Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Weigh In- Family Time Fitness Review

If you have been reading my Tuesday Weigh In posts since the beginning, you may remember that I had mentioned that having an accountability partner was one of the keys to my weight loss success.  Well, I recall one particular day towards the beginning of our journey when I received a text message from my accountability partner that said something like the following, "Remind me why we are torturing ourselves like this again?"  And this is why it is so great to have an accountability partner...  someone who is going through the muck just like you are, but willing to drag you along when you get too weak.
So, after I laughed at her text ...because she was saying exactly what I had thought several times that day already ...I replied.  I told her we doing this because God calls us to take care of our temple and glorify Him with our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  I told her we were doing this to feel better about ourselves, and to simply feel better.  I told her that by doing this, we would be better equipped to fill our God-given roles as wives and mothers.  And I told her that we were taking care of our bodies, so that we could teach our kids to do the same.
And I meant it.  Family fitness is now very important to our family.  We take the time to go on family walks and workout at home together throughout our week.  Our kids often join me when I run.  We've started a family hiking club that meets monthly.  We've joined the YMCA and have been going about three times a week for over a year now.  And it's why I am so excited to tell you about a new product I have been reviewing for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  
Family Time Fitness is a physical education program designed for schools, homeschools, and homeschool co-ops.  I love this diagram offered on the front page of their website:
As a homeschool mom, I have to say, that picture is a great motivating tool to me to get my kids moving!

Family Time Fitness offers many curricula for homeschools including workbooks, basketball modules, and a highschool level strength training program.  I received the Fitness 4 Homeschool Core 1 Physical Education Program.  This program is intended to use with students ages 4-13 and includes 260 lessons in ebook format.
Each lesson is approximately 30-45 minutes.  And there is no book work.  This is 30-45 minutes of physical activity.  Something we all need!
Each lesson includes the following:
Warm up (Usually about 3 activities, think Standing Leg Circles, Angel Arms, and Toe Raises)
Activity (3-4 more activities that usually require a little more cardio/strength, like Crab Walk and Who Can Hula Hoop the Longest?)
Cool Down (Again, a few slower paced activities to cool the kids down)
Outdoor Activity (One idea is always suggested for outdoor play.  These ideas sometimes require multiple students and might require simple P.E. equipment like jump ropes, cones, or hula hoops. 
Are you concerned that you don't know what some of those activities are?  No worries!  Not only does Family Time Fitness include detailed instructions for each activity, it also includes a link to a video they created showing kids doing that activity.  Seriously, every...single...activity has an accompanying video.
What I love most about this program is how completely flexible it is.  Activities can be adapted to fit the age and ability of your child.  Most of the activities do not require equipment.  Family Time Fitness does suggest a few items to make the lessons "more enjoyable", but you can often use something else in a pinch or skip that activity if you need to.  Suggested equipment is: bean bags, jump rope, hula hoops, playground balls, foam balls, cones, measuring tape, stop watch, and exercise mat.
You could easily just randomly pick out a lesson and go with it without having to build a lesson on one another.  I think this truly makes Family Time Fitness an incredible value.  It's basically a treasure trove of physical education ideas and games.  Once you've gone through all the lessons, just do them again and again!
The Fitness 4 Homeschool Core 1 program also offers an assessment test to chart your child's progress as he/she works through the program.  A Daily Food Diary, Grocery List, Meal Planner, Nutrition Log, and Tracking Calendar is also offered.
Because we are already incorporating physical activity through a variety of activities, we generally use Family Time Fitness on the homeschool days that we are not going to the YMCA, which works out to about 2-3 times a week.
Here are my kids doing the warm up exercise for Lesson 6 ... good ole jumping jacks.
Confession:  Why are jumping jacks always considered a warm up activity??  In my opinion, they are much more considered a make-me-wanna-die activity, which should be placed somewhere in the middle of my cardio workout rather than in the beginning.
 Can you tell that they are having fun?!
Our kids love Family Time Fitness.  They ask to do this program again and again.  I love having a structured P.E. program that I can fall back on.  I don't have to plan the lessons.  I just open my laptop, click open my ebook, and click on the video links.
Fitness 4 Homeschool Core 1 sells for $57 and can be purchased online.  The Schoolhouse Review team had several homeschool families review this product, so free to check out their reviews as well!

Disclaimer: I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the last few years. The only compensation that I receive for my review is the free product. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in review groups and I have enjoyed trying out these products and giving you my honest opinion.
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