Friday, February 8, 2013

Babies Homeschool Unit: Schedule and Lesson Plan

Since I had chosen something each child liked to study during their Birthday week, during MY birthday week, I decided to start a babies unit because I love babies! And it seemed like good timing because our baby is due in a couple months. It wasn't until later that I realized "Babies" would also logically include some sex education. I deliberated about how to handle that part for quite awhile---I kept looking for other people's ideas but I couldn't find anything I liked. Finally I realized, as I usually do, that to find something right for MY children, I would have to put it together myself. I prayed a lot that I would be able to present the information in the right way, and I felt really good about how it turned out for us---but I'm not positive that our approach is one everyone would be comfortable with. For our family, we have always been very open and straightforward about sex and bodies, using the correct anatomical terms, etc. And I continued that trend. Maybe some people would feel like this was too much, too soon for young kids, but I decided if we could delve into the logistics of nuclear power, we could delve into the logistics of making babies and giving birth. It felt right for us, and I loved the way the children reacted. We had some great discussions.  But be aware, if you're looking at these resources, that I didn't really hold back any information!

I think one of the very best resources out there is this book And They Were Not Ashamed. I actually think every married couple should read it. (We've started giving it as a wedding present---but anonymously---since we don't want the poor young couples having to imagine us choosing it for them. :)) I would recommend it to people more often, but it's an awkward subject to just bring up out of the blue, and I never want to imply that I think someone else has problems or needs help in this area---but honestly, it's just a great book. I think it would benefit any couple to read it, whether or not they think they "need help". Anyway, for my purposes here, it has a great section on talking to kids about sex. Lots of good insights and tips for how to approach the subject with reverence, without making it seem embarrassing or unnatural, along with enlightening quotes from church leaders and the scriptures. Much of my thinking on the subject of Sex Education was influenced by this book.

Another influence on our views about Sex Education was a wonderful Art History teacher Sam had at BYU, who talked about the benefits of teaching kids to be comfortable with the human body and to appropriately understand the beauty of the naked human form. Again, I realize this is a place where people's comfort levels differ, but we're comfortable showing our kids pictures like this and this and discussing them. I wish Sam could have been home for more of the unit (he's been working too much for the last several months to teach any homeschool) because he would have been great at discussing the place of nudity in fine art and giving good historical examples. But I did the best I could.

I used Elder Holland's excellent talk as reference as well---I know some of it is over the heads of children as young as mine, but there were several ideas that I took from it and presented to the children in simpler form.

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