Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Designing Health Class

In order to meet the graduation requirements for the state of Connecticut and the state of Maine (where our transcript service is located), my daughter must complete 40 instructional hours, or one-half credit, of health. As I could not/did not find an established curriculum that covered everything I wanted Katherine the Great to learn, I decided to design my own course. Most likely, it will be called Health, Sexuality, and Human Anatomy. This is what I came up with so far.

Course description
A survey course in human anatomy, growth and development, nutrition, immunology, fitness, safety, and first aid in order to better understand the human body, and determine what actions will help the student attain and maintain good health. Includes units on medical ethics and medical careers, as well as a comparison of biblical and secular attitudes toward sexuality, dating, and marriage.

Topics Covered
Major body systems
Fetal growth & development
Mental health & disorders
Infectious & noninfectious diseases
Systemic diseases & disorders
Nutritional needs
Healthy food choices
Exercise & fitness
Personal health care & hygiene
Household hazards
Road safety
Environmental safety
Emergency preparedness
First-aid procedures
Drugs & medicines
Drug & substance abuse
Alcohol & tobacco
Suicide, euthanasia, & abortion
Organ donation
Stem cell research
Medical careers
Sexuality, dating, & marriage
Biblical discernment

Course requirements
- Read Health in Christian Perspective. Complete all assignments in textbook. Take all associated unit exams.

- Color all assigned diagrams in The Anatomy Coloring Book by Wynn Kapit & Lawrence Elson.

- Read Sex, Love, and Romance: Sex Education from the Bible by Hugh F. Pyle.

- Read Unhooked Generation: The Truth About Why We’re Still Single by Jillian Straus.

- Attend a presentation on abstinence education.

- Write a paper comparing and contrasting the biblical and secular attitudes toward sexuality, dating, and marriage.

- Keep a food diary for one week. Write a short paper analyzing your nutritional habits with an emphasis on areas needing improvement.

- Perform a personal fitness assessment. Write a plan to improve areas of weakness. Keep the plan for use in a physical education class.

- Explain & demonstrate various first-aid techniques.

- Perform a safety assessment on your home. Write a plan to address any deficiencies.

- Interview a health care provider in your community. Write a short paper discussing what you learned.

- Examine the current state of medical research and discuss the associated ethics issues per abortion, euthanasia, organ donation, AIDS, stem cell research, and suicide. Write a position paper supporting your personal viewpoint on one of these issues.

Note: The curriculum will include educational videos where appropriate. I may also require my daughter to visit a pregnancy counseling/support center as part of the course; however, I am uncertain if this is necessary given the other course requirements already in place for sex education.

Graded work
- Individual assignments from Health in Christian Perspective
- Tests from Health in Christian Perspective
- Coloring assignments in The Anatomy Coloring Book
- Sexuality paper
- Food diary & analysis
- Fitness assessment and plan
- First-aid demonstration
- Home safety assessment & plan
- Health care provider interview evaluation
- Medical ethics position paper

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