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Healthy Living From the Start {Oak Meadow Review}

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Oak Meadow has a new health curriculum called Healthy Living from the StartI want to preface this review by saying that if you have used Oak Meadow’s K-3 materials in the past, you probably used Growing, Growing Strong, and you’re about to die from jealousy that this book wasn’t around back in the day.

Healthy Living from the Start

Oak Meadow Health Review

This curriculum is a full 4 years worth of health, which covers kindergarten through third grade. There are 36 lessons per year for each grade level. Topics covered include:

  1. Growth and Development
  2. Body Awareness
  3. Hygiene
  4. Illness Prevention
  5. Basic First Aid
  6. Personal Awareness
  7. Playground and Community
  8. Stranger Awareness
  9. Healthy Home
  10. People who Help
  11. Nutrition
  12. Food Choices
  13. Enjoying Food
  14. Exercise and Sleep
  15. Stress Management
  16. Respect and Good Sportsmanship
  17. Social Skills
  18. Communication Skills
  19. Mentors and Elders
  20. Anger Management
  21. Challenge and Risk
  22. Decision Making
  23. Public Safety
  24. Emergency Situations
  25. Technology, Media and Health
  26. Active Lifestyle: Endurance
  27. Active Lifestyle: Strength
  28. Active Lifestyle: Flexibility
  29. Body, Mind and Spirt
  30. Mindfulness and Well-Being

I know that’s a crazy long list, but SO much is covered in here. Underneath each chapter topic you’ll find four lessons, one for each grade level. Lessons often have 3-4 different elements to complete. You’ll have discussions with your kids, create things, do activities- each time it’s something a little different. The years all build on each other, so you aren’t doing the same thing year after year. That isn’t to say that you have to start with Kindergarten to use it, you can always look at the previous year’s lessons to make sure you aren’t missing anything, and jump in wherever.

A Sample of How it Works

In this lesson, your kindergarten students are learning about “playing safe” and discuss safety rules, boundaries for play, and being careful about falls. First graders talk more about the safety rules with a special focus on being aware of the other kids on the playground. They also cover wearing helmets, and proper posture for safe jumping/landing.

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First graders talk more about the safety rules with a special focus on being aware of the other kids on the playground. They also cover wearing helmets, and proper posture for safe jumping/landing.

Second graders talk about crossing the street safely, how to get help and where to go if you need help, and helping others stay safe (by doing things like help tying shoes, or holding doors for people).

Third graders talk about making thoughtful decisions on things like how fast they should go. They also talk about safe habits and being aware of the dangers around them.

This whole lesson is 7 pages long, with simple, easy to follow activities.

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My Thoughts

When this book arrived in the mail, and I got to flip through it the first time, I immediately loved it. I am a fan of programs that are well organized, and pleasant to use (with pretty colors, lots of white space, and quality binding). This book is printed on high-quality paper, with full-color images, and even the grade level instruction has color coded headers.

I love that I can use this with all my kids at once. Little Miss and Mr. Man both fall in the correct range for this book, so next year, we can sit down for lessons together. I can pick and choose elements from each of their grade levels, or just do all of the activities with both of them together.

Mostly, I love that this isn’t your typical “brush your teeth” “don’t do drugs” health book. This really is a thoughtful series of conversations and activities that you can enjoy for four straight years. You’ll plant healthy food, you’ll talk about feelings, you’ll practice safe movements and thoughtful interactions with others. The teaching is deep and important, and I think anyone who is required to teach health should consider this book as part of their curriculum plan even if they aren’t using Oak Meadow as their core curriculum.

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  • Thanks for this! I’m new to homeschooling (my oldest is in K this year) and health class has been a challenge. I’ve mostly just grabbed random things from pinterest and called it good. I’ve been wanting to do something that didn’t feel like a waste of time to meet a requirement, and this is perfect!

    • Not this time 🙂 They do have sales from time to time, and when they do, things are 10-15% off. I want to say they just had one recently, so I am not sure when the next will be.

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