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– Jun 15, 2021(6 replies)
I am wondering about my very transparent 4th grader who suddenly decided that she did not want to talk about her school's puberty classes after the second of five lessons total. The lessons were one hour each, spread over a five day period. After the first lesson, she eagerly shared with me some of the new names for hormones that she was trying to master. After the second day, she stopped sharing. The topic is now, for lack of a better description, taboo. She playfully ran away after the third day. I let it go for a bit, but it has been a few weeks, the school has been unable or unwilling to share the day to day discussion topics, and the outline provided before the lessons has proven to be measurably incomplete with what little I was able to learn from my kid. Now that the clock has run out on the school year, the school says they will try to get a more accurate outline next year, and perhaps take notes during the lessons to share with parents. In one possible scenario, the teachers, who I do respect, weren't paying that much attention to the lesson details being conducted by a 3rd party via zoom, didn't review the outline that carefully, and didn't encourage the kids to treat the subject respectfully and academically. I have an older child who went through two puberty programs at different schools, during grades 5 and 7 perhaps, who has a very open and factual approach towards sexuality so I was completely taken off guard. This isn't even about controversial teachings. This is about a school program that is supposed to direct kids towards reliable sources of information such as their parents but which has effectively shutdown the discussion with my kid. How do I undo the harm? We have books, she has an older sibling who she is close to, and we still talk about everything under the sun and beyond our solar system. Do we wait for her to change her mind? Do we leave it to chance that she'll find some random person in the future to guide her for better or for worse? Are there better puberty professionals out there that can be referred to our school?Jun 15, 2021
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I agree with Louise on sex education: after a year of it in 5th grade and another year at Willard, sex education again at BHS is more a target for jokes than a way to get them some useful info. I really like Louise's idea of instead teaching personal finance for the Social Living requirement and would like to also suggest a quick week or 2 of Survival Cooking and maybe Survival Housekeeping. I know we should all be teaching these things at home (that goes for finance and sex too) but in just a couple of years our children will be expected to feed, clothe, and house themselves, and I am not so sure they have the basic skills.
I would like to second the opinion that students should be taught in a structured way about handling personal finances. I think the topic should be introduced in Jr. High, and then really hammered home sometime during Jr. or Sr. year in high school. One cannot count on parents doing the job.
For example, how many students graduating from high school recognize the value of buying a home? How many know how to finance a home, and what the tax benefits are? My parents were always renters, and I was 32 years old and training to become a real estate agent before I found out why it's a good idea to aim toward home ownership!
There should be a course, Life 101, to teach these essentials.