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I hate it when people ask what grade my kids are in - Page 3

post #41 of 46

It annoys me because answering truthfully often leads to judgment, unwanted advice, etc. None of which I appreciate. It seems to depend a lot on where you live though. Where I grew up, no one would blink an eye at hearing we homeschool (admitting to unschooling probably wouldn't have gone over well), and saying you're a stay-at-home mom when asked what you do for a living wouldn't have been an issue either. Where I live now, homeschooling is really viewed in a negative light and I get responses like "Well my kids are in *real* school so they'll learn, go to college and get a GOOD (high-paying) job!" Responses to being a stay-at-home parent were similarly negative when I lived in another area (I was a SAHM then, now I'm the sole wage earner and work from home...)

 

So it's not the question but the reaction to the answer that bugs me. It's surprising how ballsy people can be, especially when they're ignorant of the subject at hand. I really, really hate conflict (and even debate, when it's with strangers). I have it easy in a way because DD is gifted and above grade level in all subjects (we check her progress yearly, which she enjoys). If she were unschooled, "behind" in any subject and I admitted to it, I'd probably incite a riot.

post #42 of 46



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karanyavel View Post

It annoys me because answering truthfully often leads to judgment, unwanted advice, etc. None of which I appreciate. It seems to depend a lot on where you live though. Where I grew up, no one would blink an eye at hearing we homeschool (admitting to unschooling probably wouldn't have gone over well), and saying you're a stay-at-home mom when asked what you do for a living wouldn't have been an issue either. Where I live now, homeschooling is really viewed in a negative light and I get responses like "Well my kids are in *real* school so they'll learn, go to college and get a GOOD (high-paying) job!" Responses to being a stay-at-home parent were similarly negative when I lived in another area (I was a SAHM then, now I'm the sole wage earner and work from home...)

 

So it's not the question but the reaction to the answer that bugs me. It's surprising how ballsy people can be, especially when they're ignorant of the subject at hand. I really, really hate conflict (and even debate, when it's with strangers). I have it easy in a way because DD is gifted and above grade level in all subjects (we check her progress yearly, which she enjoys). If she were unschooled, "behind" in any subject and I admitted to it, I'd probably incite a riot.



 I can totally understand being annoyed by getting negative judgement and such when you answer.  I just wouldn't want someone to be annoyed with me simply for asking, when I don't respond to the answer negatively.  Cause I ask a lot.  Like I said, it's a common small talk starter. 

post #43 of 46

I can regress the question even further by admitting that I find small-talk annoying, no matter what form or content. I'm not rude about it, but I know myself, my needs, and have had success with finding friends by deliberately not engaging in small talk. People who I'm likely to befriend are not likely the ones who would ask a question with no follow-up intentions, so I am polite when this happens, but I don't feel any sense of obligation or urgency to respond in any particular way.I give a quick, polite response that honours my need for authenticity in my expressions (We don't have grades, but ds1 is seven, ds2 is six... etc...).

 

My dc usually interject their names and ages as if to get past this seeming formality. Because this has happened so frequently, and nothing more comes of it, for all of us, it's like an extended nod or passing smile. Every now and then, one of my dc will enthusiastically initiate discussion with an interesting bit of information, or his impression of something, and watch carefully to see if the person is responsive. Typically, people who use the "grade" question are taken aback and react with surprise (usually due to my dc's high level of articulation), and then tell dp and me how surprised they are. I know it's not intentional, but it is very disrespectful to my dc, and they really understand that, intuitively until later when they understand it formally. My six year old, when he was five, told someone, "Respectfully, you can speak to me like you speak to adults; I understand."

 

I think that when children attend school, they become acclimated to a way of being addressed that just isn't real except within the mindset that separates children in order to "prepare them for the real world." Unschooled children are in the real world all the time, with only fleeting experiences with adults who view them in that way, so for us (my family), it is isolating in a way, but there are people who do connect right away, with the awareness of children who live as we do, and who don't ask questions for he sake of asking them only.

 

It's a built-in sifting mechanism, not by my design, but by people who actively use it themselves. We're not the sort of family that does small-talk. None of us. Everybody wins. tiphat.gif

post #44 of 46

People seem to ask us "so, no school today?" when they see us freely moving about in our world. My son (8) has taken to answering (with the appropriate impatient tone) "I'm a homeschooler, for crying out loud."

 

Not very polite but it's hard to suppress a laugh.

post #45 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

Not very polite but it's hard to suppress a laugh.
 

But you're also talking to him later about being polite, right? I hope...

post #46 of 46


Of course!  :-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post



But you're also talking to him later about being polite, right? I hope...

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