"Quizzes" and such

I was asked last week by another homeschooling mom if my kids got "quizzed" by family members.  She was upset that her family doesn't support homeschooling and so therefor quizzes all of her kids when they get together to see what her children do and don't know.

I could honestly answer this has never happened to us.... until last night!

We've been really lucky in that everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) has been very supportive of our choice to homeschool.  I'm sure some think it strange, but aside from what I've come to view as the "typical questions" (you can click through for our 10 FAQ about homeschooling) we haven't had anyone say anything negative to us.

So, I did have to watch last night, with amusement,  as my husband's aunt quizzed my middle son when she came to visit.  I remembered this mom asking her question last week and being baffled as to why family would act like that and I STILL am! 

Our aunt was asking out of fun; it was a game between her and Alec and one that both of them were having great fun playing.  I know she supports our decision to homeschool-- heck she's even asked to come be our substitute teacher a time or two!

The Keywords being fun & game--- I think that makes all the difference!
It all started when Alec came over and started reading to me, out loud, from his new Pokemon book.   Once he fell silent and started reading in his head she looked at me with that look of amazement I'm so used to by now and just said "Wow! He reads so well!"

She noticed his attention had wavered from the book to the movie on TV and so she asked him if she could see his book.  She wanted to see if she could find some words to stump him... she flipped through the book and pointed to random words like sinister, perseverance, determination, etc.  She did manage to stump him a time or two and she'd tell him what the word was but more often than not he'd tell her the word without really even looking at what she was pointing at!

They were laughing and smiling and having a great time.

She finally gave up and told me she though he probably read better than most high school students.  What a wonderful compliment!  Alec was radiant with pride.
However, had this not been a game or done in jest I would have intervened.  Just because we have chosen a non- traditional method of educating our children it doesn't give our families the right to test and quiz my kids on what they are learning.

I have been thinking of how I would have handled it and here are a few things I might have done if this were not all being done in fun with love and support:
  • Smiled at the family member and sent Alec to play in another room.
  • Changed the subject and asked them about something unrelated to kids and schooling.
  • Talk to them calmly about WHY they feel the need to test my child; do they do this for ALL children?
  • Help them find a good topic to talk about WITH my child instead of firing off questions. 



  1. Glad to hear she was impressed, maybe that interaction changed her mind and now has a better idea of what homeschooling entails for the better. I think the older generation has a different view!

  2. She actually seemed to "get" homeschooling right from the get go; this was just a game for her as much as for Alec. She's even been my substitute teacher --taking them for a day and had a turn at homeschooling. It's great to have wonderfully supportive family!


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