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In a world where bad health and poor grooming are almost as vilified as war and famine, it’s important to teach kids the essentials of self-care from an early age. Horizons starts early—kindergarten to be exact, and continues through 8th grade. This isn’t just brushing your teeth and eating your spinach, either: students learn everything from pedestrian safety to how to address their elders.
The course covers grades K-8. For grades K-2 there is a student workbook and teacher’s guide; grades 3-6 include a student book, workbook and teacher’s guide; and grades 7-8 are covered in a single workbook/teacher’s guide set. No additional materials are needed, making this an easy-to-implement course.
Students read a portion of text and complete written activities; teachers supplement with scripted lessons included in the teacher’s guides; answers to all written work is also included in the guides. In the early grades, children color pictures, connect-the-dots, sing songs, etc., while in later grades students answer short answer, multiple choice and essay questions.
There are projects to be completed under teacher supervision; materials are either included in the books or easily obtained. Some activities include role-playing, in which students assume characters and learn social protocol, an effective and fun way to internalize knowledge.
All the workbooks are consumable, but available separately so you can use one student book and teacher’s guide for multiple students. Each student book covers a single year, except the last one which covers two.
Topics covered range from the basics—personal hygiene, the importance of exercise and good nutrition—to more complex discussions of etiquette, communication and study skills, personal discipline, etc. This isn’t just physical health: Horizons is a Christian publisher, and mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health is all covered, promoting lifestyles that are both healthy and godly.
This course is thorough and fun, making health an interesting subject rather than a dubious chore. The texts and exercises are engaging without stooping below the target grade level; the teacher guides are filled with useful supplemental information and ideas for presentation. Divisive issues like alcohol consumption are treated even-handedly and thoughtfully. Overall this is an excellent course, logically ordered and comprehensive in nature.