The "N" Word and KidzBop

In my state, homeschoolers need to provide evidence of progress at the end of the school year. I recently received the 2nd grade test I will give to B and found myself in a quandary as I reviewed it. The 1st section is on definitions and B may not know the definition of all the words. I don’t think it is right to coach him on those words. The hubs reminded me that since “No Child Left Behind” doles out federal funding to public schools based on standardized test scores, our county’s public school kids, at least, are taught to their tests and if we chose to do that, we would be doing nothing different/worse than our public school. Interesting POV…the hubs LOVES playing Devil’s Advocate and always shows me a POV I had not thought of before. However, we both decided to NOT coach him on words that we may, wrongly, think he does not know. We want to gauge how much he has or has not learned this 1st year of HSing to assist us in our level of learning.

I have a part-time job at a local karate studio. I pick up elementary and middle school kids and bring them back to the studio for after-school care. I love listening to the conversations that occur in my vehicle each day. They make me cringe, cry, laugh and shock me. The mob mentality among such young people is especially scary but I am glad I get that insight to help with raising my son. I drive five days a week and my route changes daily.

I pick up kids at all elementary schools in my town except one and I pick up at one middle school. The students I pick up at one school in particular are very fond of “potty” words. In fact, when I pick up at this particular school, I actually time them to see how long they go before the potty talk starts. It usually occurs within one minute of pulling off. The shortest time was eleven seconds and the longest time was eleven minutes (that was a rare and true shocker!). The most popular potty words are butt, poop, pee and penis, in that order. However, occasionally there is the “bad word” discussion.

Recently, one of my 5th grade students was talking about another student who knew and used every bad word there was. The animated discussion began about which bad words the boy in question knew and were compared to what words the 1st – 5th graders in my vehicle knew. But none of my kids actually say any bad words; they just use the 1st letter of a word followed by the word “word”. (If you are a parent of a school-aged child, I know you can keep up with that last sentence.) One 1st grader declared, “There is only ONE bad word that we cannot say and that is the ‘F’ word!” The 5th grader said, “There are plenty of bad words besides that one but the ‘F’ word is the WORST of the bad words!” An innocent 3rd grader said, “Why is the ‘F’ word the WORST word? It just means ‘fart’!” Luckily I have trained myself to not burst out laughing at these kids; thank goodness they cannot see my facial expressions!

On another trip, a 3rd grade girl and a 1st grade boy got into an argument about who knew more bad words than the other. “I know what the ‘F’ words is!” said the boy. “So? I know what the ‘N’ word is!” countered the 3rd grader. “So do I,” replied the 1st grader, “Nagina!” LOL!

I have not listened to pop or Top 40 music since grunge moved in in the early 90s. I switched over to Country music then, b/c “pop” had died, as far as I was concerned. In 2009, I dropped Country and started listening to a contemporary Christian station. We got our 1st taste of KidzBop when McDee’s added mini disks to Happy Meals in 2009. Both B and I enjoyed them. We were both happy that we were finally listening to something (remotely) hip and I was pleased that there were no bad words. At the time, I could not understand all the “haters” of KidzBop.

Then my brother gave B KidzBop Gold and 80s KidzBop and I now understand the “haters”. Whatever version of a song you hear 1st, most times that is the one you like the best and the rest will never measure up. B asked me to put the 80s KidzBop in my car’s CD player. I had an Oprah light bulb moment. I cannot listen to KIDS singing Quiet Riot, Bon Jovi and The Go-Gos!

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