I'm not quite sure how to jump into this post...so I'm going to share the letter/permission slip that came home with my third grader today.
Did you hear me?
This is THIRD GRADE we're talking about.
Eight and nine year old kids.
If you can't quite make out what it says, in a nutshell it says my third grader is going to start learning about HOW BABIES ARE MADE. You know, man + woman + sperm + egg = BABY. [I especially like how it says they're going to 'recognize that ALL babies are made by joining and egg cell..and a sperm cell...'].
Yeah. It's all nice and warm and fuzzy that they're calling it "human growth and development" but let's be honest. It's basically sex education for eight year old kids. Or as they phrase it "content" that has been prepared for the "comprehension level of your child."
Um, my child has no comprehension of how babies are made. She's eight. Should she comprehend this already? Do any third graders really comprehend this? For the love, Olivia is still playing with Barbies and Polly Pocket, and playing "pretend" restaurant with her sister.
All of that being said...I can see both sides of the debate...really I can.
As a parent I want to shield my child and keep them "innocent" for as long as humanly possible. I don't want to answer the "where do babies come from" question during dinner.
But, as a realist, I know that if the kids don't learn this stuff at school, they're going to learn it somewhere else. I know IT is everywhere ... on TV, in the movies, in books and magazines. And I know it's important for kids to understand all of this.
However, do they need to understand it (or attempt to understand it) in the third grade? Are they going to lose a little bit of the innocence that we as parents so desperately want them to cling to? Or is this really just going to be a very basic conversation about sperm+egg = baby?
I don't know. I wish I knew the answer. What I do know is this: I read the letter that was sent home. I signed my name at the bottom, acknowledging that my child was going to learn all about "human growth and development." And, I am sitting here wondering how in the hell to wrap my brain around this. I want my kids to stay kids for as long as possible and right now it seems as if we're trying to make them grow up faster and faster every year.
What do you think? Would you be OK with your third grader learning about how babies are made? If not, in what grade should they learn it? Share your thoughts in the comments.