This last Friday a family at our church invited us over for dinner. They are a very kind couple, with 3 beautiful children ages 8-11.
They are a great family, and have tried for many months to have us over to their home for dinner. After so many conflicting schedules, we ended up going there Friday for a seriously delicious dinner.
Their children are homeschooled. Their middle child has diabetes and the mom did not feel comfortable sending him off to school. When the older child saw him staying home for school, she complained that she wanted to do that same.
My husband and I were truly flabbergasted by these children. I have always been pro-homeschooling. My mom homeschooled my siblings for much of elementary school, but ended up having to send them to the local public school when my brother showed some serious reading and speech issues. No matter what she did, my mom could not help him. Luckily we lived in a nice conservative town with wonderful public schools.
I was the only one of my siblings to never be homeschooled at all. Again, I was lucky that we lived where we did. I have told my husband many times that I wish for our children to be homeschooled, or in the least to attend a private Christian school. My husband was happy with that plan, and we had just decided to wait and see what our future children’s needs are before we decide.
And then, we met these children last Friday. I have often heard that one of the best things about homeschooling is that kids are able to relate to people of all ages and not just other kids. That was so much the case with these kids. They sat with us at the dinner table and took part in all of the conversation. They had incredibly manners and were very respectful to their parents and to us (of course, their parents seemed to be good parents too!). They didn’t whine that they were bored, and waited respectfully for everyone to be finished with dinner before they asked to be excused.
They still acted like kids, but it was obvious that they were comfortable interacting with adults as their peers. They asked us questions, told us jokes, and giggled at what we had to say. It was just so obvious that their parents have invested so much into their character.
After dinner we went to the living room to chat, and the kids sat with us to talk. They wandered in and out here and there, but were happy for the most part to talk with us and enjoy our company. They then asked us to tour their bedrooms (which were WAY cleaner than mine was when I was a child!), which we of course complied with.
The kids are learning Latin in their homeschool group (which they attend once per week). The 8 year old proceeded to recite John 3 to us in Latin. Then she recited to us her square roots table. I don’t remember learning square roots in 2nd grade!
When we were about to leave, the oldest daughter (age 11), said to us “We should do this again”. So grown-up! It was shocking to me.
My husband and I went to the car and looked at each other. My husband immediately said “we are homeschooling”. I have seen compliant kids before. I have seen kids with good manners. This was beyond that. These were children who had not conformed to act like their peers, but rather held up their parent’s standard of behavior. Their parents were their peers.
I was so encouraged seeing these children. I have been leaning toward homeschooling for a long time, but seeing these kids this past weekend reinforced my belief that homeschooling is almost always what is best for children.
People often say “homeschooled kids don’t have social skills” or “homeschooled kids are too sheltered”. If by sheltered and asocial they mean what I saw last week, I’ll take it.