There are some subjects that a classic, well-written book just won't cover sufficiently, and one of those subjects is homeschool health. While it's great to teach your child the basics of health, unless they are actively participating and improving their health, it's a little like knowing how to manage your money, but being terribly in debt.
This year, I learned about the F.O.R.M Curriculum for health, and I knew it was the perfect timing to add it into Hadley's 5th grade homeschool year. This Christian health curriculum focuses on functional fitness, and encourages children, and anyone else joining them, to move their bodies and care for them well.
The F.O.R.M Curriculum
The F.O.R.M Curriculum is built around four pillars of health, which can be explained with an acronym-
F- Functional Fitness
O- Optimal Nourishment
R- Rest and Recovery
M- Multiplied Maintenance
These topics are taught from a Biblical perspective through a series of short, animated videos. Each module has an animated segment to teach about the component of health, and then is followed up by three exercise sessions: a warm-up, a main workout, and a cool-down.
The course is available in an elementary version and homeschool version. Each version has an introductory lesson for each of the four pillars, and then 8 lessons for each pillar, as well as additional follow-up segments.
The homeschool version, which is directed towards middle school and high school students, also has a devotional to work through as you use the course, so that your child can learn what the Bible says about taking care of their bodies.
Trying out this Homeschool Health Curriculum
Hadley was really excited to begin this curriculum. We generally eat well and exercise as a lifestyle, but I've always been hesitant to put too much importance on food and exercise, knowing it could lead to negative relationships with them.
The very first lesson we watched from this curriculum inspired Hadley to think and ask questions. It gave an analogy between our bodies and homes- each requires many working parts to run smoothly. This seemed like a really smart way to explain it to children, and it kept our interest. After watching the segment, we did the exercises. They got our hearts pumping and gave us a chance to stretch. The workouts don't require any special equipment- just your body as resistance and a little bit of floor space.
After our first lesson with The F.O.R.M Curriculum, Hadley had a really positive opinion of it, and was excited to do the next lesson and exercise sessions. I appreciated that it cultivated a positive attitude towards these subjects, and that she learned exercises that will benefit her for the rest of her life.
Teaching Health Sensitively
Before we started the course, I had the chance to talk with Ashton, the creator of The F.O.R.M Curriculum, and ask how sensitive the program is to the potential of eating disorders in pre-teen and teenage girls. His answer (I'm paraphrasing, here!) was that while creating the curriculum, he had input from someone who formerly had an eating disorder, in order to make sure that it focused on taking care of our God-given bodies and not looking a certain way or achieving a standard of beauty. That was a huge relief to me.
After watching a few of the videos and workouts, I could tell that what Ashton said was true. The program gives a reason for taking care of our bodies, and that is so that we can do everything our bodies were designed to do, and use them to help others. That is what the whole first pillar, Functional Fitness, is about. I don't think there could be a better way to approach health with children!
Click below to learn more about and buy this important, award-winning homeschool curriculum!