As a homeschooling family, we field many questions about homeschooling and all that it entails. Probably the most asked question is along the lines of, "Do they have any friends?" I just know the questioner has an image of us never leaving our home (if only), sitting at desks, doing workbook page after workbook page, and not knowing how to have a conversation with anyone outside the family. I've learned just to laugh at this question because it is so ridiculous. My pat answer is to say that I wish they had fewer friends and social engagements as it would make my life a bit easier.
I am reminded of all this because earlier this week I was part of a homeschool information night at a local public library. One of the very real concerns of some of the attendees was that a homeschooled child wouldn't have any friends. The irony of discussing this concern while trying to survive the week that I've had is a bit amusing.
I will try to condense the past week into a paragraph (or 2 or 3) and you can decide for yourselves whether we need to feel sorry for the poor unsocialized homeschoolers among us. Monday started out wonderfully; no where to go, no one to see, just time at home doing my favorite thing of 'getting things done'. Monday night saw my kitchen filled with 7 young adults, only two of them mine. (The rest of the world would call them teenagers, but I dislike the term and won't be a party to it.) They were having another planning session for a party they are throwing for a few of their friends...the guest count is up to 27 last I heard. This is not just any ordinary party. It's a murder mystery party that requires acting, dressing in costume (it's set in Victorian England), and if some of them have their way, ballroom dancing. (The dancing is to be an ice-breaker...notice I never claimed homeschoolers were completely normal.) The guest list is eclectic...both homeschooled and public and private schoolers, from both city and suburbs, ages range from 12 on the young end to 17 on the older end, multiple sibling pairs, I'm sure I could come up with others if I sat and thought about it. It's been fun to watch the process. Plus, they're footing the bill for it themselves and doing all the cooking. (Yes, they are serving all of these people dinner.) I'm sure I will be posting more about this in future days.
Tuesday, we were invited for dinner at friend's house and the children spent the evening playing on a zip line. Wednesday brings a girls' Bible study group to our house followed by the weekly homeschooling beach day. Thursday was the annual Six Flags homeschool day where we and four other families (with a total of 21 children) whiled away the hours followed by a pizza dinner together. And today, because we didn't seem to have enough on our plate for the week, we went down to one of the museums to see a special exhibit on glass and glass blowing. This left us enough time to get to the park where our homeschooling group meets weekly for large group games. If after all of this M and B still feel the need to socialize, tomorrow a group of friends has arranged a beach time to welcome another homeschooler back from a trip. No wonder everyone has seemed a bit tired. Getting back to a more normal schedule might feel calming and refreshing.