Family Time Fitness
My oldest two boys were in public school before they were homeschoolers, and P.E. was one thing they missed when they brought them home. There’s just no way to replicate a group of 25 or 30 kids all running around wildly, attempting to play the same game… but now, there IS a plan for doing the same – or even more – of the skill building and health enhancing exercises while having fun with your family!
Family Time Fitness is selling their Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum at a new web price of just $57. (The regular price was $199!) Included in this great deal is 260 detailed lesson plans – enough for Monday through Friday of an entire year, a startup/training guide, video demonstrations of every single exercise, assessment tools, online webinars, and encouragement emails during your first year of using the course.
The lesson plans are excellent, which was a wonderful surprise for a non-sporty mom like me. There are actually two different lesson plans in one – a short version, and a long version. The long version lists the skills taught, the equipment needed, the rest time needed between exercises, and extremely detailed descriptions of every part of each activity included in that day’s lesson. And then, right there, for more clarification if needed – a link is included to videos where kids are shown *doing* the activity. (And I admit, sometimes this was needed – honestly, more for my benefit than my kids – and not the fault of the author, more a factor of my inability to picture what was being said.)
The short version of the lesson plans is intended for printing, so a more portable version could be taken along as a reminder outside, or to a park, or wherever you happened to be going for exercise that day. Another possibility would be to upload the PDF files onto an ereader – this is what we did – and that way have the long version accessible and not have to do any printing whatsoever.
The majority of the lesson can be done indoors or out, with a final activity that is intended as an outdoor-only activity. This is perfect for those of us that live in areas where the weather isn’t all that wonderful for a large portion of the year.
If we (mostly meaning “I”) can follow and use Fitness 4 Homeschool and enjoy it, any family can use it and enjoy it. It takes very little planning; about the only thing I’d recommend is reading through the lesson beforehand, to see if you understand all the activities. For older students, something I’ve been considering is to assign the job of “coach” – each week, have a different child responsible for reviewing the activities and viewing the videos.
The most difficult part, I discovered, was obtaining all the supplies. It wasn’t really all that hard, but it did make for a scavenger hunt sort of week – and then a bit of a crafty one.
Our thoughts on the recommended supply list:
- hula hoop(s) – Can often be found cheap at dollar stores; we’re in kind of an isolated rural area, and the only place that still had some wanted $10 each for not-very-sturdy-looking-ones; we ended up making our own out of PVC
- playground balls, soccer balls, volleyballs, basketballs; possibly foam balls, beach balls, anything round that bounces :)
- jump rope(s) – We had some standard jump ropes, but ended up purchasing 50-ft clothesline, which, when doubled and twisted, works really well for two people to swing for a third to jump. (Yes, I have had my teenage boys jumping rope. No, I do not have pictures. I’ve been too busy swinging the rope.)
- measuring tape – Tape measure, yardstick, ruler, or even the one from the sewing kit will do in a pinch
- stop watch – The one on the computer, the phone, the kitchen timer? We gave in and bought one
- bean bags – Stuffed animals, dog toys, all sorts of things will work – check the dollar store if you can’t find something in the house that will work
- cones – We’ve been using random things, but I’m seriously considering saving milk jugs, adding a layer of sand to the bottom, and getting a can of orange spray paint. Only thing is, they won’t stack.
- exercise mat – Optional. We don’t have one, and haven’t decided we need one.
My recommendation that they don’t mention – a bin or net laundry bag or both to corral all the supplies (except the hula hoops) in ONE PLACE so you don’t have to look for them every single day. That way, even if the kids are allowed to use them for other activities, the “put away” location is still back with the fitness stuff. This is a big timesaver for us – I don’t like to play hide-and-go-seek for school stuff.
The kids and I have enjoyed using Fitness 4 Homeschool, and it’s been a fun way to round out our homeschool day and add scheduled exercise and physical activity in a simple way.