March 14, 2012 § 12 Comments
Above photo taken by Penny (as are most on this blog), just after the boys and I had finished processing our lambs.
This morning, Fin, who is 10, was reading on the couch. “Papa,” he called to me (I was in the kitchen, making some sort of mess), “what’s a Big Mac?”
This reminded me of a experience Penny had, back when Fin was 5. I’ve mentioned it before, but it was a long time ago, back when there were about 3 people reading this blog. She’d taken the boys to a water sports store to purchase a used kayak. At the store, they had a TV playing kayaking videos. Fin was transfixed, and called out to Penny: “Mama, come over here. Look at this box! It has pictures and sound!”
One of the beauties of homeschooling your kids in a rural community is that you have a tremendous degree of choice regarding what and what not to expose them to. Once in a while (although thankfully, not as often as you might think), someone will hear that we homeschool and say something brilliant like: “Aren’t you worried about socialization?” To which I can only answer: “Damn straight. That’s why we keep them at home.”
It’s a bit snarky (but then, I’ve been accused of worse), to be sure. Still, it’s the truth, or at least part of the truth. Because if, at the age of 5, my kid doesn’t know what a TV looks like, that’s just fine with me. If, at the age of 10, the words “Big Mac” are meaningless to him, I’m downright ecstatic. It could be said that this ignorance will all but ensure that my boys remain out-of-step with contemporary American society. Perhaps, perhaps.
But then I think about all the things they do know: How to identify practically every species of tree, bird, and bush in our forest. How to build a fire, to milk a cow, to field dress a deer. How to plant a garden, handle a splitting maul, use the chop saw. And I can’t help but think that it’s contemporary American society that’s out of step with them.