Total Health: Talking About Life Changes - Curriculum Review

Total Health: Talking About Life Changes - Curriculum Review

When I came across Total Health: Talking About Life Changes for Middle School on ChristianBook.com a few years ago, there weren’t many options for health curriculum available for home educating families. The selection was extremely limited, but I knew I wanted a curriculum that would guide me as I taught my daughters about the importance of caring for their bodies. I scoured the internet for reviews about the program. There weren’t many so I reached out to the company, and my daughters and I decided to review it for other homeschooling families.

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What’s included in Total Health: Talking About Life Changes

The review set we received included two student textbooks and the teacher’s guide and CD-rom. The CD-rom includes worksheets and transparencies to use with the text.

About Total Health: Talking About Life Changes

This middle school health curriculum is broken down into four units: physical health, mental health, social health, and spiritual health. The majority of the text focuses on physical health followed by social health. Mental health and spiritual health are addressed, but not in as much detail as the other two topics.

Each unit is broken down into smaller sections focused on different aspects of the topic. The text is comprised of 12 sections or chapters. Each chapter ends with a review that includes vocabulary, recalling information, and applying the truth. The curriculum is Christian-based.

The student textbook doesn’t include any additional assignments or projects, but the disc included in the teacher’s guide does include worksheets and activities. My disc stopped working for some reason so I ordered the student workbooks for both of my girls. I actually liked having the workbooks handy versus printing from the disc. The student workbooks also include the chapter reviews which allows my daughters to keep all of their work in one place. When I ordered the workbooks, I also orded the answer key for myself. The answer key doesn’t include all of the pages that are found in the student workbook. The curriculum also has a quiz and test set, but I didn’t order or request it for the review so we didn’t utilize the tests that were created for the curriculum.

How we used Total Health: Talking About Life Changes

We read at least one section of the text together each week. This worked well for us and allowed us to get in some reading instruction if needed. By reading the text together, I was also able to incorporate some of the discussion ideas included in the teacher’s guide into our lessons. In the sidebar of the teacher’s guide, the author highlights different areas to discuss and questions to ask. We also were able to take some of these questions and stretch them into deeper activities. I like creating worksheets and projects to complement what we are studying.

My daughters completed the student activities independently as we worked through the chapter, and the chapter review lesson once we completed the chapter. We didn’t work through every chapter since some of the content coincided with our life science curriculum. We primarily studied nutrition, fitness, diseases, mental health, and social health. There is plenty of room to adapt the curriculum for your family’s needs. In the front of the teacher’s guide, there is information for creating a schedule for the curriculum and options for omitting or combining content based on your child’s needs. For instance, it is suggested to combine chapter 4 with a physical education course and combining chapters 11 and 12 with a Bible course.

Our thoughts about Total Health: Talking About Life Changes

When I was making plans for our homeschool year, I asked my daughters what they wanted to study, and they both selected health. They had previewed the book before we actually started it, and they both were enthusiastic to use it. The content is straight-forward which worked well for me. I was able to give my daughters what I had hoped for, and they were able to learn new information and solidify thoughts they had about information learned previously through living.

Overall, I would suggest using this health curriculum if you are looking for a clear and concise approach to studying health with your kids. Since health is a requirement for high school, I am planning to use the high school edition of Total Health with my daughters in the future.

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