Thanks for the reply, Lauren. I felt encouraged from your story about home-schooled children being better than most at genuine interaction.

You see, my perspective came from watching three of my cousins from two different families grow up home-schooled. And the common denominator among them all was their extreme social awkwardness. I love them to death, but I always thought that that atmosphere might've been over-sheltering.

However, they're also BRILLIANT. Their curiosity and knowledge expand so far beyond that of even the smartest public schooled kid I knew. They *loved* reading and devoured every book they could find. I thought maybe this was a trade-off: Learning on their own associated it to fun exploration, but tucking them in a corner away from other kids delayed their awareness of hidden social rules.

But you illuminated something for me. Home-schooled children might have higher capacities for seeing adults as equals, because adulthood isn't equated to authority the way it is in public school systems. Think about it: Kids have to ask for permission to get a drink of water. To go to the restroom. To SPEAK. To STAND. Very fundamental human behaviors are graciously granted by the big, tall man standing in front. Home-schooled children don't see any of this.

I'd be interested in discussing this further with you... If you're interested, please email me at bonbonbaron at gmail dot com