Teaching Human Anatomy and Sex Education in Homeschool
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Homeschooling is a labor love. And if you’re one of the Michigan moms who has decided to educate your children at home, then you know it can be challenging to make sure you’re properly preparing your children for the future they deserve.
As a homeschooler, you have more control over what your children learn. However, that also comes with some pressure. You might have to teach subjects that you’re not completely confident in yourself. You’ll also have to take on important subjects like human anatomy and sex education.
It can feel daunting to get into these topics with your kids. However, it’s extremely important for them to be knowledgeable about topics like their bodies, puberty, reproduction, and STDs. Here are some tips for approaching these important topics as a homeschooler.
Teach Age-Appropriate Topics
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of teaching sex education and anatomy to your kids, take a breath and remember that you don’t have to teach everything at once. By focusing on age-appropriate topics, you can work through a little bit of the curriculum at a time as your kids grow and develop.
For example, it’s appropriate for young kids to learn about the different parts of their bodies, but they don’t need to understand how puberty works just yet. As your kids grow up, they need more comprehensive knowledge, and you can build on what you taught before.
Find a Reputable Curriculum
Because sex education is such a controversial topic in the United States, there are a lot of questionable curriculums available for teaching this topic. It’s very important to do your research when choosing an anatomy and sex education curriculum for home-based learning.
The good news is that no matter how you and your kids enjoy learning, there are some great options and resources out there for learning about sex education. From podcasts and YouTube channels to formal curriculums, there are lots of fantastic resources available — many of them for free. Just make sure you take a deep dive into the material before you choose what to include in your lesson plans.
Understand the Consequences of WHAT You’re Teaching & Modeling
Many sex education curriculums are still shame-based and don’t help young people learn about their bodies and sexuality in a healthy way. Many don’t even cover topics that could be life-saving, like the difference between HIV and AIDS. It’s important to remember that the way you talk about topics like human anatomy and sex can influence the way your child feels.
Regardless of how you feel about your own body, for instance, it’s important to be positive when you teach your child about how the body works. Developing shame around body image and sex can have unintended consequences later in life, and as a homeschooling parent, you should do all you can to approach these important topics in a healthy way.
Shame won’t keep kids from having sex, but it can lead to a range of problems you probably want to avoid. Shame-based sex ed can lead to young people developing the idea that they are “damaged goods” if they are sexually abused or choose to have sex before they are married. You should always ensure that your kids know they have inherent value, regardless of their sexuality, sexual experience, or how their body looks.
Cover All Your Bases
Even if you and your family have personal and religious beliefs that don’t include sex before marriage, it’s still important to cover all the bases when it comes to sex education. That includes talking to your kids about safe sex, sexually-transmitted diseases, and relationships.
Teaching kids about human anatomy and reproduction is important, but it’s not necessarily the most important part of sex education. As you teach your kids about these critical topics, it’s necessary to talk about navigating healthy relationships, the role sex plays in a relationship, and sexuality. All aspects of sex education and anatomy are part of a well-rounded education.
Remember, not all sex education has to be formal. Situations that come up in television shows or in your family’s daily life can be a great opportunity to talk about these issues and help set your children up for healthy relationships later on.
Don’t Chicken Out
Talking to kids about sex and relationships isn’t easy. It can be embarrassing for everyone involved and many parents dread these tough conversations. However, it’s incredibly important not to chicken out, especially if you’re a homeschooling parent. Your kids will learn about sex one way or another as they get older, and it’s better for them if they’re introduced to these topics at home, before they get information from friends that might be completely inaccurate.
If you start teaching anatomy and sex education from a young age, it’s easier to talk about as your kids get older. Remember, the more discomfort you have surrounding these topics, the more your kids will feel uncomfortable and embarrassed too. They learn by example — so be a good role model and get ready to make sex ed an essential part of your homeschool curriculum!
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.