My little cousins, Zach and Troy, stopped by yesterday afternoon to pick up my old Canon SLR for Troy's photography class (he's a senior). It's been years since I hung out with teenage boys. I felt young and old at the same time.
Both boys strongly cautioned me against homeschooling. They believe that homeschooled kids eventually return to school and go wild when confronted with drugs and alcohol. Apparently, sex is not a problem. After further discussion, I found out that each boy has a friend who used to be homeschooled. One boy is a good student and loves to read, while the other boy is one of the funniest guys they know. Neither of the boys have substance abuse issues; apparently not drinking and doing drugs makes them stand out.
Troy and Zach may feel sorry for my sheltered, homeschooled kids. After spending a week camping and going to the ocean, Jelly Belly factory, two microbreweries, and watching High School Musical Two, my kids were forced to attend an ice cream social, where they gorged themselves silly and played with people of all different ages. If that wasn't torture enough, both kids had friends over all day Sunday, went swimming at the neighbors, and visited with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Sandi and Uncle Mark. Dinner conversation was devoted to Zach's nose and eyebrow piercings. After dinner, Aidan disappeared to the bathroom to replicate Zach's mohawk hairdo, while Avery and I danced to her new Kidz Bop CD (Hey, hey, you, you , I don't like your girlfriend). Poor, sheltered kids. How will they ever know how to face the world?
I'm sure Troy and Zach's advice was honest, heartfelt and well intended, but I'll be damned if I take parenting advice from boys whose diapers I used to change, even if they are cute.