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What do you use for elementary health?


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Our county requires that I teach health each semester (specifically, and in addition to science), and I'm just wondering if anyone has found a great curriculum for elementary health? We've used the My Body book (the one where you color and build a life-sized paper digestive system) and I own Growing, Growing Strong, a text I got with a Waldorf-y kindergarten program a few years ago, but I'm still on the lookout for something fantastic that is more comprehensive. (Right now, we mostly just get books from the library on random health-related topics such as personal safety or healthy eating, etc.--whatever nonfiction looks fun and interesting, but it's pretty pieced-together. Would love to progress in a more organized fashion.) Thanks in advance for any recs! :-)

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Life.

 

Eat healthy foods (more veggies than anything else--no gluten, etc), and keep junk to a min.

Brush your teeth.

Wash your hands.

Take a bath.

Herbals for healing (taught as we go).

 

Things like that.

 

We did do The Body Book also. Pretty cool.

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Not required to teach it, but I searched Amazon for cheap public school health book (McGraw Hill Health and Wellness is what we used for the last 2 years) for $5 shipped.  Once a week, the boys listened to me read aloud about 2 lessons and we discussed it. Watched a Brain Pop video, if it applied and called it a day.  Took about 20 minutes and was actually one of my youngest's favorite subjects.  Next year, I am doing a middle school text (5th and 7th grader) and plan a 20 minute class daily for a semester.

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I picked up a second hand Harcourt Health textbook. It's a second grade level text but I mostly use it as an outline for ideas to teach the kids. We go more in depth when they show an interest.

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Health, first aid, and fire prevention and safety are required subjects in my state.  In previous years, I selected topics and then searched for resources.  This past year, I tried a dedicated health program, Happy Healthy Habits.  My children hated it.  They found the text preachy and boring.   I am back to cobbled together health for next year.    

 

Most of next year's health will be expansions on themes presented in our science unit on human biology.  We'll read about saying no to drugs and alcohol, puberty and reproduction.  In addition to the state mandated fire safety and first aid/911 units, we'll also cover personal safety (Cub Scout requirement) and tornado safety (geographic necessity).  

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We don't use A Beka for anything else, but I have found their health books to be an efficient way to cover health as the children can just read them and write any answers directly in the book.  They are quite organized and cover the basic health topics.  The kids find them moderately fun, and my 8-year-old sometimes has to be told to stop doing health and get to something else.  I don't agree with everything, or with the nutrition recommendations, but I flip through the books as well and we talk about those points.

 

And yes -- life.  We use that as well.  We are culturing bacteria in petri dishes on my kitchen windowsill right now -- from washed and un-washed hands.  The children love to take a look each day and make gagging noises at the "unwashed" petri dish.  It has been a very useful lesson.

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I don't have any suggestions but how awful you have to teach that! Health means different things to different people. I can't imagine having to teach my child something I may not agree with. 😟

Yes, it's pretty irritating! Not because I don't think health education is a worthy topic in general (of course I think it's important to teach these things to my children!), but I resent it from a homeschooling perspective, because as other posters have pointed out, it's a subject pretty much all families teach organically through daily living. (And, as you say, it means different things to different people, so each family approaches the subject as they see fit, you know?) So, I mostly resent that my children have to produce at least some written work in this subject. I usually feel like that time would be better spent working on the core subjects. (That said, I don't give health anywhere near the same attention as we do the other subjects! It's something we hit on about once a week--mostly through read alouds--and call it good. This approach hasn't been a problem at my county evaluations thus far, so it's working well enough, but I was interested in finding dedicated curricula so I can think about it even less and just be able to grab it and go, have the kiddos do it, and then check it off our list for the week.) 

 

Anyway, thanks for the support! :-) TWTM doesn't mention health (as far as I recall, anyway), so I wanted to check in here and see what others who also have to teach it might be using. Thanks also to those that mentioned A Beka. I didn't know they offered health curricula, so I will definitely check that out!

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The requirements are usually pretty low. In most states where its required you can get away with a few simple "lessons" covering the hours requested. A better option is having a clipboard available, and just log down each time you did something "health' related (re-explained how to brush, reminded them to wash their hands, answered a question about reproduction, did a simple study on handheld vs "sterile" bread in jars, out some mcdonalds fries in jars and documented, went to a dentist check-up, learnt how to chop vegetables, learnt how to understand nutritional info on packaging, etc etc). If you want a curriculum get some 'For dummies" books i.e. (Nutrition, clean eating, fitness, workouts, anatomy & physiology, superfoods etc), I have the Diabetes one, and plan to make up a unit from that. Because of my kids, most of my "health" units are based around diabetes (math nutritional calculations, insuin requirements, understanding packaging, foot care, finger care, maintenance of diabetic tools, anatomy and physiology and the Pancreas, current medical news and findings, eye care and checkups, and so on and so forth) for my son it means understanding nutrition, personal hygiene, and putting on weight,

 

What I mean is the best health curriculum is intensely personal and directly related to the current state of the child. If they are smelling funky, work on personal hygiene stations and getting independant with things (including laundry) if they are quite stationary, work on getting them to understand how their body works, and what being at peak and non-peak physical fitness means to their body and its inner workings. If they aren't drinking enough water, show how water is used and works inside their bodies and why their bodies need it to function at their best, if they are too careless with their bodies during sports, show how to care for your body and fix & prevent injuries, and what unfixed/unprevented sports injuries can do to people later in life (and in the here and now, looking towards an older version of themselves is too distant, its not relatable enough for them, children most understand immediate consequences (although you can work this into distant consequences, dancer doesn't take care of her foot, she will never be a prima ballerina - distant, doesn't take care of her foot, no point in trying out for the academy tommorrow (because it will be hurt by the time she gets close to prima status) - immediate.

 

If you want lists, keep clipbaord or planner/filofax/notepad around, and just be aware of your child, then you'll notice things in the health arena that need improving, note them down, then just work on one area at a time. Working on it can be as simple as having a little conversation, if you want review or to make sure he follows through, note it down for a review date on the calendar, when that review pops up, you can note whether you need to proceed further with that "Study" or the child has gotten it.

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Life.

 

Eat healthy foods (more veggies than anything else--no gluten, etc), and keep junk to a min.

Brush your teeth.

Wash your hands.

Take a bath.

Herbals for healing (taught as we go).

 

Things like that.

 

We did do The Body Book also. Pretty cool.

 

 

I don't have any suggestions but how awful you have to teach that! Health means different things to different people. I can't imagine having to teach my child something I may not agree with. 😟

 

The majority is definitely covered during day-to-day life.  I have actually enjoyed pulling topics from the A Beka health though.  There are certain topics that maybe the kids haven't asked about yet or that have slipped my mind.  We do get control on what to teach when, though, and that is important to me.  We skip things as we see fit.   :)

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A better option is having a clipboard available, and just log down each time you did something "health' related (re-explained how to brush, reminded them to wash their hands, answered a question about reproduction, did a simple study on handheld vs "sterile" bread in jars, out some mcdonalds fries in jars and documented, went to a dentist check-up, learnt how to chop vegetables, learnt how to understand nutritional info on packaging, etc etc).

 

This is such a great idea--thank you! I love the idea of just keeping a log and making note of when we've addressed/discussed a specific health topic. This would be the perfect tool for providing "evidence of instruction" at my review. I think I'm definitely going to start doing this and then just grab a suggested text or two. That should work really well and will feel so much easier on my side of things! Thanks, friends, for all the feedback so far! :-)

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