Raised by the Herd

Let’s be very clear, I’m not a scientist.  However, I do know that every species raises its young differently.  Some hatch from eggs completely independent while others are nurtured by one or more adults.  As for humans, we think our young are raised in small family units.  Realistically, in America, as throughout the industrialized world today, children are raised in herds.  But not the typical animal herd.  Look at herds in the animal world.  The young aren’t separated.  Instead they are surrounded by adults.  Of course, adults leave the herd to hunt or do other things.  The human herd is opposite.  Humans group 20 to 30 young together with one adult.  In a good scenario, there may be only 10 young in the herd.  Each herd of children will have an adult who is likely not related to anyone in the herd.  We don’t want bias or favoritism, do we?  The rest of the adults in the herd leave this single adult to handle everything.  Keep the young safe.  Teach them how to survive and thrive.  Help them discover their place and purpose in the herd.

I know I’m not the only who sees the flaw in this thinking.  Every species that raises its young that I know of (again, I’m no expert here) does not isolate the young from the adults.  Plainly, even creatures with less cognitive capabilities understand that  offspring require a lot of guidance, time, and energy.

I began to see the effects of this in my daughter.  No matter how stellar the adults caring for her were, so many of her decisions were influenced by the rational of fellow 9 year olds.  What better way to learn decision-making skills than from a group of 3rd graders?  And then there is the concept of group thought and group emotion.  That starts in infancy.  Test it yourself.  Place 6 babies in a room.  When one begins to cry, watch how the other five follow.  Why?  Because children haven’t learned to think independently.  And they won’t learn it from other children who can’t think independently.

Children need adults.

We are a drop off society.  We drop off our children and go about our own lives, separate from them.  School and daycare are the most common.  But let’s not forget dance, sports, gymnastics, scouts, church, and the list goes on.  When we attend something, it’s often as a spectator.  We go to the concert, meet, game, or recital….and watch from the sidelines.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think children should spend every moment with their parents.  Good grief, I’d have a 42 year old “child” living in my house one day if I believed that!  Children NEED to interact with peers and other adults.  I plan to launch my children at a healthy age.  To do this they must learn to socialize, work in groups, stand up to a bully, deal with a slacker, say no to pressure, and make mistakes.

What I am questioning is have we gone to far?  Do we rely on other people so much that we have little influence on our own children?  I’ve found it very empowering and liberating to take control of this area of our family life.  It takes a lot more time on my part.  To be honest, sometimes I don’t want to be there for everything.  I have things I need wish to do.  But then I remind myself that I WANTED these kiddos.  And I only get a few years to do this.  Once they’re launched, I can travel, have more hobbies, have a better social life.  For now, I like being an active participant.  If something goes wrong, I see it before its out of control.  If I’m failing at something, it’s evident sooner.  And best of all, I’m shaping their worldview.  There are things I’m passionate about that I want them to learn.  To fully understand.  Faith.  Peace.  Family.  Role of government.  Self-Image in the skinny-and-sex-obsessed society.  So much to impart.  I’m not giving up that precious little time.  I’m sure our kids won’t get the world view I desire from their peers.

So what does this look like in our family?  Both our kids are competitive gymnasts.  They spend 6-9 hours a week at workouts.  Most of the time, I’m sitting on the sides watching.  I hear the coaches.  I can see where they are struggling and their achievements.  I make mental notes and start conversations on the way home while the events are still fresh.  The teams they workout with range from first graders to seniors in high school.  Car conversations vary from goal setting to skills to boyfriends to pubic hair.  Was I standing over them the when someone told them about pubic hair?  Nope.  But I’m there enough that it’s comfortable to talk about it.  Our children attend a half day private school.  This places a greater responsibility on the parent while maintaining a traditional classroom setting.  After 4 hours of school, they can still remember what they did at school.  After 7 hours of school, I got blank stares when I asked “So, what did you learn at school today?”

Do you have to be a single income, 2 parent family to make this work?  Not at all!  Find the time somewhere.  You may need to be creative, but you can do it!  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Volunteer regularly in their school class.  The teacher will come to love you, the kids in the class will know you, and you’ll get the inside scoop on how your child is doing academically and socially (the kids will tell you more than the teacher!)
  • Stick around and watch them practice.  Basketball, soccer, dance…whatever they’re in, be there!
  • Help out in their church group, even if it’s once a month.  Sunday School, Youth Group, Choir, AWANA.
  • Make your house the hang out place.  Allow your kids to invite friends over for play dates and sleepovers.
  • Set aside special time with your kids.  Take them on dates, play games, make a craft.
  • Help them with their homework.  Or just sit at the table while they work.

So get busy and enjoy the freedom of taking control of how your kids develop!


Top Notch Curriculum

Family Time Fitness
Fitness 4 Homeschool PE Curriculum

Have you ever asked yourself…

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Can I teach physical education, even though I don’t know anything about it?

Family Time Fitness says: Absolutely!

Current Customer Feedback 11/1/2011
Name: Lisa C
Subject: Testimonials

After reading an article in a homeschooling magazine about the importance of a structured P.E. program, I signed up for the free trial here at Family Time Fitness. Shortly thereafter, we purchased the program. My children and I are all loving it! I have four children, ranging in age from 4 to 15. They are all fit and active, and involved in some sort of organized sport (my daughter is in ballet and the others are in karate). I had thought between those activities and playing outside, that counted as our “P.E.” Since they are all so active and generally healthy, I was surprised during our first few lessons at how many exercises they weren’t able to do as well as I had thought they would. It just didn’t seem they had the body coordination or control for certain activities. Well, after just two or three weeks of having regular P.E. I’m amazed at how much control and coordination they’ve gained! Their performance at karate and ballet has greatly improved also! They are having so much fun each day, and are on their way to a lifetime of healthy living!

Thank Lisa – We could not have said it better!

Family Time Fitness – Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum

The Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum allows homeschool parents to teachphysical education without previous knowledge of physical education and athletic development. Our program, designed by experts in fitness training, nutrition and body movement, is designed to suit every age and ability level while affordably fitting into your budget. Our program combines flexibility and fun with a comprehensive curriculum to give your children a foundation for strong bodies and minds. Best of all, you get all this with a guaranteed lifetime of updates for only $79 dollars for all your children!

Think you have spent your entire curriculum budget? What about your family health budget? Not only is this program a fitness curriculum, it is a family health plan. Gym memberships can cost $150 a month for a family, and a single doctor visit for one can be around $120. Our program costs $79 one time, that’s only $6.58 a month over a year’s time; and it is available to you for a lifetime! Forless than a bag of snacks per month your family can be on the path to a healthier and happier life!

Family Time Fitness

Physical Education (PE) is structured physical activity that develops an organized mind and body for students. Many homeschool parents commonly mistake any physical activity for a PE class. Unfortunately, unstructured physical activity does not give a student the building blocks for proper fitness development. Activities like one day co-op play, Wii Fit or Wii sports and individual sports are not considered physical education because they do not comprehensively teach and manage physical fitness in students.What is Physical Education?

Why does my Homeschool Curriculum need Physical Education?

We created the Fitness 4 Homeschool curriculum because of a lack of fitness programs for homeschoolers. We started this program because we couldn’t find any at all! With the child obesity epidemic on the rise in the U.S., now is the time to give our children the exercise guidance they need while building the skills necessary to stay fit for a lifetime.

We believe that a PE curriculum is absolutely essential for a balanced homeschool classroom. Our expertly designed program has been created to maximize the benefits of spatial awareness, body awareness, environmental awareness, enhanced neurological development, mind-body coordination, stress reduction, social engagement, poise and confidence.

We created this program to solve some of the common problems that arise from leaving a thorough PE program out of your family’s curriculum. Some solutions this curriculum can help with include:

• Knowledge and teaching on how to exercise
• Improvement of gross motor skills
• Childhood obesity prevention
• Diabetes prevention
• Weight management
• Develops self-confidence
• Increases energy and focus for academic studies
• Provides family fitness experience
• Increases PE/ Fitness options

How Does the Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum Work?

The program is designed to create a fun and engaging atmosphere for fitness. The 260 planned lessons teach you everything you need to know with minimal preparation time, and the lessons are also designed so that they do not require a large investment in equipment.

Our program is the only professionally planned comprehensive curriculum for Physical Education and Athletic Development designed with the needs of the parent in mind. Our PE curriculum works for any homeschool because it is easy to follow, can be customized to any schedule, and can fit in almost any space, outdoors or indoors. It’s even easier to follow with our tips for integrating physical education, progress logs and instructional videos.

The Fitness 4 Homeschool program is structured to be integrated into your teaching a minimum of three days per week, but we strongly recommend five. It takes 30 to 45 minutes each day, and we’re certain that it is so fun and engaging for the whole family that it will be the highlight of your student’s day.

The 260 lesson plans utilize repetition, but they are also progressive and sequential. The program is designed for all age levels and abilities, and because we believe that the learning process is most valuable with family engagement, the lessons are designed so that the whole family can join in the lessons.

What is included in the Fitness 4 Homeschool Package?

The Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum includes a startup guide, PDF lesson plans, video demonstrations, assessment tools, reminder emails, lifetime curriculum and video updates, access to online webinars and certificates of completion. One curriculum purchase can be used for all your children, and we never charge any subscription fees or annual renewal fees.

Startup/Training Guide – The Startup Guide is a guide for parents and includes an introduction to physical education, information on what to expect from the program, safety information, how to integrate physical education into your curriculum, teaching tips and equipment information.

Lesson Plans – Each of the 260 professionally planned lessons arrives in PDF format and includes a List of Supplies, Warm-Up, Activity, Cool Down and Suggested Outdoor Activity. Each exercise is described in a detailed, user-friendly format for easy access.

Video Demonstrations – Each exercise includes a demonstration video with real kids doing the exercises. There are over 200 instructional video demonstrations available to you with this curriculum, and you are guaranteed lifetime access to these videos as we update them.

Assessment Tools – We provide tools to help track progress of the basic fundamental movements. Other downloadable tools include nutritional logs and meal planners for a comprehensive fitness approach.

Encouragement Emails – During the first year of your course, we send you reminder emails each week day to keep you and your children motivated on your fitness journey. We also always include nutritional and fitness tips in the emails.

Curriculum Updates – You are guaranteed lifetime access to curriculum updates in addition to the video demonstration updates. We don’t know of any other curriculum program that gives lifetime free updates!

Online Webinars – You have access to our regular online webinars and our webinar archive for further in-depth instruction and tips on the curriculum.

Testimonials and Reviews

John Ratey of the Harvard Medical School states that “Exercise, good fitness-based exercise, makes our brains more ready to learn.” We have gotten excellent reviews from our customers who love the fun, flexibility and learning environment that Fitness 4 Homeschool provides. Our own President of Family Time Fitness Jeremiah Knopp speaks about how his 7-year old nephew Braedan went from being able to do zero jumping jacks to 100 jumping jacks at a time after three months of the Fitness 4 Homeschool program. Dr. Minke, another of the expert curriculum designers, reports that his son now has confidence in playing catch or other physical activities, before which he was not at all interested in sports.

Take a look at just a few of the product reviews published online about our physical education curriculum:

• TheHomeschoolVillage.com
• The Johns Family
• HipHomeschoolMoms
• HomeGrownLearners
• Soaring Creek Academy
• Chicagoland Homeschool Network
• Kathy’s Cluttered Mind

The Fitness 4 Homeschool Advantage

Fitness for Homeschool builds strong minds and stronger bodies, so make an investment in your homeschoolers’ futures. Team sports, recreational facilities or dance class, for example, simply can’t compare to a comprehensive fitness package. Designed by experts in body movement, kinesiology, training and nutrition, this program is more affordable and can be utilized in your own home.

The entire Fitness 4 Homeschool package with lifetime access to all program updates or revisions is available to your entire homeschool family for just one payment of $99. Online schools, Co-op pricing and licensing programs are available.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our founding members at (979) 209-0778to discuss why a physical education curriculum is right for you and how our Fitness 4 Homeschool package can meet your needs.

PE Curriculum

It’s Both Patriotic and Profitable to Keep the Laying Hen

I confess.  I want chickens.  My daughter does too, if that helps my case any.  A year or so ago, I had my first yard egg.  Those things in the grocery store cannot hold a candle to yard eggs.  These yard eggs came from chickens that didn’t get shots or hormones.  They wandered around the yard and ate bugs all day.  They slept in a safe little hen house.  The kids petted them and looked after them.  Happy chickens make good eggs.  The eggs tasted GOOD!  They had flavor.  And it wasn’t just me who noticed.  My picky eater, the tween daughter who wants chickens too, loves them. She loves them so much that she’d rather raise chickens than hope that Mrs. G has enough extra eggs to sell.  And it’s not just the eggs either that draw me to chickens.  My best veggie plants are the ones that grow in the bed fertilized with chicken manure. The bed with cow manure had to be torn out.  It grew so much grass (cows eat grass, doncha know?) that nothing else could survive in it!  And don’t forget, chickens provide free, chemical-free pest control.  With kids, dogs, a cat, and a desire to garden to organically, this is just the bees knees.

We recently lost our source for yard eggs.  Some varmints killed off several of the girls.  Combine that with the cooler weather (I won’t say cold because this is the craziest warm winter ever), the girls left are barely laying enough for her family.  So we’re waiting for her chicks to grow up and warmer weather.  Hopefully then, we’ll have yard eggs again.  Buy somewhere else, you say?  I’ve tried.  We can’t afford the exorbitant prices some people charge.  Hey, who isn’t on a tight budget these days?  Once we get past the price obstacle, I have basic questions about feed, hormones, vaccinations, living conditions, etc.  Then I like to meet the girls providing my eggs.  I’ve had trouble finding a local family with yard eggs that can meet my criteria.  Why so meticulous?  If I’m going to spend more money and drive extra, I don’t want to go to that trouble for something that is similar to what I’d buy at the grocery store.

The loss of our egg source makes me want our own chickens more.  But alas, it’s against city ordinance and deed restrictions.  I go more into dealing with that HERE.  So when I found these images of WWII posters, I was a bit surprised.  I’m no fan of government in general, but it seems government had a bit more sense back then.