Family Time Fitness {TOS review} – Family working out together

I consider my family quite physically active. My children are out running and playing practically every day. They ride their bikes at least twice a week. Lily can run more than three miles while holding a conversation. My husband and I run during the week and we go out every Saturday morning for a family walk. I would say we’re quite active.

I have been eying Family Time Fitness (FTF) for a while. The reason I just peeked and never pursued purchasing it is because I thought we had enough activity in our lives that didn’t warrant spending money on a program that is going to, well “tell me to work out and how to do it.”

When the opportunity came to review the program, I jumped, hopped and ran a few miles (none of which was necessary) for the chance to review the curriculum. Actually, all we really did was purchase some of the items we would need and didn’t have, like hula-hoops, and did a lot of praying. We were ready if given the opportunity to review it and I am so glad that we were chosen.

Family Time Fitness has been available for less than three years and has already won numerous awards within the homeschool community. As it moves into the public and private school sector, I’m sure the awards will continue.

If you have time, then watch this video about why the program was created, how easy it is to implement and the importance of incorporating physical education into your school day/family lifestyle.

Family Time Fitness 4 Homeschool takes the student through Guided Discovery where he is given instruction and allowed to “explore movements on his own through a variety of activities and games.”

Movement education is critical for the total development of young children. It is important for each child’s physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual development. Movement education also helps children gain a better understanding of their environment”. ~ Family Time Fitness

There are 260 lesson plans in the Fitness for Homeschool Core 1 curriculum. A set of 20 lessons is e-mailed to you every four weeks through your subscription, which gives you lifetime access. Daily e-mails are sent during the week with a fitness tip, a reminder to do the lessons and to keep you motivated. Although the lessons are to be completed five-days in a row, you are able to set your own pace for completion. You may see the scope and sequence of the program.

Also included is a start-up training guide, one-page summaries or each lesson and online webinars.

The required equipment is the following:

bean bags   cones   exercise mat
hula hoop   jump rope   measuring tape
playground ball   stepping blocks   stop watch
exercise mat   stepping blocks   stop watch

You may already have many of the items around your home. The only items we found we really needed are a hula hoop, a ball and a jump rope. The other items on the list can be easily substituted for the purpose. We didn’t have hula hoops and found some marked down at Target.

Each 30-45 minute lesson plan includes the following sections:

skills taught
equipment needed
suggested recovery time
warm-up
activity/game play
cool down
outdoor activity

Also included with the curriculum are forms for documenting assessment tracking, daily food diary, meal planner, nutrition log and grocery list. A certificate of completion is also available.

OUR EXPERIENCE
I love working out, but I will admit that the last few months have been hard; I’ve slowed down. I was totally excited about using the program, but it was a challenge for me to get motivated. The children were totally excited, especially after watching some of the demonstration videos that you have access to through the program (the links are available in the curriculum). I really loved the video demonstrations of the exercises.

One of the reasons we haven’t done more exercises like the ones in the curriculum is because I didn’t want to teach them the wrong way of doing a very basic exercise, like jumping jacks. Before using FTF, I searched for a video of how to do jumping jacks because I wanted to teach my children the right way and not just what I remembered; body position, hand extension, etc. Every activity presented in the curriculum has a video demonstration, which allows absolutely no excuse for not getting physical.

With no excuses, I tapped into the excitement the children had and we got physical. Even though the pictures are only of them, I did get a workout too.

Some of the exercises were a little more challenging. River and Lily were able to do the ball circles. You stand with your feet together and move the ball in a circle around your waist, knees and ankles 10 times in both directions completing three sets. Canyon (five) did alright, but he did even better when he used his…

hula hoop skills, which were a lot of fun. When we first purchased the hula hoops, Canyon wasn’t able to use one. By the time we used the hula hoops in a few lessons, he was a pro. Mom on the other hand still needs more practice. How does one forget how to hula hoop?

Canyon was also able to play red light, green light, which is always a fun game.

Healthy competition is even encouraged. River and Lily enjoyed playing Freezmania (lesson eight) – Two people stand about five large steps apart and toss the ball back and forth. Once they catch the ball ten times in a row, they see who can be first to complete ten jumping jacks.

The player who finishes the jumping jacks first gets one point. Play is continued until a player earns five points.

MY THOUGHTS
Even though we are an active family, I knew we were missing something in our routine. There was no structure and the workouts we were doing were not comprehensive nor did they necessarily have direction. We made sure we worked out, but the activities we did were all ones we enjoyed and did well. They didn’t really challenge us and a lot of our body parts were being neglected as far as strength training.

Using Family Time Fitness got us out of our exercise box or rather helped me add some excitement and variety to our workout routine. It also helped us get the most out of our exercise routine by having exercises that work all parts of our bodies and gives us a routine that has direction and goals to work towards.

I think that if you poll homeschool families, then you will find many don’t consider the importance of individual, physical exercise. Many do compete in team sports, but many children do nothing at all. I like the five misconceptions homeschoolers have about physical education because there are many out there who don’t think physical education is a subject to include in school or at least don’t take the time to do it for many of those reasons.

I like that FTF wants to make physical activity a family affair (healthy eating practices too) instead of everyone off doing his or her own thing. Although the curriculum targets children in grades kindergarten through eighth, the progression of the activities and the routine are things that will benefit anyone of any age. There is a program for students ninth through twelfth grades.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Family Time Fitness 4 Homeschool may be purchased for $57 (web pricing) for a full year of physical fitness instruction. After the year, you still maintain complete access to the program through the curriculum you purchased at no additional charge. You do have two additional options to continue support from FTF by paying a minimal fee to continue the weekly reminders OR purchasing core II (coming in 2013), which is a new set of 260 more lessons that are a little more challenging than the core I. A discount will be offered to current members.

There is a platinum program, which includes workbooks. You may also purchase fitness and nutrition activity workbooks.

Considering this curriculum may me used year after year and by the entire family, the price is a wonderful deal.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


Disclaimer: The product featured in this review was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own.
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