Some of CAVA's choices might be a little girlie

We are continuing to blog our homeschooling experience with the unique public-school extension called CAVA.  See previous posts by clicking the CAVA label below.

We've been positive in our blogged experience thus far.  Since we've been involved for a few weeks now, I'll take this an opportunity to post a few concerns we have had.
  • On the first or second day, he had to color flowers to help him learn his colors.  We didn't give it much thought at the time, but I remember that we did feel the need to mention that girls would like to receive flowers from Jake.  Hmm.  Well, okay, flowers are a part of nature, and I do hope he learns to appreciate beauty in nature...
  • The first story we were to read Jake was Cinderella.  It's hard to get the boy excited about the pretty dress, the excitement of a ball, and the happily-ever-after with prince charming.  "How did Cinderella feel after receiving the beautiful gown, son?"  "I dunno."  "Well, how would you fee... er, okay.  Moving on..."
  • The next story was The Frog Prince.  A little princess is coerced into befriending a slimy toad.  I think the antagonist was the highlight for Jake... until the frog turned into a boy and married the princess, that is.
  • We also read that lazy Mary refused to get out of bed until her mother noted the presence of a cute young man.  I was then to ask Jake what would motivate him to get out of bed.  His answer was a little different.
  • He was asked during one project to color a crown with magnificent jewels, cut it out, and wear it.  Our couching it in kingly or princely terms didn't fly with Jake.  He's seen his sisters sport crowns and tiaras every dress-up session they have, and he was not about to join in with that scene.
  • An art contest for CAVA students calls each young artist to draw a portrait of the woman who inspires them.  We didn't even present this to him.
  • Music class features a *very* excited woman on DVD encouraging kids to do exaggerated movements to songs.  Jake rarely likes to sing, let alone flap his arms or twirl in circles while doing so.  Though I actively encouraged him to do what was asked of him, I knew exactly how he felt the moment the DVD started.  Since it seemed to be geared toward toddlers, and he can already keep a beat, I didn't force him to crawl on the floor like a kitty-cat in some... "unique" effort to improve his internal metronome. 
    By contrast, his older sisters came home and saw the video, and enjoyed doing the motions.

  • And (while this concern is not girlie, but still odd), only right-handed children pass CAVA.  Yep.  We are to build "right-hand awareness" every day.  I don't mind, being right-handed myself, but my wife takes strong exception to this.  Soon, though, we will weed out all of the lefties!  I suppose we could do "left hand awareness" if he already hand an affinity toward writing with that hand, but I'm pretty sure they take the work we turn in and analyze it with some kind of laser spectrometer to determine which hand he used.
 Now, empathy is an important skill children need to develop.  My wife and I do what we can with these stories to cultivate that.  Further, these books are not about cars - Jake's sole passion in life since he was a 1 year old - forcing him to expand.

However, I think we will have no problem teaching him about how to appreciate and treat the opposite sex since he has three sisters.

So, in summary, I hope we get some guy things going. If not, we're going to have to go to the library and find some alternatives.

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