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I hate it when people ask what grade my kids are in - Page 2

post #21 of 46

My 10 year old gets asked what grade are you in all the time. He goes into this big long explanation of how he's halfway through six grade math and expects to start 7th grade at the first of the year, but he's in fifth grade spelling, he studies Zoology for science, early American history...if I let him he'll go through the list and tell them what all he's studying and if there is a corresponding grade level from the publisher he'll let them know what it is. He also likes to let people know that he'll be able to start taking classes at the community college in 4 years. He's much nicer to people when they start asking questions than I am.

 

Amy

post #22 of 46

I told mine they can be in whatever grade they want. Ds12 usually says 8th. Dd9 usually says 5th. I just nod and agree with them. Heck, if they're around, I often just refer the question over to them. They seem to care at least a little what the answer is, and I can't be bothered to keep track of what label they are using at the time. If it's a friend or something, I'll give them a straight answer though. S/he ranges from about ____ to _____ depending on the subject. 

post #23 of 46

lol you hate it. i love it because i say no grade and their mouth always drops open. what do you mean NO grade. we dont have grades we homeschool.... hehe i am nuts i know

post #24 of 46

I tell them we homeschool and that C. works at her own pace, but the things she is currently studying would be typical for grades X/Y/Z. Here, people usually just ask how old she is, and when they ask if she's in school yet (she's 6) she explains she's homeschooled. So far, the response has usually been along the lines of "Wow, she seems really smart/well-spoken for a 6 year old" and they don't inquire about grade level (but I sometimes offer that information if they appear to be interested in continuing the conversation).

 

I'm almost certain I've "converted" at least one mom of young kids to consider child-led learning after she interacted with C. for a while. She (the mom) was VERY curious and asked a lot of questions, none of which seemed in the least bit judgmental... more that she was weighing whether or not she felt homeschooling or unschooling was something she could do herself.

 

Of course, I also get a kick out of completely blowing away people with my own formal education level. I was unschooled from 8th grade onwards and never went to college, but people, especially medical professionals, tend to assume I have at least a Master's degree. I think it's because I tend to use very precise language and don't adjust my vocabulary downwards when I'm talking to someone I know is highly educated, such as a physician.

 

--K

post #25 of 46

Since most people just ask in order to find out the kids' ages, I generally say "She's in Kindergarten."  Which I guess is technically true.

 

But if I'm feeling long-winded and somewhat snarky, I'll say something like "Well, she's doing a third grade phonics workbook, a second-grade math curriculum, exploring astronomy, doing kitchen chemistry, uses her own laptop, plays chess on my iPod, is learning the names and capitals of all 50 states and is learning Spanish."  All of which is true too.  And it sounds a lot better than "Well, uh, we sleep in and then watch "The Magic School Bus" and uh, we like to go hang out at the Science Center.  Oh and she has a puzzle of the United States..."  It's all in how you put it. lol.gif

post #26 of 46


I love that!  I'm going to have to tell my kids about that one.  My dd is very conscientious and understands that when people ask her that question - as they often do - they expect a number.  She obligingly gives them one.  My ds1 though could care less about social norms and expectations.  When he had just turned 6, a sales person asked him what grade he was in school and ds1 just said 'I don't go to school." 

The salesman looked shocked and asked "Why not?" 

Ds1's reply - "I just don't want to." 

Hah! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemizflava View Post

lol you hate it. i love it because i say no grade and their mouth always drops open. what do you mean NO grade. we dont have grades we homeschool.... hehe i am nuts i know

post #27 of 46

I hated being asked this as a child because I had to think about it and that took a second....why should I know?  I'm in a class of one!

post #28 of 46

It annoys me too and my kids ARE in school though it is Montessori. Besides the grade some seem to focus on the age/grade.I started my dd  with schooling at 6 and my ds at 5. I guess 5 is the norm now because people question why my dd isn't a grade higher.

post #29 of 46

That doesn't bother me.  People are just trying to make small talk and it's their way of asking the kid's age.  No big.

 

I do, however, not like when they start quizzing my kids once they learn that we homeschool.  That's not just making small talk and never happens to schooled kids.  That's them trying to assess my kids' knowledge so they can judge them for their lack of it or if it's incomplete.  That is not nice.

post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauradbg View Post

That doesn't bother me.  People are just trying to make small talk and it's their way of asking the kid's age.  No big.

 

I do, however, not like when they start quizzing my kids once they learn that we homeschool.  That's not just making small talk and never happens to schooled kids.  That's them trying to assess my kids' knowledge so they can judge them for their lack of it or if it's incomplete.  That is not nice.


Heh. My kids totally dismiss people that do this. If someone starts to sound like they're quizing, the kids totally shut down. They will answer "I dunno" to anything they're asked, even their own names. I didn't teach them this. They started doing it when they were little, like 2 and 4. lol Dd would be 2yrs old and going on about how she was going to be a marine biologist and blah blah blah about different species (with correct terminology) and someone would ask her a math question and suddenly "I dunno". They try to switch back to marine biology, and she says she wants to be a "boat" and totally glazes over. (ok, difficult to raise children, but hilarious to watch them deal with difficult adults)

post #31 of 46

I like "no grade" etc but we also need a short simple reply for time like, getting into a museum and the guard asks, "what grade are you in?"  We don't want to get into long explanations - if the program is for grades 3-5 we had better say grade 3 without a second thought so that we can get in.  dd is tall for her age and the bus conductor doesn't always realize that she gets a half-ticket.  Sometimes instead of asking the age they ask the grade.  We can't be hemming and hawing at such times.

post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCM View Post

huh. I've always just said "we don't do grades". I *do* see it as elders trying to connect with kids they don't know (akin to Are you excited for Santa/Easter Bunny/Summer vacation?) and don't get irritated by them, but I'd never think to calculate grades. They can connect just fine without it, I guess. As in, if I did say '5th grade' they'd be no more connected to my kid than without it. My kid would still stare blankly at the person, and the person would still have nothing further to say to my kid.

I'm not dissing those who do give a grade number, just that it never dawned on me that others were doing this, as many of you obviously are.

 

This. Exactly. :)

 

Sometimes my children offer their ages and names, and it's weird because they say it so obviously as a social expression and don't expect a response, sort of like a roll call. They will then just start talking about the thing they wanted to say (if they are inclined), having accomplished the requisite formality.
 

post #33 of 46

I heard this one years ago (I hope it hasn't already been said upthread...I haven't read all the replies):

 

Acquaintance: "What grade is your son in?"

You: "He's not in any grade. He doesn't go to school."

Acquaintance: "Well....what grade would he be in if he WAS in school?"

You: "What military rank are you?"

Acquaintance: "Huh?"

You: "You know....what rank would you be if you WERE in the military."

 

:)

post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinky View Post

You know, I think I have this reaction in part because I'm so sheltered most of the time--to be honest, most of the people I hang out with are unschooly homeschoolers, so this question doesn't even come up. So I'm always a little befuddled by this question, which could not have less relevance in our life.

Of course, I'm also known to say "My kids don't go to school" instead of "We homeschool" which somehow seems to describe our lives better. I guess what I really mean is that school just isn't relevant/important/a reference point for us--and that we definitely aren't doing school at home. But that statement does tend to shock people!

 

Maybe you could just say: he's "X" years old and she's "Y" years old.  That's probably the reference point they are looking for anyway.  You might even tack on "...and we homeschool" at the end.  That'd probably do it.
 

post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

I heard this one years ago (I hope it hasn't already been said upthread...I haven't read all the replies):

 

Acquaintance: "What grade is your son in?"

You: "He's not in any grade. He doesn't go to school."

Acquaintance: "Well....what grade would he be in if he WAS in school?"

You: "What military rank are you?"

Acquaintance: "Huh?"

You: "You know....what rank would you be if you WERE in the military."

 

:)



Awesome.

post #36 of 46

My kids aren't in a "grade". I don't know which "grade level" they'd be on. I've deschooled to a point where I don't care and will not use the word "grade level" in relation to my kids abilities. Nobody can  be good at everything and you don't need to.My son usually says 8th to avoid being questioned further. So dd "copied" him and now says she's in the 3rd. It's just easier. A stranger we will likely never see again. Whenever somebody does the "No school today?" thing, we'll just say no and leave it at that.

 

The "military" quote is simply amazing.


Edited by Kalani - 3/19/11 at 8:54pm
post #37 of 46

I just say, "We homeschool so she's in different grades in each subject, but if she were in public school she'd be in either Kindergarten or 1st grade." We switched to unschooling a few months ago but I'll probably keep saying something similar because I really hate my choices being questioned. I think my new line will be, "She's homeschooled so there aren't really grades; she learns whatever she's ready to learn."

 

--K

post #38 of 46

I think I can kind of understand what people are trying to do - though yeah, it's annoying, and it reminds me to formulate an answer (I think I will just say what grade we have her enrolled with the state as).

 

For some reason, my childhood timeline is on grade level, not age. I think it's because indeed the grade level overshadows the age. A given grade probably has at least two ages, if not more, but they are all "together." Also, we all have different birthdays, but the "year" is defined for all of us by the school grade.

 

Even my memories outside of school proper seem to be dated by grade more than age. Like, I remember reading Clan of the Cave Bear in fifth grade. I'd have to do the math to figure out how old I was (and even then, since my birthday is midway through the school year, it would be like "9 or 10" rather than a firm age).

 

So as an adult, I can see how knowing a kid is "in 5th grade" actually helps me relate to the age better than "10 years old" because I'm drawing a blank on what grade 10 year olds are in. But I do remember what 5th grade was all about, what books I was reading, what math I was doing, my social life, what toys I was playing with.

 

Of course, like a PP said, I'm sure adults still don't do much with this info when they are given it. So your kid is in 5th grade, the adult may be able to picture their life at 5th grade but then what are they gonna say? "Oh, I watched The Wonder Years that year, have you ever seen it?" Uh, no. "We had this toy that was like a saucer around a ball, and you could jump with it." Uh, ok. "I did a book report and a diorama. You?" Snore. "I liked Madonna." You're old. "We were multiplying four digit numbers." You suck.

post #39 of 46

I am not sure I understand why this is so annoying.  It's a perfectly common and normal thing, we ask adults similar stuff.  "So what do you do for a living?"  "Where do you work?"  "Man, I don't know that I could be a truck driver, do you like it?"  Asking what grade the child is in is just a similar small talk starter-"What grade are you in?  What school do you go to?  I had such a hard time learning long division, how are you doing with it?"

 

post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

I am not sure I understand why this is so annoying.  It's a perfectly common and normal thing, we ask adults similar stuff.  "So what do you do for a living?"  "Where do you work?"  "Man, I don't know that I could be a truck driver, do you like it?"  Asking what grade the child is in is just a similar small talk starter-"What grade are you in?  What school do you go to?  I had such a hard time learning long division, how are you doing with it?"

 


I agree, why is it so annoying to be asked this question?  I think most people ask because they are taking a genuine interest in your child and I find it incredibly rude that some people feel the need to come back with a snarky comment/question.  How hard is it to just simply answer the question?  You could say something like, "Well, my child is unschooled so I really don't consider him/her in a specific grade.  But if he/she were in ps, I suppose he/she would be in grade X."   I'm just not seeing what the big deal is. shrug.gif

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