After Halloween

So, it’s the day after Halloween: do you know what your child is doing? Well, I can tell you what my four children are doing. They’re tearing through their Halloween candy as though candy will be illegal tomorrow. Although I question the wisdom of letting them eat so much candy in a single sitting – and I’m anticipating stomachaches in our immediate future – our dentist actually told us it’s better for them to let them eat it all, brush their teeth, and be done with it, rather than to have a few pieces a day. Less chance of decay, I’m assuming.

My daughter has been steadily working on her fifth grade work, fueled in part by the sugar she collected last night in her trick or treat bag. I’m deluding myself, in a way, into thinking this is helping because she’s definitely extra energetic, although this too shall pass. (Disclaimer: I don’t normally feed my children junk nor do I let them subsist solely on sugar. Halloween, as they say, comes but once a year). In fact, I had to rouse her out of bed extra early today because we’ve fallen behind in a few subjects, so I thought the extra time – and yes, the sugar – might help her to pick up the pace a bit so we can catch up.

Besides, there’s more to this than simple sugar rushes. I have a plan to go with this bag of candy. After she catches up on her necessary work, I have an ulterior motive. With a bit of Googling, I’m going to print her out some pages on the history of Halloween, and the different ways it is celebrated around the world. That’s a timely lesson on a holiday that she has so thoroughly enjoyed, especially this year.

But I’m not going to stop there. I think, as a little health lesson, we’ll also spend some time homeschooling online, learning about teeth, cavities, and the effect of sugar on those precious pearly whites in her mouth. She’s had some not so wonderful experiences at the dentist already, and having a few fillings I think some lessons about what sugar will do to her teeth – not that she doesn’t already know, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded – will go a long way to her remembering to brush well after the candy explosion.

Speaking of sugar, there are more ways it affects the body than just super high dentist bills. We may have to do this tomorrow, depending on when she finishes her work today, but I think her curriculum would be greatly enhanced by learning the affect of sugar on the body in general. Fifth grade isn’t too early, I don’t think, to learn about digestion, the insulin response, blood sugar spikes, etc. That might also help her to understand why she feels so unwell after a binge on candy … and why she just handed me her candy bag and said “No more for me – I’m done!”

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