Wednesday, June 7, 2017


With some of my kids coming "of age", I was very interested in reviewing the health videos, collectively called Homeschool Special from MarshMedia.

MarshMedia produces health education products for K-8, and these videos cover a wide variety of topics including hygiene, health, puberty education, safety, immune system disorders, head lice, nutrition, etc.

Since I have an 11 year old and a 9 year old, it felt like a good time to start thinking about talking about puberty and health with them. Especially beyond, "dude, you stink, take a shower".

In all seriousness, I wanted to be able to have some more guidance in this area as to what was appropriate for what age level. When I saw that pubery for girls was suggested for 5th to 8th graders, I was shocked. Some girls are going through puberty much earlier than that. Mine hasn't started that yet but some girls in my troop did when they were that age. It's a matter of education and should be done before a child starts going through it so they aren't more scared of it. But you don't want to over do it as well. So there is a fine balance.

I feel the log in and rental of the videos is more complicated then it needs to be as you have to put in the code or rent each individually. And the rental only lasts for a day or two. However, this does not affect the quality of the videos themselves.

I suggest after watching to do in this order:
Meet the New You (Boys or Girls)
Growing Up (Boys or Girls)
Just Around the Corner (Boys or Girls)
Puberty (Boys or Girls)
How a Baby is Born (both)

My kids watched them and felt they were pretty repetitive in terms of what they said. I also found that as a parent I had to watch before not because of content appropriateness but because I was unsure which video should go first. I was surprised this was not already laid on in their program. The listed How a Baby is Born first before they did the rest. Seeing as how, in a scentific approach, they go through puberty before having a baby, I would have thought that the videos would have naturally followed that sequence in appearance on the screen.

The "How a Baby is Born" is good and very biologicial perspective. However, they forget to mention what menstruation is before they start talking about eggs and sperm and sex. This seems like a no brainer and was a surprise to me. So I highly suggest watching other videos too with this in the same setting and then answer questions.

I really like that these videos cover a lot if not all of an entire concept without making it super awkward which as parents can happen pretty quickly.

My 3rd grader: "It was a lot less complicated then I thought it was going to be. It was kind of just awkward having to learn about it. I guess you just kind of have to know. I would like these better than having a really long talk in detail with someone and less strange. It's important to know. It's interesting and repulsive at the same time."

My 5th grader: "It was worse than I expected. I feel very very uncomfortable. It mentioned the same things over and over in each video. It made me feel more uncomfortable each time. It was very straight forward. It is overwhelming. I mainly knew I was going to grow hair on my legs but not everything else. I would rather have you (parents) talk to me than watch this. "

It is amazing how both my kids saw it completely differently and just goes to show that there is no sure fire one fits all for learning about puberty.

What I appreciate about the Changing Body: Just Around the Corner-- is that it is very similar for boys and girls. This is nice because then you know they are getting around the same information but just tailoured to their gender, on a scientific level.

I showed this to my kids individually. They were allowed to listen to the videos with headphones on (I had listened to it before).

I LOVE that these are also available in Spanish as well.

This is the most straight to the point yet benign way of ripping the band aid off and teaching them about puberty that I have found. Which I most definitely appreciated and it is done in a good way.

"If you wish to take advantage of the opportunity to introduce the MarshMedia curriculum to your home schooler(s) click on the link below for more information::  "

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