As a general rule, I have found that kids don’t love being questioned . . . homeschooled or not. Kids often enjoy attention. Many love to show us stuff, tell us stories, share interesting facts, play games with us, or just be around us. But rarely does a child warm to an impromptu interview. And the funny thing is, despite the fact that answering questions isn’t usually a favorite pastime for kids, we subject them to it a lot!
We ask them questions about their day, about school, about their friends, about their likes and dislikes, about what they are thinking, about their feelings . . . we can really question them to death! Of course, it is almost always well-intentioned. We adults long to know all the details of our nieces’, nephews’, grandkids’, or neighbors’ little lives. Because childhood is magical! But when we hammer them with questions like we are conducting an interrogation, it can really put our little friends on the spot in a way that causes them to distance themselves from us rather than warm to us and open up.
Today’s list of questions probably won’t win too many points with any kid, regardless of where and how he is “schooled.” However, these questions can be particularly uncomfortable or possibly even offensive to Homeschool kids. Take my word for it. After all, I was one . . . way back in the 90’s. You know, back when Homeschooling was super weird.
When I look back on those years, I think that the constant questioning from adults was actually my least favorite thing about Homeschooling! I guess that means I had it pretty darn good if being questioned was the most unpleasant thing I had to endure. Keeping that in perspective, it is not the end of the world for our kids to be uncomfortable every once and a while, or be put on the spot, or heaven-forbid . . . offended! Our kids need to develop thick skin and not sweat the small stuff. That being said, if you have a Homeschool child in your life who you desire to have a close relationship with, I highly suggest avoiding the following questions.
7 Questions Homeschool Kids Hate
1.) What grade are you in?
What the kid thinks: “Oh great. Here we go. Well . . . I’m in 4th grade math but 6th grade Language Arts but only 5th grade spelling . . . cuz spelling kinda sucks. And I’m in no grade at all in History or Science because we do unit studies for those subjects. Oh, and then I’m learning Latin but I don’t even know if that has a grade level? I’ll just average my grades and tell him I’m in 5th grade. Yeah, that sounds easiest.”
2.) Do you like Homeschool?
What the kid thinks: “How should I know? I’ve never been to “regular” school. Riding the school bus looks like fun, but geez . . . those kids are there ALL DAY. When do they play? Or work on stuff? Ok . . . focus . . . do I like Homeschool? I liked last week’s unit study on the ocean a lot, but I’m not really loving “DIRT WEEK” so far . . . where did mom come up with that one? Does this lady mean do I always like homeschool . . . like everyday? I’ll just say I guess so.”
3.) What’s your favorite subject?
What the kid thinks: “Why do adults always ask me this? Umm . . . does soccer count? Or documentary day? Well . . . reading time is my favorite when we are reading Bugopedia . . . but not so much when we read out of that book with all those old dudes in it. I really like math when mom lets me dissect cookies for fractions. Oh but I love writing days when I get to work on my book I’m writing about dragons. Oh, but then there’s spelling involved and . . . yuck. I’ll just say Science cuz I like dissecting bugs.”
4.) Do you get straight A’s?
What the kid thinks: “Oh geez. Should I tell her that we don’t really do graded work? I don’t think her heart could take it.”
5.) Do you know your states and capitals yet? What about your presidents?
What the kid thinks: “Oh great. Another quiz from the State Standards Police.”
6.) Oh, you’re Homeschooled! So you must be super advanced, huh?
What the kid thinks: “Oh boy. Someone else who thinks I must be the next Baby Einstein or something. Maybe if I just stare at him with a stupid expression he’ll realize his mistake and take pity on me and leave me alone. Or I could play dead like a possum!”
7.) Do you have friends?
What the kid thinks: “What? Is she talking to me? She must think we live under a rock or something. Hey lady, I’m not a woodlouse, alright?
7 Open-Ended Replacement Questions that Homeschool Kids May Appreciate
Oh . . and maybe just stick to one or two! 😉
1.) Are you working on anything cool these days?
What the kid thinks: “Anything cool? Oh! Maybe I could show him my model train layout! Or maybe he’d like to see my clay model Stegosaurus!”
2.) Learned anything interesting lately?
What the kid thinks: “I wonder if she’d be interested in stuff about Hermit Crabs and how many times they molt in a lifetime. That stuff is ridiculous.”
3.) Been reading anything lately that you just can’t put down?
What the kid thinks: “Oh yeah! I should show him the Green Death from How to Train Your Dragon! That guy’s sick.”
4.) Been up to anything fun lately?
What the kids thinks: “Fun? Adults almost never ask that question! He seems cool. Maybe he’d like to play soccer in the backyard.”
5.) Do you have any cool games we could play?
What the kid thinks: “Wow! I love this guy!”
6.) Made any new discoveries recently?
What the kid thinks: “I should show her my microscope slides!”
7.) Do you know of any interesting museums or parks around here I should check out?
What the kid thinks: “Is she asking . . . me? She seems super nice. She must think I’m mature or something. I should tell her to check out the Aquarium! I bet she’d like the jellyfish exhibit.”
Thanks for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~