My latest column at Amazing Catechists is about Online NFP Classes:
A few weeks ago, we taught an NFP (Natural Family Planning) class. Earlier in the day, we looked over the notes. That evening, we logged onto the teaching website. We tested the audio and video. We uploaded the slides and videos to the whiteboard, then waited for class to begin and for the eight registered couples to log on and join the “virtual classroom.”
Welcome to NFP in the 21st century! We don’t have to leave our home to teach NFP and student couples can learn NFP in the comfort of their own homes. They can see and hear us on the audio and video. If students have questions, they use the chat function.
For us, it’s been the answer to a prayer. Three years ago, after teaching NFP for 24 years, we were frustrated at the lack of interest in couples wanting to learn NFP. We felt fortunate to be teaching one or two couples a year. We had this enthusiasm to share our knowledge of NFP with others and wished there were more interested couples.
In the past 27 years, we have traveled all over Ontario to teach NFP classes. The most recent was three years ago when three different couples all inquired about the possibility of learning the sympto-thermal method of NFP in the Greater Toronto area. For the first two classes, we agreed to meet at the halfway point (each of us traveling two and a half hours) and for the last class, James and I traveled down to Toronto to teach Class III. It was an expensive venture, but we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to teach NFP to enthusiastic and interested couples. However, I told James that I wish that we could teach NFP online.
I didn’t have to wait long for my wish to come true.
A few months later, we discovered that our NFP organization, the Couple to Couple League, was looking for teaching couples to pilot a new online NFP teaching course. We immediately said yes and have never looked back. Since then, we have taught more couples in the past two years than in the previous 15 years.
The obvious advantage of online NFP classes is convenience. Most of the couples we’ve taught enjoy the convenience of not having to leave their homes and get a babysitter, although a few couples have missed the fellowship with other student couples.
One obvious disadvantage is when the internet isn’t working properly. It’s also hard for us as NFP teachers to judge whether a particular student is grasping a certain point because we can’t see facial expressions. In a large group, it’s necessary to test the couples frequently to make sure they’re understanding. And…it’s not unusual at least once during each class for some sort of technical malfunction to happen.
For the most part, however, it’s been a joy to teach NFP to so many couples, couples who may not have been able to learn otherwise.
Natural Family Planning is safe, effective and morally acceptable. Learning NFP has never been easier or more convenient. Materials and course fee are required to take the class.
If you’re interested in registering for an upcoming virtual online course: http://register.ccli.org/virtual
If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Photo and text copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach