Chicago Public Schools will soon begin teaching sexual education to kindergartners. While the true sexual part of the curriculum won’t kick in until fourth grade when kids hit the ripe old age of 9, the lessons for the 5-year-olds will focus on family, feelings and inappropriate touching.
I fully support sex ed. There are parents out there who will never address sexuality and reproduction with their kids, so I’m glad schools offer sex ed programs. But for age 5? This seems a bit absurd to me.
I don’t know what the magical age is to start sex education in schools, but I am pretty confident that 5 is not it. That doesn’t even give parents a chance to talk to their kids at home before something as sacred as sexuality and reproduction becomes just another lesson plan. When I choose to discuss these topics with my daughter, I want it to be in a loving family discussion rather than during circle time with 25 other kids who have just decided that private parts are hilarious and are now OK to talk about at school.
My daughter is 5 and we have touched on a few of the nobody-should-touch-you-here topics, but we’ve been very careful to not make a big deal of sexuality yet. We answer questions as she asks them or as opportunities arise naturally.
Sure, you can opt your kid out of sex ed, but that basically just means he or she is going to get all the info second-hand at recess from giggling students who just saw their first ovary.
I’d love to see the actual curriculum for this new program. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s completely appropriate and respectful. Let’s just hope a group of 5-year-olds can be, too.
Do you think 5 is too young for sex ed?