Dear Snarky – My Sister-in-Law Tells People Her Kid Is a Genius

Dear Snarkydear_snarky_logo,

Three sisters-in-laws are writing because we need help with our fourth sister-in-law. She homeschools her 8-year-old daughter and whenever we’re at a large family function or event invariably someone will ask what grade all of the kids are in.  My sister-in-law has started saying her 8-year-old is in the ninth grade! You can imagine how everyone oohs and aahs and talks about how she must be a genius. She’s not a genius. My sister-in-law is basing her daughter’s grade level on the random fact that she read a book that was supposedly on a ninth grade reading list.

All of us are tired of her measuring her daughter’s grade using “homeschool math” and would like your advice on how to get her to stop it.

Signed, 3 Moms 

Dear 3 Moms,

Simmer down sister-in-laws and let’s examine the problem from another angle. Has something happened in this mom’s life or homeschooling journey that has her rattled? I ask this because you shared that this is a relatively new occurrence. Maybe your sister-in-law is feeling needy or insecure about her teaching or needs some outside validation that she’s doing the right thing. 

I suggest you three take S.I.L. #4 out for lunch or coffee and ask if everything is okay. I would even share that you’re concerned because she’s saying your niece is in the ninth grade. This may help and if it doesn’t at least you’ve reached out in caring way and have let your relative know that the whole grade level leap-frog business is ridiculous.

Dear Snarky – Homeschool Mean Moms

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I have two kids, 8 and 10, and I have just started homeschooling. In an effort to keep my kids around other kids I joined several home school groups. My children love hanging out with the other homeschoolers. I, on the other hand, I’m losing my mind.

I thought one of the many benefits of homeschooling would be not having to deal will the PTA Mom drama etc., but this is worse. These moms are vicious, as in super competitive and talking trash about you behind your back while saying they love Jesus. Oh, and the worst are the group texts. When I get one my stomach starts hurting.

Should I suck it up and stay involved because my kids love the outings or do I do what’s best for me and get out?

Signed, Homeschool Novice

Dear Home School Novice,

You made a rookie mistake. Crazy is everywhere. You can’t hide from it. You can’t avoid it. Pretty much, you walk out the door and crazy is there waiting for you. Did you really think homeschooling would shield you from the mean moms? You’ve just traded the PTA meanies for the Jesus edition.

My advice is for you to try out a lot of different homeschooling groups and find one that is a better fit for you and your kids. Do not, I repeat do not, feel guilty about taking your kids out of the mean mom group. They may be having fun right now BUT if there is one thing I have learned, in a lot of cases, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Sooner than later, I’m sure a few of these kids will start displaying the same character traits as their mothers and that’s when things will really get ugly. Cut your losses now and make a run for it. As for those group texts I’d considering blocking some of those numbers. If anyone asks you why tell them your gastroenterologist  made you do it.

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