(This post is a LWoS Golden Oldie dating back to March 2006. My children were 5 and 8 at the time. Today they are 8 and 11. Although my daughter remembered her “grade” in this account on this day, fast forward to the future almost 3 years, and she, her brother, and I still sometimes scramble to remember what grade they are in when asked, which happens every so often... obviously not often enough to etch in our brains the correct answer. Most times, we look at each other and start calculating trying to figure it out based on age or what we told folks last year (if we can remember) plus one. LOL! We’ve learned it’s quicker to fill in the blank than to explain the whole concept of "not doing grades"… even with the scramble time figured in.)
People don't understand that the concept of grades is personally foreign to my children. We do not do grades. My children are growing up just fine and learning all the time, really they are. All is well here, and we do not do grades.
My children are not in a grade. They do not do "grade work." When you ask them what grade they are in, they personally have no concept of what you are talking about. I have informed them that if they were in school, they would be in second grade and kindergarten.
Today we went to our new dentist office for a check- up. This is a very friendly place, complete with a cool salt water fish tank, with very friendly and accommodating staff. The hygienist was eager to help my children feel comfortable with her, so she started a conversation.
"What school do you go to?" the dental hygienist asked.
"I homeschool," replied 8, who feels this word does not describe her life properly at all.
"What grade are you in?" the dental hygienist asked.
"Second," responded 8, more at ease and confident with each experience. (She is giving a fill in the blank response that means nothing to her personally.)
"Your brother is in Kindergarten?" she asked.
"Yes,” was the response. Then 8 leaned forward so I could see her face and smiled.
You see, the hygienist started the conversation as most people who take the initiative to greet my children do. Most, if not all but other homeschoolers, expect a child that they meet to go to school, to be in a grade, and to want to talk about it. The thing is, none of the above could be true.
As this conversation came to an end, the questioner was somewhat satisfied because she only wants to connect with my child and an answer tells her "a connection" was made. She does not understand that we do not do grades and that my children do not connect to those questions or by answering them.
Robin is a homeschooling mom of two and a natural living enthusiast currently in the school of hard knocks taking graduate courses in Lyme disease.