August 30, 2016

Teach Multi-Age Health and Wellness with WAY Comes Home from HomeSchool Scholastics {Curriculum Review}

I will be the first to admit that we are weak in teaching health/wellness as a subject in our homeschool. We have tried a Kindergarten health program before, but I prefer curriculum where I can teach BOTH of my boys at the same time, but at their own grade level. Imagine my delight when I was told I would get to review the WAY Comes Home Kit from HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company, a health and wellness program that can be used for the whole family! I hoped that it would be easy to implement and truly work for multi-grade levels.
WAY Comes Home Health and Wellness Curriculum Review

About WAY Comes Home

HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company has created the WAY Comes Home program. It's a health and wellness curriculum for homeschoolers, designed by homeschoolers. It's a multi-disciplinary curriculum and hands-on resource for K-5th graders. With a mix of video, workbook, and hands on components, any of your children should be able to participate! The program was also designed so that families could all study together--something hard to find in other programs. And from a Christian perspective about how God designed our minds and bodies to work.

Included in the WAY Comes Home Kit:
WAY Parent Guidebook
My Plate Booklet
3 WAY Journals- K/1, 2/3, and 4/5 
Art Cardstock
WAY Comes Home DVD with video lessons
WAY Comes Home Equipment--everything you need to do the activities from a stethoscope to a balance to foam balls to fingerprint ink and more

The WAY Comes Home Kit provides everything you need to get started teaching health and wellness and retails for $49.95, but is ON SALE NOW for $39.95.
I AM PLEASED TO SAY THAT THE COMPANY HAS DECIDED TO MAKE A SPECIAL OFFER AND KNOCK THE PRICE DOWN EVEN LOWER TO $29.95 WITH FREE SHIPPING!!! I don't know how long this deal will last, but it went into effect 9/8/2016!

I reviewed the WAY Comes Home Kit with my 10 and 6 year old sons.

How Did We Use WAY Comes Home?

WAY Comes Home Kit arrived in a big box which set us to a level of excitement quickly. The boys hovered over me, as I pulled out all the goodies included. It definitely heightens the excitement to get started on a new curriculum when this happens! LOL! They LOVED seeing the balls and the balance and kept asking me what everything was for. So much fabulous stuff inside!

I immediately found the teacher guide and read the introduction to get a feel for the program and how it was going to work...also to figure out which level of journal each boy needed. Thankfully they had a quick chart to determine and I decided to go with level 1 "WAY Health Safari" (K/1) for Baby Britches and level 3 "WAY Innerspace Adventure" (4/5) for Little Britches. I appreciated the tips that the teacher guide contained for getting started.

what a great reminder!

An explanation of each level to determine the best one for your child

Happy sigh. Love seeing the Bible incorporated!
At this point, I just followed the guidance of the program and jumped in! I sat down with both boys and we talked about what we were going to do with the curriculum, and handed them their new journals. Next, we watched the first DVD videos for each boy and they started by decorating the front of their journals.

So what is in a lesson?
A Parent Prep section lets you know about what will be covered in the lesson, and helps you know how to introduce it. The Lesson at a Glance gives you a summary of exactly what to expect in your lesson. Getting Things Ready tells you the list of the supplies you will need. WAY Vocab Words let you know what words are being focused on during the lesson. What To Do is self-explanatory as it gives you the break down of the lesson. Include Me Too provides activities for the two levels NOT part of the main lesson so all can be involved. Art Attack is an optional section to allow for some additional creativity for your child. Optional Library Books provide you with a list of books revolving around your lesson theme. Weekends With WAY show you how to incorporate the lesson outside of the normal school week. Pray/Reflect gives you a scripture for the lesson and values important to your child's development. WAY More Resources provide family friendly resources online to extend your studies. WAY More Fun is just a collection of silly bits of information and fun facts that are related to your lesson that are!

There are five lessons or modules in the program. The program never had us working through a full lesson with each boy at the SAME time, just giving smaller alternative lessons that the additional child could do (part of the Include Me Too). The program suggests doing different levels on different days. While I liked this in one sense, I didn't like them not being able to do their main lessons at the same time, so we did it anyways. We always watched BOTH videos on the same day and then they each worked on their primary assignments. I would get one ready and then work with the other one. One their primary assignments were done, I would have them each do one of the additional assignments that was included--so if it was Little Britches doing his larger assignment, Baby Britches did the "me too" assignment created for his Health Safari level. And if Baby Britches was working on his main assignment, Little Britches worked on his coordinating assignment. Sometimes I liked what the level 2 work was (which neither was doing) and we would work that one in too! All of the extra assignments or main assignments have supply lists--and all the extra stuff you might not have on hand is included in the WAY Comes Home kit, which is fabulous!

I found that i spread out what was included in each lesson over 1-2 weeks. I think that doing it 2-3 days a week allows for this easily when you are touching into all the levels work.

One of the best things we found, were the Physical Activities found on the DVD that were separate from the lesson videos. Clicking on this menu option brought up a new screen with three options: a workout for each level. In each of these levels are 4+ aerobic routines suitable for the grade level. We enjoyed the Level 1 WAY Health Safari options, but they were definitely geared towards my youngest. The level 3 WAY Innerspace Adventures had 12 additional options. These options included doing a 10, 15, or 20 minute exercise to four different "music" options. We tried out one of the 10 minute ones and fell in love! What a great aerobics exercise that makes you definitely work up your heart rate! The boys and I love the boxing exercises, and dancing exercises that were included in the overall routine. Just what we needed to do every day! We began doing these to start our school day from this point on. We recently went to the 15 minute workout which incorporates even more routines (and sweat!). In the next couple weeks, I hope to get us up to the 20 minute workout. We still do Baby Britches routines, but they are more of our warmup.

Here are some photos of things we did:
Reading information about wellness so he can write his journal entries

Baby Britches doing one of his physical activity videos

a nature self portrait...with bugs for eyelashes and hair from my hairbrush

Little Britches filling out things about who he is
Baby Britches fingerprint art

Because of our summer schedule and the way we chose to do the lessons, we still have 2 lesson modules left to complete in this set.

What Are Our Thoughts on WAY Comes Home?

I think that I can safely proclaim that it's a hit! I think we all enjoy it for different reasons. Little Britches likes the drawing activities or anything else that not involving him writing...and he doesn't MIND the physical activity video--as long as it's not the 15 minute one. LOL. Baby Britches enjoys it all--INCLUDING the exercise videos. I like the exercise video most of all, and how easy the program is to teach, because I can just look at all the activities and pick the ones that will work for us.

I liked each boy having their own journal to go with their leveled things. My oldest liked to do some of what my youngest was doing, so it was nice to have the add-ins for their grade level to go with the lesson. I also appreciated the scripture connection to every lesson and ways to take it further.

It is WONDERFUL that the kit contains all the extra bits and pieces that are needed to complete the various activities--even the more "minor" ones. I was able to pull out the fingerprint ink pad, the foam balls, the plastic eggs, and the boys were so excited to get a new bigger balance for us to use! Having all the extra supplies makes it so much easier for me as the homeschool parent, because I don't have to try to round them up myself!

I appreciated the way that the program explained how your emotional inner WAY played a part in your interactive WAY and why it's important to take care of yourself because of how it can affect your relationship with the world at large. And I loved being able to spin this off into why it's important to keep God a part of your inner WAY because He will help you stay healthy in your interactive WAY.

My one main con--I actually would love to have a "suggested lesson plan" instead of all the lesson information for the unit just there. I don't mind picking and choosing, but it would be cool to have a guide on how to spread out the activities over the course of a week--especially when doing it with more than one child, even if it's just a "mock" plan. I love tweaking things to my own use, but I am not a "free for all" kind of planner. I do like a sense of order on how it could be done, so I can tweak it.

Will we continue to use WAY Comes Home?
Absolutely. Especially the exercise videos. We will be using those long after the curriculum book portion is over!

Would We Recommend WAY Comes Home?

Absolutely! We have enjoyed using it and it is very easy to implement. It is especially useful if you are trying to work three different age groups into one lessons. It's not quite an "open and go" program, so if you are looking for that, you might not want to go with this one. But if you are looking for something to provide the physical exercise aspect as well as the book information, this is definitely one to consider! If you want a lesson plan that is all laid out for you, this isn't that style. The kit includes 5 modules which can easily take 1-2 weeks if you do them 2-3 days a week. This is great if you want to tuck in a health/wellness curriculum into your homeschool schedule without it being a full semester.

EDITED TO ADD SOME GREAT NEWS: HomeSchool Scholastics is offering a $15 off CODE you can use on your order! Simply add the code: GC0737011 at checkout!

EVEN BETTER NEWS: HomeSchool Scholastics has issued a new deal offering up their program for just $29.95 with FREE SHIPPING. No code needed! Please take advantage of this generous deal! I don't know how long it will last--it's starting 9/8/2016.

Want to Know More?

We have been having fun with our review of the WAY Comes Home Kit from HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company. You have seen how we used two of the levels from this curriculum, but why don't you go check out how the rest of our review team used it?!
WAY Comes Home Kit Review
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We have just had so much fun with this program, and it's been worth going through the review just to have the exercise videos! I didn't realize that it would be just what I needed to get me actually doing exercise on a daily basis! Thanks WAY!
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