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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meiosis

How much is too much information?

I know it's good for kids to learn and understand all about reproduction and their bodies.  I'm all for it...between me and Stan, I'm the one who has all of the sex talks with the kids.  I don't have problems saying the words or explaining the processes.  I don't have a bit of a problem talking to them about wet dreams, periods, body parts, growing up and what's happening with their bodies.  I really don't.  I want to keep the lines of communication open and so far I guess I'm doing an OK job here at home.  Where I'm having a hard time is with the amount of information the kids are getting at school ~ or more specifically the way the information is being delivered....

Claire is in life science right now.  She's learning all things about, well, life.  Including the life cycle of people, plants, animals right up to the parts about reproduction.  Yesterday's lesson focused on meiosis.  Now, I'm not scientifically inclined...never have been, never will be so I'm not going to try and sound all smart with what it is.  Meiosis is all about the reproductive system ~ sperm and eggs and all that jazz.

Yesterday, Claire was telling me about her science class and what they were learning with a little blush spreading across her cheeks as she began the conversation with "well, science was a little awkward today."  I took the bait and bit.

"Why was it awkward" I asked?
"Because we're learning about meiosis," she answered and then she went on to explain to me exactly what I told you above...minus saying the words sperm and egg.
"Ahhhh, I can see why that would be awkward," I responded.

And that's where things got interesting, really interesting....

"At least my teacher didn't start class the way the other science teacher did," Claire says.
"And how did the other teacher begin class," I queried?
"She said, 'Well, class imagine that your parents had a really good time last night....'"  Claire told me, blushing furiously and peaking at me over the top of her glasses to see how I might respond.

It's a good thing I had my seatbelt on, let me tell ya'!  Otherwise, I may have fallen right out of my chair.  So, is that too much information to share with sixth graders?  Or is it just the method of delivery that bothers me?  I don't know.  I'm not sure I would have chosen to begin a class about meiosis with that example but who knows, maybe I would have.

The conversation turned away from meiosis and on to another class.

Claire begins to tell me how one of her friends is terrified of butterflies.  Why, is anyone's guess but she's afraid of butterflies.  For some reason, lost on me, one of Claire's teachers decides to draw a butterfly on this child's arm.  The girl tells the teacher how afraid she is of butterflies and somehow the subject changes to the teacher's tramp stamp...yep, the teacher said those words to her class (according to Claire, anyway).  Again, is this too much information to share with sixth graders, do they really need to know this about their teacher?   I don't know, but something tells me that they really don't need to know their teacher has a "tramp stamp" and that their two year old picks up the butterfly block from his set of building blocks and compares it to the butterfly tattoo on their teacher's back...

I'm all about kids knowing how things work, including the human body.  I love for them to learn as much as they can, including the fact that individuality is good (and tattoos are not bad).  I'm just wondering if maybe it's too much of the wrong kind of information for them as sixth graders.

Oh, for the love of my children...

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