Do You Need Structed Physical Education?

Over the past several weeks my children and I have been trying a new homeschool PE curriculum, put out by Family Time Fitness. I have been given this curriculum to review by The Homeschool Village - hop over to their website to link to other reviewers and to participate in a giveaway!

Our physical education to this point has consisted of many different things (we are members of our local YMCA and the each of the children also play an organized sport), and we always have "outside" time at home. It has been good for us to have a structured PE time, which this curriculum has provided.

About the Fitness 4 Homeschool Physical Education Curriculum:

It is essentially an entire physical fitness curriculum sent to you, which includes 260 physical activity lessons, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The lesson are emailed to you 20 at a time each month. The lessons are designed to be completed indoors our outdoors, and should take 30-45 minutes. Each lesson consists of a warm-up, activity, and cool-down.

The curriculum also comes with an introduction/instructions for parents, as well as detailed explanations of all of the exercises. Most of the exercises and activities also are demonstrated with Youtube videos. You also receive a daily motivational email, and a monthly tracking and assessment chart.

According to the introduction for parents,

"The Family Time Fitness movement education program stresses the development of physical fitness, systemic exercises, play, and games. The goals of the program are to improve health, promote a sense of well-being, develop sensory motor skills, and enhance self and social awareness."

Our impressions:

It has been a huge hit with the children! The lessons are easy to follow and the videos are highly instructional. It's interesting to watch my children's reactions as they watch other children on the videos. For example, my son was discouraged with jumping rope and claimed he was "too little" for that skill. As he watched the video, he saw children his own age jumping and having trouble, too. That made him feel better, and now he tries and realizes he's not supposed to be perfect! The videos are very short (usually no longer than 30 sec.) and are accompanied by a nice variety of music. Most everything you need for the lessons are things you would already have, but here is a list of the recommended equipment:

  • bean bags
  • jump rope
  • hula hoops
  • playground balls
  • foam balls (blow up beach balls)
  • cones (or even a box or bucket)
  • measuring tape
  • stop watch
  • exercise mat (optional)

We have completed lessons outdoors, but on a day last week when it was raining we did some of the activities inside. Most days we wind up spending about an hour outside, because somehow my nine year old figures out ways to extend the lesson. Instead of printing the lessons, I have just saved them on my phone and then the lessons are right in my pocket! We watch the videos at the computer first and talk about the lesson, then head outside to actually have "PE". *Note: I read the lessons from the email on my phone. In this format the videos would not play on an iPhone - but if you open the .pdf attachment in iBooks there are NO PROBLEMS. Jeremiah Knopp, of Family Time Fitness, fixed my problem within an hour after I emailed him about the problem. A+ for customer service!

While there are enough lessons for every day of the week, we have been completing 2-3 lessons each week. The activities from the lessons give my children ideas for outside free-play, and I've observed them teaching their neighbor friends or co-op buddies some of the games, too.

Here's a picture of Miss B playing "Jump the River" in the very first lesson:

At a cost of $57 (the website says it normally retails for $199.99) you get a full year of PE lessons. If you're looking for a highly structured PE curriculum that covers a comprehensive area of physical skills, then the curriculum from Family Time Fitness is for you. Visit their website to learn more about the curriculum ~ I've also found them to be very helpful and easy to reach via FB, Twitter, and email.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the program is that it gets my children and I moving and exercising together! It is impossible not to have fun while doing the lessons, and I know some of my neighbors get a chuckle seeing me do the activities with my children outside -- I don't see many moms out there galloping and skipping up and down the driveway with their children in the middle of the day (too bad, isn't it?) ! The curriculum helps promote an active, healthy lifestyle - and shouldn't that be one of the TOP goals of our homeschool?

*Please note that I have been provided a complimentary copy of this resource by The Homeschool Village specifically for review purposes. If you visit The Homeschool Village you can also read others' thoughts about this PE curriculum and enter in A GIVEAWAY!