When People Quiz Your Kids

Woman with thumbs downWe don’t live in an unschooling bubble, do we? Our kiddos have to get out there in the community and brush up with people who have no idea what we’re trying to do. And while that’s a good thing, in general, it can be tough when you’re new to unschooling or feeling like you’re on some shaky ground. When kids are away from us and we can’t run interference for them, they may need a couple of quick factoids they can rattle back at their quizzer:

“Do you know the capitol of Angola, or San Salvador, or Malaysia?”
(Here’s a wikipedia cheat sheet, so he can pick which countries they’d like to know)

Or how about a math question?

What’s 2358 x 137? or the square root of 196?
(here’s a square root calculator, so she can pick her own!)

The point being that the child can give some demonstration of knowledge and then happily skip away.

Another option is to talk to those people yourself.

You could even suggest that your child say this:
“Mom said if the quizzing starts, you should probably take it up with her.”
No reason your child should have to go head-to-head with an adult with an agenda.

Do you have other helpful tips to help your child cope with naysayers?
Please leave them in the comments.
It might be exactly the right fit for someone struggling out there!


6 thoughts on “When People Quiz Your Kids

  1. I like to start quizzing the adult on random factoids that they might have learned in school and probably forgot.

    I told my kids (if they’re alone) to pick a topic they know a lot about and just start quizzing back.

    Your post gave me an idea though Sue (with your links to answers.) what if the kid just whips out a smart phone (or borrows one nearby) and starts googling the answers – like we would IRL if we wanted to know something on the spot. To me this demonstrates quite effectively why it’s no longer necessary to memorize the GDP of Equador or any other facts really.

    The info we’re interested in, we learn (memorize) easily – but almost everything else can easily be looked up in seconds. And the harder stuff can be figured out with a little more time and research. NOBODY needs memorize things that don’t apply to their lives anymore. (Except for in school.) I learned all the state capitols once for a test but quickly forgot the ones that don’t apply to my life (most of them). If I need to know the capitol of somewhere I can find it out in SECONDS! THAT’S the knowledge my kids need now – HOW to find info (and discern good from bad info on the internet!) THAT is the knowledge that will serve us well in the future!

    • You are SO right, Christina!! I love the idea of telling them to whip out their phone. Brilliant!

      About memorizing, they say it is the lowest form of learning, and yet so much time is spent on that in schools. But it’s much easier to test – and that seems to be the point. :/

      Thanks for leaving such a GREAT suggestion here!

    • What a great response! It’s true though – why should anyone expect our children to know something on the spot when they likely don’t know it themselves?
      And in an age when so much information is so easily accessible?

  2. Pingback: Naysayers at the Holidays | Lifelong Learning

  3. Pingback: Dealing with Naysayers | Unschooling Mom2Mom

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