Physical Education & Nutrition Workbook & DVD
While new homeschool curriculums crop up fairly often for history, science and language arts, it's a rarity that a new homeschool health program is developed! Author Michele Spadafora has done an incredible job in pulling together this easy-to-use, thoroughly Christian P.E. and nutrition course that incorporates weekly lessons in "faith, fitness and fuel." It's an 18-week course that includes three segments on each of those "building blocks" per week, with tests included after every 3rd or 4th week and lots of helpful and inspiring video content as well. Scheduling works most naturally if you do health three days per week for one semester. Each week includes three topical reading segments (each about two pages in length), questions for the student, space to write goals for all three areas for the week, and space to journal about the week. "Faith" reading assignments focus on a biblical message, typically a goal that we could all work towards in our relationship with the Lord. These include: giving God control, replacing stress with peace, prayer, worship, loving others, serving others, making disciples, and more. Scripture references are sprinkled throughout the text, and several questions typically follow the reading. "Fitness" readings focus on the practical and include the benefits of exercising, frequency of exercising, warm-ups and cool-downs, proper form, weight loss basics, core strength, exercise gear, etc. "Fuel" readings focus on nutrition, like eating portions and proportions, understanding food labels, the importance of breakfast, avoiding sugar, the importance of whole grains, eating healthy snacks, avoiding diet mistakes, understanding eating disorders, and more. Readings on fitness and fuel typically do not have questions for the student, but are always followed by a space to write a goal for the week. The tests are fairly short and made up entirely of multiple-choice questions (an answer key for these is included at the end of the book).
The video content is one of my favorite aspects of the program. It not only allows the author to "talk to" the student via video, but it also provides a way to demonstrate proper exercise form, workout ideas, or cooking technique. There are 32 short videos that complement the content in the book, and prompts to view them are found at the end of the readings. Students are also directed to several "Burst" videos throughout the program. These videos are about ten minutes in length and, just like the name suggests, these offer short energetic workouts to get the blood pumping. These are also found on the author's website. A DVD is also included with the book which features three full-body workouts, each about a ½-hour in length. The workout routines are fast-moving, yet simple enough to follow along with and feature upbeat Christian music from a variety of contemporary Christian artists. No fancy gear is required; while exercise bands make an appearance in several of the workout videos, and weights and exercise balls are discussed in the book, most fitness routines do not require any equipment. Whether you use the routines included or your own fitness program, the student is asked to work out at least three times a week, outside of specific assignments from the book.
This easy-to-implement program would be perfect to do together as a family. The readings are fairly short and easy for students at different ability levels to understand. Technical details on nutrition and fitness are kept to a minimum, and the fitness routines and exercises will appeal equally to girls and boys. Compared to a full-year health course, you won't find nearly as much content on the human body or physiology here; the emphasis is truly on practical knowledge and motivation to stay fit. It would make sense to incorporate the nutritional information into the whole family's diet as well. The text is designed as a consumable, but if your students all write in their own journals or notebooks, you could use the text as a family. Christian families will especially appreciate the emphasis on building your faith while you build your physical endurance. 171 pgs, pb. Jess
9 months ago