Monday, October 5, 2009

Review: Pure Foundation Series by Jim Burns

Title:  Pure Foundation Series
God Made Your Body (ages 3-5)
How God Makes Babies (ages 6-9)
Author:  Jim Burns
Publisher:  Bethany House
Format:  Hardcover

Note:  this review is not for children.

Every parent I know wants to teach their children to have healthy views about sexuality.  Every Christian parent I know wants their children to understand God's plan for their sexuality.  But many of us wonder how much to tell our children, and at what ages.  We wonder how to explain to them the beautiful gift God has given to married couples, without burdening them with more information than their innocence can handle.

Jim Burns has created the Pure Foundations series to help guide parents through this process.  He has books for the parents, and the children, to help them build a healthy, godly view of their sexuality.  In this review, I'll be discussing the first two books for children:  God Made Your Body, and How God Makes Babies

Both these book are hardcover, 8.75 inches x 8.75 inches.  They are a perfect size to hold and share with your children.  Most of the illustrations are beautiful photographs of families and children.  The pages also have cheerful color-blocked text boxes on white pages.  The pictures are a delight to children and adults.    The books are beautifully designed, and well-written.

God Made Your Body
covers several topics with children in its 32 pages.  It is recommended for children ages 3-5.  The book begins with talking about how God created each person, with unique gifts, appearance, and personality.  It then moves on to talking about the physical differences between boys and girls.  It uses accurate medical terms, so children grow up knowing the correct terms.  Jim Burns then explains in an age-appropriate way how babies are made, using a part of Mommy and a part of Daddy (again using accurate terms for sperm and egg).  The book closes with discussion about differences in families, extended family, and adoption. 

This is an excellent book!  My only concern with the entire book is the term "making love" is used to explain how a Daddy and Mommy come together to make a baby.  That isn't a term I've ever used with my 3-5 year old children.  When my children are around age ten and they get the full-facts of the matter, I tell them that is one of several terms that is used.   At this point, I'm not comfortable using that term with young children, so I've omitted that phrase.

How God Makes Babies is written in the same engaging style.  It is a 47 page book intended for 6-9 year old children.   In this book, Jim Burns also covers many subjects, some of which were covered in the previous book:  marriage, physical differences between boys and girls, preventing abuse, conception, in utero development, labor and birth, newborn care, families, and adoption.  This book provides information from a Biblical perspective to begin a healthy discussion between parents and children.

My only concern with How God Makes Babies is that I don't think 6 year olds need to know how parents make babies yet.  The information given in the first book has always been enough for my children until they are 10 or 11 years old.  I realize that each family will have different circumstances and views on this subject, so it is something each set of parents must decide for their own children.  While much of this information would be appropriate for 6 year olds, there are a few pages that I would not read until my children were approaching ten or eleven.

I realize that since I homeschool, I have the privilege of being able to decide when this is covered with my children.  They haven't been informed on the playground by other kids, and their teacher isn't going to be covering it in fifth grade, regardless of their readiness.  Those who send their children to school may have to cover the information sooner than I do.  I can wait until the end of my child's fifth grade year, or the start of their 6th grade year if I feel that is best for that particular child.  If I were sending my children to school, I would make certain the information was given by me BEFORE it was covered in a class.

Overall Opinion:  Both these books are beautiful explanations of how God creates life.  I do recommend them, although I think parents should use their own judgement on what age to share them with their children.  Do not just buy a book, see "ages 5-7" on it, and read it to your 5 year old because that's what the book says.  Read the book yourself, pray about it, and then determine if your child is ready for it yet.  Every child is different, every situation is different -- let God lead you in  your parenting decisions.

If you would be interested in reviewing books for Bethany House, visit the Bethany House Book Reviewers website.

Trusting In Him,

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