Health is one of the most important things we can teach our kids. Here are just a few ideas:
Kindergarteners review basic things like how to wash their hands, how to brush their teeth, and other basic hygiene issues. Teach nutritional theory and have the kids help you plan menus.
PE can be as simple as daily family exercises, or as complex as joining the YMCA for Homeschool PE classes. (Shop around for prices, because Y memberships vary greatly. The one nearest our house would cost $56 per month, but we would have to pay an extra $50 per child per six-week class. By driving an extra fifteen minutes, we pay $125 per month and do not have to pay any extra for PE, swimming, or gymnastics classes.) We have a local roller rink that opens early one morning every month for a Homeschool Skate. One year we took ice skating lessons (this gets expensive for very many children over an extended period of time – a good candidate for grandparents who are looking for a unique gift idea). The ice rink has open skates two mornings per week. Contact your Parks & Recreation department for information on sports opportunities. Check The First Tee to see if a golf course in your area participates in this excellent program designed to provide affordable golf lessons to children.
A couple Royal Ranger’s merit badges would be appropriate. Upper elementary kids can earn their First Aid merit badge. Junior high kids can earn their Family History badge. Also, ages 12 and up can take a first aid/CPR class through the fire department or other qualified provider.
One year we used Meet Your Teeth. We received as a gift a software program from DK called My Amazing Human Body; we’ve used it as part of our anatomy curriculum. Also a game called SomeBody. These make learning basic anatomy fun. Also The Body Book, which is a school curriculum, but we actually used for rainy day activities when the kids were much younger. Kids can make paper models of eyes, ears, etc. – even a whole paper skeleton. Volume 3 of Lyrical Life Science is junior high level anatomy.
I look forward to designing a high-school level health course with a biology prerequisite. Kids will do a family tree and learn the difference between drawing a genealogy tree and a medical info tree (they’ll do both). Kids will compile their own complete medical history (to have as they graduate and need to maintain their own records). They will learn the meaning of some of the basic lab tests that doctors order. The required reading list has not yet been compiled, but will include How Doctors Think.
Watch for more posts on this topic in the future.