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    #16353 - 05/21/08 10:25 AM Need a "party line"
    questions Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/24/07
    Posts: 864
    Now that DS has been pulled out of school, I'm looking for a simple statement that DH and I can use with friends and those we just meet re: homeschooling. We pulled him out b/c he couldn't stand being in a class with some very disruptive children and b/c he was not challenged academically. No one needs to know that and it's hard to explain b/c in our area everyone loves our public schools (and the teachers and administration were all lovely - it just didn't work for us).

    So any suggestions for a response to questions along the lines of "how's school," "where do you go to school?," and "why did you take him out when we have such a wonderful school district?"

    I'll check back later, as I have work to do, but TIA! (that's thanks in advance, right?)

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    #16354 - 05/21/08 10:38 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: questions]
    KAR120C Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/08
    Posts: 302
    For the "Where do you go to school" I've always said we homeschool and left it at that. For the "why" questions I've been using "it's a good fit for us."

    It's vague enough that it doesn't insult anyone (we're also in a wonderful school district) and allows them to be follow up with a more specific question if they really want to know. Sometimes that goes in the "he's a quirky kid" direction and sometimes in the "we can really work at his pace this way"

    Since you're just starting, you could try "we're going to see how this goes" -- it doesn't actually answer the question, but it continues the conversation in a non-confrontational direction.
    _________________________
    Erica

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    #16355 - 05/21/08 10:42 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: questions]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    How about,
    "We really enjoy the opportunity to teach our own child".
    To get into more detail you can say,
    "The opportunity to dig deeper into particular subjects is astounding. We do botany lessons at the local Botanical Gardens. We have math & science field trips at _________(museum). He gets together regularly with xyz for organized sports. He can take music lessons when it best works in our schedule. He can get all this extra stuff, and still get to bed in time for hubby and me to have alone time! No more squeezing in all the extracurricular activities into the few hours after school."

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    #16357 - 05/21/08 11:21 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: OHGrandma]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    I agree that it's better to list the positives of homeschooling than the negatives of the public school.

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    #16358 - 05/21/08 12:17 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Well...

    My only issue with this advice is that in areas where homeschooling is relatively uncommon or where people make (incorrect) assumptions about you based on a stereotype of HSers, it can be helpful to avoid fitting into those stereotypes. Personally, I'm NOT HSing because I want to; I'm HSing because I have to. I've found that it can be helpful to get that across to people in a way that doesn't slam the schools.

    I usually say something like, "Public school just wasn't meeting his needs, and homeschooling does." It's honest, to the point, and nonjudgmental. If the person asking pursues further, I explain that DS6 is "pretty bright" and that the school just wasn't equipped to challenge him, so he was miserable and his behavior was suffering. HSing has solved those problems.

    Honestly, I've found that I'm far more worried about seeming like a crazy person now that my kids' social life is dependent upon the contacts I make and what they think of me than I ever was when he was in the schools. Talking only about the pros of HSing without making it clear that we tried the schools and they didn't work for us makes me feel (rightly or wrongly) like I'm coming dangerously close to sounding like a HSing evangelist, I'm afraid.

    I know my insecurities and former (mistaken!) impressions of HSers are coming out there, but it is what I've experienced as a reluctant HSer.

    I think there's a way to stay positive without saying only the positive, if that makes any sense, and threading that needle has worked best for me. I've gotten the most natural responses from people using this approach, and we get playdates out of the interactions pretty regularly. So I figure it's working for me.

    <shrug> YMMV, naturally!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16359 - 05/21/08 12:36 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    squirt Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/31/08
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Back in Texas, alas!
    What's YMMV?

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    #16361 - 05/21/08 12:58 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Kriston, I see what you mean. A balanced approach seems good. I guess I'm struggling with a similar conversation about gradeskipping. It goes like this:

    Other parent: So, I understand that M is in first grade now.
    Me: Yes. We really like Ms. First Grade Teacher!
    Other parent: My DD is way ahead in her K class and she is often bored.
    Me: Have you considered moving her up?
    Other parent: I would never do that to my DD.

    or

    Other parent: So, I understand that M is in first grade now.
    Me: Yes. We really like Ms. First Grade Teacher!
    Other parent: How is it going?
    Me: Great! It seems to be a much better placement for him.
    Other parent: Was he really bored in Kindergarten?
    Me: <feeling a little awkward> Well....yes. <not wanting to go into details of his abilities>

    So what's my party line? Why did we decide to skip DS?

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    #16364 - 05/21/08 01:20 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I find that not acknowledging those not-so-subtle slights helps in potentially unpleasant situations. (One way in which being INTJ/Spock on the Meyers-Briggs helps me: "Emotions? What emotions?" LOL!)

    For example:

    Quote:
    Other parent: So, I understand that M is in first grade now.
    Me: Yes. We really like Ms. First Grade Teacher!
    Other parent: My DD is way ahead in her K class and she is often bored.
    Me: Have you considered moving her up?
    Other parent: I would never do that to my DD.
    **My addition: Huh. <shrug> Well, every kid is different, and you have to do what works for you, but skipping a grade has worked great for us.


    Notice how completely ignoring the unspoken (and wrong!) "You're a bad mom" subtext makes it go away. Voila! smile If she straightens up at that point, you might then recommend that she read "A Nation Deceived." However, her staunch resistance might mean that's just never going to happen. You definitely have to gauge your audience...

    As for the people who are wondering why you made the choice you made, but aren't thinking of their own kids at all, try something like this:

    Quote:
    Other parent: So, I understand that M is in first grade now.
    Me: Yes. We really like Ms. First Grade Teacher!
    Other parent: How is it going?
    Me: Great! It seems to be a much better placement for him.
    Other parent: Was he really bored in Kindergarten?
    **My addition: Well, yes, but my bigger problem was with how it was affecting his attitude and behavior. He had always loved school, and he suddenly hated it, plus he was consistently losing recess time, and this was a kid who had always followed the rules to the letter. It was pretty clear that we had to do something.


    Turn the focus away from boredom and toward "we were solving a problem that anyone would agree had to be solved," and you lose the awkwardness. To this sort of statment, I have gotten lots of support, even from people who seem a little scared by the fact that I'm a homeschooler. I'd imagine selling skipping as the solution using this approach would be easy in comparison to selling HSing!

    On the bright side, there are a relatively limited number of ways these sorts of conversations can go. Figure out your standard response to the Negative Nellies, the Curious Kittys, and the Just Making Conversation Julies (???) and you have pretty much mapped out how every conversation will ever go on the subject. People are not usually very creative in their reponses, at least not in my experience. Practice your pat answers and you'll use them often!

    Does that make any sense? I'm not very on the ball today, so I'm not sure I'm being clear...
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16369 - 05/21/08 01:57 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    LOL about your mom, Dottie! grin They are a category all to themselves, aren't they?

    One other thought that I got too distracted to include: The phrase "Fake it until you make it" applies, I think.

    If you act as if you are insecure and unsure about your choices, people view you as open to attack. It's human nature. OTOH, if you seem confident, sure of your decisions and unshakable, people generally assume you pretty much know what you're talking about. This is especially true if you are clearly not evangelizing but are merely answering questions put to you.

    So even if you aren't 100% confident, act like you are in public. The responses you get will generally be more positive, at least in my experience. The one and only really negative reaction I got to homeschooling came right after we had decided to pull DS6 out of public school. I felt raw and scared and utterly freaked out, and I know it showed. A casual friend--a former teacher--jumped all over me, and I reacted badly. She was wrong and insensitive to me when I was in a scary, bad place, but I could have handled her rottenness better. Live and learn...

    I think we argue when we fear we're wrong; we shrug off negative comments when we know we're right. So shrug and people will assume you're doing the right thing. It's weird, but it seems to work!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16370 - 05/21/08 01:58 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Thanks, Kriston!

    I really like your "every kid is different" response. I have also been saying that, "We were concerned that DS was getting in the habit of tuning out in class." He is a quiet kid at school and there was not really a behavior issue. At home, he was crabby and begging to go to second grade. How do you think it would go over to say that DS really wanted to move up a grade?

    Also, I am not socially astute and I often have a hard time telling whether I am talking to a Nellie, Kitty or Julie until I put my foot in it. Then I am often at a loss for a response. I come across much better online because I can read and reread people's posts and take my time to consider my response. Are there any telltale signs I could look for to identify these types?

    Most of the time I get the feeling that people are curious and fishing for gossip...what do you think?

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    #16374 - 05/21/08 02:10 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Yes, it's good that DS is taller than average, too. Today is his half-birthday. He's 5 1/2, 46", 45 lbs. According to the growth chart that's about 80th%ile.

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    #16375 - 05/21/08 02:10 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Originally Posted By: Dottie

    Cathy, wouldn't that edit feature be handy in real life?????????


    Big time wink

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    #16376 - 05/21/08 02:33 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: Cathy A
    1. How do you think it would go over to say that DS really wanted to move up a grade?

    2. Are there any telltale signs I could look for to identify these types?

    3. Most of the time I get the feeling that people are curious and fishing for gossip...what do you think?


    1. I don't think I'd say that your son wanted to move up. Anything you can do to make it a parental decision makes it easier on him, I think. All too often, I think there's a choice between having your kid be "that kid" or your being "that mom." I virtually always pick being "that mom." I can take it; he might not be able to. Take responsibility. The tuning out thing is good, I think. It sounds like a bigger problem than boredom. Good move there!

    2. The only one you really have to ID fast is the Negative Nellie. She's either threatened by your choice (ala my former-teacher "friend") or she's the one who wants to judge you and make you feel bad. You don't know her until she reveals how she feels about your decision through some snide comment (like that first one you listed) or through my "friend's" comment, "I don't understand what's wrong with being bored for two years until the GT pull-out kicks in." That's when you realize you've got a Nellie on your hands.

    Your best defense is to refuse to accept her judgment. Period. She can only be mean to you if you give her that power over you. A shrug is your best move with her. She thinks you're wrong, but so what? It's not her call. Don't engage at all. Don't take it personally, even when she's clearly making it personal. Being emotionally clueless is a good thing with her! smile (Said Spock...)

    The other two are curious. Maybe it's gossip, maybe it's interest in your child, maybe it's just something for her to chat with you about because it's all she knows about you. It doesn't really matter which, since it all comes down to curiosity.

    Even if she is gossip-seeking, she's doing you a favor by giving you a chance to feed the rumor mill with the truth, and the truth with a positive spin, no less! Take the chance! Just don't oversell it. Confidence is your friend.

    Someone truly curious will ask follow-up questions. Someone just killing time and asking about the only thing they know about you will be happy to change topics if you go another direction. Try to gauge interest vs. boredom so you don't say more than is strictly necessary.

    I'm lousy at this last bit, BTW. I always talk more than I should! I'm working on it...But on the bright side, I've gotten really good at spotting the Negative Nellies and sidestepping them. And personally, I think that's the one that really counts!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16377 - 05/21/08 03:17 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Ok. I don't mind being "that mom". Actually, I already am smile What about, "His teachers and the principal agreed that first grade is a better placement for him." Maybe I can pass the buck to them...

    And thank you, Spock, for your advice about Nellies. The particular Nellie who said that to me didn't really upset me much, but I was surprised and at a loss for words. Her DD seems GT to me and we used to talk about Kindergarten stuff before DS was skipped. Now I feel like I am walking on eggshells around her...maybe unnecessarily. It's just hard for me to tell. I offered to share some information with her but she didn't seem interested. Right now, we are just avoiding the topic.

    Often, when I mention research, people's eyes glaze over. I guess I'm the only person who's interested in that kind of thing...besides you guys of course!

    Any pointers on what kinds of things to feed the gossip mill other than DS is happy and doing well in first grade?

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    #16380 - 05/21/08 03:55 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I think I'd put yourself in the group. Better to feed the gossip mill info that you're a team player, you know? But with the minor adaptation of "The principal and teachers *and I* all agree that this is a good fit for him" or something like that sounds great to me, FWIW. (Not much! Please don't think I'm some expert at this! I'm SOOOOO not!)

    I felt the same shock and loss for words when I ran into my Nellie. I really blame my graceless response on my unpreparedness to meet with such willful ignorance and lack of support from someone who was supposedly my friend. Not my finest hour, to say the least! But it was a good learning opportunity. I figured out that I should never again be left at a loss for words. Forewarned is forearmed and all that...

    I wish I had good advice about how to be around your Nellie, but my Nellie vanished from our social group for several months after our run-in--I don't know if it was because of our run-in or not--and then I was absent because I was teaching a class that coincided with our meeting time. So it's been somthing like 8 months and I have yet to be around her since the incident. I'm sure it will be uncomfortable though.

    LOL about the research making eyes glaze over! I must admit, I never go there with anyone, no matter how sincere the interest appears. If they were interested at all, they'd probably be able to cite the research to me! Ha!

    Originally Posted By: Cathy A
    Any pointers on what kinds of things to feed the gossip mill other than DS is happy and doing well in first grade?


    Nope. That sounds just right to me! Maybe that the school approves of the skip and that you're playing team, but that's about it. Happy and not a social outcast is pretty good material, I'd say! laugh
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16382 - 05/21/08 04:16 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    Lorel Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/22/07
    Posts: 970
    Loc: New England
    It's been a long time since I had to break the news to someone we know, but when meeting new people, I just say that we homeschool and leave it at that. I smile and allow them the chance to make a comment or ask a question, and if they do not, I let it go. I figure if they want to know why, they'll ask. Very few do. This past w/e, for instance, my sister's SIL (who I see once every several years) asked me what grade my son is in. I replied that he would be in either 5th or 6th depending on the state, but that he was homeschooled. She said NOTHING at all, which I took as a hint that she had some preconceived notions and was uncomfortable with the subject. I chose not to pursue it, though I would have been happy to discuss it with her had she been inquisitive.

    I think some people's discomfort may relate to guilt over not doing more advocating/homeschooling/etc for their own child.

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    #16384 - 05/21/08 04:35 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Lorel]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Even my mom has run into Nellies! She told me that just the other day she was talking to my uncle on the phone. He asked how the kids were doing, she said fine, he asked if they were enjoying school, she said yes. He asked what grade they are in now, she said DS is in 1st, DD in 3rd, he said, "Wait a minute! I thought DS was 5?" She said he is, but that he had been moved to first. He said, "I don't really think that's a good idea!" She didn't really know what to say to that, either. I think I will tell her to say something like, "Well, it seems to be working well for DS."

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    #16387 - 05/21/08 05:44 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Good point. If you think she's "one of us," you obviously want to support and encourage. Maybe that's the elusive 4th category? Wondering (if her child is GT) Wandas?

    wink
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16388 - 05/21/08 06:00 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    Imposter syndrome!!! I've been thinking the very same thing "Well no one ever said that about my child."

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    #16390 - 05/21/08 06:13 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Jool Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/08
    Posts: 257
    Loc: Pennsylvania
    How about: "We (parents, principal, teacher), as a team, decided that he would learn best this way".

    Unfortunately, there will always be Nellies that will have negative stereotypes about any non-traditional approach to education no matter what you say. But at least we have this board for validation-- we all need a dose now and then... smile

    Just Adding my 2 Cents Jool

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    #16392 - 05/21/08 06:15 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Okay, maybe we're stretching the truth a wee little bit...

    But if the child is *allowed* to grade-skip, then the principal and teachers approve, right? At least implicitly?

    Remember, we're spinning positive and playing team here! Positive PR and all that...

    wink
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16395 - 05/21/08 06:19 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Originally Posted By: Kriston
    Good point. If you think she's "one of us," you obviously want to support and encourage. Maybe that's the elusive 4th category? Wondering (if her child is GT) Wandas?

    wink


    I am sort of hung up on the idea of "Don't shout, or wave it about or the rest will be wanting one, too." I'm afraid of getting on the principal's bad side (now that I'm finally on her good side crazy )

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    #16396 - 05/21/08 06:19 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Yay, Dottie! See, I think sometimes the positive PR becomes self-fulfilling. Get it done, tell them they approve and voila! They do!

    If you push it through, they will come (around). <smirk>
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16398 - 05/21/08 06:29 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Dottie, I know what you mean. I honestly think that the trial period they agreed to for DS was to show me that he wasn't ready.

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    #16399 - 05/21/08 06:32 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    I think I did a good job advocating for the girls this year.

    Last year at this time, I was being blown off a wee bit by the principle.

    Throughout the course of the year I spoke to both the girls' teachers quite a bit. I spoke at great length to the principle about both of them as well. For DD8, with the teacher's backing. For DD5 I went over the teacher's head.

    The results have been:

    For DD8 they changed the GT pullout for her and 4 others. Instead of twice a week, these 5 go out everyday and do work up to three grade levels above. She was very unhappy at the beginning of school, but now she is back to loving school.

    For DD5 the teacher relentlessly insisted that DD5 was just average. She didn't want to send her to the pullout at all. She was overridden by DD's IQ report and the principle. Unfortunately, DD picked up on teacher's negativity and had a really bad year. I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with the principle, social worker, psychologist and teacher. The teacher sat there and said nothing, but the others were helpful and sincere in trying to figure out the problems.
    It resulted in DD5 being able to go out of class twice a week with a teacher for a special project. It was enough to keep her from crying everyday after school. frown
    We'll see what happens next year, but I can partial homeschool her if necessary.

    I haven't talked about it to anyone at the school. A very good friend of mine hinted around and tried to get a little info, but I clammed up and didn't say a thing. I actually gave her a teensy bit of partly false info to get her off track.

    No one has said anything to me, but I know people know about both situations. There has been a little social fall-out for both me and DD8. Again, most people don't say anything directly to me but I've heard some people think I'm a big jerk.
    Also, there is an attitude of "Why do you think your kid is so special".
    And there is one person who's child is in DD8's class who is in the pull-out, but not the everyday one. She has been outright hostile to me.
    Maybe I should have done a better PR job with the parents, but all the advocating I've done has worn me down a little. Also, the negativity of other parents shuts me down and I'd really rather avoid it.
    So, I guess if you figure out the acceptable party line, I could really use it!

    Neato

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    #16400 - 05/21/08 06:43 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    "Why do you think your kid is so special?"

    Yes. I feel that from people, too. Sigh.

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    #16401 - 05/21/08 06:44 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    bianc850a Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/02/07
    Posts: 312
    Loc: California
    I wasn't ready to discuss my dd's whole skip to the parents. Unfortunately my dd told her classmates and the kids told their parents and before I knew it it seemed like the entire school knew about it. When asked I was matter of fact about it.

    Everyone seems happy for my dd. I have not seen any hostility from either the parents or the other kids towards either my dd or me. Actually, the parents of the incoming class (4th grade) have tried to include my dd in special activities as if she was already in their class. She received a couple of invitations for birthday parties of her new/future classmates and has at least four "best friends" from this new group. I think socially it will be a smooth transition. The fact that she knew some of this kids from moving up in math really helped.


    Edited by bianc850a (05/21/08 06:45 PM)

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    #16402 - 05/21/08 06:45 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Oh, 'Neato, I feel for you. Reasons we're homeschooling...that's the biggie right there! It's hard enough to have to advocate with the schools. But to then have to turn around and advocate socially, too...

    Ugh. Just ugh.

    So, SO sorry!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16403 - 05/21/08 06:45 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: bianc850a]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    That is so good to hear Bianca. I'm so glad for your daughter. Do you think it went over well because it is a private school for gifted?

    Neato

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    #16404 - 05/21/08 06:50 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Well, to be fair, there are lots of people that are happy for DD. Plus at least 4 other kids get to benefit! Their parents are real happy!
    It's just that I'm really sensitive to the negativity and I tend to "see" that more when dealing with these issues.
    Quite frankly most people are probably totally oblivious!
    It's just those few who seem to have such a problem with it get under my skin.
    I'm sure these feelings stem from my gifted denial childhood. But, I've come a long way and a lot of that has to do with the support from this forum!

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    #16405 - 05/21/08 06:52 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Oh and p.s. If I could go back in time knowing what the fallout would be: I would still totally advocate, hard!!!!!!!!!

    Neato

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    #16406 - 05/21/08 06:59 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Oh, of course! Advocacy is the right thing to do! No question!

    I just really don't think I have the fortitude. I consider it a personal failing on my part that I say that. But I just can't imagine going through all that advocacy with the school only to hit the brick wall with the parents. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

    I feel like a big wuss over it, but given the choice between advocacy and homeschool, homeschool just looked soooo much easier to me!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16407 - 05/21/08 07:02 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Oh please don't say you consider it a personal failing, that's so not where I was going with that!

    I just meant if I knew some people would have a big problem with what I've done, I'd still do it, of course when I went back in time I would already have the priveleged information that it all worked!!!! smile

    I think you are so brave to homeschool! I'm still trying to work out the courage to take the plunge! The only reason I haven't fully committed is that I really am afraid.

    So, me thinks me is the wuss, not you!!!!!!!!!!

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    #16408 - 05/21/08 07:07 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Maybe we both just took the right path given our personal circumstances.

    No wusses here. Nuh-uh. Keep it moving people. Nothing to see here...This is a wuss-free zone!

    grin
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16410 - 05/21/08 07:11 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    LOL! Unfortunately, it's pretty clear that for DD5 homeschooling would be the best situation for her.
    But I am too afraid to "cut the cord" from the world of drop em off and pick em up later in the day!
    I have committed to HS is she has another miserable year.

    So I guess I can benefit from both party line answers to:

    Why does your child need to work so far above grade level?
    AND
    Why do you homeschool the other one!!!!!!!!!!

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    #16412 - 05/21/08 07:18 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    Kriston and Incogneato - I'm with both of you sadly. I'm too anti-confrontational to do strong advocating for DS and I'm still too scared to commit to HSing. What a tough place to be in - especially for DS. I have found two people who can help. One friend has two kids in the gifted program and she was able to give me details about it. I was correct in that it's for quirky, out the box thinkers who may or may not be academically gifted. I'm not sure it's a good fit for my son. She gave me the number of a friend who has a son similar to mine and is now in 6th grade. Basically my friend said that not much will be done for DS until MIddle School in our district.

    I'm emailing the other person now.

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    #16413 - 05/21/08 07:21 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Good for you Dazey! Just keep working on what you are comfortable with.
    Gathering info is a good thing and will come in handy if you ever decide to start advocating or homeschooling.

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    #16418 - 05/21/08 07:33 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I came to the conclusion after pre-K that if the teacher didn't seem to get DS6 within a couple of weeks, she probably wasn't going to. At that point I was either going to have to put on my big-girl pants and advocate for change or I was going to have to homeschool. Those were really the only options available.

    Long story short: K went well, 1st grade did *NOT*. I couldn't foresee a good end to advocacy in our case, and I could see how much work it would require to get even minor changes made. Ugh.

    Homeschooling is a lot easier for Spock than dealing with all those <shudder> people... (LOL!)

    But seriously, I really do think you have to pick one or the other when you have an HG+ kid: advocacy or homeschooling. Great situations like Bianca's are the exception...and an exceptional exception at that! Banking on finding one without advocacy is like planning for retirement by buying lottery tickets.
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16424 - 05/21/08 07:42 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Big girl pants! ROFL!

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    #16426 - 05/21/08 07:45 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    squirt Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/31/08
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Back in Texas, alas!
    And, how do you keep advocating when your kid is miserable and it just keeps on and on and on? It's hard on him. You don't want to leave him in a bad situation while you keep advocating, but if you keep advocating, maybe the situation will improve. Catch 22 (for me, at least)!

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    #16428 - 05/21/08 07:50 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: squirt]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Yup, squirt. I think one of the hardest decisions to make is when you're making progress -or- when you're not and it's time to cut bait!

    P.S. to 'Neato: note that advocacy was the big-girl pants path, yet that's the one I didn't take! LOL!

    Hmmm, ya' know, I think Dottie still has my big-girl pants, actually...
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16430 - 05/21/08 07:51 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: squirt]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Definately! I have big guilt about leaving DD5 in her situation all year. My advocacy had some success, but not until school was almost over! It will be worth it if she is positively affected by it NEXT school year. But if no change, all that misery for naught.
    Let's hope she has a better year in first grade!

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    #16436 - 05/21/08 08:04 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    bianc850a Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/02/07
    Posts: 312
    Loc: California
    Hi 'Neato,

    I don't know if the acceptance we have encountered about my dd's whole grade skip has to do with the fact that she is in a HG school and everyone is sort of used to all the kids being different and at different levels.

    I don't really have any patience for toxic people, however, so I feel that had I encountered some hostility from some of the parents I would just move on and not try to explain or justify my dd's skip. I had to convince myself as I am generally not completely sold on whole grade skips, but I don't believe I need to convince anyone else. I sort of have a thick skin that way.

    What you did was brave, don't let anyone else take away from that.

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    #16453 - 05/22/08 05:38 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: squirt]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    SQUIRT!!!! YES YES YES!!! Exactly. I see a long road ahead and I've already dragged my feet too long wondering perhaps he's just above avg, they all even out by 3rd grade, maybe we'll get that great teacher next year.....

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    #16469 - 05/22/08 07:47 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: gratified3]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Suppport, support and more support!

    You all are so great! Thanks for all the kind thoughts.
    I'm very happy to know that many people have had a great experience from their respective communities......I think that goes a real long way in helping someone new to this advoacating stuff give it a try!
    Yes, toxic people stink. Maybe it is I, CFK who is just too aware and sensitive to negativism. Want to trade? smile I'm glad your community and school support you! We are also receiving the warm fuzzies and help from school, YAY!!
    Gratified, I so hope we will have the same experience that you had.
    I think I will just go through the summer expecting that we will! smile
    If not, I'll deal with it then.
    So to summarize:
    Perhaps the party line is that we really don't need one?

    ((tossing guilt feelings out the window))

    Thanks friends!
    Neato

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    #16473 - 05/22/08 07:53 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    LOL, 'Neato. smile

    But I will say in all seriousness that for me at least, having a pat answer has been really helpful. It's easier to shrug if you aren't shocked and lost for words! A party line helped me personally to feel less like I needed one, if that makes sense: it left me less exposed, less insecure, feeling less likely to be surprised by a nasty comment that I wouldn't know how to handle.

    I think of my pat answers as my security blankets. Ever since I've had them at the ready, I haven't needed to use them in my defense. To me, that means they're probably working!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16480 - 05/22/08 08:19 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    I guess maybe I should just tell people how I really feel:

    I'm just trying to do the best I can for my kids.

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    #16484 - 05/22/08 08:23 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    What about: "That's just what my child requires". It's true, but does it sound uppity?

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    #16487 - 05/22/08 08:32 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: Cathy A
    I guess maybe I should just tell people how I really feel:

    I'm just trying to do the best I can for my kids.


    I think you found it, Cathy. That and a shrug hits the nail on the head. And who can argue with that?

    Good on ya'! laugh
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16493 - 05/22/08 09:01 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    aline Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/07
    Posts: 155
    Loc: Southwest
    I like Cathy A's line. Kriston, it doesn't sound uppity (and I'd know being good at uppity) but it sounds aggressive and might bring out the Negative Nellie's ire. My favorite all-purpose line is "It's all about fit between the child, the teacher and the environment." I've been able to use it about my child, other friend's children -- especially the "it's never going to be right" contingent, and children that I have taught. It puts the conversation into a blame-free zone.


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    #16496 - 05/22/08 09:19 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    I think sometimes people need to realize that your child is like 5, 6, 7 or even more years ahead of his peers. I think they are most threatened by the idea of a child 1 year advanced....being accelerated one year. There are too many kids that are one year advanced, and these rarely need acceleration! But many of these families assume you are taking your "extreme" actions for a similar situation, and this would be extreme. Once they "get" that your child is really unusual, I've found they typically turn more accepting.


    I think that's a good point, Dottie. On those rare occasions when people see that DS6 is reading at the jr. high level and doing geometry, I can see their faces relax. It makes sense to them then that the standard school path without adaptation is not going to work well for him.

    (And BTW, Cathy A. asked about a response for her grade-skipping child, so I think you're on task. It all amounts to much the same response anyway, since what people really want to know is "Why is your kid doing things differently from the norm?")

    'Neato: I like the idea of "that's what works," but maybe more subtly stated? smile
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16500 - 05/22/08 09:38 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: aline]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Originally Posted By: aline
    I like Cathy A's line. Kriston, it doesn't sound uppity (and I'd know being good at uppity) but it sounds aggressive and might bring out the Negative Nellie's ire.


    Explain (said Spock.) I was trying to be unaggressive. Maybe I'm aggressive without meaning to be?

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    #16502 - 05/22/08 09:41 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I think Aline was referring to what 'Neato said: "That's just what my child requires." She just misattributed it to me, and I think that muddied the water there.

    I think she liked what you wrote: "I'm just trying to do the best I can for my kids."

    Right, Aline?
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16506 - 05/22/08 09:48 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Yes, I'm finding Cathy A. to be very much to my taste, Dottie!

    We'll get along famously, fellow Spockian! grin
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16508 - 05/22/08 09:50 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Dottie]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    Cathy you gave me quite the laugh....how I would LOVE to demand IRL...

    Originally Posted By: Cathy
    Explain (said Spock.)

    Thanks for the smile!


    Live long and prosper, Dottie.

    ETA: You, too, Kriston!


    Edited by Cathy A (05/22/08 09:51 AM)

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    #16557 - 05/22/08 04:13 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    questions Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/24/07
    Posts: 864
    Hey, everyone, thanks! I take it the less is more is the overall suggestion for comments whether HS or not. Today, however, someone told me there's nothing wrong with saying, well, we have an extraordinary child...

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    #16558 - 05/22/08 04:23 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Well, gee, wouldn't Spock say something like "That's just what my child requires" smile

    Thanks for the feedback, I didn't realize that would sound aggressive, I think that is my problem sometimes!!!!!

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    #16559 - 05/22/08 05:19 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Incog, I think a lot depends on tone of voice. It's pretty hard to convey that in a post.

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    #16560 - 05/22/08 06:11 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: incogneato
    Well, gee, wouldn't Spock say something like "That's just what my child requires" smile

    Thanks for the feedback, I didn't realize that would sound aggressive, I think that is my problem sometimes!!!!!


    I have the same problem, 'Neato. I really have to rein in my Spock-ian tendencies so that I don't seem (as much) like an insensitive lout. What's straightforward to you and me doesn't always sounds that way to people with, ya' know, emotions. grin

    Seriously, I am SOOOOOO not an expert in this stuff for that reason! I'm like the world's worst with oral communication. But I'm good at analyzing what went wrong afterwards. LOL! (or cry...)
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16562 - 05/22/08 06:56 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    ROFL Kriston

    Ann- thanks being so charitable, it's sure to sound snotty coming out of my mouth, though!

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    #16563 - 05/22/08 07:14 PM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: incogneato]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    I'm trying to picture Spock with a child... What would his offspring look like? I'm sure that gifted kids on Vulcan get all sorts of accommodations...after all, it's the only logical thing to do. <staring wistfully at the sky>


    Edited by Cathy A (05/22/08 07:15 PM)

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    #16610 - 05/23/08 06:50 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Cathy A]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    You could look at my logical son and see a Vulcan, Jr., I think. LOL!

    Case in point: Before he was speaking, at probably 8mos. old, he banged a car on the wall. I said no, and he tried banging with the other hand.

    Now, I could see from the look on his face that he was thinking, not being rebellious. He was trying to understand the rule. So I said no again.

    Then he tried banging on the floor--first with one hand and then the other. I said no each time. He rolled the car on the wall and I said no, so he rolled it on the floor...and I said yes!

    He never again banged or rolled the car on the wall. Never! He was still a baby, not yet able to speak or walk alone, yet he figured out what the parameters of the rule were and he *never* broke it.

    That was probably the first time I thought to myself, "Wow! I don't think most kids are like him..." smile

    So that's my own little Vulcan baby! He's less rule-oriented now that he's older, unfortunately. Once they get a taste of rebellion, even Vulcan babies can go astray, I'm afraid. Still, he's pretty easy to work with because he generally likes to follow rules.
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16616 - 05/23/08 07:27 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: Kriston]
    aline Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/07
    Posts: 155
    Loc: Southwest
    Oops, I'm going back now to reread. I did not mean to offend anyone .

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    #16618 - 05/23/08 07:31 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: aline]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Aline, who do you think you offended? Certainly not I. smile
    I would be offended only if not given an honest answer to an honest question.
    For example, we had a troll on the board awhile ago who was not giving "honest" answers and comments. The intent was to inflame others and create discontent.
    It's pretty easy to see the difference, obviously that was not your intent.

    smile

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    #16619 - 05/23/08 07:32 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: aline]
    aline Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/07
    Posts: 155
    Loc: Southwest
    Kriston _ I adore the vulcan anecdote. And thank you for editing and unraveling my mistake -- Oh Spockian! Yes, I did like Cathy A's line very much and yes, I misattributed Neato's line to Kriston. I need more Spockisms in my Rampantly Impetuous and Emotional INFP life!


    Edited by aline (05/23/08 08:01 AM)
    Edit Reason: freudian slip - used antidote rather than anecdote

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    #16626 - 05/23/08 07:47 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: aline]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    LOL!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16671 - 05/23/08 09:22 AM Re: Need a "party line" [Re: aline]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Originally Posted By: aline
    Oops, I'm going back now to reread. I did not mean to offend anyone .


    I'm not offended wink and I wasn't offended even when I thought you thought was aggressive crazy

    Kriston, I wish I could meet your Vulcan baby!

    Cathy

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