest end of the recommended age range (Kindergarten) but still really enjoys the activities.  Nothing has been too hard to discourage him, for which I am thankful!  Hulk is only 3 and some of the activities are too much for him, but he tries his best to keep up!  It certainly helps that Superman, Popcorn, Frog Squats, Crab Walk, Rocking Horse, Airplane, Monster Walk and other fun names are used to make it more exciting for the little ones!

I love that the variation of activities within each lesson keeps the program from getting monotonous.  Each lesson provides a great workout, and covers many different physical skills:  mobility, coordination, balance, and rhythm just to name a few!  It already appears to be a very thorough program that provides a great workout while feeling like fun!

Are You Interested Yet?
I think the low price of $57 for the Core 1 K-8 Program is a great one-time investment for a lifetime (including updates) of physical education curriculum that can be used with all of your children!  There will also be a Core 2 program released in January 2013.  The elementary series workbooks  are available if you need an even more comprehensive Fitness/Nutrition program.  There is even a  Foundational Strength Program ($27) is for the high school crowd!  Family Time Fitness really is designed for the whole family, and I'm so glad we have a great physical education program to carry us through our homeschooling!

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a complimentary copy of the Core 1 K-8 Fitness for Homeschool program in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions expressed in this review are based on our experience and were not influenced in any way.

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