Country Living Series

Friday, March 12, 2010

You can pick them out in a crowd...

My girls and I were in Spokane yesterday picking up a couple of items at Costco. As we walked out, we passed the food court where we saw a woman sitting with five kids ranging in age from about two to about ten. The reason they caught my eye was one of the kids bore a striking resemblance to a friend's child, and for a moment I thought the woman was my friend. She wasn't, of course; but close on the heels of this thought was the conclusion that the family must be a homeschooling family. I couldn't have told why. They just "looked" it.

Anyway we walked passed them and went on our way. But my oldest daughter mused, "I'll bet they're homeschooled."

Startled, because she echoed my thought, I said "What makes you think that?"

Her reasons: The kids were sitting properly (not slouching); they were wearing practical clothing (not "fashionable" or revealing clothes); they were using good manners (no elbows on the table, etc.); and in general looked "wholesome."

I thought this was an interesting assessment from a fourteen-year-old.


  1. I notice the same thing. Too bad those aren't the first thoughts (good manners, proper attire, generally 'wholesome') that come to mind for most people who aren't familiar with homeschooling. First reactions from non-homeschool people always seem to be 'what about their social life' if that was the primary function of public schools, to 'socialize' our children. Good for your daughter to see the difference herself. Good for you to have taught her. : )

  2. To all the lazy parents in Kansas City I would say, do it yourself or stop your complaining. I am referring to the recent news story about K.C. closing all those public schools. Since their numbers have dwindled to the point of being stupid to keep them open rather than move them for the sake of efficiency, all they can do is cry like helpless children. Now that is a sacrifice. To send your kid a couple of miles away to try to save a struggling and nearly collapsing public school system.

  3. Have you ever read the book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell? It identifies just such a trait...that the human brain is able to detect things even though we "can't really put a finger on it."

  4. I work for the county public library and several of us on the staff have commented that the homeschooled children have manners - and that they have focus, when they come to the library they have things they need to do.

  5. I guess part of it is what you are concerned about. A kid can wear 'stylish' clothes and slouch while ruining the curve for everyone else in Chemistry as well as having a significant part time job. Then again a kid can wear practical clothes and sit up strait and be useless. I am kind of a big picture sort of fellow with these things.

  6. Oldest Daughter always fascinates me with her observations. She seems like a breath of fresh air compared to the other kids I run across daily. I would like to hear more of what she has to say about... whatever!

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  7. Hee hee, my boyfriend and I always play "spot the homeschooler" when we are out and about

  8. And, did you ever confirm that they are homeschooled?