Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different programs you offer?

I currently offer classes and some retreats for girls in fourth through eighth grades. Each session of classes is designed to address the specific physical, emotional, and social issues facing girls at that age.

       Before Body Basics is for fourth-grade girls introducing them to puberty and adolescence.

A Day Just for You is a one-day retreat for mothers and daughters to retreat into each other away from all that life asks to connect, play, and create together in the beautiful mountain setting of Buckhorn Springs Resort in Ashland, Oregon. This retreat is for girls in fourth grade and their mothers. For details click here.

Body Basics is for fifth-grade girls and focuses primarily on the physical changes that come with puberty.

Connecting with Your Daughter: Body Basics Mother-Daughter Retreat is a 3-day retreat for mothers and daughters to create, share, relax, reflect, and bond in the beautiful mountain setting of Buckhorn Springs Resort in Ashland, Oregon. This retreat is for girls 10-12 and their mothers. For details on the next retreat, click here.

Body Care Basics is for sixth-grade girls and addresses body awareness, body confidence, and body image.

Beyond Body Care Basics is for seventh-grade girls connecting the power of thoughts and feelings and how they can affect body attitudes and behaviors.

Beyond Body Basics is an intensive sex education workshop for girls ages 14-15.

Into the Heart: Beyond Body Basics Mother-Daughter Retreat is a 3-day retreat for mothers and daughters to deepen their connection through art projects, meaningful ritual, conversation, and fun in the beautiful mountain setting of Buckhorn Springs Resort in Ashland, Oregon. For details on the next retreat, click here.

 

How many girls are in a class session?

The class size can vary from 6-10 girls.

 

How can my daughter 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 daughter. 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.

 

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 perfect for tween and teen girls.

 

I don’t live close by. Do you ever offer out-of-state sessions or sessions via Skype?

At this time I do not offer out-of-state sessions or sessions via Skype, though I do hope to offer something for those living elsewhere in the near future.

 

My daughter doesn’t seem to be showing signs of puberty, but she is the right age to do the first program Before Body Basics. Should I sign her up anyway?

Absolutely! Being prepared is what is most important. By taking the class now, you both will have the resources you need to be ready when the time comes.

  

What if my daughter doesn’t want to take a Body Basics and Beyond program because she’s 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. Please ask her to come to the first class and see how it goes. If she truly doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to continue. And know that in the 18 years of offering Body Basics and Beyond programs, every girl 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 daughter with the program, it still appears that the classes are not a good fit for her, you can receive all but the deposit back on tuition paid.

 

How can I best support my daughter during the course of the session? What will my role be?

Even though the classes are just for the girls, you are clearly a part of this experience as well. Here is what you can do:

  1. Make yourself available for your daughter as much as possible. When your daughter comes home from a class, be attentive to how she is. She may be quiet and pensive as she considers what we did together that day, or wanting to talk with you, or just needs a chance to get some energy out! Follow her lead!
  2. Let her 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?”
  3. Push through any feelings of embarrassment you may have and answer her questions in a straightforward manner. Follow her 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 with her and offer to find out. By taking these classes, I invite your daughter to open up around many aspects of her present or future experiences with puberty, so be open to any other conversations related to human development that may come up.

 

What if our family doesn’t include a mother, can my daughter still participate?

Yes! Body Basics and Beyond is available to all girls regardless of their family make up or life situation. I will work parents/guardians privately if there are any adjustments we need to make in order to help your girl feel comfortable, safe and supported.

 

I already feel good about the conversations I’ve had with my daughter and confident in the information I have shared with her about puberty, does she really need this class?

This is such a great question. You speaking with your daughter about puberty is so important. Thank you. Extending that talk to an ongoing conversation can be even more beneficial for your daughter. Studies show that girls 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 there is to know on the topic. I 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 daughter takes a class with me, you can be sure her information is as complete and current as possible.

Additionally, no matter how strong a relationship you have with your daughter, having a sense of community of peers and connecting with other girls their age is hugely valuable. To be able to talk to and hear about other girls’ experiences normalizes puberty and helps girls know that they are not alone.

 

I did not have a good experience with puberty/a good relationship with my mom. How do I do this?

You already are doing it. The fact that you want a different experience for you daughter is the first step, not only for you, but for future generations as well. And remember, 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 daughter doesn’t have to do it for you.

 

What is the purpose of the parent meeting?

Due to the personal subject matter, in order for a girl to participate in any Body Basics and Beyond program, at least one parent or guardian needs to attend the two-hour parent meeting so they know what material will be covered, our approach, and what to expect from the course. I also clarify which topics will be reserved for family discussion at home. Fathers are welcome! Girls 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 Girls’ Clubhouse in Ashland, Oregon so you can see where your girl will be having classes.

 

What if I can’t make the parent meeting? Can my daughter 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 group-scheduled parent meeting, you can schedule a private meeting with Karen to go 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 daughter to join a group 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?

No. But keep in mind, the parent meeting is also a place for us to connect around how your daughter feels about her changing body. You may not want to miss that opportunity.

 

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 girls under 13, my job is to help your daughter feel comfortable with her 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 girls, I respond, “Your family is ready to answer your questions about that.” I will also contact you and let you know the nature of her 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 girls?

My objective is to educate your girl about the many aspects of sexuality and how to maintain her 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 the girls. I promote knowledge, boundaries, and communication in regards to sex and sexuality.

Finally, your daughter 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 LGBT 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, homsexual, bisexual, asexual and pan/omnisexual, etc.). We don’t address specific LGBT issues, nor do we tackle moral implications thereof.

 

Does your material have a religious component?

There is no religious component to any of the Body Basics and Beyond programs.

 

Do you show feminine hygiene products and explain how they work? Do you talk about earth-friendly feminine products?

Yes, we do look at these products. I want the girls to learn about feminine hygiene 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.

 

Do you promote the use of a specific type of feminine product?

What your daughter will use to catch her blood is a decision to be made by the two of you. I provide her with the options available to her now and in the future so that the choice can be hers at every stage of her 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 and the girls with whom I work. 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. Girls do not want to hear something they said in class out on the playground. And the really understand this and honor our agreements.

Girls 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.

 

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 daughter’s privacy is important. Please know that I hold her best interest at heart as I guide the group through this transition. Knowing that she can be completely honest in this setting is essential to my working with her.

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 daughter that concerns me regarding her physical or emotional safety, I will contact you immediately.

 

How do I contact you if I have any concerns or questions during my daughter’s session?

During your daughter’s session, you are always welcome to email me at: karen@bodybasicsandbeyond.com

 

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 the girls. However, I can offer you some resources to give you current information about the changes associated with puberty.

 

Will my daughter have homework? If so, how much?

It depends on the program. Because part of this experience is deepening connections between girls and their families, the focus is less on “work” and more on spending time together. Body Basics and Body Care Basics classes do have something called Time Together after each class consisting of anywhere from 1-5 questions or short activities you, (mother or guardian) work on together, and that are to be completed before the next class session.

 

Are there any additional costs?

There are no additional costs. All materials, art supplies, teaching time, and the parent meeting are included.

 

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 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: karen@bodybasicsandbeyond.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.

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