Last night, Builder and I went to the wedding of one of Rabbi Brooklyn's kids. We met up after the chuppah to see where we would be seated. Builder, of course, chose that moment to mention to mention to me that one of his friends from the shul is the executive director of Modox Girls' Elementary, and that we could get the Things in without a problem. (Now, where have I heard that before?)
This friend and his wife immediately started in on the Things' "socialization." This is, of course, the best way to piss a homeschooler off. My response, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a majority of the time in school spent sitting in class, not socializing?"
"Well, there's recess, and there's lunch, and then, there's the exchange of ideas in class. I mean, kids can hear about different perspectives."
OK, that was a fun little delusion. Now back to Planet Reality.
Except for my graduate seminars, I have never experienced this exchange of ideas. Most of the time, class was spent listening to the teacher. Occasionally someone would ask a question, but it was more because they couldn't understand than because they wanted to go into depth. I get more of an exchange of ideas discussing The Eskimo Twins or Winnie-the-Pooh with Thing 1 than I ever got in school. Usually, all the class discussions were between the teacher and one student (me) while everyone else passed notes, doodled, counted the acoustic tiles in the ceiling, or waited for class to finish.
But it wasn't all bad. I did get to deliver my famous "why call it homeschooling when we're never home?" line.