Thursday, August 26, 2010

Great Comment on Public Schooling

" This is probably because they interact socially with a far less age-segregated set of people (our public school system is really quite unique, and profoundly unnatural that way, it is as if someone read Lord of the Flies and decided it was prescriptive rather than descriptive)."

(Jehu, on Robin Hanson's blog, commenting on why he finds home schooled children much more likable than public school children)


Roger Collins said...

This might be one reason I find that churched kids are generally more pleasant than unchurched. They simply have more experience interacting socially with people of other ages.

Curmudgeon said...

I think there's confounding factors at work here. I certainly wouldn't jump to age-segregation as my first conclusion.

Later, his comment is telling: "It is largely my interaction with the homeschooled kids of friends of mine that motivated me ..."

Interaction with the children of your friends will necessarily be different from interactions with strangers' kids. Your friends kids are going to be better behaved and more social because you know their parents and because you have interacted with them before. Other kids don't have that history.

Jehu said...

I've plenty of friends and relatives who have non-homeschooled kids. I don't really interact much with stranger's kids, because, as I've noted, I'm not innately drawn to kids as a group. So almost all kids I interact with are inheriting part of the fellowship I feel with their parents. There does seem to be a very strong difference between the two groups. Whether that difference is directly attributable to homeschooling or simply a feature of the kids produced by parents likely to choose that option is something I can't necessarily determine for you. But it is certainly true that they interact with adults a lot more than most kids, and I find myself addressing them in adult-adult communicative stance than the more common adult-child. I've also been to a few gatherings with mini-hordes of homeschooled kids (one couple that are very good friends of mine served as something of a surrogate extended family for me for some years after I relocated for employment about a continent away from the rest of my relatives, so I was frequently invited to their extended family get-togethers). Twenty or so homeschool kids getting together and playing and socializing is really a thing to see. Simply put they generate a very low amount of trouble relative to a similarly sized group of their counterparts with very little supervision required. I suspect this is a big part of how the Duggars stay sane.