Am I the only one...(20 Posts)
to believe that 'that talk' should come from parents and not school teachers?
I am perfectly happy that my children, at 6 or 7, should not be taught how reproduction happens.
And if your 7 year old has started puberty? Will they know what is happening?
Why shouldn't children know about reproduction? At this age it is growing beans and seedlings.
I think it is really important that all children learn that their body is theirs and no one has the right to touch them anywhere they are uncomfortable with.
At 6 the 'sex ed' is age appropriate, one lesson passes around a bowl of fruit. It encourages children to only pick a piece of fruit if they want one, that they don't have to, that just because a friend has an apple you might prefer an orange and that's fine.
I remember at infants collecting frog spawn and watching the frogs develop before letting them go.
But 6 to 7 is the age when most of them are curious about the mechanics. I agree parents should be doing it, but many don't. I told my DD the mechanics when she asked at 6.5 years.
AryaUnderfoot 6 and 7 year olds aren't taught how babies are conceived
*The Sex Education Forum (SEF) says that the plans leave a gap in teaching about reproduction in primary school.
In particular SEF highlights the section in the draft which says that six- and seven-year-olds should be taught about the process of reproduction and growth in animals but which also says that at this age pupils "should not be expected to understand how reproduction occurs".*
Ok, probably not made myself very clear (typical on a Friday night)!
I am not saying that primary age children should not be taught an appropriate curriculum regarding reproduction. In fact, I think it's very important that they are.
I'm just saying that I don't really understand the concerns raised in the article.
We had the topic of reproduction last autum, DD is in Year 1. They solely concentrated on animals and they had chicks and tadpoles at school last Summer term.
I don't see any harm. We saw pictures of lambs being born last Spring when we visited a farm and DD knows that some of it applies to humans as well.
She asks about babies sometimes and we start talking about it but haven't managed to come to the full act yet.
The less you make a mystery about it the better. I prefer it is done properly than DD hearing half-baked stories in the playground.
The OP is saying that she agrees with the new NC - that 6 and 7s SHOULDN'T understand how reproduction happens.
Clearly everyone disagrees on this point so theres not a lot of point in discussing the WHEN of 'the talk' but more the why. You say it should come from parents - possibly yes. But what about:
those who don't
those who do, but leave it till 16 when the child probably knows more than they do and may well have had sex
those that treat it as a flithy habit and lead their child to repress sexual desire, feel bad about masturbation and be frightened of physical contact
those who do the talk but incorrectly because of their own misconceptions and tell their kids that they dont really need contraception or that girls 'just need a bit of persuasion'
Sex education is used to directly impact teenage pregnancy and the rate of STIs. In this day and age it also forms an important part of their emotional and social learning. Even if its just the scientific facts it will always be part of their health education in state schools. With children beginning puberty at 8 (this is the bottom end of the medical norm...therefore not that uncommon) it is very present in their minds before they leave primary school.
My 8yr old announced to me one day 'the whole school has to do sex education'
I asked her what sex education was and she shrugged her shoulders and carried on what she was doing.
Thought it was quite amusing.
Wellthen I don't disagree with any of your points. I also don't think that 6 or 7 year olds shouldn't understand aspects of reproduction. I'm just a little surprised that there is concern from health professionals et al about the proposed level of detail that should be taught at age 6 or 7.
I had always assumed it would be my responsibility to discuss the 'mechanics' of human reproduction (for want of a better word) with my DCs, just as my mum did with me, at a stage when it was most appropriate. Defining that point is not easy and, like many aspects of child rearing, often depends on external circumstances as well as being child-led.
I suppose I am fairly lucky in that, being a secondary science teacher (who regularly teaches reproduction to yr 7s) that I have the scientific background to discuss the subject in detail.
Errr....Sashh...if somebody's child starts puberty at 7 then they should be seeing their doctor ASAP. It's precocious puberty and serious conditions need to be ruled out.
The vast vast vast majority of children do not enter puberty normally at this age.
AryaUnderfoot great if you do discuss it with your DC, but like someone said before- not all parents will.
For example, we always have children from religious families excluded from sex ed. Seeing as the age of starting periods has reduced and lots of primary school aged children will be having periods, they really do need to know about reproduction before they get pregnant due to sheer ignorance.
Juniper - it's ironic that those who are not likely to receive a 'balanced' education from home about sexual reproduction are then withdrawn at school as well! It sort of defeats the object!
I taught DS the basics when he was still three, I think. He is fascinated atm and keeps asking - his friend's mother is due any day and the mechanics/logistics are very interesting to him.
I absolutely agree though that I wouldn't have wanted school to bring it up first.
Thing is, he still doesn't quite get it. He told me this morning he has asked God to get Daddy to put a seed in me. Lots of seeds. DH will PHSL when I tell him - I have zero libido during pgy, and DS doesn't know yet. I am expecting him to take the credit
I think the very best educational outcome is when school and parents reinforce each other. So the school teaches phonics and I read books with dc at home. The school teaches modern history and I talk to them about current events. The school teaches music and I sing to them at home. The school teaches biology and PSHE and I talk to them at home about human reproduction and animal behaviour.
I have never yet come across a subject which became redundant because one person had already approached it.
Nor do I actually think of human reproduction as a more sensitive or worrying subject than pollution or plague or war- and I don't expect the school to hold fire on those subjects until I have decided my dc are ready.
If I had been anxious to be first, I would have checked out on the school curriculum when the first lesson on those subjets was to be held and made sure I got my talk in first.
Arya the article doesn't actually say what they feel should be taught to 6 and 7 year olds, simply that the new curriculum leaves a lot of space for 'squeamishness' and primary schools simple ignoring the issue altogether. The current curriculum does actually mention 'life cycles' including reproduction and yet there are so many primary schools who do not actually teach sexual reproduction. They simply show the puberty video and expect the kids to either connect the dots (which they do, given the kind of conversations going on between 11 year olds) or. more likely, to not mind that they dont really understand how and why these changes make them into adults.
As a secondary science teacher you will know withdrawal at secondary isnt a problem as the science is still statuatory. It is essential that primary school children have the same rights - the science curriculum should be explicitly stating that children will be taught about sex and puberty and then children cant be withdrawn. As they shouldnt be, it makes a mockery of state education if parents can pick and chose.
Ok, Wellthen, I accept your points.
May I please borrow a ladder to climb down from my high horse?
Lol sorry its a bit of a passion of mine...well somebody's got to be interested in sex ed!
You're not the only one. I know loads who think like OP.
My problem is so many parents elect not to talk about it at all. And the later they leave it the harder it is. Or they elect to be so selective with the info that the kids make up weird stories to fill the gaps. The secrecy ultimately undermines the parents' authority.
It's better if the kids hear consistent messages and facts from multiple sources.
We 'do' puberty in Year 5 and conception (in the context of a long term and loving relationship) in Year 6.
Last year one girl in my Year 6 class had been withdrawn from both sessions by her parents.
She started her periods in the middle of the night in a tent at PGL. Her parents hadn't prepared her in any way. Not fair on her, I felt.
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