I was twenty-two and engaged to be married when I took a course in Natural Family Planning. While it taught my future husband and I how to chart cycles to help achieve or avoid pregnancy, I learned valuable information about the way my cycle impacted my moods and physical well-being. I really wish I had that knowledge much younger. It would have helped me understand the reasons for my emotional ups and downs while navigating my teen years. During my teen years, despite having been through biology class, I knew only the absolute basics of fertility and reproductive health. Having taken NFP classes, I always encourage women to learn about their cycles and how to chart them. This is knowledge that all women should know, but relatively few have learned.
Pearl and Thistle is designed to empower girls and women of all ages (and the men who love and care for them) to understand their monthly cycles. There are classes for girls who are preparing for the start of their menstrual cycle, classes on charting for teens, adult women, and couples. For moms who may not have ever learned to chart their cycles, they can learn along with their daughters. There are also resources for classroom and parish use. Some materials are available in Spanish.
I went through the pre-menstrual class offered by Pearl and Thistle and found it to be very informative. It contains all the information pre-teens need to prepare them for this significant life change. It can also help foster conversation between pre-teens and their mothers to discuss the changes that are happening in an informative, compassionate way.
It can sometimes be hard to bring up these topics in the course of everyday conversation. Moms may not feel comfortable talking about these private matters or may lack the scientific information about cycles to share with their daughters. Daughters may not want to discuss the changes they are experiencing. Having someone else do the bulk of the teaching is very helpful. Moms can pause the videos when needed to add their own perspective. Both this class and the one for teen girls can serve as a component of a health course in a homeschool.
Pearl and Thistle is a valuable resource that I encourage all moms of pre-teen and teen girls to check out!