So, I’ve been eying this product for a while. Homeschool PE? Can’t every child use some more PE time? But a structured PE program? Do I really need this? Can’t we just go outside? I’ve had this conversation with myself each time I’ve seen an ad for the program. When I got the opportunity to review the product, I jumped at the chance. I scheduled some PE time into our day and we dived right in!
What is it?
Family Time Fitness is a complete physical education program.
The Fitness 4 Homeschool program is a physical education program designed specifically for homeschoolers. It can be taught by anyone and does not require knowledge of physical education or athletic development.
The program provides activities for structure exercise and physical activity, targeting specific muscle groups and promoting coordination.
The Fitness 4 Homeschool Program contains 260 lessons and can be used on a flexible schedule of 3-5 days per week. Each lesson takes approximately 30-60 minutes. Many of the lessons can be completed indoors if going outside is not an option.
Very little equipment is needed to complete the program. You may need to purchase items such as jump ropes, hula hoops, balls, measuring tape, stop watch, bean bags, and some cones or objects to use as markers.
The Fitness 4 Homeschool Core Curriculum is designed to be used with students in K-8th grade (ages 5-13) and can be purchased as a digital download (PDF file) for $57 dollars.
How are the lessons structured?
Each lesson has several sections:
Skills Taught-This lists the type of skills that are the focus of that lesson. Some lesson list mobility, coordination, rhythym or flexibility to name a few examples.
Equipment Needed-Here you can quickly glance at the list of needed items for that lesson.
Suggested Recovery Time-This section explains the amount of recovery time needed between exercises (such as 1 minute between sets or 30 seconds between sets).
Warm Up-Each lesson begins with 3 to 5 warm up activities such as arm circles, toe raises, or leg swings with an explanation of each warm up.
Activity/Game Play-Here is the core of the program where the activities are listed with explanations. Most lessons have 4 to 5 activities listed in this section.
Cool Down-This section lists 2 to 3 cool down stretches or yoga poses with descriptions.
Outside Activity-The last portion of the lesson has an outdoor activity to complete such as creating an obstacle course, playing freeze tag, or dribbling a ball around cones.
Note: Each activity has a link to a short video clip of a demonstration of the exercise as well.
What else is offered?
The program does not only focus on physical exercise, but focuses on total health as well. Several other helpful forms are included with the download.
Student Assessment-to record and assess the student’s progress as they work through the program
Food Diary-to record daily food consumption
Grocery List-a helpful grocery shopping aid to list what items are needed from the store
Meal Planner-has a place to record meal plan ideas for 3 meals per day plus 1 snack
Nutrition Log-to record foods eaten with the amount of calories, carbs, proteins, and fat in each item
Tracking Calendar-to record what activities were done on each day of the month
How did we use this product?
Since it was well over 105 for most of the days that we used this product we made good use of our indoor space! We cleared a spot in our loft, grabbed the laptop, and began our lessons.
We started with the warm up section. The kids were eager to watch the videos to see the demonstrations of each activity.
After our warm up, we began the main activities. I found that we could easily use household items for many of the items needed in the program. Instead of cones to use as markers, we used stuffed animals, bean bags, or even our small chairs.
For the cool down section, we were able to sit on the carpet to do our exercises. But if we had been outside doing them, I think we would have preferred a mat.
The last activity is the outside play activity. We were able to complete many of them indoors in our loft area. It was a little loud and a little crazy (especially with freeze tag) but it was a great alternative to going outside in the heat.
What didn’t we like?
The program is geared for kids from K-8th grade. We found some of the activities a little too challenging for my very young crew so I needed to simplify. For the activity where they needed to sidestep while rotating a ball around their waist, we just sidestepped while holding the ball out in front of us. That was enough of a challenge for them. As they get older and become more coordinated, we can do all the activities more fully.
Other activities like hula hooping and jumping rope proved frustrating to my kids. So, I did some minor adjusting to some activities while others we skipped altogether to save until they are older. Having jump ropes slinging around in the hands of a 3-year-old is not my idea of fun. I got smacked one too many times!
Some of the games do require more than 1 person and some require a partner. This might be difficult for a small family or a homeschool family with only 1 child. The parent would need to participate for things like tossing the ball back and forth. Other activities like freeze tag would not work well in this setting.
What did we like?
My favorite part was the video demonstrations of each activity. On some of the activities I would read the description and be completely lost. Obviously PE is not my strong suit. Thank goodness for the videos! We put those on and I understood exactly what we were supposed to do! The videos show multiple children of various ages completing the activities so you have an idea as to what to expect ability-wise from your own children at their ages.
The videos also got me off the hook for demonstrating! Yay! Some of those activities were not doable by a pregnant mommy and so I was very thankful for those videos! You will NOT see me crab walking around our loft or even doing the long jump or hopping around on one foot.
My kids loved the videos as well because it made PE someone else’s idea and not mine. They enjoyed instructions coming from another source rather than mom for a change!
Many of the activities seemed pretty silly, and even corny at first to me. But after doing some of them with my kids and watching my kids concentrate as they focused on each one, I realized how much coordination they were gaining and how beneficial the activities are.
This is like old fashioned calisthenics with some games and other activities thrown in. We found the mix of stretches, exercises, and activities to be a good balance. The program also repeats some activities (and sometimes with slight variations) while also introducing new skills with new activities. This was also a good balance of new vs. review.
What did we think overall?
Ok, so this program changed my view of PE. The activities target different muscles and promote various skills and increase coordination. Through the few weeks of using the program, I’ve seen my kids’ coordination improve dramatically. And I did participate in some activities with them (the ones that poor pregnant mom can actually do) and I got a great workout. I was even sore the next day!
My kids found most of the activities fun. We put on some music and had our PE time. They looked forward to that time daily and we laughed through the activities together.
We plan to continue using the program and once we complete it, we’ll begin again as they will be able to do more of the activities that we had to simplify the first time around.
I have found the program to be easy to implement, well-explained, and well-balanced with a variety of activities. And it’s pretty fun too!
Here’s to burning off that extra energy which might even buy me some quiet moments during naptime!
What did the other Crew Members think? Find out at the Crew blog!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this product at no cost to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.