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22 June 2012


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Barbara C.

I totally get the "I have been lied to my whole life about my body" thing. I wish I would have known the basics of charting in high school...it would have relieved so much uncertainty and anxiety. Not to mention that my life was an emotional rollercoaster for the first six years of my menstrual cycle. Now I know that it was probably due at least partly to poor nutrition (thank you Marilyn Shannon).

My two older daughters (9 and 6) have asked several questions in the past two to three years...such as why I go through periods of taking my temperature in the morning (in between pregnancies). So, I've explained just a little bit.

I definitely plan to have them chart for at least 3 months once their periods get established (can we say homeschool health class?) and then they can choose whether or not to continue.

I think those teen charts mentioned in the Simcha's post sound awesome.

Christy P.

Sharing information with young women AND men about how cycles work should be a priority.

Non-Catholic commenter here, so feel free to mock me if everyone is aware of this, but I think that Teen Star is a great, very cool thing. From teenstar.org "TeenSTAR (Sexuality Teaching in the context of Adult Responsibility) is a developmental curriculum which uses learning one's fertility pattern to teach responsible decision-making and communication skills in the area of sexual behavior and enhances teens' self-understanding and self-esteem. Can be offered once a week in health, physical education, family life, biology or sociology class for two semesters. Best results for primary prevention if offered in grades 7-9. A one-week training workshop required. "


For sure, learning to chart when you're not planning on being sexually active is a great idea. I remember our first NFP class (I became Catholic about a year into our marriage) when the teacher said "And so you're going to have to abstain for the next two weeks." And my husband laughed. Until he realized she was serious. And it was his birthday too. I'll never live that down.


Christy, I don't think TeenSTAR is nearly well enough publicized in Catholic circles. It really should be. It isn't uncommon to see people praising Toni Weschler's stuff, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone make a reference to TeenSTAR in any Catholic NFP forum (or education forum either).

You want to go over to Simcha's and make a plug for it? She's got a fairly big audience.


Which reminds me, I have a (male) SEVENTH GRADER now and so I probably have to start thinking seriously about sociobiology curricula myself....


I was one of those people blessed with fertility signs EARLY and REGULAR enough that I saw a pattern. The pattern has more of less held for 30+ years. I realized early on there was a pattern, but didn't really understand it until high school.

Now, while I was Catholic growing up, I wasn't really raised Catholic. Dad was Catholic, but also the non-custodial parent. I had a bizarre fascination of fertility and babies in high school. So much so, I had declared my sophomore year in highs school that I wanted to be an OB when I grew up. I took Anatomy and Physiology in my Junior year and opted out of Biology (for strange, dissenting reasons.) My real education in fertility came from my high school choir teacher, who's wife was an RN and I knew very well, when he handed me the book _Your Baby's Sex: Now You Can Choose_ by Dr. Landrum Shettles. He checked with my mom first, of course. It clearly explained female fertility because the ultimate goal was pregnancy with gender selection!

I had to write a paper for my A&P class and it was on the gender selection. My poor A&P teacher practically had heart failure. I went into my senior year knowing full-well what my body was doing.

My point of explaining all that is that fertility can be taught under a wide variety of guises. I think if we can repackage it in terms of biology and not fertility, girls would greatly benefit from that process.


I read the Toni Weschler book when I was a newlywed. I wasn't a practicing Catholic, but I was actually trying to get pregnant. I had the same thought about being lied to, or at least passively deceived. I am going to check out that TeenStar site for my daughter.

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