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My upcoming Middle School, High School, and Parenting Classes

Posted Aug 31 2011 9:31am

Now that the second week of school has started, I hope everyone’s schedule is settling down.  I have a number of sexuality education classes for parents and youth starting soon:

  1. Comprehensive sexuality education for middle school age students
  2. Comprehensive sexuality education for high school age students
  3. Parenting class regarding 7 - 12 year olds and sexuality
  4. Parenting class regarding middle and high school age youth and sexuality

I do not have firm dates or times set for these classes yet so that I can accommodate as many people’s busy schedules as possible.  To those ends, please let me know if you are interested in one or more of the above classes by e-mailing me back ( karen.rayne@gmail.com ) and I will arrange meeting times.

If you are interested in your teenager joining in my middle or high school age classes, I do request that you first attend an informational parent meeting to get an understanding of what I cover in the curriculum and how I approach sexuality education.  The introduction parent meeting for the middle and high school classes will be on Friday, September 9th at Austin Java near 12th and Lamar from 7 - 9pm.  I have a few FAQs below, but feel free to e-mail me ( karen.rayne@gmail.com ) with more questions.  If possible, please let me know that you plan to come to this meeting so I can be sure and have enough handouts, but you may join us impromptu as well.  If you are unable to make this meeting, but are interested in learning more, please contact me and we can find another time to talk about the class you are interested in.

If you are on Facebook, but are not yet connected with me, I invite you to get connected ( https://www.facebook.com/karen.rayne ).

Questions about my classes, my individual consultations, my speaking engagements, or anything else?  Please do not hesitate to e-mail ( karen.rayne@gmail.com )!

FAQs About My Classes

Why sex ed during middle school?
Middle school is a perfect time for sexuality education because most students have not yet started engaging sexually, but they are generally either interested in being sexual or at least aware of the possibility that they will be interested at some point in future.  (Sometimes they are completely unable to admit this to their parents, but it is still generally where they are.)  This brings middle school students to an ideal space where they want to learn more, and are able to integrate new knowledge into their future decision making rather than using it to critique past decision making.  Middle school is also often a time when young people start wanting a space to talk about these issues with their peers.  Offering them a chance to do this, under the guidance of adults who moderate and guide the conversation, can be a life-changing event that supports healthy decision making for years to come.

Why sex ed during high school - particularly if my child already took your class during middle school?
Many, although not all, young people become sexually active to some degree during the high school years.  This class serves as a reminder about the importance of sexual ethics, clear-headed thinking, and a focus on safe, relationship-based sexual decision making during a time that can be characterized by upheaval and high-flying emotions.  Additionally, sexuality is an ever-evolving influence and presence in our lives.  This is true of adults, and it is even more true of young people, for whom so much is evolving and changing.  Youth who took my (or another) comprehensive sexuality class during their middle school years were well-situated to enter high school.  Now is the time to give young people another “booster” sexuality education class to support them through the rest of their high school years and beyond.

About the class and the teachers
We generally meet once or twice a month over the entire school year.  This allows the content, information, skills, and perspectives that we go over in class time to settle in each students’ thoughts so that we can come back and talk about their interpersonal interactions about romance, friendship, body image, and so much more.  However, sometimes we meet more often and have the entire class in one semester.

My background includes a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus on Learning and Adolescent Sexual Development.  I have been teaching sexuality education classes since 2004.  To learn more about my perspectives on sexuality education, please visit my blog ( http://www.karenrayne.com ).  My assistant teacher, Robert Gonzales, is a highly accomplished teacher.  He is a trainer-for-trainers for Laying the Foundation and the Chemistry teacher for the Academy of Global Studies at Austin High School.  Our classes are based on some of the gold-star sexuality education curricula such as the Our Whole Lives curriculum, the curriculum created by Advocates for Youth, and the guidelines created by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).  Recommendations from both parents of past students and from past students are available.  I have also taught courses for homeschooling families.

We generally meet in south Austin, but if there is a large enough group to form a class, we are happy to travel to central or north Austin as well.

About hesitant students
If your child is somewhat hesitant about joining a class about sex, that is very understandable.  It is a very personal topic, and talking about it with new people, adults, peers, friends…it can all be scary and off-putting.

But!!

My middle and high school classes are lots of fun!  While students might be hesitant to join initially, I have never had a student want to drop out after the first several sessions.  We listen to music, create art, talk about different perspectives, and generally have a great time.  We design the class activities specifically for each group of students, taking into consideration their personalities, experiences, and development levels.

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