Besides answering questions to relatives about what my kids have been learning and no I don’t mean the kind of genuine questions where my extended family is interested, but the kind where they think they can quiz my kids to find out if they are truly learning, there is one question dreaded more by my kids.
The one question homeschooled kids dread answering is what grade they are in. And when my kids shrug their shoulders and answer with, “I don’t know”, that just gives the relatives one more thing to bristle about.
When kids have not been exposed to public school grade levels and they have not learned to keep pace with a grade level, they really don’t know what grade they are in and guess what? Most kids don’t care.
As my kids have grown older and see the shrieks of terror on some adult’s faces because my kids have no idea what grade they are, my kids try to reply as best they can.
When Mr. Senior 2013 was in fourth grade and without any prodding from me, he replied, “Which subject?” The reply made complete sense to me.
I learned a few things from that encounter:
It was probably best to prepare my kids for questions like that because most people are asking just to be polite;
It was a reminder to me that I had released myself from the bondage of graded level learning because my kids were all over the place in each subject and it was a good feeling;
That my kids were being allowed to learn at their own pace;
That I did recognize the differences in each of my kids because they were accomplishing skills at different grade levels; and
That if I had to reply to it I probably would have to say something like he is in 9th grade reading, 7th grade grammar, 8th grade math, 7th grade writing. .. oh my!
Through the years, I have found it better to reply with a more general reply like he is in middle school or high school.
Too, I find a more general reply avoids a lot of confusion even for my sons. For example, we may have started a new curriculum mid-year and my sons may reply they are in one grade level for that year and then still be in that same grade level the beginning of the next year.
To avoid my kids feeling confused, which are the only ones I am concerned about when answering that question, I just have them reply in generalities by saying middle school or elementary school. The kids understand there are about 3 or 4 grades considered for any level, even high school.
Sometimes, the boys reply by saying their age and then the adult can figure it out on their own.
Besides how many people would understand that you may be starting pre-algebra with a 11 year old or a 5th grader reading high school level literature?
How about you? Do your kids know which grade they are in?
Hugs and love ya,
Also, check out some other comebacks here: