What are the different youth programs you offer?
I currently offer classes, workshops and retreats for girls in 4th through 8th grades, and for boys in 6th-7th and 8th-9th grades. Each session of classes is designed to address the specific physical, emotional, and social issues facing students at that age.
How often do the classes meet and for how long?
It depends on the grade level and the program. Programs have 5-6 classes per session that typically meet once or twice a week. Classes usually take place right after school for an hour and a half or an hour and fifteen minutes, depending on the program. Classes typically meet during the week, but occasionally there will be a class on a weekend day.
How many students are in a class session?
The class size can vary from 6-12 students depending on the grade and the time of year!
How can my child participate in your classes?
Click here to go to the page where all the class programs are listed and find the one that is grade-level appropriate for your child. At the end of the description, you will see a place to click for more information. When you click on it you will then see a page that has the schedule of classes sessions for that particular program for the whole school year, listing all the dates and times of the classes. Click on the session that works best for you and you will be directed as to how to register right away.
What if my child has a conflict with one of the pre-scheduled classes?
We do the best we can to schedule classes so that student’s aren’t missing violin lessons on a month of Tuesdays. In scheduling the classes for the year, we work hard to rotate class days through the week. But the truth is, students are going to have to miss some after school activities in order to participate in Body Basics and Beyond classes. That said, things happen like plays, performances and family events we haven’t planned for. When parents/guardians attend the parent meeting they are asked to have their students’ schedule/calendar with them to confirm each date. If absolutely necessary, we will do out best to reschedule a class.
Where do the classes take place?
All classes take place in a very special place: The Clubhouse in Ashland, Oregon. The Clubhouse is a comfortable, playful, private space designed to feel like a mixture of classroom and a whimsical learning space. The address of The Clubhouse will be shared upon confirmation of registration for one of our programs.
I don’t live close by. Do you ever offer out-of-state sessions or sessions via Skype?
At this time we do not offer out-of-state sessions or sessions via Skype, though we do hope to offer something for those living elsewhere in the near future.
What if our family doesn’t include a mother, (or in the case of the boys’ programs, a father) can my child still participate?
Yes! Body Basics and Beyond is available to all youth regardless of their family composition or life situation. I will work with parents/guardians privately to make any adjustments needed in order to help a child feel comfortable, safe, supported.
My child doesn’t seem to be showing signs of puberty, but they are the right age to do the first program Before Body Basics. Should I sign them up anyway?
Absolutely! Being prepared is what is most important. By taking the Before Body Basics class series now, you both will have the resources you need to be ready when the time comes.
What if my child doesn’t want to take a Body Basics and Beyond program because they are embarrassed to talk about body topics?
First, know that these feelings are actually quite common and perfectly natural. Of course it can be embarrassing to talk about bodies and feelings, but it is also important. Invite them to come to the first class and see how it goes. If they truly don’t like it, they don’t have to continue. And know that in all the years of offering Body Basics and Beyond programs, every student who has felt unsure has returned for the remainder of the sessions after experiencing the first class. If, after checking in with each other around what the challenges are for your child with the program, it still appears that the classes are not a good fit for them, you can receive a portion of the tuition as a refund.
How can I best support my child during the course of the session of classes? What will my role be?
Even though the classes are just for the youth, you are clearly a part of this experience as well. Here is what you can do:
- Make yourself available for your child as much as possible. When your child comes home from a class, be attentive to how they seem. They may be quiet and pensive as they consider what we did together that day, or wanting to talk with you, or just needs a chance to get some energy out! Follow their lead!
- Let them come to you and don’t push for information. Gentle reminders about doing Time Together are fine if necessary, “Hey, I see you have class tomorrow, when would be a good time for us to do our Time Together?”
- Push through any feelings of embarrassment you may have and answer their questions in a straightforward manner. Follow their lead when it comes to how much information you cover at any given time. If you can’t remember or don’t know something, be honest and offer to find out. By taking these classes, I invite your child to open up around many aspects of their present or future experiences with puberty, so be open to any other conversations that may come up.
I already feel good about the conversations I’ve had with my child and confident in the information I have shared with them about puberty, do they really need this class?
This is such a great question. You speaking with your child about puberty is so important. Thank you. Extending that talk to an ongoing conversation can be even more beneficial for your child. Studies show that youth at this age can hear and understand things differently every six months, as a result, multiple conversations about puberty are recommended. Body Basics and Beyond provides the opportunity for these extended conversations.
I strive to have the most up-to-date information on pubescent development. While you may be able to share a great deal of information on the topic, my life’s work is to make sure I know everything currently available to know on puberty and adolescence. I also have a natural ability to bring a potentially awkward and embarrassing topic out in the open through humor, games, and activities, making the information completely accessible. When your child takes a class with me, you can be sure her information is as complete and accurate as possible.
Additionally, no matter how strong a relationship you have with your child, having a sense of community of peers and connecting with other kids their age is hugely valuable. To be able to talk to and hear about other kids’ experiences normalizes puberty and helps youth know that they are not alone.
I did not have a good experience with puberty/a good relationship with my parents. How do I do this?
You already are doing it. The fact that you want a different experience for your child is the first step, not only for you, but for future generations as well. Please know, you are not alone. I am here to help guide you in this new territory and offer support. Click here to read 3 Ways to Repack Your Emotional Baggage Around Puberty – so your child doesn’t have to do it for you. Contact me for how I can offer you resources and recommendations to help support you as you consider your relationships with your own experiences with puberty and adolescence.
What is the purpose of the parent meeting?
Due to the personal subject matter, in order for a student to participate in any Body Basics and Beyond program, at least one parent or guardian needs to attend the two-hour informational parent meeting so they know what material will be covered, understand our approach, and what to expect from the program. I also clarify which topics will be reserved for family discussion at home. Other parents and fathers are welcome! Students do not attend the parent meeting.
At this meeting, you will meet the teacher, receive resources, and complete the registration process. The parent meeting takes place in The Clubhouse in Ashland, Oregon so you can see where your child will be having classes.
What if I can’t make the parent meeting? Can my child still participate?
The parent meeting is a key foundation for the success of all Body Basics and Beyond classes. If a parent/guardian can’t attend the parent meeting, you can schedule a private meeting with me review the required material. There is a small fee for the private meeting, which usually lasts about 30 minutes and is held at The Clubhouse in Ashland, Oregon. Another option is for your child to join another session that meets at a time when you are able to attend.
Do I need to attend the parent meeting if I have already attended one in the past with an older daughter?
Yes, as each child is different and will have potentially different experiences around puberty. This is also a place for parents to connect around that child and his or her development in a supportive and educational environment.
Do you talk about sex?
Beyond Body Basics (for ages 13 and up) is the only program that addresses sex directly. In the programs for youth under 13, my job is to help your child feel comfortable with their changing body. We don’t talk about sex in other classes, but do get REALLY close! If I receive questions about sex, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, masturbation, abortion, etc. during the sessions with the younger students, I respond, “Your family is ready to answer your questions about that.” I will also contact you and let you know the nature of their curiosity.
In Beyond Body Basics you address sex and sexuality directly. I am curious about your views on premarital sex. Will you be sharing your views with the students?
My objective is to educate your child about the many aspects of sexuality and how to maintain their sexual health. My personal views and beliefs are exactly that: personal. I strive to keep it that way. I do not share my views or beliefs around sex and sexuality with students. I promote knowledge, boundaries, and communication in regards to sex and sexuality.
Finally, your child is still a minor and an active part of your family moral system. I respect this, as well as your trust in me. As such, I always seek to maintain firm boundaries between myself and students, and always seek to defer to you, as their parents, in moments of question around belief systems.
Do you discuss sexuality and LGBTQIAA+ issues?
Only in Beyond Body Basics, when we are defining sexuality, do we learn about what gender identity and gender expression are. We also learn about what sexual orientation options exist for people (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual and pan/omnisexual, etc.). However, if students have questions about these topics, we answer in an age appropriate manner and refer further inquiries home.
Do you show menstrual products in your classes?
Yes, we do look at these products. I want my students to learn about and become familiar with menstrual products before they need to use them. During the last class we look at disposable and reusable pads, disposable tampons, and reusable menstrual cups. We discuss how to use these products and how to know when they are ready to be changed. What your child will use to catch their blood is a decision to be made by the two of you. I provide students with the options available to the now and in the future so that the choice can be their at every stage of their menstrual life?
Will the information you discuss in class be kept confidential?
Yes. I work very hard at earning the trust of both the parents, students and families I work with. A cornerstone to developing this trusting relationship is confidentiality. It is a core value I hold throughout everything I do.
One of the very first things we do when I gather a new group is to work collectively to create a set of group agreements. Thereafter, I always check in with them at the beginning of each class to see if they have upheld their agreements. Students do not want to hear something they said in class out on the playground. And the really understand this and honor our agreements.
Students are always welcome and encouraged to share their personal experiences with their parents. But it is not required. And they are not to share what others say or do without getting their permission first. Bottom line. Students always have my permission to share what I say in class, especially with parents/guardians.
I understand the importance of confidentiality, but I am not sure how I feel about not knowing what goes on in class.
Because of the tender nature of the material we cover, your child’s privacy is important. Please know that I hold her best interest at heart as I guide the group through each developmentally appropriate program. Knowing that they can be completely honest in this setting is essential to my working with them.
During each class session series I email parents each evening to share the general topics and activities we covered, as well as any insights we’ve arrived at and a general sense of how the group is doing.
That being said, I want you to know that if I ever hear, see, or sense anything from your child that concerns me regarding her physical, mental or emotional safety, I will contact you immediately.
How do I contact you if I have any concerns or questions during my child’s session?
During your child’s session, you are always welcome to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also interested in learning the material covered in Body Basics and Beyond. There was nothing like this when I was going through puberty. Can I attend class with my daughter?
The classes are just for youth. However, I can offer you some resources to give you current information about the changes associated with puberty.
Will my child have homework? If so, how much?
It depends on the program. Because part of this experience is deepening connections between youth and their families, the focus is less on “work” and more on spending time together. Some of my classes do have something called Time Together after each class consisting of anywhere from 1-5 questions or short activities you, (parent or guardian) work on together, and that are to be completed before the next class.
Are there any additional costs beyond the tuition?
Sometimes there are a few minimal additional costs. It depends on the program. Some programs offer the opportunity to purchase or borrow a book I have students read in between classes. For all programs, I do ask parents to sign up and bring snacks for students to nibble on during class. Signing up to bring a snack to one class will take place at the parent meeting.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes. I am happy to work with you to create something that meets both our needs. Just ask.
Is your program covered by my medical insurance?
I do not accept insurance. Body Basics and Beyond provides educational services only and is not considered a counseling or medical service.
Do you offer refunds?
Refund requests are handled on a case by case basis. Should you have an issue that may require a full or partial refund, contact Karen at: email@example.com
Are you a state-mandated reporter?
No. However, I can and will report sexual abuse as a non-mandated reporter.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, Body Basics and Beyond carries insurance. Please contact me here for more information on my insurance coverage.
I have a question that hasn’t been covered here, how can I get in touch with you?
Contact me directly here.