Another thread has me mulling over something my kids have told me recently. They say they don't like school kids, mainly because they're too loud. We don't interact much with school kids, except when a massive school group is on a field trip the same place we are, and the experience on our side is that a slew of wild kids come in and take over the place, screaming and yelling as often as not. The behavior of school kids on field trips in our area is not terrible-- they don't push or intentionally break things (usually) but it's bad enough that when a school group arrives, we will often leave fairly soon afterwards. These experiences are real, but the result is that our family is developing a bias against school children that I know is unfair. Intellectually, I understand that a field trip is a special day, and that the kids are more excited than usual and the teachers/chaperones may be inclined to relax their standards of behavior because the kids are out of the classroom, and so it's not fair to judge them based only on our experiences. However, it's really hard not to sigh when a school bus pulls up to the museum or playground (yes, I know that yelling on the playground is ok, but 30 or 40 kids yelling all the time is pretty darn unpleasant to be around, playground or not.)
There is a homeschooling subculture, and I know part of what's happening is that our family is more comfortable with other members of our subculture than with the mainstream culture, and that we tend to be blind to the flaws of our own group because it's all normal to us-- also, we have been treated like freaks by school families in the past (the intolerance goes both ways), and that makes us less inclined to reach out. However, I don't want my kids to believe that homeschooled kids are better than school kids.
Does this sound familiar to anyone else, or am I alone in this?