Friday, August 26, 2011

The subtle morals of picture books

I only have a minute but I wanted to post this before I forgot.  

People who don't homeschool often ask me why I do when I tell them that I homeschool my three children.  What exactly was it that was the catalyst to my decision?  I say "my decision" because it prompted me to bring it to my husband and then we discussed it together.  That catalyst was a conversation I had with a friend when Autumn, my oldest daughter, was 1 1/2 years old.  My friend had twins in first grade and a two year old.  She had received that week a notice from the school about sex ed. that requested her permission for instruction of her children.  

First grade?  Sex ed.?  What???  

Now, what sex ed. meant to this school district in Georgia in first grade is probably different than you'd expect.  Although, sexual reproduction is now discussed across the country in fourth grade instead of in seventh as it was when I was growing up.  

Sex ed. in first grade was the propagation that all types of families are morally right.  This specifically meant the teaching that gay couples with children are legitimate family units just as families of heterosexual parents with children are.  That is how sex ed. is introduced in first grade.  

My discussion with my friend made me realized how early on the schools would be teaching my children what was right and wrong without the foundation of the Bible and God.  Often I likely wouldn't even know what my children had been taught.  This realization hit me hard.  It distressed me.  And so, I found myself on the road to homeschooling.

Last weekend I picked up several picture books at a garage sale.  I got home, cleaned them up, and set them aside.  On Wednesday, I needed to clean up my homeschool room and I thought I'd find one of the books a new home.  The book was titled Babies Everywhere.  I had flipped through it and it looked cute and fun to read.  I set it aside.  The next morning I had a nagging thought that I should examine it carefully before I gave it to someone.  So, I opened it up.  There were many mommies and daddies holding their children.  But, then I noticed something else.  In the city scene, a man was walking arm in arm with another man.  A few pages later, a mommy was laying on the bed on her stomach while her baby was in the crib.  On top of her lay another mommy.  These two women were obviously more than friends.  On another page, there were two daddies sitting very close together while one held a small pair of shoes and the other a little girl.  I was pretty surprised and disconcerted.  

This book reminded me of why I homeschool.  This is how sex ed. begins in our public schools today--through the reading of such a picture book.

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