The sounds of a peer barrier breaking through the Hanaba Welch column

Homeschooled children are different. They like to talk to adults. I could be wrong.

Call it my bad license – permission to share my opinion whether I’m right or not.

But I think I am right.

One criticism of home schooling is that young academics do not have enough opportunities to socialize with their peers. They are cheated.

If this is true, their regular school counterparts are also being harmed. Life offers them fewer opportunities to mingle with ordinary adults (as opposed to their teachers – nothing against teachers). They end up getting along well with their peers but not with me, for example. I am too old.

But wait. There is another category.

Children who go to regular school and then shift gears after school to lay off and shop for groceries are different. They live in two worlds.

Ask them why they are ransacking the grocery store. They will say it is to make money. They won’t say it’s because they want to learn how to relate to people outside of their own peer group. (I’d interview some to be sure, but it’s too early in the day.)

Whether these working kids realize it or not, they’re learning how to build relationships with strangers of all ages – not to mention whether they want a career in the grocery bag.

As I sit here at Starbucks elaborating, I rely only on my brain and my experiences to make these statements. Scary thought. I scare myself at least a little every week.

Can I strengthen my theses by finding someone who agrees with me? My only potential interviewee (the only latte drinker without an earpiece) seems to be focused on what’s on their laptop.

Should I message Emily, the only home-schooled adult among my Facebook friends?


No immediate response. Meanwhile, the woman at the next table has just received a phone call. She can also take care of me.


When I was a journalist, I was often lucky. It holds.

The woman’s name is Andrea. She homeschool her three children two days a week. The rest of the time, they attend a regular, albeit private, school.

Wow. It sounds like the best of both worlds. An educator gave me my idea before I had it.

Meanwhile, Emily responded. In short, she agrees that home schooling creates a tendency for young people to interact with adults.

Then she told me about her. Two aspects of her college personality seemed to distinguish her from her non-homeschooled classmates. First, in college, she quickly discovered that home schooling had given her little tolerance for busy work. There were.

Second, throughout her college years, she found herself not only communicating with her professors, but also questioning them and holding on. She still graduated.


The time has passed. I went to the supermarket. Haylee, 16, did my shopping. Did she take the job for the money? Not really. Money is good, but her father pushed her to take the job to help him overcome her shyness.

Smart dad.

Hanaba Munn Welch, a Times Record News correspondent who divides her time between Abilene and a farm north of Vernon, appears on Monday. Its columns, in homage to the Childress Engine 501, still contain, surprisingly, 501 words.

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Ethel Nester

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