Monday, April 8, 2013

When are you too old?

Today, I got a call from Giant Bais Yaakov.  At first I thought they would want to schedule an interview.  Not so much.  Apparently, the director was concerned that Thing 1 (who, by the way, is all of SIX YEARS OLD) has never been to school.  These are the answers I would have given if I were less of a lady.  (FTR, I was exceedingly polite.  Even Emily Post would have marveled at my restraint in the face of her rudeness.)
"Your kids are homeschooled?"  (asked in a tone of abject horror)
Yes, we have three heads and leprosy.
"Nobody in Boro Park homeschools their kids."
You mean, all this time, I've been searching for a secret cabal of homeschoolers in Boro Park that DOES NOT IN FACT EXIST?  I'm shocked, shocked!
"Why would you homeschool your kids?"
To keep them away from people like you.  Middos, my tuches.
Then, she grills me on my background.  Of course, I don't come from Boro Park.  Of course, I'm a BT.   Surprisingly, Builder is not.  Yes, I teach them limudei kodesh.  Then she tells me that it's "too late for my kids."
Apparently, Thing 1 should have started school four years ago.  Even Thing 2, who is entering Pre-1a, or what the rest of the world calls kindergarten (in other words, still very young), is too old to enter school.  It seems that they would rather not deal with children who are transitioning into school for the first time.  They want kids who are already used to the routine.  Otherwise, they are "improperly socialized."  (There's that word again.  Just once, I would like to see a school put more focus on academics.)
However, I should still fill out an application and come in for an interview.  Looks like BYOD all over again. 


  1. "Nobody in Boro Park homeschools their kids."

    That's not true. I saw an article once about a chasidic family that did because with so many kids and tuition it was just better. That's the thing is that they would give them a pass because it's for money not ideals.

    The socialization thing is crap. just because kids are in school doesn't guarantee that they will make friends, they aren't in school for friends, either.

    What about a school in Manhattan? I know it would be the biggest pain to schlep them in and out of the city every day, but I'm just trying to think of compromises to propose for your builder.

  2. We don't want your kid but come for an interview?
    Is there a fee involved?
    Sometimes I wish I lived in a sitcom so I could give people sarcastic answers and get away with it.

  3. I came across your blog while looking for something about Aztecs (can't remember what it was--getting addlebrained). The first thing I saw was about your opinion of Jewish weddings, which I just commented on. So forgive me if I'm missing something here.
    Your goal appears to be to find a good Jewish school for children. A school in NYC--where there are so many schools to choose from. So why are you getting so hung up on this one school? Save your mental energy and look for another one! Doesn't have to be a Bais Yaakov; doesn't even have to be in Brooklyn! Then consider this, too: Even if you never find the perfect school--in terms of the attitude of the staff (which you seem to be so upset about)--you can influence your children's attitudes by asking them about what went on in school each day and countering things they hear that you don't approve of by TALKING TO THEM--directly, honestly, and on their level. Explain that people have all sorts of opinions and ideas. Explain YOUR opinions and ideas. Teach them the meaning of tact--how to have an opinion different from the teacher's and not going down to the teacher's level by expressing it in front of her/him (or anyone who is likely to tell her/him).
    One more thing: It took me a few reads to figure out "Thing 1" and "Thing 2." Do you REALLY refer to your children, your blessing from Hashem as THINGS????? Why the HELL do you call your children "Things"??? What kind of a mother are you??????

    1. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are references to my favorite doctor's little red-suited, blue-haired mischief makers.


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