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Martin Luther King Jr and Abe Lincoln appropriate teaching for five year old

Posted by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 12:08 AM
  • 3 Replies

My five year old came home and told me that "the black people and white people were shooting and killing each other.  Our 16th president didnt like it and told them to stop, he was shot and is dead now.  The black people and white people kept shooting and killing each other"   I was shocked.  I went to the school to see if I could get the titles of the videos the kids have been watching (that seems to be the prefered method of teaching).  The principal came out and gave me a link to just one of the videos and asked why I wanted it.  I told her what he said, she immediately became defensive and completely dismissed my concerns.  Told me that these men are covered in the SOLs (standard of learning state tests in VA) and they would also be learning about the civil war.  He is in Kindergarten.  I understand the importance of learning about these historical figures and their importance to our society now, but how in depth should these lessons be in Kindergarten?  I feel like my five year old child is now being forced to think about racism and gun violence and the positive messages these men offered has been lost.  What did your kids learn about these subjects in Kindergarten? If anything.  I talked to a retired principal (four years ago retired) and she was also shocked.  I just dont know what to do.  

by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 12:08 AM
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alexis_06
by AnnaLisa on Feb. 16, 2013 at 3:17 AM

 wow! i dont think that is age appropriate at all...when my daughter was in kindergarten they didnt learn anything like that. it was all about rainbows and puppies..LOL..no, but seriously, i dont think thats right for 5 yr olds at all.  not in that detail anyways..

JasonsMom2007
by Platinum Member on Feb. 16, 2013 at 3:22 AM
My son asked who MLK Jr is so we watched videos on discovery education and did some stuff from the school's website. And yes we talked about him being shot.
Mine also knows the basics behind things like the revolutionary war and the civil war.
He is also 5. We teach history in an age appropriate way but we answer honestly.
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MommyChance
by Member on Feb. 16, 2013 at 10:47 AM



Your son asked, which means you were given the opportunity to decide what was age appropriate.  You talking to your child about someone being shot is a lot different than him coming home and saying "the black people and the white people were shooting and killing each other" in reference to Lincoln (not entirely accurate).  I fully agree, we should be honest with our children. Mention the assisnation as a glancing fact, theres no need for a teacher to go into depth with it in Kindergarten.  The positive message should be the concentration, not their unfortunate end.  My son usually gives me the full story of the historical figures he learns about.  He told me almost nothing of their positive messages, only the statement in my original post.  

This lesson bothered me for a number of reasons.  I live in SW Virginia, where racism is still prevelant. Without him also coming home with the positive messages, I am very concerned about what he is learning and how much the children have unsuperivised discussions about it.  I know the teachers arent paying that much attention to how these lessons are effecting the kids, because he was able to have an entire conversation about how another student owned a gun and knew all about how to use it.  

I want my son to learn about these men, I just want him to learn about their positive messages and concentrate on those.  Theres plenty of time for him to learn about (gun) violence and racism when he can comprehend the lessons learned.     

Quoting JasonsMom2007:

My son asked who MLK Jr is so we watched videos on discovery education and did some stuff from the school's website. And yes we talked about him being shot.
Mine also knows the basics behind things like the revolutionary war and the civil war.
He is also 5. We teach history in an age appropriate way but we answer honestly.




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