A Beka publishes health courses that are intended to be used alongside their science courses for grades one through six. These are titled:
- Health, Safety, and Manners 1
- Health, Safety, and Manners 2
- Health, Safety, and Manners 3
- Developing Good Health (fourth grade)
- Enjoying Good Health (fifth grade)
- Choosing Good Health (sixth grade)
They also have a one-semester course titled Health in Christian Perspective that can be used at any time in grades eight through twelve.
I have reviewed only the courses for grades four and above.
The textbooks for the elementary courses have occasional pages where it is clear that students are supposed to write in the books such as in labeling diagrams. However, there is no space for them to write out the answers to questions. Health in Christian Perspective has only “Personal Checkup” boxes that indicate that students might write in the text, so it can be used as a non-consumable book if you prefer.
Developing Good Health (Grade 4)
The Developing Good Health textbook is intended for use along with Understanding God's World for a complete science course. It should take about nine weeks to complete this 110-page textbook.
The book is divided into three units. The first unit, which is about physical fitness, has chapters on the skeletal, muscular, and respiratory systems. The second unit, which covers personal hygiene, has chapters on teeth and dental care, the integumentary system (skin), and personal grooming. There is only one chapter in the third unit, which is titled “Right Relationships.” It discusses the student’s relationship with God and relationships with others. There are comprehension questions at the end of all except the last chapter.
The Developing Good Health: Quizzes, Tests, and Worksheets book has five anatomy worksheets to be labeled and colored, two puzzle worksheets, nine quizzes, and three tests. There are separate answer keys for the textbook and for the quizzes, tests, and worksheets book. The Homeschool Science and Health 4: Curriculum/Lesson Plans book helps you plan the health and science lessons, although it is not essential.
Enjoying Good Health (Grade 5)
Enjoying Good Health was written to be used alongside Investigating God's World. It should take nine weeks to complete. All of its five chapters have sets of “Quick Checkup” questions after each topic within the chapter and a “Chapter Checkup” at the end.
The lessons combine information about body systems with instruction about nutrition and physical fitness. The first chapter, which is about the circulatory system, discusses how proper rest and healthy life habits protect your heart. The second chapter is about nutritional intake, how energy is exerted in activities, and the balance that needs to be maintained between intake and activity output. The digestive system and nutrition are explored in the third chapter. Chapter Four addresses physical fitness in terms of aerobic endurance, muscular strength and endurance, agility, flexibility, and body composition. The fifth chapter addresses friends and social acceptance, mental health, and spiritual health. In the latter section, it discusses the connection between things we allow into our minds and their influence on spiritual health. An “Atlas of the Human Body” at the back of the book illustrates and labels systems of the body.
The Enjoying Good Health: Quizzes, Tests, and Worksheets book has ten anatomy worksheets, one nutrition worksheet, six quizzes, and four tests. There are two course answer keys: one for the textbook and one for the quizzes, tests, and worksheets book. The optional Homeschool Science and Health 5: Curriculum/Lesson Plans covers both the science and health courses.
Choosing Good Health (Grade 6)
As with the fourth- and fifth-grade courses, Choosing Good Health should take nine weeks to complete. The first of its three units has two chapters on safety and first aid. The second unit is titled “Growth and Fitness.” The first of its two chapters, “Your Changing Body,” discusses physical maturation and the work of the endocrine system. (This chapter does not address sexual maturation.) The second chapter in this unit deals with nutrition and physical fitness. The third unit, “A Healthy Mind and Body,” addresses the body’s natural protective systems, drug use and abuse (including alcohol, marijuana, inhalants, and tobacco), and the brain. Hot topics such as drug abuse and AIDS are discussed from the standpoint of biblical values rather than the values-free approach attempted by secular texts.
The “Atlas of the Human Body” at the back of the book is the same as that in the fifth-grade book.
The Choosing Good Health: Quizzes, Tests, and Worksheets book has 11 worksheets, eight quizzes, and four tests. There are separate answer keys for the textbook and the quizzes, tests, and worksheets book. The optional Homeschool Science and Health 6: Curriculum/Lesson Plans covers both the science and health courses.
Health in Christian Perspective
Health in Christian Perspective presents a one-semester course that can be used in eighth grade or in high school. The 253-page textbook presents the course content in eight chapters.
The first two chapters address nutrition, food choices, physical fitness, and personal hygiene. The third chapter, “Keeping a Sound Mind,” is about the nervous system, mental disorders, mental health, and the imperative of using biblical discernment to help make healthy choices—in both a physical and spiritual sense. A detailed “Atlas of Human Anatomy” at the back that illustrates the body systems is a useful reference for these chapters and some of the others.
The fourth chapter on personal safety talks about household hazards, recreational safety, and driving safety (with bicycles, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles). It also discusses and environmental safety issues, such as what to do during natural disasters and the problems of environmental pollution. The fifth chapter has very practical information about first aid and emergency preparedness.
Chapter six discusses disease prevention in relation to immunology, both infectious and non-infectious diseases, disabilities, and systemic diseases and disorders. The chapter concludes with a section on the need for preventive personal health care, making wise decisions about personal health, following biblical principles, and maintaining healthy attitudes.
The seventh chapter discusses the uses and abuses of drugs and medicines. This includes discussions about marijuana, inhalants, and steroids. There is an extensive section on the negative effects of alcohol and a briefer section on tobacco.
The final chapter on “Right Relationships” discusses the importance of putting God first and maintaining spiritual fitness. As they say, from a right relationship with God should flow right relationships with others.
“Personal Checkup” sidebars throughout the course are intended to help students do some personal assessment. They are supposed to check off boxes for items such as, “I wash my hands thoroughly on a regular basis” and “Others can depend on me to be on time.” These are the only instances in which students might write in the book. I doubt these are very effective since students will likely check them off whether they are true or not, so you might have students skip writing in the book.
Interspersed throughout the book are stories about 12 different types of medical practitioners, and these stories give students realistic views of what some medical careers might be like. Five “Biblical Discernment” features address the topics of suicide, abortion, euthanasia, organ donation, and substance abuse. For instance, the one on suicide addresses the question, “Is suicide an acceptable choice from a biblical perspective?” The response on most of these is primarily drawn from the Bible, although the one on organ donation is brief and leaves it up to the reader to discern his or her own conclusions.
The biblical perspective is stronger in some chapters than others, but the course clearly presents biblical positions throughout. However, some Christians might take issue with the treatment of alcohol. The warnings against alcohol stress problems that ensue from excessive alcohol consumption, and they imply that all alcohol consumption is bad.
There are two ways to get the answer key for the questions in the textbook. The less expensive Health in Christian Perspective: Answer Key is strictly an answer key. The more expensive Health in Christian Perspective: Teacher Edition has a copy of the student textbook, teaching information, lesson plans, and the answers to the questions in the textbook.
The Health in Christian Perspective: Quizzes and Tests book has sixteen quizzes, four tests, a mid-term, and a final exam. This book has its own answer key.