Three follow-ups re: Family Honor:
- I had some questions about Family Honor that I’d like to answer for anyone else wondering the same thing.
- I just got an update on the online course in my inbox, which I share below.
- Here’s a round-up of chastity resources I put together for CatholicMom.com.
FYI – I’m not an official spokesperson for the group, I’m just a fangirl. My opinions are purely my own.
First question from a reader:
Has anyone done this in their home with just their own family?
Here’s a quick rundown of what Family Honor, Inc. offers, so you can get a feel for what you might find useful:
- The online college course (which is used as the basic training for presenters, but is useful for any adult wishing to learn how to present the truth about human sexuality) is something you can do from home. It’s intense but good, and if your spouse is also interested, definitely do it together. If tuition is a concern, the FH staff are good for suggesting sources for scholarships, so it’s worth a call to see about that.
- You can phone the FH office at any time and chat, ask questions, and they’ll recommend resources based on your situation (reading level, ages of children, etc).
- You can purchase their booklets for your own use. So if you want to do Catholic sex ed at home with your kids, the little booklets are great for that. Goofy illustrations and low-key but accurate look at sexuality and the changes that puberty brings, very low-stress.
- The three main Family Honor parish programs are presentations that involve a team of presenters, videos or other props, in-class workbooks and discussion, etc. So that’s something you can’t do at home. The big value of the presentations (and why parishes that love them keep scheduling them) is in giving parents confidence that they *can* pass on the values of chastity to their children, and for the parent-teen programs, giving the teens a chance to learn accurate information in an environment that supports the faith.
For use at home, the Theology of the Body for Teens Middle School Edition from Ascension Press would work well (I strongly oppose doing this program to teens-only, but love it for teens-and-parents-together), and would be a good “presentation” companion to go with the Family Honor booklets that teach the birds and bees (The Wonder of Me and Our Power to Love). The student booklet alone is the #1 thing you’d want, but if you go in with a group to get the videos, they add a ton and my group of test-kids when I reviewed them responded well to them.
Second question, a follow-up on the first:
Hi Jen! Former/(future??) YM here. I’m interested, why do you oppose doing TOB with only teens? If you have time I’d love to hear your perspective. I’ve never done the program with teens, but I have used parts of it to give a chastity talk. Also, I’ve taken teens to Steubenville conferences where they give the teens a chastity talk. I haven’t heard that before & I’d love your input. Thanks!
I won’t say I’m 100% opposed. I recognize that teens are likely as not immersed in the wider culture with all that entails.
But since I’m a firm believer in involving parents in general in the formation of their children, and this is a topic where you really need parents to do their parenting thing, I think it’s far better to do it parent-teen if you possibly can.
–> I think it’s particularly important because an event here or there isn’t going to be, for most teens, what helps them live chastely. Equipping the parents to do the on-going parenting is going to be the thing. Parent-teen events are more effective in that regard.
Also, for parents, knowing what their teen is learning makes it possible to have follow-up discussions, especially if you have a teen whose conversation skills consist of, “Um, it was fine.”
That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to my own teens attending a chastity program (without a parent), or any other faith-forming thing, if I were confident of the message, context, etc.. So I don’t think we need a blanket ban on the concept.
But something like TOTB for Teens is such a powerful tool, and has a message that almost any adult is going to find very helpful just for themselves, so it seems to me at the best like a terrible waste *not* to have parents there. The parents need this, too.
And finally, here’s the info on Family Honor’s Online Course. They aren’t kidding about the time committment, but it’s a very thorough, well-taught program that is ideal for anyone who hopes to teach chastity at any level. Honestly, I find it appalling that courses of this nature aren’t mandatory for catechetical certification.
Hello, Family Honor Presenters!
A couple of important announcements with regard to our online course:
ü No In-Person Weekend: Based on the feedback we received from some of those men and women interested in taking our online course, we are eliminating the in-person weekend requirement. Thus, the course will be 100% online. This will save time and money for those who need or want the convenience of an online course for continuing education, personal growth or other reasons.
ü Early Bird Registration Prices Extended: Because we have eliminated the in-person weekend, we want to give a bit of extra time for those who may be considering whether to take the course. The new Early Bird registration deadline is August 15, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A few other reminders about our course, The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love & Family:
The adult student will have an understanding of core truths of sexuality, love, and family, defined by Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and natural law, as a foundation for authentic formation of human persons in their dignity as images of God.
1.Mini-semesters: The course is divided into 2 mini-semesters of 8 weeks each. The fall semester, “Examining Core Issues,” starts Sept. 8 and ends Nov. Course Instructors will have a webinar shortly after the course begins, to help get you familiar with the course and answer your questions. The spring semester, “Applying Catholic Teaching and Developing a Plan,” starts Jan. 11 and ends April 8.
2. Technology: Our online ‘platform’ is flexible and easy to navigate. Our course is not a live course, nor is it done as a webinar. Rather, you can access it during the days, nights and times that are convenient for YOU as you keep track of assignment deadlines.
3. Research: Family Honor is researching and adding new articles, links, video and other information to our course relating to family life, marriage, chastity, bioethics, Church documents, etc. This will be especially critical if you are in a position dealing with ‘hot button’ moral and cultural issues.
4. Planning Your Time: we encourage students to set aside 6 or 7 hours per week to work on the course. This will vary depending on how familiar you may be with some of the course topics. Students who plan in advance and set aside specific hours just as if they were heading to an actual ‘classroom’ find that things go fairly smoothly. Just like prayer time, if you have set times to work on the course, you are more likely to do it!
Executive Director, Family Honor, Inc.
Providing and promoting a family-centered Catholic approach to chastity education
Celebrating 26 Years of Service to Families!
Visit us: www.FamilyHonor.org
Call us: 803.929.0858
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Image courtesy of FamilyHonor.org.