Lorelei Savaryn shares three helpful resources for teaching children how to understand the beauty and purpose of their bodies as they grow and change.
Spring of 2020 meant many changes, and for our family one of those changes was that we began homeschooling six months earlier than we had originally planned. I had already researched curriculum and thought about how we wanted homeschool life to look, and found myself oddly prepared to take over my children’s education at a time when the world was shutting down. While I’ve learned a lot since then, and still have a lot of learning to do, I have found a few items in particular to be helpful.
One of our primary areas of focus is to wrap our Catholic faith into our daily learning. In particular, I wanted to choose programs that helped our children understand how our purpose as humans made in the image of God wraps into our bodies, and how they change and develop over time. I’ve found a few resources in the area of that have been helpful for us that I’m excited to share. I think families that homeschool and families that send their child to school elsewhere might be able to find space to fit this valuable, truth-centered learning into their homes all through the year.
The Body Matters: This is the primary curriculum we’re using with the kids to teach Theology of the Body from the very start. They are well-written with engaging illustrations, and come with a parent/educator downloadable guide. Early on, children will learn that we are made for life and love, that our bodies are good and made on purpose, and that we are called to give of ourselves to others. As they get older, the curriculum connects ToB to the Mass and to the human person in ways that are appropriate for middle school students. During my conversion to Catholicism, Theology of the Body deeply impacted my marriage as well as how I view the world as a whole. I’m so thankful we found this resource to help introduce ToB to our kids from the very start.
From Ruah Woods Press: This is a lovely literature-based Theology of the Body program that makes a quality supplement to the TOBET books. Each level contains two quality, classic stories, and the newest edition offers detailed lesson plans to explore Theology of the Body themes within books like The Quiltmaker’s Gift, Blueberries for Sal, and others. Our kids have loved the stories, and the lessons too and I’m excited about their expanded offerings with the latest editions.
From the Couple to Couple League: I was very excited to recently discover the Mother Daughter program. It features three Mother Daughter Journeys, for girls aged 9-12, 13-15, and 15-18. This is such a warm, well-thought out way to introduce girls to the gift of their fertility and start some important conversations in an open, helpful way. As someone who learned about the beautify of fertility awareness only recently, and in a world that offers general confusion and artificial suppression as the main viable options, I’m thrilled to be able to help my daughters access the tools they need to understand the gift of their bodies and fertility from the very start.
Additional Wisdom Welcome!
I’d love to learn if any Catholic moms have other resources for their children that have been helpful to them, as our own family is constantly learning and seeking out quality supports for educating our children in all aspects of the faith.
Copyright 2021 Lorelei Savaryn
Image: Jessica Rockowitz (2018), Unsplash
About the Author
Lorelei Savaryn joyfully joined the Catholic Church in 2016 after many years as a Protestant. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, four children, and dog named Saint. She writes about her faith and family life on ThisCatholicFamily.com. She is also a children's author. Her debut novel, The Circus of Stolen Dreams, released in Sept 2020 from Penguin Random House/Philomel.