Sometimes it's kinda fun to get reactions from people when you tell them that you homeschool. Most people are supportive and/or curious. Sometimes it's just annoying and it gets my dander up when people say things like, "Wow, how long are you going to keep that up? Don't they need to go to highschool?" Sigh. I've learned to just let go and not become invested in others' opinions.
Today I took my 5th grader and my Kindergartener to the dentist. (No cavities by the way. Whoot!) And all the typical questions came up during the visit: How old are you, what grade are you in, what's your favorite class, etc.
So when it was my 5 yo's turn she answered this way, "I'm five. I'm in between kindergarten and first grade." Very clever of her I thought! It's so true! She just recently finished up her math and phonics books and now we are well into first grade stuff. They hygienist was impressed. "Ooohh, you must be so smart!"
Well, it kinda bothers me when people associate grade levels with intelligence levels. Some kids just work faster or slower. Some test into higher grades because they are good at testing, while others are held back because they just aren't good at tests! And there are all sorts of different intelligences too. So I chimed in: "She is a hard worker!" Because we can all get ahead with a little elbow grease right?
Now, I do agree that my little 5 yo is very quick! wow. She's going to keep me on my toes. But the lesson I want her to learn here is that hard work is really key to getting ahead. I have often told my kids how college statistics was going to be the death of me, but I went to the labs every day and studied very hard. I came out of that class with an A, not because I was "smart" (that class was so hard for me!) but because I worked at it.
So then it was big sister's turn to sit in the chair. "Are you on spring break?" they asked her. She answered, "No, we homeschool so we just take breaks when we need them." Another great answer, I thought! Again, we got the question about her grade level. My daughter is an interesting case because if she were in a government school (that's what they are , you know....) she'd be in fourth grade because her birthday is in November. But she was ready for kindergarten when she was barely four. So she is well into 5th grade and is even doing some 6th grade work. So she is very young for her 5th grade status.
I know some homeschoolers don't tell their kids what grade they are in. I do. I think it helps them handle situations just like the one I've described to you. It helps them find a peer group and feel like have something in common with the majority of children they will encounter in life.
So this hygienist mentioned that she had taken her daughter out of school in 8th grade because her daughter had just been so bored at school. She proceeded to tell me that the Principal of this school (who's wife was a teacher at said school) pulled his four kids out of public school too!
WOW! So, if the principal and school teacher are pulling their own kids out of the school that they both work at....doesn't that tell you something? Yeah. I think it does. Hm.