The Kindergarten Family Life Curriculum

I was taken back a bit when the flier outlining “Family Life Education” came home with my kindergarten little girl. None of these topics seem particularly offensive, but really, shouldn’t her mother and I be teaching her about family life? I am willing to admit that I may be a little sensitive about this, and I may be out of line, but why does the public school need to teach this, especially to 5 year olds? Maybe I am a fuddy duddy, but I want her to learn to count, color and play with others in kindergarten, not talk about penises and their function…

Below is the curriculum outline.

What is your opinion? I am an out of touch old man? :cool:

Importance of different family patterns

Family members and their responsibility

Human beings and mammals have babies that can be breast fed

Correct terminology about body parts and function

Responses to inappropriate approaches

Yes you should be teaching your little one these things and it sounds like you will. Some parents won’t though, for those families the education system has to butt in.

We are as strong as our weakest link. Some parents seem to think that everything their child needs to know can be picked up by osmosis. Everything in the curriculum you outlined is part of normal family teaching in many families. It is alien to some families though, yet those children still operate in the same world.

If parents WON’T teach them, then schools have to. Ignorance hurts everyone.

I for one hope somebody, at some point, teaches your daughter that human beings are mammals. :wink:

Otherwise, I’d say take comfort in the fact that your kid will get all the info she needs from you, and that you (unlike those other parents mentioned by calm kiwi) don’t actually need a flier from school to tell you what that information is.

If that sheet was sent home for me, I’d get more information on what “Importance of Different Family Patterns” covers. It sounds like it has the potential for instilling some bias against “nontraditional” families, but maybe I’m just paranoid. :stuck_out_tongue:

The word “correct” here has a doctrinaire flavor. I’m reminded of a preschool I know of that, in the interest of avoiding euphemism, insisted that shitting be called a “B.M.” Where’s the gain here? “Mom, Timmy called me a faeces-head again!” Yippee.

Depends on what they are teaching:

Importance of different family patterns: “Some families have a mommy and a daddy and kids. Some kids have grandma live with them. Some have only one parent live with them and their other parent lives somewhere else. Some kids are adopted…” OK. Any commentary on if these family patterns are ok or not ok is a value judgement left out of schools.

Family members and their responsibilities. Parents have a responsibility to help and support their minor children. Children have a responsibility to help out their parents in a reasonable fashion…ok. Its Daddy’s job to mow the law, and Mommy’s job to do the laundry…no.

Correct terminology about body parts and function. Don’t have a problem with it, but be prepared for five year olds finding excuses to use the words “penis” and “vagina” in daily conversation.

Responses to inappropriate touching - don’t have a problem here.

Babies can be breastfed - yes. Babies can also be bottlefed and there are lots of reasons why some babies are breastfed and some babies are bottlefed. Both are acceptable.

This sounds just like what was taught in my kid’s school district.

The handout gives you a pretty good idea what is to come aling these lines from your child’s school. This sort of education isn’t just for kindergarden tykes - it will be presented in age-appropriate ways all the way up the grade ladder. In response to parental concerns most schools give you ample warning (or even have you sign a consent form) so that you can pull little Jimmy out of class if you don’t want them exposed to this stuff in school.

Historically, this type of curriculum started as two things: sex education for pre-teen and teenagers and the wish to use education as a way to “innoculate” kids against using illicit drugs and drinking alchohol underage and other socially unacceptible behaviors. This has been melded into a “Healthy Lives” type curriculum, and right after it was developed for the true target age (11 -14 or so) it was modified in age-appropriate ways and inserted at every grade level.

What calm kiwi said. There are otherwise good parents (like my own) who won’t say a word (except perhaps ‘don’t do it’) about sexually-related things to their kids. The sex education I got from my parents consisted completely and solely of giving me that horrible book called ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,’ by Judy Blume. Not a word was ever spoken between us. Part of the reason for it is that my mother was completely uneducated in the subject. She told me (once I became an adult, of course) that even when she started college she still didn’t know where babies came from. She went on a date as a freshman, and the guy kissed her good night. She spent the next month worrying that she might be pregnant. From a kiss!

While it would be pretty difficult these days for a kid to end up that ignorant, there’s plenty of misinformation out there, and it’s good the school is going to attempt to work on that. It’ll give you a good springboard from which to talk to your kid and give her your views on things. Good on you for doing it, too!

Yeah- and how effective have these efforts been?


I dunno. I am going to the meeting where they discuss more in depth how these topics will be addressed. If anyone cares, I will post what I find here.