During our testing week we did not do any of our usual homeschool work. Instead, the younger kids had free time, and the older two and I began a book I've been holding onto for several months: The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality by Luke Gilkerson.
It's excellent. Written by someone who works with the popular Covenant Eyes, it is simple, careful, and beautifully worded.
The older two and I began a book I've been holding onto for several months: The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality by Luke Gilkerson.
The age recommendation (6-10 year olds) is spot on. It is a little too much for my 5-year-old, but for Charlotte and Chris it's been perfect.
The chapters have gone further than I would have without the book. I've explained aspects of sexuality to the children, usually in answer to their questions, but I would never have been comfortable approaching the specifics without aid. This book is practically a script in that sense.
We've never been shy about using the proper terms for all the parts of the body, so it has probably been helpful that these words, words like vagina, aren't strange to either of the kids. Still, we've never spoken about what it means to "have sex" or how exactly the sperm gets inside the woman to fertilize an egg. I've only ever told them that God made our bodies, male and female, to fit together perfectly for this to be possible. That was enough at the time, but I knew it would not be enough indefinitely.
I was afraid, as I imagine most parents would be, that introducing certain specifics about sex would open the door to perversion that wouldn't have been likely otherwise -- improper thoughts, addictions even, that would otherwise have never even come to mind. The introduction to parents addresses these concerns; I highly recommend reading it before diving into the book with your children.
I've explained aspects of sexuality to the children, usually in answer to their questions, but I would never have been comfortable approaching the specifics without aid. This book is practically a script in that sense.
I've gone ahead, trusting that true information would not bring on lust but combat it. The result has been amazing; God has blessed our time in this study immensely. Charlotte and Chris have been attentive and so respectful towards each other and towards me. We read the provided Scripture altogether; we discuss the short chapters altogether. When speaking, I have to bury my natural responses, often shock and embarrassment and shame, so that I do not wrongly color their responses. And their clean, unsullied responses and observations have been a blessing to me. Just today in review I listened as both Chris and Char explained intercourse and fertilization without giggling or silliness or anything of the sort. Even in -- perhaps, especially in -- a state of hypomania, causing over-sensitivity and hypersexualization in me, their innocence did me good. So much good.
You could see it in their faces and hear it in their voices. No avoidance of eye contact. No stumbling over words. No looking for euphemisms. They were not ashamed, and it made my heart glad.
Don't be silent on sexuality. It doesn't feel right from the start, but I know that what Gilkerson says in the intro is true. I know firsthand that parents wait too long to explain sex, and then we don't explain it nearly enough. This leaves our children open to danger -- far more than being forthcoming would.
Also, I think having the three of us study this book together has been a good combination. I don't expect that I would be singing such praises if only my son and I, for instance, were doing this study together. It's probably just my own perspective, but having a group of three instead of a pair has been good.
Think about your own experience. I can say with certainty I was the first to tell Charlotte and Chris about biblical sexuality. I defined these critical words for the first time for them -- not peers, not someone in a movie. Mommy.
I cannot say this of my parents. Can you?
For younger kids check out this post on an excellent read aloud for the entire family.