Monday, November 14, 2011

Book REVIEW: Theology of the Body for Teens, Middle School bundle

In eight chapters, this little ditty teaches the next generation of adults more about themselves than any reality TV show can destroy. The more I learn about Bl. John Paul II’s extensive work of Theology of the Body, the more I know in my heart this should be a mandatory study for all youth beginning in grade school. The younger the child is, the deeper these teachings will reach their hearts. Beautifully orchestrated to bring the youth from who they are and where they came from to the purpose of life and respecting self and others in their lifetime. Statistics show that the younger a child begins to “date” the higher the risk and/or sooner they will be subjected to and engage in sexual behavior. With our teens now attending a formal high school, this is apparently the case; their fellow students are swapping boyfriends as quickly as they switch career choices, which as you know can be a weekly event. Are these young people knowledgeable of their purpose in life and do they know how to arm themselves against temptation?

Foundational and spiritual in content, Theology of the body for Teens, middle school bundle, uses down-to-earth common sense connections with the 5 senses and the sacraments to bring home the true purpose of how each sacrament works in our lives bringing God physically to us through the bread and wine, the oils, healing and forgiveness, and commitment in the vows we make later in life. I especially like the body/soul explanation, it is very clear and imperative to the program’s teaching. The explanation of sin, the imagery of the stain-glass window is simply beautiful and has the potential of driving home why we need to think differently about our bodies, souls, and what we do as soul-bodies in a world that has lost its mind when it comes to morals.

What I really like about this program is that the authors, Brian Butler, Jason Evert, and Colin &Aimee MacIver worked hard to make this program work WITH parents, not for them. Parents need to be onboard with this program and engaged with their children, especially during their teen years with all the pressures of modern thinking, which is definitely not modest thinking!

This Bundle comes with a parent’s guide explaining what will be covered with their children during their religion class, inviting them to read along with them some resources that will help them understand this program more fully. Also, it has a section for “Family Application” where several suggestions for fruitful parent/child discussions can take place along with prayers. The DVD set contains 3 DVD’s that further explain the content with actual people covering some of the material in a more engaging way.

From discovering who they are, their relationship with God and Jesus’ love for them, to how to act, understand more clearly the Church teachings on Sex, Love, and Chastity; to knowing the difference between “using” versus loving a person, and what their calling in life is, this program teaches teens that the Church is not the Church of “No!” but of “ Yes!” and with prayer and God’s love they will be who they are called to be!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Theology of the Body for Teens Middle School Bundle. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.


Donna said...

It is very frustrating to spend money on sending your child to a Catholic school and feel like you are battling everyone else's life choices. Why are they sending their children there? Is it for the faith values or for the status of saying that they send their child to a private institution? We estimated that 90% of the families in the school were there because "it was better than the public school" - not because they wanted to have their children surrounded by others who believed as they did. We ended up pulling our daughter out of Catholic school and sending her to public. The battles were the same - except it didn't hurt the wallet so much.

Anonymous said...

I've wondered about this series for a long time, and how good it really is. It's a big area of concern for me.

Donna, I feel your concern! We have a bit of that going on locally, too, as I understand it. So far (K and 1st grade) I've been happy with what I've seen, and I'd imagine I'll always like the religious component--but I can certainly understand what you're saying.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that Christian schools (Catholic or otherwise) have become so infected with secular society's values (or lack thereof). What's the remedy?

As you said in your post,
"With our teens now attending a formal high school, this is apparently the case; their fellow students are swapping boyfriends as quickly as they switch career choices, which as you know can be a weekly event."
Isn't that the truth! It was the case back when I was an adolescent (late 1980's and early 1990's), and I attended a couple of evangelical Christian schools during that time. Maybe that's just the way young people that age tend to be. What can be done about it? But perhaps this or some other kind of curriculum is just what the doctor ordered! Adolescents don't realize how short lived these juvenile romances tend to be, yet they'll get very emotionally (and sometimes physically) involved in them, only to get their hearts broken in a few weeks--if even that long.


Barbara Schoeneberger said...

Ebeth, this review is excellent and I hope it will help parents who really care to teach their kids properly and not leave them to the winds of the world.

Anonymous said...

Good news! Modern teens experience a lack of spirituality and learn life from notorious reality shows and fishy movies. That's a good idea to help them understant what their bodies are all about from the theological point of view.
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Victor said...

After I taught chapter 5 one boy said he felt strange. He is about to begin sixth grade. I guess it was strange hearing about sex at Church and from a priest. He said that he didn't know why we were teaching this. I felt the boy was very innocent. You said grade school they should start learning. Perhaps it is for those who already feel sexual urges more strongly like seventh and eighth. Thoughts anyone? I don't want to ever take away someone's innocence by teaching this too young. I did have a parent session but still. Thanks.

Sue said...

After reviewing this, I think that section 5 & 6 and the part of 8 that encapsulates 5 & 6 is not age appropriate for those who are in the beginning stages of puberty or who have not started going through it yet. The students need to be almost fully developed as they are towards the end of 7th grade and into 8th grade before covering these sections. I think the ideal time for those sections would be 8th grade.