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View Full Version : Best answers to the dreaded question...



InstinctiveMom
08-03-2010, 05:12 PM
"Why aren't you in school today?"

Anyone have some real zingers they'd like to share?

StartingOver
08-03-2010, 05:27 PM
Why aren't you in school today...

We are playing hookie.
We are on strike because of NCLB.
We have the flu, chicken pox, rota virus!
School, what is that ?
Didn't you know it was canceled today?

My older kids all time favorite...

We are doing a survey to see how many people would ask, Why we aren't in school today, thank you for your time.

Melissa541
08-03-2010, 07:41 PM
We are in school. :)

Theresa Holland Ryder
08-03-2010, 07:54 PM
Heh at StartingOver. and Melissa541, my son actually said that to someone once. :) My personal favorites are:

"Early Release Day" and "Teacher Inservice". I've been tempted to quote some Hindu or Japanese holidays, though. "It's Dwali!"

crazymama
08-03-2010, 08:18 PM
We're on a field trip.

We are homeschoolers, we learn where normal schools are afraid to.

Shoe
08-04-2010, 12:47 AM
Why aren't you in school today...


We are doing a survey to see how many people would ask, Why we aren't in school today, thank you for your time. I love that one. I may have to borrow it.

dbmamaz
08-04-2010, 09:37 PM
Obsessively honest here, I just say "Oh, we homeschool".

schwartzkari
08-04-2010, 11:05 PM
Obsessively honest here, I just say "Oh, we homeschool".

Me too :)
Which is usually followed by the person staring at me.
LOL!

QueenBee
08-04-2010, 11:23 PM
I've been tempted to give answers like those (especially like the survey), but I haven't yet... though I may b/c my kids are starting to really get annoyed by this question... I think it's because when you answer that you homeschool, you end up having a long and sometimes uncomfortable discussion with the person. I've tried telling the kids that since most children are in school, they are going to get this question over and over and over ... so to please be tolerant/patient/etc. It's hard, though, when people start in on why you shouldn't be homeschooling or some homeschooling horror story or are just downright rude. I try to use these as teaching moments, but sometimes I am just not in the mood (like the time I had a sick child and was out buying medicine and got a lecture from the checkout clerk). I don't get why people think they are entitled to go off about education choices. Not their business! Which I did actually tell that checkout clerk...

StartingOver
08-04-2010, 11:36 PM
I've been tempted to give answers like those (especially like the survey), but I haven't yet... though I may b/c my kids are starting to really get annoyed by this question... I think it's because when you answer that you homeschool, you end up having a long and sometimes uncomfortable discussion with the person. I've tried telling the kids that since most children are in school, they are going to get this question over and over and over ... so to please be tolerant/patient/etc. It's hard, though, when people start in on why you shouldn't be homeschooling or some homeschooling horror story or are just downright rude. I try to use these as teaching moments, but sometimes I am just not in the mood (like the time I had a sick child and was out buying medicine and got a lecture from the checkout clerk). I don't get why people think they are entitled to go off about education choices. Not their business! Which I did actually tell that checkout clerk...

I haven't always been so nice, but I really try to be. I know most of it is just ignorance. My brother's, cousin's, son's, second wife's, sister's was ruined by homeschooling. Most of those who have a negative opinion don't really know a homeschooling family.

inmom
08-05-2010, 09:43 AM
My daughter is the sarcastic one, and she is getting tired of getting this question often. Her response:

"I was expelled for being too smart."

Did I also mention she is NOT the modest one?

QueenBee
08-05-2010, 11:15 AM
I haven't always been so nice, but I really try to be. I know most of it is just ignorance. My brother's, cousin's, son's, second wife's, sister's was ruined by homeschooling. Most of those who have a negative opinion don't really know a homeschooling family.

Ha! Exactly!! Too funny.

QueenBee
08-05-2010, 11:19 AM
My daughter is the sarcastic one, and she is getting tired of getting this question often. Her response:

"I was expelled for being too smart."

Did I also mention she is NOT the modest one?

lol
I really can't blame her - I'm annoyed by the question, but they aren't really referring and questioning how *I* will turn out - people are often voicing opinions that my kids will be freaks and how will they ever function in the world... right in front of them. Great. Thanks for your tact. I've been so tempted to say, "Well, I'm pretty sure they won't be as rude as you!"

MamaB2C
08-05-2010, 11:56 AM
DS is too young for us to have gotten the question yet, but I saw a couple of T-Shirt slogans I think will suffice

1. I am in school
2. I am in school right now and you're talking during class
3. The whole world is my school

dbmamaz
08-05-2010, 01:18 PM
I guess we're home bodies, we really dont get it much. But also, i'm rather shocked that people are so nosy.

wild_destiny
08-05-2010, 01:56 PM
What a bunch of terrific answers, and I would have to agree with all of them. Good point, Queenbee, that it is extremely rude of these people to question (even if implied) how your children will turn out right in front of them! In my mind I would be giving that rude person the reply you mentioned, but in reality, I would be the one to quietly turn and walk away.

hockeymom
08-05-2010, 03:59 PM
Ugh! How about the people who ask your kids dumb things like "Oh, so you have to learn all the time!" like it's a bad thing!

I'm right there with you, Deanna. I'd be thinking it (and probably mumbling mean things to myself once I got to the car) but faced with rudeness I only slink away. Sometimes I really wish I could think of witty comebacks, but they would just get all jumbled up once I tried to voice them!

wild_destiny
08-05-2010, 07:28 PM
You know, it's not only comment like that one "Oh, so you have to be learning all the time" that get on my nerves. When all of my children have been the age to start school, inevitably we would meet someone casually that did not know we were homeschooling. Those differing people would all talk to my various children and say things like, "Oh, you are really getting to be a big boy/girl! Soon you will get to go to school! You will really love school! It is so much fun"...and on and on. I know these different people all meant well, but it still aggravates me the way that public school is pushed on children when they are so young. The comments always felt like a form of unintentional brainwashing with the implied message being that all good and respectable young children go to public school and that they should love it from day one. Go figure!

Jess24
08-05-2010, 09:26 PM
Hi, I'm new here and thougt I would post. I love the different comments we get and love to see how my girls will react. I think it is teaching them to be confident in their schooling.

The other questions that goes along with this one is "so, what grade are you in?" The first time my oldest (3rd grade ish) was asked she turned and stared at me because we never mentioned it to her at all. I did finally give them grades based on age, but try to let them know that that is a guideline not a hard fast rule. We study what interests us. (Currently it's pokemon, but it's getting her to write, so I don't say much.) My younger, now 1st ish grade was more interested in grade levels, but I think that is because most of their friends are older and in PS so she has been around it more.

Another one is "are you excited for school to start?" To which we answer of course, the (where ever we are) won't be so crowded.

I also love the "oh,.... " to the we homeschool answer and the semi-positive "I know some one (usually a relative) and they enjoy it. Do you like it?" to which I wish I had the guts to say "Nah, I love to torture myself by spending time with my kids?"

Riceball_Mommy
08-05-2010, 09:34 PM
You know, it's not only comment like that one "Oh, so you have to be learning all the time" that get on my nerves. When all of my children have been the age to start school, inevitably we would meet someone casually that did not know we were homeschooling. Those differing people would all talk to my various children and say things like, "Oh, you are really getting to be a big boy/girl! Soon you will get to go to school! You will really love school! It is so much fun"...and on and on. I know these different people all meant well, but it still aggravates me the way that public school is pushed on children when they are so young. The comments always felt like a form of unintentional brainwashing with the implied message being that all good and respectable young children go to public school and that they should love it from day one. Go figure!

I've gotten that before too, for awhile last year my sisters in law (twin, then 6 year olds) kept trying to say when my daughter went to school she'd love some activity they were doing. I had to explain to them several times, that not only was she not going to public school, but if she would she'd go to a different school and that school might not do the same activities. Now though they've finally accepted we homeschool and sometimes seem a little jealous of the activities we do and our field trips.

Though just a few months ago my husband's aunt was over, and made the comment to my daughter "And why aren't you in school?" then turned to my mother in law and said "Oh well she'll have to go next year." That was annoying though I suppose she'll figure it out when all the kids go back to school this year.

Anyway I might use some of those witty comebacks, if the opportunity arises. I'm just now finding the confidence to proudly proclaim, we homeschool, I've been so nervous about confrontation from a few bad reactions.

Melissa541
08-06-2010, 08:05 PM
My favorite is when we tell people we're homeschoolers, they say something like, "Oh, I could never do that." No, no you probably couldn't.

Elizabeth
08-08-2010, 10:25 PM
We are honest about it although I admit I do not mention the fact that I homeschool freely with co-workers. A few know and know why.
I have worked from home for a few years and have homeschooled for one. This is way less stressful for me and I know I get more done workswise than I did while working in an office (I am also oncall), I still am paranoid about it.
We have our house rules (if mom is on the phone raise your hand so I can go on mute, no screaming out 'mom', you can text me if you need help with something).

mommykicksbutt
08-10-2010, 06:55 AM
Lately, we've just been straight forward and honest telling people that sonny is privately schooled at home because the local public school system cannot keep him challenged enough. If they persist then I explain that my child is a certified genius by stating that he is a Mensan (his IQ is over 155, we don't know exactly how high his IQ is because the test topped out at 155 but he is not a prodigy). Although some people don't know what this means and yet they won't ask what a Mensan is out of fear of appearing stupid, opps, I mean uninformed (it's ok not to know, most people won't unless they have had contact with the organization or member in one fromat or another).

JEJordan9
08-10-2010, 08:59 AM
LOL Mommykicksbutt, I love it!!

belacqua
08-10-2010, 12:41 PM
My favorite is when we tell people we're homeschoolers, they say something like, "Oh, I could never do that." No, no you probably couldn't.

I love it when people say, "Oh, I could never homeschool my kids." Oddly, my first thought is usually, "I couldn't homeschool your kids, either!"

ESNQueen
08-10-2010, 02:42 PM
My absolute favorite comeback when someone says something rude to me or the kids is, "Did you mean to say that out loud?"

The response is usually a mouth dropping open and the offending party walking away.

hockeymom
08-10-2010, 03:42 PM
That's a good one, Brandi!

Teri
08-10-2010, 04:51 PM
I don't understand why there has to be a zinger for this question. I just say, "We homeschool."
Most of the time, people are just trying to make casual conversation and it is not an attempt to figure out if they should be calling the truancy officer. ;)
We do have to pause and think about the question, "What grade are you in?"

mommykicksbutt
08-10-2010, 05:21 PM
We do have to pause and think about the question, "What grade are you in?"

Indeed! Always something to give me pause. Chronologically sonny should be in 8th grade, so for subjects such as PE, art, music he will be, however, for subjects like math (algebra 1), science (biology), and history (western civilization and geography) these will all be at the college level (for high school credit) using college level materials for which he will take the CLEP test for at the end of the year for college credit. For English he will be getting high school freshman credit for it. So what grade is my son in? The appropriate grade level dependant upon the subject for his ability and intellect.

artmomz
08-11-2010, 06:10 AM
Here, the locals sometimes like to try to get personally involved. They like to get a piece of the homeschooling action, you see. I once had a lady who tried to teach us all about fruit. It was a very interesting experience. Amazingly, my son remained very polite during the episode.

Theresa Holland Ryder
08-12-2010, 02:37 PM
Any time anyone asks the "what grade are you in" question, my kids tell them the grade that they would be in if they were in Public School. We don't care what grade we're in, but it's a reassuring answer to a common question.

ChaoticHomeschool
08-13-2010, 12:10 PM
Usually I don't get a chance to answer. My oldest will comment *with his chest poked out and his head held high* "I do school at home!" Which is usually followed by the person asking how old he is, and then before we walk away they comment about how advanced he seems for his age. Since *shockingly enough* he knows how to hold a converstation with an adult. My husband is actually the one who gets grilled about it at work, it's mostly just folks who have no clue about homeschooling and don't have school age children *or any children at all* and really just want to know how we make it work. I try not to dread the question since I figure it's just par for the course.

wild_destiny
08-13-2010, 12:56 PM
You know, all of these responses are great. Just thinking that this would make a good question for a poll. How do you answer that too frequent, completely annoying question... Although I don't have a favorite, as there are too many hilarious choices above from which to pick.

Berta
08-13-2010, 09:10 PM
My favorite is when we tell people we're homeschoolers, they say something like, "Oh, I could never do that." No, no you probably couldn't.

I had someone say this to me a few days ago. We were in Walmart in the school supply aisle and the one woman was having an argument with one of her kids. Her three other kids were running wild in the aisle. She was asking me if my daughter had the same school supply list, and I said no, we homeschool. She commented about never being able to do that with her kids. I looked at her with a straight face and said "I can see why. They dont listen to you at all".

Sarbare0704
08-13-2010, 09:49 PM
I had someone say this to me a few days ago. We were in Walmart in the school supply aisle and the one woman was having an argument with one of her kids. Her three other kids were running wild in the aisle. She was asking me if my daughter had the same school supply list, and I said no, we homeschool. She commented about never being able to do that with her kids. I looked at her with a straight face and said "I can see why. They dont listen to you at all".

Go you! I wonder if I would be able to do that in the same situation! ... idk the walmarts around here can be a little sketchy LOL! In fact the one one town away from here had some sort of shooting in the parking lot a couple months back :/

Shoe
08-13-2010, 09:51 PM
Go you! I wonder if I would be able to do that in the same situation! ... idk the walmarts around here can be a little sketchy LOL! In fact the one one town away from here had some sort of shooting in the parking lot a couple months back :/Yeah, we had a shooting inside the Walmart here about a year ago. Frightening.

StartingOver
08-13-2010, 10:48 PM
I had someone say this to me a few days ago. We were in Walmart in the school supply aisle and the one woman was having an argument with one of her kids. Her three other kids were running wild in the aisle. She was asking me if my daughter had the same school supply list, and I said no, we homeschool. She commented about never being able to do that with her kids. I looked at her with a straight face and said "I can see why. They dont listen to you at all".

LMAO !!!


I live in South Texas, you don't say things like that here unless you are packing and ready to shoot !!

schwartzkari
08-13-2010, 11:31 PM
I had someone say this to me a few days ago. We were in Walmart in the school supply aisle and the one woman was having an argument with one of her kids. Her three other kids were running wild in the aisle. She was asking me if my daughter had the same school supply list, and I said no, we homeschool. She commented about never being able to do that with her kids. I looked at her with a straight face and said "I can see why. They dont listen to you at all".

That is awesome! HA HA HA!

Berta
08-14-2010, 07:35 AM
I was quite irritated and it just kind of came out. People like that is why I get crazy looks for having four kids and still wanting more. I hear all the time "I have two and they drive me crazy" or "I cant handle the ONE kid that I have, how can you handle more than four". Well... cuz you are an idiot and I am not. My kids behave, they have manners and they do not act like animals (for the most part :) ) when we are in public.

I'm really not a rude person lol..

Gwenhwyfar
08-14-2010, 11:02 AM
Why is it that people think it's okay to ask kids that "Why aren't you in school today?" question anyway? I mean, I don't go around asking strange adults why they're not at work. :p

Shoe
08-14-2010, 11:18 AM
Why is it that people think it's okay to ask kids that "Why aren't you in school today?" question anyway? I mean, I don't go around asking strange adults why they're not at work. :p

Interestingly enough, I've had a lot of people (strangers) ask me if I have the day off, when I'm at a store or such during the day. Maybe because I'm male, everyone expects me to be at work during the day (I work an evening shift)?

AshleysMum
08-14-2010, 12:06 PM
"We decided it was a good day to stalk you." Actually, when people get ugly with me about us being homeschoolers (rare), my 7 yr old usually is the one to tell them to mind their own business. She does so in a very articulate and intelligent manner, clearly well educated for her age and most people are too shocked to hear such maturity coming from her that they shut up long enough for us to get away from them. My pet answer is usually "If you don't like it, take it up with someone who gives a damn because it's obvious my child is far better educated than yours." When I get the derogatory "Why do you homeschool" I come back with "Why do you ask personal questions of strangers on issues clearly none of your business?" Fortunately, most we encounter think what we're doing is great.

Those who can, teach. Those who can't, send their kids to public schools.

Yeah. I'm like that.

AshleysMum
08-14-2010, 12:10 PM
We used to have that issue, Shoe. My hubby drives truck and one year he broke his ankle (read: shattered it) and was out of work for a year. I worked and he stayed home with the kids. Freaked people out, especially when the cast came off and he'd take the kids out to the store or library (we lived in VT at the time). Stereotypes- ick!


Interestingly enough, I've had a lot of people (strangers) ask me if I have the day off, when I'm at a store or such during the day. Maybe because I'm male, everyone expects me to be at work during the day (I work an evening shift)?

Toni
08-14-2010, 01:44 PM
I used to work at a restaurant during the day and I have asked the question. I guess the reason I asked was because I was making small talk with the 2 little girls. I was expecting them to say they had a dentist appointment (I LOVE going to the dentist, always have!) Anyway, the mom and little girls were very polite and explained that they homeschooled. I found it interesting. I didn't have children at the time and my husband and I weren't planning on having any so homeschooling didn't matter to me I just found the idea intriguing. I waited on this family often, usually just mom and the girls but sometimes dad in tow too. Once I had children I started asking more questions about how she does it and I asked the girls if they liked it because I thought, hey maybe this is something I could do with my girls too. I always loved school and loved playing teacher. I have worked at this restaurant for 11 years now and the "little girls" are now young ladies always polite always helpful with their answers to my questions. Their mom wrote down her name and phone number along with curriculm they have used she even listed some websites (this was a few years ago.) My oldest is four now and we are officially starting school in a couple weeks. I recently saw the family in the restaurant and I was very happy and proud to tell them we had decided to homeschool. I also thaked her for all the information she had given me. I think her polite approach was the best way to handle the question. But that is coming from someone who is very new to all of this. Be patient with people, they may be like me, they may be wondering...Can I really pull this off? Can I really go against the norm? Can I really deal with the pressure of family questioning my decision? Can I really deal with stangers like me asking silly questions while I'm just out trying to have a nice relaxing lunch with my daughters? Can I really be the nice person who helps a family make the wonderful decision to homeschool?

With all that said, I must admit that I do love the "survey" response. I am sarcastic at heart!

dottieanna29
08-14-2010, 02:27 PM
I love some of the creative responses to this question. Although I know I would never come up with something good when put on the spot - I always think of the best answers later. :p

I've never been asked this question just due to being out during the day, even with my 16 year old when she has appointments or something. I think we are in such a populated area with all the schools on slightly diffferent schedules that people don't think that much about it.

When I have told someone I'm homeschooling the little guys I usually just get the "I could never do that" answer. Usually I just say something about how easy it is here in NJ and leave it at that. Once or twice I've had someone ask why we are homeschooling and I just say something about my son's learning style is better suited to one-on-one work. The only people who have really given us a hard time about it are family and unfortunately, I can't give any sarcastic answers to them. I usually just try and end the conversation quickly usually with something like "We feel this is best for them at this time." Of course, first I have to list ever social activity they do and all the ways we make sure they are not isolated from the rest of the world.:rolleyes: If I absolutely have to, I pull out the fact that I'm provisionally certified in Elementary Education.

Berta
08-14-2010, 06:08 PM
I'm in NJ too. I think being in an area where there are a lot of homeschoolers really helps to keep the comments at bay.

InstinctiveMom
08-14-2010, 07:41 PM
Belacqua said: I love it when people say, "Oh, I could never homeschool my kids." Oddly, my first thought is usually, "I couldn't homeschool your kids, either!"



My absolute favorite comeback when someone says something rude to me or the kids is, "Did you mean to say that out loud?"

The response is usually a mouth dropping open and the offending party walking away.

Those are AWESOME!!!


I don't understand why there has to be a zinger for this question. I just say, "We homeschool."

Sometimes, you can just tell that the question is not coming from a good place. If someone asks and they're open to actually hearing a 'real' answer, I'm more than open to talking about it, but there are some situations where you can see that before you open your mouth, you're going to be wrong (like when your child is just being a kid, yet annoying someone standing nearby who has no tolerance for kids and they feel the need to comment with "Why aren't you in school" rather than sometime more civil, like, "Excuse me, but the noise is really annoying. Would you mind using a softer voice?").

ChaoticHomeschool
08-16-2010, 06:47 AM
She commented about never being able to do that with her kids. I looked at her with a straight face and said "I can see why. They dont listen to you at all".

That is AWESOME!!