Friday, December 30, 2011

How to respond to, "What grade are your kids in?"

When moms meet they often ask each other, "What grade are your kids in?"  Not grammatically correct, but it's popular vernacular.  Anyway...often homeschoolers aren't in one particular grade for all subjects.  They are in their appropriate grade in each subject based on their individual needs.  So, an 8 year old may be in 3rd grade spelling, 5th grade math, 4th grade English, you get the idea.  This makes the, "What grade are your kids in?" a potentially challenging question.

To stream-line my answer, and not to appear too weird, I answer with whatever grade they would be in if they went to a public school.  For example, I say that my 15 year old is in 10th grade.  He is scheduled to start earning college credits this semester, so he could actually go from high school to transferring into a 4 year college, rather than having to apply as a freshman.  We'll see how it goes! 

My 13 year old could be considered 8th or 9th grade, but I just say 8th.  Depending on what he wants to do in the future, he could graduate from high school early.  I don't have to know that yet, so I'm just plugging along with his curriculum.  He likes to get his work done each week in a just few days and then sort of chill for a few days, pretending he's working.  If he finds something he'd like to spend more time doing during the day, he has the time to pursue it.  He spent a few hours shooting his new bow the other day.  He just put it in a duffel bag and rode his bike to the Outdoor Recreation Center on post where they have an indoor archery range. 

I've met homeschooled kids who don't know what grade they are in when asked.  They aren't even sure how to answer.   Sometimes they say they don't know, they have to ask their mom.  While I understand the concept, I think it's just a little easier to have some type of answer other than, "I don't know".  It could be that the child says they are in different grade for different subjects. 

 A great child's fiction book, Understood Betsy, tells the story of girl who was educated in a one-room-school-house type of school and then she moves to a city.  She is asked what grade she is in and explains that she is in one grade for English, another for math, etc.  You get the idea.  It's a great read.

My brilliant friend of few words, who I mentioned previously, said that spelling is for people who can't spell.  So some kids don't even to be "in a grade" for spelling.  They've graduated.  Or, they never needed it in the first place.

Winston Churchill generally did poorly in school.  He never attended college.  I've heard that he once said he didn't like tests because they tried to find out what the student didn't know.  He wanted someone to ask him what he did know.

“My education was interrupted only 

by my schooling.”   -Winston Churchill


Q:  "What grade are your kids in?" 

A:  "In what subject?" 



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