I met up with my father, who I rarely see because his job keeps him traveling most of the time, this past week and we had a very nice visit. I’m sure that most of what we talked a about will be of no interest to anyone, but he did ask me one question that I would like to address and get comments from the blog world.
We were talking about my lack of hope in finding a job and my bleak outlook on the situation and he asked if I’d considered home schooling my sons. I was quick to reply no because I feel that one of the things public schooling offers is social interaction and learning how to deal with others. I feel that home schooled children, in general, lack social graces.
One example that immediately comes to mind is a pair of girls, one of which used to work part time in my wife’s office. The girls and their family raised rabbits. I was attempting to raise rabbits myself. I purchased two doe bunnies from the family with the intention of breeding them with my buck, however to tell just how inept I am at every endeavor, I could get rabbits to reproduce. At the staff Christmas party I mentioned to the young lady and her sister, who’d accompanied her to the party, about my lack of success. I told, as politely as I could, her that I didn’t want to kill the does but would like two does to replace the sterile ones, and wondered if we could just trade. She replied that she would talk to her parents.
I got a very angry call from the mother about how I’d embarrassed the home schooled girls, essentially bad mouthed their rabbitry. This really got to me! As I began replaying the incident in my mind, trying to figure out how I’d messed up, I consulted my wife and a coworker about what I said and how I said it. They assured me that both what I said and how I said it were polite and in no way offensive. With that I began thinking about the hearer of my comments and surmised that these two young ladies, both about 14-16 years old and home schooled their entire life, had yet to learn the requisite social graces sufficient to interact with normal people.
Schools are full of kids who, from kindergarten all the way up, will mock anything and everything that a person does. Bullies abound! This mocking and bullying builds a thicker skin and students can learn to deal with people like that. It’s a tough process but kids survive and those skills can be carried all through life, because bullies and mockers abound there too, albeit a bit more couth and secrecy the older they are.
I don’t want to badmouth home schools in general, but would rather ask, “Why?” and “Where are the social skills acquired in a situation like home schools?” If you could offer insight please do!
Ed U. Cayshun