Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Pre-schooler Version of MLK Day

Even though Ryan had yesterday off, Sydney did not. She went to school as usual and brought home her standard assortment of worksheets and coloring sheets. Normally, I glance at them and then secretly throw them away (unless they're truly spectacular or creative), but this one gave me pause:


This one is a keeper, not for the job she did coloring, but for what she said about it:

"He's black. That's why today is a holiday."
"Artin Luthen King wanted to be a preacher so we celebrate his birthday."

I couldn't stop laughing at what she learned at school. We were amused at what she took away from her lesson about MLK day, but also a bit bewildered.

We don't particularly talk about people's races or ethnicities in our house (except that she knows her friend Zoe comes from China). We talk about how people come in different shapes, sizes and colors, but we don't put labels on their races/ethnicities, so when she called him "black", we were a bit taken aback. Later, she called him brown and if you look closely at the picture, you can see that she started coloring his face black and then switched to brown as if one of the teachers had to say, "He's doesn't actually have black skin, but brown skin."

We don't know what to think or how to approach this. I guess we'll wait until she brings it up again, but I just pray it's not out in public. I can just see her pointing at a crowd of black people and yelling, "Hey! Look at all those black people!" or something equally embarrassing.

Sometimes I really do wish kids came with manuals for this kind of stuff.

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