We were in Bloomington these past two days, checking out Indiana University. Seeking to find a diversion for William, who suffers the fate of being dragged along on college visits, we visited the Wonderlab Science Museum. We had the pleasure of being there at the same time as two bus loads of first graders. A cacophony of little voices greeted us, yet this was the only time we could be there so we persevered. I'm glad we did, for we discovered many wonderful things, including a whirlpool generator that gave a "lab" to the History Channel program on whirlpools we'd watched the night before at the hotel.
What gave me greater joy, however, was the 45 minutes my son spent with an elderly woman and a snake. By now, the bus loads of kids had left.
With a snake draped about her neck, she talked about snakes, hissing cockroaches, and walking sticks. They shared stories about snakes they've seen, and her dog that recently passed.
She sat at the saltwater aquarium, pointing out the camouflaged fish and shrimp.
The snake helped show her humorous side and that this type of snake, a corn snake, was not to be feared.
They were enjoying themselves so much that her "quitting time" (she volunteers) came and went. Suddenly, she looked at her watch. Oh! Past time for her to leave.
Why do I write about this? So many times, I am asked how my child(ren) will be Socialized. How will they know how to get along with others? Mostly, what questioners really mean is how will they get along with kids their own ages? But how many of today's 9 year olds sit and companionably spend nearly an hour with a stranger who is decades older in an even exchange? (And, I might add, that I hope to be like this woman when I'm her age.) Not that there aren't schooled children that do this - my nephew is one. But not that we homeschoolers miss out. We socialize and are socialized plenty.