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.