I hate it when people ask what grade my kids are in - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 46 Old 01-18-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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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.


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#32 of 46 Old 01-19-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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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.
 


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#33 of 46 Old 01-23-2011, 07:28 AM
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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."

 

:)

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#34 of 46 Old 01-23-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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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.
 


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#35 of 46 Old 01-23-2011, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#36 of 46 Old 02-21-2011, 01:32 AM
 
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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.

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#37 of 46 Old 02-21-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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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

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#38 of 46 Old 02-21-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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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.

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#39 of 46 Old 02-21-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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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?"

 

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#40 of 46 Old 02-22-2011, 10:48 PM
 
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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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#41 of 46 Old 02-23-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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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.

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#42 of 46 Old 02-23-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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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. 

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#43 of 46 Old 02-24-2011, 12:17 AM
 
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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


Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#44 of 46 Old 02-24-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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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.

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#45 of 46 Old 02-24-2011, 10:15 AM
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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...


 
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#46 of 46 Old 02-24-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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Of course!  :-)

 

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



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