Review of Alpha Omega Horizons 2nd Grade Health Set

In the state of Nebraska, it is required that your children are taught health along with their reading, writing, science, and social studies topics. To be honest, we cover many things very well through an eclectic method for the younger kids, and we had never used a formal health curriculum for the early elementary grades. We were given the opportunity to review the Alpha Omega Publications Horizons 2nd Grade Health Set this month, however, and I have to admit that it really helped us focus on areas that we weren't too diligent about in the past.

The set, which is comprised of the Teacher's Guide and the Student Workbook is very simple to implement.  There is quite a bit of meat in the Teacher's Guide, giving the parent background on almost all of the topics that will be discussed -- in Biblical perspective -- along with the exact dialogue you could use to talk to your children.  There are added resources at the end of each section that you could refer to (videos, books, or websites) to help you in the event you wanted to branch out and have you child learn more about a topic than what's covered in the curriculum.

I used this with my 2nd grader Moses. He is 8 years old this year.  He is amazingly bright, can read at a 5th grade level, but he is small for his age, has speech delays, and also seems to be emotionally sensitive. The first chapter of this curriculum dealt with feelings, and I was surprised at how eager he was to learn about this topic. One tool that the curriculum suggests using is puppets. I admit that I shy away from anything but direct interaction with my kids, because we have such a very open communication style, but I can see how this would be an excellent tool for parent or children who are shy to talk about certain health topics or need some light entertainment in their regimen.

We used the puppet dialogue guide and the student worksheets to discuss the four types of feelings: anger, happiness, fear, and sadness.  I was really impressed with how it gave kids specific tools for identifying and communicating the feelings. I really appreciated that it made Biblical distinctions between getting angry (which is not a sin in itself) and the kind of anger that is sinful. It was the kind of lesson that parents can learn from, too.

The student workbook had lots of activities. Not all lessons had them. The picture above is of one of the first activities (we like to rip out the pages for easy use) that asked the kids to make a puppet. I had my son try to communicate his feelings by drawing the puppet face.

In addition to covering emotions and communication, there are traditional health topics, too.  Lessons include:
  • Family rules
  • Forgiveness
  • Family Heritage
  • Dealing with death
  • Manners
  • Listening
  • The body and how it works
  • Nutrition
  • Hygiene
  • Safety
  • Inappropriate touch (or "stranger danger" as we called it growing up)
  • Germs
  • Alcohol and drug use/abuse
While many of the topics are touchy, there is never anything presented that goes too deeply into the subject to make it inappropriate for kids of that age. I also like that it states facts such as "some adults drink with friends" and "alcohol can impair you when you drive", but that it never tries to decide the rules or attitudes your own family should make on whether to drink or not. That's something that you get to decide on how to handle with your own kids.

Alpha Omega Review
Alpha Omega Review
You can get this set at the Alpha Omega website. I think it's a great addition to a well-rounded education, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it or the health studies for any other grade in this series.

Alpha Omega Review

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