As a mother of 10 years old boy, I am startled to find out about new “Ontario Sex education Curriculum” implementing in the “Health and Physical education” and launching in September 2015, as per the Government it hasn’t been updated since 1998. This matter has always been controversial and many parents have taken a toll to raise their voice against it and have objections. We wouldn’t want our children to acquire knowledge of sex too early and get mature this fast in modern era.
Ontario Premiere- Kathleen Wynne
My son who is already very fascinated to be a teen very soon, he hasn’t reached puberty yet but has already started inquiring about unusual questions as, “If I and his dad were dating each other before we got married???” “How did he propose to me??”etc. I wonder what kind of impact this new and early education will have on him. Kids are always curious to know more than they are taught and they have their own understanding. He may come home with some absurd questions which might embarrass us.
Some of his classmates have already started chatting about having crush and girlfriends. I was shocked when he told me, “they were discussing something about kissing in the change room”. He has been very close to me so far and always shares things with me. I am fortunate, just hope it continues to be like that. They had learnt about Puberty last year and also about male and female body parts, menstruation etc. As a conservative and shy parent, I don’t know how to answer such stuff at times.
How do you handle such questions and answer your child?? Have you ever tried to communicate with him/ her?? Now since the world has totally changed and with child abuse rising in the society, I sometimes think it’s also good for them to learn and differentiate what’s wrong and what’s right?? But with so many gadgets they have, search engines accessibility and internet usage, it’s very easy for them to type a keyword and explore about their curiosity. We have so far already downloaded a programme in his computer called” Net Nanny” which blocks particular keywords and websites but what about his Tablet and I-pod??They have access to their school board website and can connect with their friends anytime; their curiosity can lead to sexting each other.
Every province in Canada has different curriculum for sex education. Ontario Government has taken a further step to raise the bar which is certainly a matter of concern. I wonder how comfortable would the teacher feel who’s explaining these little kids and answering their silly questions will be another challenge for them. At home we monitor what kind of shows, music or movies will our kids watch, we instruct them what’s appropriate and inappropriate for them to see but what happens when they are given such knowledge in the school which we find ill-suited.
With Ontario’s new health curriculum starting September 2015, here are some highlights from the revised sex education curriculum:
Grade 1: Identify body parts, including genitalia, using correct terminology. Recognize caring behaviors and exploitative behaviors.
Grade 2: Outline the basic stages of human development. Identify related bodily changes. Explain the importance of standing up for themselves. Describe how to relate positively to others and behaviors that can be harmful in relating to others, including both online and face-to-face name calling.
Grade 3: Identify the characteristics of healthy relationships, including those with friends, siblings and parents. Describe how visible differences, such as skin color, and invisible differences, including gender identity and sexual orientation, make each person unique. Identify ways of showing respect for differences in others. Develop safety guidelines for Internet use.
Grade 4: Describe the physical changes that occur at puberty, as well as the emotional and social impacts. Demonstrate an understanding of personal hygienic practices associated with the onset of puberty. Identify risks associated with communications technology and describe how to use them safely. Describe various types of bullying and abuse and identify appropriate ways of responding.
Grade 5: Identify the parts of the reproductive system. Describe the processes of menstruation and spermatogenesis. Describe stresses related to puberty and identify strategies to manage them. Explain how a person’s actions, either in person or online, can affect people’s feelings and reputation, including making sexual comments and sharing sexual pictures.
Grade 6: Identify factors that affect a person’s “self-concept,” for example stereotypes, gender identity and body image. Describe how to lay a foundation for healthy relationships by understanding changes that occur during adolescence. Assess the effects of stereotypes on social inclusion and relationships.
Grade 7: Explain the importance of understanding with a partner about delaying sexual activity and the concept of consent. Identify common sexually transmitted infections and describe their symptoms. Identify ways of preventing STIs and unintended pregnancy. Assess the impact of different types of bullying or harassment, including sexting.
Grade 8: Identify and explain factors that can affect decisions about sexual activity. Demonstrate an understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation. Demonstrate an understanding of contraception and the concept of consent. Analyze the benefits and risks of relationships involving different degrees of sexual intimacy.
Grade 9: Demonstrate an understanding of the benefits and risks of using communication technologies. Describe the relative effectiveness of methods to prevent unintended pregnancy or STIs. Demonstrate an understanding of factors influencing a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation. Apply their knowledge of sexual health and safety, including to the concept of consent.
Grade 10: Demonstrate an understanding of factors that enhance mental health. Describe factors that influence sexual decision making. Describe some common misconceptions about sexuality in our culture, and explain how these may harm people. Explain how being in an exclusive relationship with another person affects them and their relations with others.
Grade 11: Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of mental illnesses and addictions. Describe how proactive health measures and supports, for example breast and testicular examinations, can be applied to avoid or minimize illness.
Grade 12: Demonstrate an understanding of the effects and legal implications of different types of harassment, violence, and abuse in different relationships and settings and describe ways of responding to and preventing them. Demonstrate an understanding of how relationships develop and how to maintain a healthy relationship.