Do you have a fifth grader and are curious as to what the maturation program is? Are you looking to receive information on how you should prepare your child for maturation day at school? If either of these questions has brought you here, then you have come to the right place.
Maturation day is something that is now included in many 5th grade programs to help them understand how they may be experiencing life changes. This program can be beneficial if students do not speak with parents or caregivers explicitly about how their emotional and physical world is changing as they get older.
We will provide you with an abundance of information on the maturation program and what type of information your student can expect to receive. We will also provide you with other helpful information like its significance, the grade that your student will likely be introduced to the program, and so much more.
What are you waiting for? Keep reading to learn more.
What is the Maturation Program?
A maturation program is designed to teach children how their minds and bodies are changing during the period in their life known as puberty. It is often most commonly found in Mormon schools. These programs are often split into two classes, one for boys and one for girls. These programs often discuss several topics surrounding experiences that students may begin to encounter. Your child’s maturation program may take place over a series of days or all during one day.
Maturation programs also must be approved by the school district and often emphasizes the necessity of abstinence. During this program, a certified instructor will come into the given school and provide the presentations to boys and girls. There are several ways in which this program can be taught; this includes in person or virtually. Parents will often be asked to provide written consent that their child can take part in the program or be invited to sit in on the program themselves.
What Grade Should a Maturation Program Be Introduced?
A maturation program is often offered to 5th and 6th graders. Children in these grades range from ages 10 to 11 years old. This is generally right before puberty begins; some children may experience puberty as early as 11 years old, though this age may vary by student.
This is an ideal age to introduce this program to students as the changes and topics that are covered in the program are likely to begin soon for both genders. This program is not meant to be a replacement for sex education. One complaint about similar programs like the ones from Planned Parenthood is that they are considered too clinical, and the explanations may be inappropriate for young students.
What is Taught in the 5th Grade Maturation Program?
The fifth-grade maturation program has two sets of curriculums. This includes one for boys and one for girls. The curriculums both go in-depth into three areas. These areas include puberty and hygiene. The third area is different for boys and girls. Girls will go in-depth into menstruation and reproduction, whereas the boy’s curriculum goes into the male reproductive system.
Topics for children cover the definition of puberty, emotional changes, and even the physical changes that students may begin to go through. It is essential that this area also emphasizes the variability of these changes and that not all students will experience them at the same rate.
During the gender-specific sections, students are taught about their anatomy. This includes information concerning human reproduction. For girls, they will receive high-level information about menstruation and the changes that occur in their bodies. Children will gain insight into the age ranges in which menstruation will start and what your child should do if they happen to start their periods away from home or, more importantly, at school. Other topics contain information about how to use sanitation napkins and tampons and even tips for handling cramping.
The boy’s curriculum takes a different approach to explain the male reproductive system. Though the maturation program’s instructor will cover the anatomy of men and women, the men’s curriculum will focus on physical changes that boys will likely experience. These changes include the growth of the penis, explanations on terms like testicles, scrotum, erections, circumcision, and more. The instructor will also go in-depth into the physical changes boys experience like hair growth, nocturnal emissions, wet dreams, vocal cords, and various others.
Hygiene is the last area which will be covered in both courses. Students will learn about the importance of wellness, exercise, and even sleep. This section will emphasize the importance of being clean, keeping your body clean, and managing any odor. Along with this approved curriculum, instructors will also highlight a number of concepts throughout their presentations to students.
Though the information provided is a sample of what students may learn in the program, all curriculums must be approved by the school district and necessary parties. Aside from information about reproductive health and hygiene, students will also learn about social changes which may happen as they grow older.
Consent is an important topic covered during the program. Students learn that it is okay to tell someone no and how to remove themselves from uncomfortable situations. It is vital that after the program, students have the support of their parents.
Parents should aim to have open and honest conversations with their children to ensure they grasp what was presented to them and answer any questions not covered in the presentation. Though students will have time to ask and receive answers to their questions during the program, that depends on how the program is structured at their school. Some students may experience this program in the form of video lessons, and others may happen in person.
Depending on your school’s receptiveness to the program and openings within their schedule, the program can be either during the school day or after school. Some schools may even consider making the program optional and allowing parents to sit in with students.
Since the program is taught to younger children, concepts that are inherently sexual will not be covered. Instead, it will also focus on teaching genders to respect each other and how to communicate openly.
Along with covering an abundance of topics and information, students will go through an abundance of activities, games, and interactive lessons to ensure they are grasping the concepts being taught. Sample lessons may include activities like defining self-esteem and understanding who they are. Activities related to this concept may consist of drawing themselves and filling in their drawing with keywords that may describe them or their personality.
This is only one sample of the activities which instructors may bring to students. Lessons may also include worksheets, myth busters sheets, and more. Some programs may do these activities as a group and split out for more gender-specific topics.
How Important is the Maturation Program for Students?
Maturation days at schools are critical. This program can be an excellent avenue to beginning conversations you may otherwise have trouble starting with your child. It may be awkward to come out and randomly start talking about puberty and anatomy with your grade-schooler; however, the 5th-grade maturation program is an excellent segway into the conversation.
This program, as stated, is not a supplement for sex education. Maturation focuses on the child’s growth and how they are changing and developing as a person. Often time students will begin to see the changes happening with their bodies long before their parents will. This program will help them to make sense of things that they may not be talking to anyone about. This can include growth of breasts, changes in public areas, and even emotional changes.
Maturation program instructors can likely be nurses or other health professionals. These individuals can explain the content with high knowledge and tact. When administered correctly, this program is extremely valuable and informational for students.
Wrapping Things Up: What is Maturation Day at School?
In a nutshell, maturation day or your child’s maturation program is meant to help them learn about the changes their body will soon begin to experience. It covers everything from reproductive organs and menstruation to consent and their ability to remove themselves from situations that do not serve them. The programs also emphasize the need for them to reach their true potential even without a marriage partner.
This program is generally geared towards students who are in 5th and 6th grade. At this age, they are right on the cusp of beginning puberty and likely curious about how their bodies are changing. This is also an age where students are likely to understand and grasp certain concepts more than younger children.
There are several benefits that students can gain from this program, especially those who are not comfortable speaking with a parent. The maturation program can also introduce conversations between guardians and children, allowing the conversation to flow more freely.
Regardless of what led you here, we hope you found the information in this article helpful and you are ready to tackle the subject of puberty with your child.