Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Family Time Fitness

Confession: We just started our 6th year home educating and I have NEVER done a PE program. It just isn't something I honestly think about when laying out my year. I'm embarrassed to even type that but it's true. I figured they did gymnastics and karate, played at the park and ride bikes and play outside so why bother.

Enter Family Time Fitness and I am now kicking myself for skipping out all these years. Yes, the kids are active, but this is different. It is structured, well planned out and organized, and just plain FUN.

I was sent the Fitness 4 Homeschool Core 1 Curriculum for grades K-8th to review - perfect for all three of mine who are in 2nd, 4th, and 7th grades. As I have mentioned before, I love curriculum that works for all of the kiddos so we can learn together....and this one we all did together and if you listen closely, you can still hear my thighs screaming from Day 1's Frog Squats - lol! We all got a good wake up call when we woke up SORE on Day 2!

Fitness 4 Homeschool was created in 2010 after it was noticed that there were no real PE curriculum choices out there for homeschool families. Several highly qualified professionals joined together to create this complete physical education program. Not only do they provide a quality PE program for the kiddos, they do it in a way that bonds the whole family together.

I love this brain scan of a child sitting quietly for 20 minutes or walking for 20 minutes. I can just imagine how "active" their little brains are after we do our PE "classes" now - I know their behavior is better! So exciting!

Now on to the program: The Core 1 Curriculum contains 260 different lessons. You could go a long
time without repeating anything at all! We chose to  do 3 lessons a week. They recommend you do 5 days a week but that doesn't work out for us with out schedule this fall. Hey - it is better than the 0 that we were doing, right? Baby steps ;)  Each lesson takes us about 45 minutes, and weather permitting, we do part of the lesson indoors and part of it out. If the weather is icky or too hot, we just modify and do it all inside. I LOVE that there are minimal supplies and prep work for the lessons. I haven't have to buy anything yet and we have been doing this for 6 weeks. Granted we already had a hula hoop, jump ropes, and different balls we are using - if you don't have those, you WILL need to get them to do some of the activities. We have used toys, rocks, and leftover firewood instead of cones with no problem.

I downloaded all the PDF lesson plans onto my iPad and only printed out the one page summary for each lesson, three hole punched them, and put them in a folder. The lesson summary pages contain a quick list of the skills taught in that lesson and equipment needed. Each day there is a Warm Up, Activity/Game Play, Cool Down, and Outdoor Activity. On the actual PDF lesson plans, there are descriptions and video demonstration links for each activity so you know if you are doing them right! I love that they include this. Some of the exercises are self explanatory (like jumping jacks, plank and crabwalk) and some you will be glad there is a video (like popcorn, seal walks,and ball chops). They are all very simple and DOABLE activities, once you understand what you are doing. You definitely don't want to be doing them wrong and hurt yourself so I recommend you take the time to watch the videos on any that you aren't familiar with already. I also like that they are "real kids" doing the videos, who aren't perfect. I think that helps the kids to see that it is ok if they can't dribble perfectly while sitting on their knees, etc. It is discouraging to see professionals and realize that you will never be that "perfect" at it. The videos are quick and usually I would just watch them so I could tell/show them what to do but sometimes they would watch with me.

The activities are well thought out and so fun that the kids (and their mom - lol) actually enjoyed exercising! There is such a variety that if one didn't like doing something they would tough it out, knowing something else fun was coming. I, personally, enjoyed the cool down the best - lol - but the kids liked the activity/game play times most. It was a little too hot to really enjoy the outdoor activities but I think we will like it better this fall...or if we would get up and around earlier, we could have done better.

I took the printed pages down to Alabama with me last week and got the cousins to join in the fun. Here are a couple of pictures of P and her cousin, N, doing the line jump (using bungee cords as our "rope") and 180 jump (love the hair - lol!):

{I took some of the boys outside doing some outdoor ones but they are on my other camera and I can't find it! I hope I didn't leave it there :(  If I find it, I'll post those later.}

I also found ways to add our CC memory work practice into the activities. When it would say to hold a pose for 10 seconds, we would try to say all our skip counting for a number. Or during the 30 second rest, I would ask them a history sentence. "Musical Statues" was done to memory work songs. So much fun!

The Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum is $57 and is totally worth it, in my opinion. That is less than one month at the Y for your family for years worth of activities! There is also a FREE two day trial you can sign up for, just remember my warning about being sore after day 1 and don't give up! Push through and you will be happy you did!!

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Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.


  1. It is great to red that you incorporated memory work into the program. This is such a great way to enhance learning. I am glad you are enjoying the program.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. And a huge thank you for letting us review this for you!

  2. YEA!!! I teach kids fitness during the summer at the Y. My kids and the Y kids would love this stuff! Glad you had such a positive response to it!

  3. I love that you added in memory work, too. What a fun idea! I also laughed at your confession at the beginning. PE is hard to add in!

  4. We used our CC work with this, too! It was a great way to practice our skip counting :)


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