I received this in an email some time ago but really enjoyed it so I thought I would pass it on. I, too, have gotten many compliments on how easily our children interact with people of a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. Not being restricted to interact only with children their own ages, gender and grade is definitely one of the positives of homeschooling. I hope this puts a smile on your face as it did mine.
A Well Socialized Conversationalist I took my two daughters, ages 5 and 7 to a local bookstore to browse the shelves and have a treat. It’s one of those bookstores with a cafe inside. After the treat, the girls decided to hit the kid’s section. I leisurely finished my coffee and headed over to check on them. I found my 7 year old deep in conversation with a mature woman. A younger woman near her saw me approach, smiled and asked, “Is that your daughter?” I replied in the affirmative. She beamed at me and then asked, “Do you homeschool?” Again I replied in the affirmative, meanwhile wondering just what my 7 year old was discussing!? She got very excited and told me that the woman my daughter was conversing with was her mother.
The younger woman told me that she wanted to homeschool, but her mother was worried about socialization! I laughed, what else could I do? My children regularly interact with other children of ages between infant and adult, they also converse with adults of varying ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. The younger woman then stated that she could always tell when children where homeschooled. When I asked how, she said, “They are such great conversationalists! ”
I told her that one of the dads in our homeschool group put it very succinctly. In public/private schools children only interact with children that are approximately the same age, and usually only with children of the same sex (you do know that boys have cooties, don’t you??). In addition, children must wait upon an adult’s consent to address them. Truly an artificial way to converse. In homeschools and homeschool groups, adults are more open to being asked questions and are generally more willing to spend the time to explore the topic. Hence socialization in a homeschool environment is far superior to that of your average public or private school.
I came away from the encounter very encouraged, and feeling rather smug – the mature woman complimented me on my girls’ manners and said that they had alleviated most of her concerns about homeshcooling!