Talking about sex can be as awkward for parents as for their unsuspecting offspring; it’s easy to make it a big joke or to unintentionally get too graphic. The Learning About Sex for the Christian Family series offers help for parents who don’t want their kids to be totally ignorant and want to impart a Christian attitude toward sex, yet aren’t sure how to go about starting the discussion.
How Do These Work?
There are five books for children, and one for parents. For each of the five children’s texts there are two options: one for boys and one for girls. The content isn’t too disparate, but certain feminine/masculine concerns are treated more fully and/or differently between the two versions. Parents are supposed to preview each volume before letting their kids read it, and it is advisable for them to also read the adult book first to have an idea how to deal with potential questions.
The first volume is for kids ages 4-6 and discusses primarily the differences between boys and girls and the reasons for these differences. The next one (for ages 7-9) answers the perennial question, where do babies come from, with humor and tact in the form of a fictionalized story. Volume three is for ages 10-12 and talks about puberty, as does the fourth volume for ages 13-15. The final book, geared for ages 15 and up, talks about love, marriage, STDs, etc.
As the series progresses, so does the maturity of the content. The first three books feature color illustrations that are descriptive yet discreet, and focus largely on basic anatomy and body mechanics. Later books deal with more adult issues and consequently take a more serious tone. There are fewer illustrations and instead of being broadly instructive they are scientifically detailed. The later books also contain more possibly controversial material, such as discussions about dating, but it is handled gently and even-handed.
The parent book not only offers insight for having possibly uncomfortable conversations with your kids, it also offers statistics about the sexual activity and behavior of today’s youth, ways to guard your children’s innocence without turning them into mushrooms, and a book-by-book guide to the kids’ volumes in the series. Parents are told to preview all the material and decide what their kids are ready to read and what they aren’t, based on the parents’ own assessment.
Our Honest Opinion:
This is our favorite sex education series. It is tactful and yet informative, discreetly graphic without being gratuitous. (It is also far more thorough than the God’s Design for Sex series that focuses on sexual morality rather than the physical and mental aspects kids will experience firsthand.) The books follow a good natural progression so your kids are learning only what they need to in order to understand themselves and not be consumed with overactive curiosity. Sex education isn’t some kind of prurient activity, and it also doesn’t have to be awkward or make everyone feel weird and self-conscious, as Learning About Sex for the Christian Family ably demonstrates.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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