Back home when KC took the class it was a BIG thing. A female teacher took the 5th grade girls and they watched a movie, while a male teacher did the same with the boys. They had open discussions and question and answer sessions. The teachers switched groups so that the kids had a chance to discuss things from the other perspective. I believe they also had mixed group discussions as well, but I cannot remember for sure. They were very good about keeping things real without making it all goofy. They kept the kids on track and if inappropriate questions were asked or topics not allowed to be discussed were brought up, they easily deflected them by saying as much. It was good to have KC come home from school and talk to me about it all in a very mature way, ask questions and tell me about the teacher's handling of it all. (Disclaimer: My memory is far from perfect... KC will probably comment about how I got it ALL WRONG, so don't be surprised! LOL!)
T had this 2 years ago, but him being himself... he would not discuss it with me if his life depended on it and really he blew of Hubster about it too. We tried in vain to get him to have any discussion at all, but it was not in the cards. So I had no idea what to expect for E from this school district. He did manage to fall to the floor laughing when she came home and said the movie was upcoming and asked him if it was bad. He was really no help. Sometimes I have no flippin' idea what to do with that boy!!
E came home on Monday and she had a few questions, but first I asked her to tell me how it all was presented to the kids. Well I am disappointed to say the least. They stuck the kids all in a room with the school nurse. She played the movie, asked if anyone had questions and then when no one was willing to ask she sent them back to class. They were not made to feel as if they could ask questions! The nurse was not coming to them and talking to them at their level and easing them into a healthy discussion. It was all very sterile and that was very disappointing to learn. So E and I had a very frank discussion and she asked me her questions and I explained things she was unclear on from the movie. All in all it went well.
I am a parent who believes in calling body parts by their correct names. It makes no sense to me to call them by cutesy poopsy names. So while my kids turn pinkish, because that is what kids do, at the mention of the parts, they are used to hearing the names and therefore do not fall into giggle fits over them. I also believe that as a parent I am obligated to tell my kids ALL they need to know, just not all at once and only when it is age appropriate. Since I KNOW my kids pretty well I feel that they know what they need to know. Some parents over explain and some parents under explain, but at least those parents are explaining. The parents that do not explain anything worry me -- A LOT! Many parents object to the school teaching this stuff and I suppose I can see why to some degree as control is removed from us a little, BUT I really feel like the school's sex education can be beneficial. Kids who might not want to talk to their parents, for whatever reason, need another venue.
I am curious... How have you dealt with this issue? What is your comfort level in having the discussions related to your child's bodily changes? How do you feel about school teaching your kids about their bodies?
Some minor edits have been made to this post.